Borsh Castle

Borsh, Albania

Borsh Castle (also known as Sopot Castle) dates from Antiquity, and its fortifications follow the trace of an acropolis, with four subsequent phases of reconstruction, ranging from the early Byzantine period to the late Middle Ages.

The site is first mentioned in the early 13th century, when archbishop Demetrios Chomatenos wrote of the 'archonship of Sopotos', part of the region of Vagenetia. In 1258, the Despot of Epirus Michael II Komnenos Doukas gave the castle along with Buthrotum and the island of Corfu as dowry for his daughter Helena to Manfred, King of Sicily. It came back under Epirote control soon thereafter, before being once again ceded by Nikephoros I Komnenos Doukas to Charles I of Anjou in 1279. The area returned again to Epirote hands in the subsequent decades, but in the Epirote rebellion against Palaiologan Byzantine rule in 1338–39, it remained loyal to Emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos.

Following the Ottoman conquest, a cadaster from 1431 lists Sopot with 60 households, and as capital of a nahiye. In 1456, troops of King Alfonso V of Aragon were operating in the area of Sobato against the Ottomans. In 1470 it was under Venetian control, under the jurisdiction of the governor of Corfu; at the end of the Ottoman–Venetian War of 1463–1479, the Ottomans laid claim to it and apparently received it, for in 1488 the local Albanian population rebelled against Ottoman rule.

The walls of the castle, which follow the ancient fortifications, survive. In the interior, the medieval fortress was divided through a wall in two. Triangular towers were added later, probably during the middle Byzantine period. In the interior of the castle stand ruins of various buildings and cisterns.



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Unnamed Road, Borsh, Albania
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Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Albania

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User Reviews

Merilin Lilium (10 months ago)
Do visit when around! Although not much of a castle but ruins of a castle, once you reach the top the view is stunning. From the mountains to Corfu, the panorama is breathtaking. Visited in mid August and met no other people at the castle nor on the way up, only a local kid selling some goods next to the road :)
Era Gjonaj (10 months ago)
The view was excellent! Yet, it was quite risky to climb as rocks could fall from the rocky side of the way. The castle and the oldest remaining mosque throughout the riviera need much more upkeep...
Zala Pia Lipičnik (10 months ago)
A true gem hardly spotted from bellow but offers great views towards the seaside and the inland mountains and roads. Parking a car below the path that leads towards the castle - or at least what is lefto from the old days. Although there is close to nothing written about it in the area - only a brief description at the bottom of the path, you can search for more on Wikipedia.
Feliks T (2 years ago)
Interesting place with good views 360 but... Attention !!! Don't try to get to the castle by car when good asphalt road is finished. Leave your car under the hill and go ?600m
Mateusz Incognito (2 years ago)
Beautiful castle worth to visit while in Albania.
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