The imposing Sokol grad fort built at the foot of the stone cliffs that rise above the Dunave in Konavle, opened its doors on April 1st after five years of intensive restoration by the Society of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiques.
In recent weeks the finishing touches were added including lighting and an impressive archaeological collection which is on display in the Kastelan home.
Archaeological finds found beneath the fortress prove and confirm the continuity of life in the area since the Copper Age around the 2300 BC until the abandonment of the fort in the second half of the 17th century. Among the things found are very valuable items from the Cetina culture in the Bronze and Iron Ages including amber, glass and decorative items such as women’s brooches. Battalion spears and knives dating from the Illyrian period 400-500 years before Christ, and the discovery of the remains from the Roman period before and after Christ also farm part of the collection.
Dubrovnik took over the possession of the fort in 1420. From then onwards work on it began with continuous upgrades, arming and maintenance. Sokol grad was a military fort in which, at the time of the Dubrovnik Republic, between ten and fifteen people lived. From the archival findings it is known that during times of war up to twenty would live there, while in peacetime this would fall to below ten.
The Fortress has been adapted with visiting tourists in mind with several areas housing medieval weapons that in the 15th century were the basic weaponry o help bring the past back to life. Six original canons have been placed in the fort also. The old weapon forgery has been renewed along with the firplace where the soldiers warmed before bedtime. A special attraction at Sokol will be the new sound system which extends to outdoor areas making Sokol the first fort of its kind with such facilities.