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.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

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

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

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!).
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Palazzo Colonna

The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.

The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).

With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).

Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.

The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.

The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.

Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.