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Gjirokastra Castle

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Gjirokastra Castle is mentioned for the first time as a city and a castle in 1336 CE. At that time, it was the center of the Albanian feudal family, Zenebisheve. Later, during the lordship of Gjin Bue Shpata, it was included in the Despotate of Epir. According to them, the castle underwent two construction phases, the first one during the Gjin Bue Shpata rule, and the second in the 19th century during the regime of Ali Pasha of Tepelena, who in 1812 CE occupied the fortress with a garrison of 5,000 soldiers. The castle has various underground storehouses, which, were used to secure munitions and food storage. Chronicles of the period mention that 1,500 people worked on the construction of Ali Pasha’s castle. During the First and Second World Wars, the castle served as a bomb shelter for the town inhabitants.

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