Shëndërjadhës Castle

Shëndërjadhës Castle

Shëndërjadhës Castle, locally known as Kalaja e Shëndërjadhës or Shën Triadhës, lies east of the village of Topullaraj, in the county of Gjirokastër in Albania.

Shëndërjadhës Castle was built around 1800 by Ali Pasha of Ioannina, an Albanian ruler who ruled as a very autonomous and quasi-independent Ottoman pasha. It served as a resting place during his travels between his headquarters in Ioannina and his birthplace in Tepelenë.

He garissoned it with Greek soldiers, who were Orthodox Christians and supplied them with a small church also. This small church stands outside the castle walls and was called the Holy Trinity Church. The castle took its name from this church.

After the death of Ali Pasha in 1822 Shëndërjadhës Castle lost its purpose and fell to ruin. Between the 1960s and 1980s, when Albania was a communist state, the castle was turned into a military base and equipped with anti-aircraft artillery.

The castle had a rectangular plan with polygonal corner towers, much like other castles of Ali Pasha, like Libohovë. Its entrance would have been in the east wall. It is situated on a hilly ridge on the east side of the valley, almost opposite Gjirokastër Castle.

Shëndërjadhës Castle is freely accessible. A nice castle ruin. There is a dirt road going to the castle, but this requires a true 4WD vehicle. I choose to walk, and it took me some 40 minutes. Do bring water, if you are visiting during summer.


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Shëndërjadhës Castle

Shëndërjadhës Castle

Shëndërjadhës Castle, locally known as Kalaja e Shëndërjadhës or Shën Triadhës, lies east of the village of Topullaraj, in the county of Gjirokastër in Albania.

Shëndërjadhës Castle was built around 1800 by Ali Pasha of Ioannina, an Albanian ruler who ruled as a very autonomous and quasi-independent Ottoman pasha. It served as a resting place during his travels between his headquarters in Ioannina and his birthplace in Tepelenë.

He garissoned it with Greek soldiers, who were Orthodox Christians and supplied them with a small church also. This small church stands outside the castle walls and was called the Holy Trinity Church. The castle took its name from this church.

After the death of Ali Pasha in 1822 Shëndërjadhës Castle lost its purpose and fell to ruin. Between the 1960s and 1980s, when Albania was a communist state, the castle was turned into a military base and equipped with anti-aircraft artillery.

The castle had a rectangular plan with polygonal corner towers, much like other castles of Ali Pasha, like Libohovë. Its entrance would have been in the east wall. It is situated on a hilly ridge on the east side of the valley, almost opposite Gjirokastër Castle.

Shëndërjadhës Castle is freely accessible. A nice castle ruin. There is a dirt road going to the castle, but this requires a true 4WD vehicle. I choose to walk, and it took me some 40 minutes. Do bring water, if you are visiting during summer.


Gallery