Porto Palermo Castle

Coordinates: 40°03′43″N 19°47′28″E / 40.062°N 19.791°E / 40.062; 19.791
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Porto Palermo Castle
Kalaja e Porto Palermos
Himarë, Albania
Porto Palermo Castle
Porto Palermo Castle is located in Albania
Porto Palermo Castle
Porto Palermo Castle
Coordinates40°03′44″N 19°47′26″E / 40.062317°N 19.790475°E / 40.062317; 19.790475
Site information
Owner Albania
Controlled byChaonians (Epirus)
Roman Empire
 Byzantine Empire

Despotate of Epirus
Kingdom of Albania
Republic of Venice
 Ottoman Empire
Open to
the public
Site history
Built5th Century BC
Built byfinal form created by Ali Pasha of Tepelena
Kep i Palermos Lighthouse Edit this at Wikidata
Foundationstone base
Constructionstone tower
Height10 m (33 ft) Edit this on Wikidata
Shapeirregular octagonal tower with balcony and light atop[1][2]
Markingsunpainted (tower) Edit this on Wikidata
Power sourcesolar power Edit this on Wikidata
Focal height113 m (371 ft) Edit this on Wikidata
Range8 nmi (15 km; 9.2 mi) Edit this on Wikidata
CharacteristicFl W 8s Edit this on Wikidata
View from the inside castle
Map of Castle

Porto Palermo Castle (Albanian: Kalaja e Porto Palermos) is a castle near Himarë in southern Albania. It is situated in the bay of Porto Palermo, a few kilometers south of Himarë along the Albanian Riviera. Huffington Post ranked Porto Palermo first among 15 Undiscovered European Destinations for 2014.[3] The area together with Llamani beach will be proclaimed a protected area holding the status of Protected Landscape by the Albanian Government.[4] It is the most well preserved garrison erected by Ali Pasha in the region.[5]


Due to its strategic position, the shores of Porto Palermo have been utilized for defensive purposes from antiquity to World War II.[6]

Porto Palermo Castle is a castle near Himara in southern Albania with an intriguing history. It is situated in the closed bay of Porto Palermo, a few kilometers south of Himarë, and makes nearly an island that is connected to the mainland by a narrow strip of land. The fort served as former Soviet submarine base during the communist regime in Albania, and nowadays its semi abandoned tunnel and barrack attract attention of visitors, as well as the stronghold walls and gates built by the powerful Ali Pasha of Ioannina.

The well preserved castle is asserted by guide books and the local tourist guides, to have been built in the early 19th century by Ali Pasha of Tepelena.[7][need quotation to verify] In 1921 the castle was called Venetian.[8][need quotation to verify] In 1803 Ali Pasha offered the castle and port to the Royal Navy. At which time the fort only had 4 or 5 cannon implying that Ali Pasha did not see the fort as important for him.[9][need quotation to verify] Leake visited the fort and noted that the garrison consisted of 10 men with two four-pounders.[10] Pouqueville in 1806 reports, "The tower or fort stands on the southern point of the entrance, connected with the continent by a low narrow isthmus. It consists of a square with bastions, having a few guns, of no service either to command the entrance or to protect the shipping at anchor. Near it are some warehouses, a custom-house, and a Greek church."[11]


The erection of the castle by Ali Pasha was praised by Greek poet and member of Ali Pasha's court, Ioannis Vilaras.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ List of Lights, Pub. 113: The West Coasts of Europe and Africa, the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and Azovskoye More (Sea of Azov) (PDF). List of Lights. United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. 2015.
  2. ^ Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of Albania". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  3. ^ "15 Undiscovered European Destinations". Huffington Post. 7 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Error - Akses i palejuar". Archived from the original on 2016-09-21. Retrieved 2015-07-26.
  5. ^ Σμύρης, Γεώργιος (2000). "Castle Network of the Pashalik of Ioannina" (in Greek). Εθνικό Μετσόβιο Πολυτεχνείο (ΕΜΠ). Σχολή Αρχιτεκτόνων Μηχανικών: 7. doi:10.12681/eadd/12426. hdl:10442/hedi/12426. Retrieved 13 September 2022. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ Neumeier, Mary (1 January 2016). The Architectural Transformation Of The Ottoman Provinces Under Tepedelenli Ali Pasha, 1788-1822. Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations (Thesis). p. 103. Retrieved 13 September 2022.
  7. ^ Ndarurinze, Renate (2008). Albanien entdecken: Auf den Spuren Skanderbegs (in German). Berlin: Trescher Verlag. p. 243. ISBN 978-3-89794-125-0.
  8. ^ Scriven, George P. (April 1921). "Some Highways of Albania and a Forgotten Riviera". Geographical Review. American Geographical Society. 11 (2): 198–206. doi:10.2307/207325. JSTOR 207325.
  9. ^ p 86 J. W. BAGGALLY 1938 Ali Pasha and Great Britain Basil Blackwell: Oxford
  10. ^ "1804 | William Martin Leake: Travels in Southern Albania". Archived from the original on 2015-10-06. Retrieved 2015-10-06.
  11. ^ "1806 | François Pouqueville: Travels in Epirus and Albania". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-10-06.
  12. ^ Kyriazis, Doris; Qirjazi, Dhori Q. (2016). "Vepra në gjuhën greke për Shqipërinë dhe shqiptarët, shkruar prej grekësh dhe shqiptarësh. Vështrim i përgjithshëm". "Letrat shqipe dhe gjuhët e tjera të letërsisë shqiptare". Konferencën Ndërkombëtare e Albanian Academy of Sciences (Tiranë, nëntor 2015: 25. Retrieved 13 September 2022.

External links[edit]

40°03′43″N 19°47′28″E / 40.062°N 19.791°E / 40.062; 19.791