370 years after the brave men and women of Šibenik built it in just two months to defend themselves against the Ottoman army, Barone Fort reopened for the public on January 29, 2016, after extensive renovation. Gastro – cultural centre and high tech are combined in Šibenik's newest tourist attraction and what better way to open this excellent combination of history, heritage and modern facilities than with a spectacular light and laser show. More than 500 attended were able to enjoy a never before seen light display which connected all four forts in this city which is celebrating its 950th anniversary.
Along with a documentary on the reconstruction of this important defence fort, visitors were also greeted by the hologram of Baron Degenfeld, one of the key players in Šibenik's defence against the Ottoman army (the Fort was named Baron or Barone after him). Acoustic project ensemble was in charge of music whole the buffet was created by one of Croatia’s most renowned chefs Zdravko Tomšić who was also in charge of developing a unique eno-gastro offer which will be available in the Fort in the future. Since the accent will be on local produce from homesteads and local farms, all food and drinks served at the opening were from Šibenik and its surrounding areas.
Barone Fort was opened by the mayor of Šibenik, dr. Željko Burić „ In the year in which we are celebrating the 950th anniversary of the first written mention of our city, this is one of the best birthday presents we can give to our citizens; after the reconstruction of St. Michael's Fort, we now have another jewel in our heritage crown – Barone Fort which provides the most magnificent view of the city and the entire Šibenik archipelago. I am proud of all the local forces that were included in the project; from the Šibenik Heritage Preservation Society Juraj Dalmatinac, our City administration EU-team which was once again successful in securing EU funds, all contractors to „Šibenik Culture-Fort“, association which will be just as successful in running this fort as it is with St. Michael's Fort. The story with the construction of our historic forts will not end here, just a few hours ago we applied for funds for the reconstruction of St. John's Fort and I am certain we will succeed in concluding that project and get the recognition of UNESCO and that our fortification system will be included in its World Heritage List. Our tourist numbers are growing each year, and I am sure this new attraction will contribute to an even better promotion of our city“ mayor Burić stated.
Barone Fort may not represent the first line of defence anymore; instead, it will become a place for new memories and experiences. To start this new chapter on the right note, Barone Fort will be open for free tours on Sunday, January 31, from 09 until 17h, while annual membership passes are 50 kunas and that includes unlimited entry to both refurbished city forts.
The total value of the project „Barone – discovery of rich heritage and a path to a successful future“ was 1.377.165,38 EUR and 72,17% was financed by the European Regional Development Fund.