...the only place in the world with two UNESCO architecture within 15 km...
A deep and well-protected bay between Split and Trogir acts like a natural refuge and safe haven and even in ancient times Kaštela had become a place where the wealthy from nearby larger cities built their summer residences. Out of fear of the invading Turks, fortifications were erected right on the coastline - 15 of them by the end of the 15th century - all in a Renaissance architectural style with rich interiors. About seven of these fortifications became settlements that eventually merged to create the present town of Kaštela.
The town of Kaštela is located on the coast of the Bay of Kaštela. It has over 40000 inhabitants, and it is the second largest town in the Split and Dalmatia County. It stretches over the length of 17 kilometers.
The city of Kaštela has seven settlements – Kaštel Gomilica, Kaštel Kambelovac, Kaštel Lukšić, Kaštel Novi, Kaštel Stari, Kaštel Sućurac, Kaštel Štafilić.
Traces of all historic periods could be found in the area of the town of Kaštela; cavemen have hunted here (Mujina Cave on the western slopes with artifacts dating 45 000 years BC).
There are many Illyrian stone heaps scattered over the Kozjak Mountain.
During the Greek and Roman rule these parts experienced their economic and cultural prosperity. Remains of many antic villas and the Siculi settlement at Resnik are the proofs of that.
Croatians migrated to the gentle slopes of Kozjak in the 7th century and formed their first settlements. Old Croatian churches are the silent witnesses of that time.
Aristocrats and clergymen from Trogir and Split built their castles on these rocky shores. The Venetian authorities approved of that to protect crops and peasants. These fortified mansions– castles appeared as fortresses on their land sides with keeps, moats, loopholes and drawbridges. Their sides facing the sea were built as Renaissance villas with wide windows and balconies. Inhabitants of the old settlements on the slopes of Kozjak sought refuge and security by building new fortified settlements around them.
Agriculture and growing of olives and grapes were the basis of economy and the foundation of economic might of these parts. Big churches with bell towers (decorated by most famous artists of that time), golden and silver gifts in church treasuries and folk costumes noted for their golden decorations and golden embroidery witness about that might.
Around 16 castles seven villages were formed: Kaštel Štafilić, Kaštel Novi, Kaštel Stari, Kaštel Lukšić, Kaštel Kambelovac, Kaštel Gomilica and Kaštel Sućurac. These villages grew, developed and finally merged to the town of Kaštela. The villages preserved authentic Dalmatian architecture: houses with open front stairs, balconies, wine cellars, narrow streets and squares at their centers.
At a sea reef a nobleman from Trogir Koriolan Cipico, writer, humanist, military leader in the battle of Lepanto had his mansion built in 1476. Later it got its present name Kaštel Stari (the old castle). He built the mansion which was a combination of fortress and palace. It was connected to the mainland by a drawbridge (brvno). This is the reason why areas in front of the castles are named Brce (brvce). After fire in 1493 it was renovated in the Renaissance style with arcaded yard and the southern balcony decorated by the family coat of arms.
Residents of Radun, a village on slopes of Kozjak build their houses around the castle. Perimeters of the village are visible even today. Streets of the village have a rectangular pattern which could be seen in the ground plans from 1704. There is the church of St. Josip inside the village built in the 17th century by Celije Čipiko.
The parish church of St. Ivan Krstitelj (St. John the Baptist) was consecrated in 1641 and renewed in 1714. The interior is decorated with five marble altars and five altar covers. The miraculous icon of Gospa od Milosti (Our Lady of Mercy) and body of St. Felicije patron saint of the village are kept in the church.
The palace of Celio Cega family, built in the18th century is to the west from the church. Foundations of the Andreis castle could be seen on the seafloor lttle more to the west.
The new parish church is particular because its building lasted from 1871 to 1970.
The old Croatian church of St. Juraj od Raduna (St. George) from 9th /10th century witness about existence of Radun, a village on slopes of Kozjak. The church is preserved in its original shape.
One-nave space is decorated by shallow niches. Niches divide outer wall of the rectangle apse. Archeological surveys of surrounding graves proved continuity of burials from the 9th - 15th century. Old Croatian jewelry and artifacts found in those graves are kept in the Museum of the Town of Kaštela.
Marked mountain path leads from Kaštel Stari to the Malačka saddle (480 m) where mountain houses Malačka and Split are located. These houses are starting points for mountaineering paths through Kozjak and Kaštela Hinterland. This is the easiest accessible lookout with magnificent view on Velo and Malo Kaštela Field, the bay, Split, Marjan, Trogir and Central Dalmatian islands.
A chapel with cross was built to the west at the nearby peak in memory of men of Kaštela killed in the Homeland War.
Kaštela Tourist Board