On the eastern part of the City, outside Ploče City Gate, the massive fortress of Revelin is located. The initial fort was built in 1463, in the period of unmistakable Ottoman empire (Turk) threat, who have conquered Constantinople in 1453 and were about to occupy nearby Bosnia (occupied in 1463).
Revelin was built as a detached fortress providing additional protection to the eastern City Gate. The name derives from rivelino (ravelin), a term in fortification architecture which refers to forts built opposite to the weakest points in the city defence system or opposite to the particular city gates with purpose of reinforcing defensive position. The first Ravelins were moundlike entrenchments which was also the case with the initial Revelin fort in Dubrovnik. However danger of Venetian attack suddenly arose during the time of First Holy League, and it was necessary to strengthen this vulnerable point in the City fortification complex. The Senate hired Antonio Ferramolino, an experienced builder of fortresses in the service of the Spanish admiral Doria who was a trusted friend of the Dubrovnik Republic.
In 1538 the Senate approved Ferramolino’s drawings of the new, much stronger Revelin. It took 11 years to build it, and during that time all other construction work in Dubrovnik had stopped in order to finish this fortress as soon as possible. The new Revelin became the strongest fortress of Dubrovnik, safeguarding the eastern land approach to the city. Revelin was finally completed in 1549.
View of Revelin from Minceta TowerRevelin fortress has a form of an irregular quadrilateral with its Northern corner forming a sharp outward spike. The entrance to the fortress is at its Southern side where the street leading between the two fortified gates crosses over a large platform. Both the fortress and the platform are isolated from all sides, southern side steeply descends to the sea, while the City ditch surrounds the fortress in all other directions. In the thick Northern wall of Revelin fortress, at ditch level, corridors are divided into small subsections with triple embrasures which are also provided with ventilation ducts that finish at the upper floor of the fortress. These purpose of these embrasures was to attack the enemy in the ditch.
Ploce gate bridge leading to Revelin from eastern suburbA bridge from the middle of the 15th century leads from Revelin, over the ditch, to the inner City gates while the outer City gates are equipped with a toll bridge that lowers down to the access bridge from the end of the 15th century that leads to the eastern suburbs. The outer bridge was a work of the master architect Paskoje Miličević while the inner Gate bridge was built by local builders according to the prototype of the old Pile bridge from the 14th century.
The construction of Revelin fortress work was executed perfectly hence Revelin was not harmed by the devastating earthquake of 1667. As its interior is divided into three large vaulted rooms, Revelin became the administration centre of Republic after the earthquake. The session of the Council were held in the fortress, and the treasures of the Republic and Dubrovnik cathedral were transferred there, as well as all other wealth which was saved from the ruins and fires following the earthquake.
The top of Revelin features a huge stonepaved terrace, the largest in Dubrovnik. The terrace is sometimes used as a stage for many events of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival that takes place in Dubrovnik each year from July 10th to August 25th.