Ali Pasha Castle

Ali Pasha Castle

 

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Description of Ali Pasha Castle

Ali Pasha Castle

Location: Butrint, Vlore Region
Built: 1819 by order of Ali Pasha Tepelene

 

Ali Pasha Castle (Kalaja e Butrintit) is located near Butrint, Vlora Province in Albania. Ali Pasha Castle was constructed on the orders of Ali Pasha of Tepelenë in 1819 by order of Ali Pasha Tepelin. It was found on the base of the 17th century citadel that belonged to Corfiote family. However, the old military fortress of the aristocratic Corfiot family stood here from the 17th century. Ali Pasha quickly conquered the old fort in 1804 and built his own in return. Here he founded his official residence. For his own peace of mind and deciding that the house should be a fortress in the truest sense of the word, he erected walls, towers and added a few guns for the safety of Ali Pasha’s castle.

 

History

The fortress of Ali Pasha Tepelena is a fortress near the ancient city of Butrint in southern Albania. It is named after Ali Pasha von Tepelena, who ruled there briefly around 1820. The building was erected before 1718.

The fortress is located on a small island at the mouth of the Vivar Canal, which connects the Butrint Sea with the Ionian Sea. It can only be reached by boat. Butrint is about two and a half kilometers further east at the beginning of the canal. The rectangular facility is about 22 by 30 meters. In the corners there are towers that were armed with cannons - the western towers are round, the inland ones are square. The main entrance was on the north side directly on the canal, a battlement walked along the other three walls. Even the inner courtyard was probably under water at times.

The fortress was first mentioned long before Ali Pasha was born: it is shown on a Venetian map from 1718 and probably belonged to the Corfiot Gonemi family. A rectangular tower above the later entrance was the oldest part of the complex.

In 1386 Butrint went to the Venetians. In the middle of the 17th century the city fell temporarily to the Ottomans. Then the Venetians expanded the fortifications. In 1800, Ali Pasha captured Butrint from the French, who ruled the area for two years after Napoleon smashed the Republic of Venice and the Ionian Islands went to France. Ali Pasha had the fortress renewed; he controlled Butrint until his assassination in 1822. Thereafter, the fortress fell to the Ottoman army.

There are other fortresses in the region, with which the rulers wanted to secure the strategically important location on the Strait of Corfu and protect the rich fishing grounds around Butrint. Inside the ancient city of Butrint, on the acropolis, is the Venetian fort, which dates back to medieval structures, and at the foot of the hill there is a Venetian defense tower on the canal bank. On the southern side of the canal opposite the city is the Kalaja trekëndore (triangle castle), also under Venetian rule, probably built in the early 16th century on the site of previous buildings.

The facility is located within the Butrint National Park.

 


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