Berat Castle

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Berat Castle
Kalaja e Beratit
Berat, Albania, 40.7067° N, 19.9522° E
Berat Castle
Berat Castle
Citadel of Berat (pictured at the top of the hill)
Type Castle
Site information
Open to
the public
Yes
Site history
Battles/wars Siege of Berat (1280–1281)
Siege of Berat (1455)
Battle of Berat (1943)

Berat Castle (Albanian: Kalaja e Beratit) is a fortress overlooking the town of Berat, Albania. It dates mainly from the 13th century and contains many Byzantine churches in the area and Ottoman mosques.[1] It is built on a rocky hill on the left bank of the river Osum and is accessible only from the south.

History[edit]

After being burned down by the Romans in 200 B.C., the walls were strengthened in the fifth century under Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II, and were 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. 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.

Berat Castle is depicted on the reverse of the Albanian 10 lekë coin, issued in 1996 and 2000.[2]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the Albanian Wikipedia.


Coordinates: 40°42′29″N 19°56′42″E / 40.708°N 19.945°E / 40.708; 19.945