Berat Castle dates mainly from the 13th century and contains many Byzantine churches in the area and Ottoman mosques. It is built on a rocky hill on the left bank of the river Osum and is accessible only from the south.

After being burned down by the Romans in 200 B.C., the walls were strengthened in the 5th century under Roman Emperor Theodosius II to protect from Barbarian incursions into the Balkans. They were subsequently rebuilt during the 6th century under the Emperor Justinian I and again in the 13th century under the Despot of Epirus, Michael I Komnenos Doukas, cousin of the Byzantine Emperor. This last phase can be seen as a Monogram formed by red bricks set in a wall of the castle. The castle was under the rule of John Komnenos Asen in the mid-14th century The main entrance, on the north side, is defended by a fortified courtyard and there are three smaller entrances.

The fortress of Berat in its present state, even though considerably damaged, remains a magnificent sight. The surface that it encompasses made it possible to house a considerable portion of the cities inhabitants. The buildings inside the fortress were built during the 13th century and because of their characteristic architecture are preserved as cultural monuments. The population of the fortress was Christian, and it had about 20 churches (most built during the 13th century) and only one mosque, for the use of the Turkish garrison (of which there survives only a few ruins and the base of the minaret). The churches of the fortress were damaged through years and only some have remained.

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Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Albania

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en.wikipedia.org

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User Reviews

Karol Macák (2 years ago)
Actually it is very nice place. There is a museum, which we didn't visit. We walk around and enjoy the architecture. There was a chapel, which looks really nice, but it was closed, so we couldn't get in. Also there was some abandoned parts of buildings, which wasn't repaired and we didn't see any information about them. Also one of them was dangerous, because of steep and narrow stairs without railing which ends in room full of water and rocks. It is in UNESCO, but I think there is so much work and also potential to make it nice place.
Ilona Livarski (2 years ago)
A cool castle to explore with wonderful views. The locals living within the castle are very kind and welcoming too.
Robert Cooke (2 years ago)
A nice workout to get to the top of this. Within the walls are small windy streets with restaurants, museums, churches and more. It is free to come here and had lovely views of the surrounding area. If you find yourself in Berat it's definitely worth an hour or 2
Jakobus Augustus (2 years ago)
Really beautiful castle and definitely worth visiting. It is a pretty big area and you can spend a long time walking around if you want or just visit the most important parts in some minutes. The locals are very friendly and if you know Albanian the gladly show and explain you some special places (of course for a little tip).
Zoé Sandle (2 years ago)
It will take around 1 to 2 hours to explore the entire castle complex, but one could easily spend more time there. The view on the rest of the city and the surrounding hills is amazing. Because the castle is still inhabited, it feels more like a small village inside a city. I would have liked to get to know some more information on the history of the place (then again maybe I just didn't look for it well enough!).
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