Kalaja e Durrësit
Venetian Tower of Durrës
|Controlled by|| Byzantine Empire
Republic of Venice
The Big Four (World War I)
|Built||1st century BC (final form in 5th century)|
|Built by||final form created by Emperor of the Byzantine Empire Anastasius I Dicorus|
|Battles/wars||Battle of Dyrrhachium (1018), Battle of Dyrrhachium (1081), Battle of Durrës (1939) (fr)|
|Events||Miss Shqipëria 2009|
The castle was built by the Emperor of the Byzantine Empire Anastasius I who originated from Durrës. At the time, Anastasius made the city one of the most fortified cities on the Adriatic. Repairs to the walls have been carried out since the devastating earthquake of 1273. Currently medieval walls nearly 15 feet (4.6 meters) in height and the three entrances of some of the fortification towers are preserved in nearly one-third of the initial length of the city castle walls.. The castle was reinforced with several guard towers by the Republic of Venice and during the occupation of Albania by Ottoman Empire the wall was reinforced.
On 7 April 1939, Albanian patriots fought the fascist Italians who invaded Albania. In Durrës, a force of only 360 Albanians, mostly gendarmes and townspeople, led by Abaz Kupi, the commander of the gendarmerie in Durrës, and Mujo Ulqinaku, a marine official, tried to halt the Italian advance. Armed only with small arms and three machine guns, they succeeded in keeping the Italians at bay for several hours until a large number of light tanks disembarked from the latter's naval vessels. After that, resistance diminished and within five hours Italy had captured the entire city.
The castle is now a popular Albanian tourist attraction in Durrës.
- Venetian Albania
- Anastasius I (emperor)
- Thopia family
- Karl Thopia
- Italian invasion of Albania
- Mujo Ulqinaku