Gjirokaster Fortress

Gjirokaster, Albania

Gjirokastër Castle dominates the town and overlooks the strategically important route along the river valley. It is open to visitors and contains a military museum featuring captured artillery and memorabilia of the Communist resistance against German occupation, as well as a captured United States Air Force plane to commemorate the Communist regime's struggle against the 'imperialist' western powers.

The citadel has existed in various forms since before the 12th century. The first of the defenses were put in place by the Despots of Epirus, an off-shoot of the Byzantine government, who established the basic towered structure of the castle. Extensive renovations and a westward addition was added by Ali Pasha of Tepelene after 1812. The government of King Zog expanded the castle prison in 1932.

Today it possesses five towers and houses, the new Gjirokastër Museum, a clock tower, a church, a cistern, the stage of the National Folk Festival, and many other points of interest.

The castle's prison was used extensively by Zog's government and housed political prisoners during the Communist regime.

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Details

Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Albania

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Yan AW (14 months ago)
A UNESCO world heritage site. Well preserved
Piotr Skulimowski (14 months ago)
Fantastic views. Castle in pretty good condition. Must see. Entry 200 leki.
Oliver Milner (14 months ago)
Amazing fortress, a must visit. Well kept without many restrictions on where you can go. Entry is 200. Museum entry is 300. Be sure to splurge on the local food and souvenirs. The bakery in middle of town is awesome and cheap!
Katerina & Dale Fixter (15 months ago)
Beautiful castle with lots of history and culture. Highly recommended to visit but try to visit in the early morning, less tourists.
Adrián Pérez (16 months ago)
Lots of Albanian history and amazing views. The surroundings are beautiful to walk as well.
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