Kastela is the city adjacent to Split and is composed of 7 Kastela towns. The names of 7 Kastela are as follows:
Kastel Stafilic – From my point of view, the must see thing in Kastel Stafilic is the olive tree which is 1,500 years old. It bears a witness of continuous noble surroundings and the arts and crafts of local farmers.
Kastel Novi – a walk through the narrow typical coastal streets of Kastel Novi, along the stone halls and arcades leads you to the cellars of Kastela’s wine makers. That is where they store their quality wines for which they cared through the year.
The popularity and quality of Kastela wines and vineyards reach as far as America, where the wine sort by the name of Crljenak, which was almost completely forgotten, has become the world famous – Zinfandel. In these narrow streets of Kastel Novi people live and work, rest and sing, whilst during the fiesta they turn into real-life theater.
Kastel Stari – The oldest fortress in Kastela is the center around which an interesting architectonic unity evolved. In Kastel stari you will see first hand how the medieval cities were build spreading around central square where public meetings and business transactions took place. In the central city square was the market offering a huge variety of fish and other goods. Seeing the wealth of the fruits of the earth it is not surprising to find it mirrored in the lush precious jewelery and native costumes, as well as in the unequaled beauty of their shrines. In the town you can also find the church of St. John the Baptist (The Baroque church) with its luxurious interior decoration which is a valuable cultural monument.
Kastel Luksic – The brothers Vitturi, royal family from Trogir, build a very beautiful castle in 1564 for their families and as protection for their peasants who were more and more often attacked by Turks in their village Ostrog on the Balovan ridge. You can immediately notice that the castle was built for protection when you see the northern side of the castle with two towers and the slanting ground floor walls. They are joined with the mainland by a movable bridge which gives it a particularly defensive appearance. The southern side of the castle has a balcony and an emergency exit towards the sea which confirms it’s defensive purpose. The expansive yard of the palace is separated by a hall and galleries on the southern side. This castle, known locally as Dobrila’s, is closely associated with the nearby Miljenko’s castle through a legend about a tender, tragic love.
Kastel Kamblovac – also started out as a castle which was built in 1517 by brothers Cambi, a royal family from Split. The purpose of the castle was also defensive and the castle’s position testifies to this. The castle was build on the small rock in the sea giving protection to inhabitants of small villages Lazani and Krusevik, which are situated below the Kozjak mountain. Kastel Kambelovac has numerous smaller fortifications, but the castle itself is best preserved. It stands proudly with it’s cylindrical form which eased defenders activities through the centuries. In the vicinity of the castle you can also see preserved village gate.
Kastel Gomilica – in 1529 the Benedictine sisters built fortification (kastel) on a sea reef called Gomilica. At the entrance of the castle there was movable wooden bridge which was protected by a castle tower. After the Turks destroyed villages of Gornje and Donje Kozice, its inhabitants moved and settled into the castle which gave them much needed protection. It is believed that Benedictine sisters also planted 700 year old Medunac oak tree at the church of St. Kuzma and Damjan, one of the oldest churches in Kastela.
Kastel Sucurac – Archbishop Andrija Gualdo built the first safeguarding tower on the shore, more precisely on the stone hillside in todays Kastel Sucurac. The expansion of this fortification came in 1488 when another archbishop called Bartul Averaldo built his summer palace adjacent to already existing Kastilac (castle). This summer residence distinct itself from the adjacent strong fortress walls with Gothic elements giving it unique look not often seen in Kastela. Different to other Kastela towns or settlements, the square here is formed on the southern side of the palace, which is probably why they gave it the name Podvorje or entrance hall.
Kastela Photo Gallery
Photo Gallery of 1,500 Year Old Olive Tree in Kastel Stafilic