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Tip for an excursion in Croatia: The Venetian Maltempo Fortress in Omišalj on Krk

Excursion tip Croatia: the Maltempo Fortress on Krk
© Island Tourist Info Krk

Easily visible from the water is the old Venetian fortress of Maltempo, on the cape east of Voz. Sports skippers coming from Rijeka and sailing along the mainland coast in a south-easterly direction finally reach the narrowest point between the island of Krk and the mainland at Črešnjeva through the Tihi Channel, passing under the large Krk Bridge at Sv. Marko. This is where the old Maltempo fortress on Krk is located.

 

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This is the kind of place you’d like to take a spontaneous vacation: somewhat remote and only accessible from the mainland for insiders, a pretty little stone house has been built on the old walls of a Venetian fortress right on the water, well protected by an old, historic stone wall and “guarded” by the foundations of what must have once been an extremely powerful fortified tower.

 

 

The property even has its own small jetty, from which you can get into the crystal-clear water for a refreshing swim.

 

 

What appears so picturesque from the water turns out on closer inspection to be the historic Maltempo Fortress, which is mentioned on old Venetian maps as the Fortress of St. Mark.

The Venetians built Maltempo at the point closest to the mainland

The Venetians had not built the fortress in this exact location for nothing, as the distance between the island of Krk in the southwest and the mainland (near the village of Črešnjeva) is the shortest here. This meant good control over all maritime traffic heading northeast from the Vonodolski Channel to Rijeka.

In fact, the fortress is located on the north-eastern cape of the Bejavec peninsula, exactly at the point where the island of Krk is separated from the Vinodol mainland by a strait only a few hundred meters wide. Only here was it possible to land hits on enemy ships with the artillery of the time.

Originally, the fortress had a lower part with a cannon battery, living quarters for the crew and a chapel, and an upper part with a lookout and defense tower. In addition to the name Maltempo, which can be found on old maps and in later documents, the fortress was also named after St. Mark, the patron saint of the Republic of Venice.

Maltempo was once part of a Venetian fortification system along the entire coast

As part of a wider Venetian fortress system along the coast, Maltempo played an extremely important role for several decades immediately after its construction at the end of the 16th century.

The fortress, picturesquely situated on a small promontory, also gained fame as the place where Austrian and Venetian representatives negotiated the peace that later resulted in the banishment of the Uskoks from Senj. The Uskoks had long posed a serious threat not only to Venetian ships, but often also to the peaceful inhabitants of the island of Krk.

Today, the historic fortress, renovated in traditional style, is a worthwhile excursion destination for historically interested vacationers in Croatia, which is best approached from the main road 102 (Hamec / B 103 junction).

 

Excursion tip Croatia: the Maltempo Fortress on Krk
© Island Tourist Info Krk

 

A small lighthouse has also been part of the fortress since 1875

Sports skippers who pass the fortress on the water in the dark appreciate the small lighthouse, which is part of the fortress ensemble.

The lighthouse was built in 1875 as part of a large-scale Austrian project for the construction of a coastal signaling system and today, with its red flashing light (identifier: Fl.R 3s12m3M) reliably shows the way; other red “flashlights” shine in the north-west and on the south-eastern Cape Bejavec of the small peninsula.

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