Upon entering the town of Gjirokaster, one of the very first things that you will notice is a massive fortress sitting atop a hill. The Gjirokaster Castle – Albania stands guard over the town and is one of the most interesting and magnificent landmarks of this township.
The Gjirokaster Castle – Albania is located in the old part of the town and sits right on top of the hill. Gjirokaster is a town that is situated right on the hills so you won’t miss the castle as it is a huge fortress that sits right atop the hill where the town’s houses and buildings are.
Getting around Gjirokaster is relatively easy as it is a small town and you can visit all the landmarks on foot. There are however taxicabs that you can take which can take you as far as the foot of the hill where the Gjirokaster Castle – Albania is.
From here, you will have to hike up the hill to reach the castle itself.
There are plenty to see and do right within the walls of the Gjirokaster Castle – Albania. About fifty meters off the right side of the main gate is the Bektashi Tomb.
It is situated within the beautiful gardens of the castle.
Within the castle’s wall is also the National Museum of Armaments where you can see a limited collection of arms that were a huge part of the town’s political history, covering the years 1912 up to the end of WWII.
Other notable sights to see within the walls of the Gjirokaster Castle – Albania are the prison which was completed in the year 1932; as well as the remnants of a T33 Shooting Star from the American Air Force.
The first fortifications of the Gjirokaster Castle – Albania were constructed some time between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries during the time of the despots of Epirus.
By the year 1490, major changes and renovations were made on the castle under the supervision of Sultan Beyazid II. After which, in the year 1811 more improvements were made this time by Ali Pasha of Telepana who was then the Ottoman governor.
The most significant addition during this time was the clock tower found on the east side of the castle.
Entry cost to gain access to the castle is around two hundred leke. An additional two hundred leke is required if you are going to visit the National Museum of Armaments.
For taxicabs, fares are also about two hundred leke to get around town; including reaching the foot of the hill where the fortress stands.
The Gjirokaster Castle – Albania is open everyday all year-round. From the months of April to September, the castle is open from 9 in the morning up to 7 in the evening.
From the months of October up to March, the castle is open everyday from 9 n the morning up to 5 in the evening.