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


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

James Leithart (8 months ago)
Good castle - one of the best I’ve seen in Albania. Has some great views and a lot of good information about the castle and city in general. I paid 400 to get in, which seems like more than most people are charged but maybe they raised prices? I’m not sure. Anyway, been once - don’t need to go back.
Papa Aldous (11 months ago)
Interesting visit, of a place that was still used not long ago for prisonners... Full of history !
Ali Abdulla (12 months ago)
i cannot describe how much this place is amazing and its a must visit in albania. wonderful view in the top
Roman Kovbasnyk (13 months ago)
This place is amazing! My favorite part of Albania. Rich in history, great food and amazing views!
Yonathan Stein (17 months ago)
Amazing place to visit with arms museum inside. Costs 400 leke and close at 16 during winter. Best spot in the city for a panoramic view.
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