This article lists the castles and fortifications of Albania. There are a total of 158 castles and fortifications in the country that have achieved the status of monument of cultural heritage. The English equivalent for Kala in Albanian is Fortress. The latter is most fit for usage to describe many of the below structures as documented by official travel guides.[1][2]

Main castles

# Name Location Status Elevation Built Description Image
1 Krujë Castle Krujë
41°30′25″N 19°47′38″E / 41.50694°N 19.79389°E / 41.50694; 19.79389
preserved 557 m (1,827 ft) 1190, 1982 The castle served as the center of Skanderbeg's rebellion against the Ottoman Empire
2 Gjirokastër Fortress Gjirokastër
40°04′26″N 20°08′28″E / 40.074°N 20.141°E / 40.074; 20.141
preserved 336 m (1,102 ft) 12th century, 1812 The fortress dominates the town of Gjirokastër and overlooks the strategically important route along the river valley.
3 Berat Castle Berat
40°42′24″N 19°57′08″E / 40.7067°N 19.9522°E / 40.7067; 19.9522
preserved 214 m (702 ft) 13th century The castle is built on a rocky hill on the left bank of the river Osum overlooking the town of Berat.
4 Rozafa Castle Shkodër
42°02′47″N 19°29′37″E / 42.0465°N 19.4935°E / 42.0465; 19.4935
ruin 130 m (430 ft) 4th-3rd century BC Located on a hilltop and surrounded by the rivers Buna and Drin, the castle has been settled since antiquity. It was an Illyrian stronghold until it was captured by the Romans in 167 BC.
5 Ali Pasha Castle Butrint
39°17′55″N 20°22′05″E / 39.2987°N 20.3681°E / 39.2987; 20.3681
preserved 30 m (98 ft) 1808 The castle lies some 2.4 km (1.5 mi) due west at the mouth of the Vivari Channel. It was built to prevent the advancement of French forces from Corfu.
6 Bashtovë Fortress Vilë-Ballaj
41°02′49″N 19°29′47″E / 41.0469°N 19.4965°E / 41.0469; 19.4965
ruin 0.2 m (7.9 in) 15th century Located near the outflow of the Shkumbin River into the Adriatic Sea in Central Albania, the fortress is part of the tentative list for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
7 Porto Palermo Castle Himarë
40°03′43″N 19°47′28″E / 40.062°N 19.791°E / 40.062; 19.791
preserved 113 m (371 ft) 15th century The triangular shaped castle is situated in the closed bay of Porto Palermo, a few kilometers south of Himarë.
8 Rodoni Castle Cape of Rodon
41°35′09″N 19°26′54″E / 41.5858°N 19.4482°E / 41.5858; 19.4482
ruin 1 m (3 ft 3 in) 1452, 1500 According to Marin Barleti the castle was destroyed by Ottoman forces in 1467. In 1500 the castle was rebuilt by the Republic of Venice.
9 Elbasan Fortress Elbasan
41°06′47″N 20°04′48″E / 41.113°N 20.080°E / 41.113; 20.080
ruin 133 m (436 ft) 15th century This rectangular shaped fortress houses 12 monuments of cultural heritage within its walls.
10 Tepelenë Castle Tepelenë
40°17′58″N 20°01′17″E / 40.2994°N 20.0215°E / 40.2994; 20.0215
ruin 190 m (620 ft) 1819 The walls of this castle do not form a normal geometric pattern. It once served as the second residence of Ali Pashë Tepelena.
11 Lezhë Castle Lezhë
41°47′01″N 19°39′00″E / 41.7837°N 19.6499°E / 41.7837; 19.6499
ruin 322 m (1,056 ft) 9th century This massive fortification was built on the ruins of ancient Akrolis (Lissus). It was burnt twice in 1478 and 1503 from local residents who tried to push the invading Ottoman armies from settling their military base there.
12 Durrës Castle Durrës
41°18′35″N 19°26′49″E / 41.3097°N 19.4470°E / 41.3097; 19.4470
preserved 3.3 m (11 ft) 5th century The castle was built by the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I (r. 491–518), who was born in Durrës.
13 Petrelë Castle Petrelë
41°15′18″N 19°51′14″E / 41.255°N 19.854°E / 41.255; 19.854
preserved 329 m (1,079 ft) 6th century Perched on a rocky hill, above the village with the same name, the castle has a triangular shape with two observation towers.
14 Prezë Castle Prezë
41°25′52″N 19°40′19″E / 41.431°N 19.672°E / 41.431; 19.672
preserved 253 m (830 ft) 550s Located on a hilltop in the village of Prezë, the castle once belonged to the feudal Thopia family which ruled the region.
15 Lëkurësi Castle Sarandë
39°51′57″N 20°01′32″E / 39.8659°N 20.02567°E / 39.8659; 20.02567
ruin 246 m (807 ft) 1537 The castle of Lëkurës was built by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent who had attacked Corfu and needed to control the harbor of Saranda and the road that connected it with Butrint.
16 Libohovë Castle Libohovë
40°01′52″N 20°15′54″E / 40.031°N 20.265°E / 40.031; 20.265
preserved 455 m (1,493 ft) 1798 The castle was a present by Ali Pasha to his sister Shanisha, who was born in Libohovë.
17 Ishëm Castle Ishëm
41°32′22″N 19°35′43″E / 41.539406°N 19.595328°E / 41.539406; 19.595328
ruin 204 m (669 ft) 1574 Located near the river Ishëm, the castle was built by the Ottomans to stop the peasant rebellions.
18 Delvinë Castle Delvinë
39°56′49″N 20°05′27″E / 39.946833°N 20.090722°E / 39.946833; 20.090722
ruin 221 m (725 ft) 14th century The castle, in the shape of an ellipse, whose protective walls surround a steep rocky hill about 60 meters long and 30 meters wide, played a strategic role in closing the Delvina basin and the Rëzomë area for passage to the Drinos valley.
19 Borsh Castle Borsh
40°04′11″N 19°51′22″E / 40.0697°N 19.8560°E / 40.0697; 19.8560
ruin 287 m (942 ft) 4th century BCE Historically known as the Castle of Sopot by the name of the hill on which it is located, the castle was heavily damaged during the barbarian invasions of the fifth and sixth centuries AD, and it was rebuilt in the Middle Ages at which time it took its present name.
20 Kaninë Castle Kaninë
40°26′35″N 19°31′12″E / 40.443°N 19.520°E / 40.443; 19.520
ruin 325 m (1,066 ft) 6th century During the 13th and 14th centuries, the castle turned into a first-class military center, serving the Kingdom of Albania. It was later remodeled by Suleiman the Magnificent in 1530 and recently by the Albanian feudalists of Vlorë in the 17th and 19th centuries.
21 Venetian Acropolis Castle Butrint
39°44′46″N 20°01′12″E / 39.74623717204898°N 20.019894806259728°E / 39.74623717204898; 20.019894806259728
Preserved 253 m (830 ft) 14th century In 1386 the Venetians purchased the land around Butrint from the Angevins. The castle was built in the 14th century on the highest point on the peninsula.

Other castles

See also