Porto Palermo Castle
|Porto Palermo Castle
Kalaja e Porto Palermos
Porto Palermo Castle
|Built by||final form created by Ali Pasha of Tepelena|
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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. The area together with Llamani beach will be proclaimed a protected area holding the status of Protected Landscape by the Albanian Government.
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The well preserved castle is commonly, but wrongly, asserted, by guide books and the local tourist guides, to have been built in early 19th century by Ali Pasha of Tepelena.[need quotation to verify] This is untrue as it has been built prior to the evolution of the star fort design. Most probably it was built by the Venetians as it could be relieved by sea and it has the same triangular plan with round towers found in the Venetian fort at Butrint. Its design is very unusual in having no courtyard. Normally castles had provision for housing some horses, if only to receive and send messengers. In 1921 the castle was called Venetian.[need quotation to verify] At that time the identity of its builders ought to have been clear, from a plaque above the entrance gate. This plaque is now missing but the weathering of the stones clearly shows that it has not been missing for many decades. Almost certainly this plaque had a carving of the lion of St. Mark.
The castle would have been vulnerable to cannon fire from the hill above and this also suggests an early date for its construction when cannon had not developed the range they had later. In 1662 the Venetians feared the Turks would recondition it.[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.[need quotation to verify] Leake visited the fort and noted that the garrison consisted of 10 men with two four-pounders. 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." 
- "15 Undiscovered European Destinations". Huffington Post. 7 April 2014.
- Ndarurinze, Renate (2008). Albanien entdecken: Auf den Spuren Skanderbegs (in German). Berlin: Trescher Verlag. p. 243. ISBN 3-89794-125-2.
- 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. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
- p191 “Eternal Butrint” by R.Hodges 2006 London
- p 86 J. W. BAGGALLY 1938 Ali Pasha and Great Britain Basil Blackwell: Oxford
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