Knin is a historical town in the Šibenik-Knin county of Croatia, located near the source of the river Krka, in the Dalmatian hinterland, on the railroad Zagreb–Split. Knin rose to prominence twice in history, as a one-time capital of both the Kingdom of Croatia and briefly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
The city is of extreme importance for infrastructural reasons, as the railroads from the rest of Dalmatia and its cities of Zadar, Split and Šibenik pass through Knin, going north to the capital city of Croatia, Zagreb. Knin is mentioned for the first time in the 10th century in the history of Constantine Porphyrogenitus as the centre of a parish. A Croatian diocese of Knin was founded 1040 and its jurisdiction extended to the Drava river, with the "Croatian bishop" at its head.
Knin was also the capital of the Kingdom of Croatia around 1080 during the rule of King Dmitar Zvonimir. At the entrance of Knin, the town sign has an inscription stating "Welcome to Knin, town of King Dmitar Zvonimir". This heritage has led to Knin being known as the "City of Croatian Kings" or "Zvonimir's City" (Zvonimirov grad). Between the 10th and the 13th century, Knin was a notable military fort.
The huge 10th century medieval Knin Fortress on Mt. Spas dominates the centre of town, and its present aspect dates back to the beginning of the 18th century. It is one of the largest fortification buildings in Dalmatia and is divided into the upper, middle and lower town, connected by drawbridges.