Nehaj Castle (Tvrđava Nehaj)

Nehaj Castle

Nehaj Castle or Nehaj Fortress is a well preserved fortress situated on a Nehaj hill overlooking Senj, Croatia.



Location: Senj, Lika-Senj County    Map

Constructed: 1553- 58 by Ivan Lenkovic


History of Nehaj Castle

Nehaj fortress' name can be translated as "let it be" or "I don't care", a widely used term not only in Croatian language, but also other Slavic languages. Occasionally the citadel might be referred to as a Nehaj Kula or Nehaj Tower due to its tower- like appearance. A small museum of local history and a restaurant are located in the main building of Nehaj Castle. The view from the top of the Nehaj Fortress of Senj and Adriatic Sea below is stunning.


Nehaj Castle was constructed in 1552- 58 by Croatian army general Ivan Lenković, a leader of Uskoks. These Uskoks or "jumpers" in Croatian used guerilla ambush tactics in their struggle against Ottoman Turkish forces.  Turks eventually captured much of the Balkan Peninsula and held it for the next several centuries. Their favorite tactics also included rowing boats that quickly out maneuvered heavy Turkish ships. So proximity to the sea is not a coincidence. Fortress walls are 18 meters tall, 23 meters wide and 2- 3 meters thick. Its window layout and shape allowed maximally effective cannon fire on the offensive armies that tried to storm the building from the sea.


If you take a good look at the stones of the Nehaj Castle, you can recognize that stones have different shapes and colors. It is no coincidence. Uskoks did not have a lot of time to organize their defense. They simply quarried stone from local ruins of a monastery. Its churches, living quarters and other buildings were torn down to create military citadel.