Borsh Castle

Borsh Castle

Borsh Castle, locally known as Kalaja e Borshit, lies north of the village of the same name, in the county of Vlorë in Albania.

Historically the castle was better known as Sopot Castle. It was built on a rocky hill, 500 meters above sea level, next to the Borsh Stream.

Archaeological research has showed that the site has been inhabited since the 4th century BC. In Antiquity, it probably served as the acropolis of a small town. It was first mentioned during the reign of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I (527-565 AD) in a list of Byzantine fortifications. Later, in 1192, it also got mentioned in the Alexiad by Anna Komnene.

From the 13th century until the 15th century, Borsh Castle changed hands many times. It was given as dowry by the Despotate of Epirus to the King of Naples in 1258. Not long after it returned into the hands of the Despotate only to be ceded to Charles I of Anjou in 1279. After a couple of decades, it again returned into Epirote hands. But during an Epirote rebellion against Byzantine rule in 1338, it choose the side of the Byzantine Empire.

In 1417 the castle fell into Ottoman hands. In 1470, during the First Ottoman-Venetian War (1463-1479) it had fallen into Venetian hands, but after the war had ended it reverted to the Ottoman Empire. During an Albanian uprising against Ottoman rule in 1481, the castle was captured by Albanian forces led by Gjon Kastrioti II. They only held it until 1484, before it was taken back by the Ottomans.

The Venetians captured Borsh Castle in 1571 and finally lost it to the Ottomans in 1790. Afterward it became a fortification owned by Ali Pasha of Ioannina, an Albanian ruler who ruled as a very autonomous Ottoman pasha. It was probably abandoned in the early 20th century.

Borsh Castle is freely accessible. A very ruined castle but with great views. The largest standing structure is the ruin of an early 19th century mosque.


Gallery

Borsh Castle

Borsh Castle

Borsh Castle, locally known as Kalaja e Borshit, lies north of the village of the same name, in the county of Vlorë in Albania.

Historically the castle was better known as Sopot Castle. It was built on a rocky hill, 500 meters above sea level, next to the Borsh Stream.

Archaeological research has showed that the site has been inhabited since the 4th century BC. In Antiquity, it probably served as the acropolis of a small town. It was first mentioned during the reign of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I (527-565 AD) in a list of Byzantine fortifications. Later, in 1192, it also got mentioned in the Alexiad by Anna Komnene.

From the 13th century until the 15th century, Borsh Castle changed hands many times. It was given as dowry by the Despotate of Epirus to the King of Naples in 1258. Not long after it returned into the hands of the Despotate only to be ceded to Charles I of Anjou in 1279. After a couple of decades, it again returned into Epirote hands. But during an Epirote rebellion against Byzantine rule in 1338, it choose the side of the Byzantine Empire.

In 1417 the castle fell into Ottoman hands. In 1470, during the First Ottoman-Venetian War (1463-1479) it had fallen into Venetian hands, but after the war had ended it reverted to the Ottoman Empire. During an Albanian uprising against Ottoman rule in 1481, the castle was captured by Albanian forces led by Gjon Kastrioti II. They only held it until 1484, before it was taken back by the Ottomans.

The Venetians captured Borsh Castle in 1571 and finally lost it to the Ottomans in 1790. Afterward it became a fortification owned by Ali Pasha of Ioannina, an Albanian ruler who ruled as a very autonomous Ottoman pasha. It was probably abandoned in the early 20th century.

Borsh Castle is freely accessible. A very ruined castle but with great views. The largest standing structure is the ruin of an early 19th century mosque.


Gallery