Berat Castle


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Berat Castle is also a fortress overlooking the town of Berat, Albania, as the citadel of Berat and castle quarter. It dates mainly from the 13th century and contains many Byzantine churches in the area and Ottoman mosques. [1] It is built on a rocky hill on the left bank of the river Osum and is accessible only from the south. It is located at an elevation of 214 meters.

After being burned down by the Romans in 200 BC, the walls were strengthened in the 5th century under Roman Emperor Theodosius II to protect from Barbarian incursions into the Balkans. They were subsequently rebuilt during the 6th century under the Emperor Justinian I and again in the 13th century under the Despot of Epirus, Michael I Komnenos Doukas, cousin of the Byzantine Emperor. This last phase can be seen as a Monogram formed by a red bricks set in a wall of the castle. The main entrance, on the north side, is defended by a fortified courtyard and there are three smaller entrances.

The fortress of Berat in its present state, though significantly damaged, remains a magnificent sight. The surface that encompasses made it possible to house a significant portion of the towns. The buildings inside the fortress were built during the 13th century and because of their characteristic architecture are preserved as cultural monuments. The population of the fortress was Christian, and it had about 20 churches (most built during the 13th century) and only one mosque, for the use of the Turkish garrison (of which there survives only a few ruins and the base of the minaret) . The churches of the fortress were damaged through years and only some remained.

Berat Castle is depicted on the reverse of the Albanian 10 lekë coin, issued in 1996, 2000 and 2013.


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