This was essentially the reason we came to Gjirokaster, since I know Jules is a castle fan and I'm reasonably partial to them myself. It dates back to the 12th century, although the most work was done in the late 15th century by the Ottomans, and major renovations and extensions continued right up until the time of our old friend Ali Pasha in the 19th century.
|The impressive entrance hall filled with various weapons|
|A Communist statue from one of the museums inside - she's casting out a priest and ??|
|Corridor in the prison|
|An eerie abandoned cell|
|Jules, King of the Castle|
|Jules and the "spy plane"|
Another interesting feature of the castle is the so-called "American spy plane". An American pilot was forced to land in Tirana in the 1950s due to technical problems - not sure what he was doing in the area in the first place. The Communists let him go, but confiscated the plane and declared that they had captured an American spy plane. And here it still is at Gjirokaster castle.
|Windy up there|
|View from the castle - not quite as pretty as the view from Berat castle, but that was really incredible|
|The old town viewed from the castle|
We probably could have seen a bit more if we had stayed longer in Gjirokaster, but we managed to pack the Skenduli house, Ethnographic museum, the castle with its museum, and watching the F1 all into one afternoon, and set out again first thing the next day for the longest drive of our trip, across country to Korçe.