A photo essay featuring twelve more forts, castles and palaces that we have explored on our travels
As a continuation of our first Forts and Castles post, here are some more fortresses that we have discovered on our travels.
Gjirokastra Castle, Albania
UNESCO World Heritage-listed Gjirokastra is dominated by its dramatically-situated castle of the same name. Dating back to the 12th century, there are fantastic views in all directions from the walls of the castle. Inside there is a small military museum, a clock tower and even an American Spyplane, which was shot down during the time of Enver Hoxha’s Communist regime.
St John Fort, Croatia
One of several fortresses in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed late-medieval walled city of Dubrovnik, St John Fort was erected to protect the entrance of the Old Harbour and ward off unwanted visitors.
Samuil’s Fortress, Macedonia
Samuil’s Fortress is located on a hilltop overlooking beautiful Lake Ohrid. With eighteen towers and four gates, at its peak, the fortress was one of the most impregnable strongholds in the Balkans.
Wawel Royal Castle, Poland
The Gothic style Wawel Royal Castle is located on Castle Hill near the Old Town of Krakow. One of the most historical and culturally significant sites in Poland, the castle is home to several impressive buildings including a treasury, several chambers and extensive gardens. The views of the Vistula River from the ramparts are excellent.
Kalemegdan Citadel, Serbia
Also known as Belgrade Fortress, this impressive citadel is located in the heart of Belgrade and overlooks the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers. Dating back to Celtic times, the fortress has been the scene of more than 100 battles and been destroyed and rebuilt at least 40 times in the course of its history.
Palaio Frourio, Greece
Palaio Frourio (Old Fortress) is situated in Corfu Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site. Venetian in style, the citadel has successfully repulsed three major Ottoman sieges, been bombarded by the Italian Air Force and used as a prison by the Germans in WWII. In more recent times it was used as a film location for the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only.
Erebuni Castle, Armenia
Meaning ‘Fortress of Blood’, Erebuni Castle is situated on a hill just outside of the centre of Yerevan and dates back to 782 BC. Founded by the Urartians, little of the fortress now remains but the onsite museum does a good job of bringing the historical significance of this once mighty structure to life.
Narikala is an ancient hilltop fortress overlooking the Old Town of Tbilisi. Not much of the citadel remains but the steep climb up (or much easier cable car ride) is worth it for the excellent views of city and the Kura River below.
Tigranakert Fort, Nagorno Karabakh Republic
The restored 18th-century fortress of Shah Bulart at Tigranakert, a ruined Armenian city dating back to the Hellenistic period.
Sidon Sea Castle, Lebanon
Crusaders constructed this castle in the 13th century on the site of a temple dedicated to the Phoenician god, Melkert. The fortress is situated in the ancient Lebanese city of Sidon.
Uchisar Castle, Turkey
Uchisar Castle is one of Cappadocia most distinctive landmarks. Throughout history, the castle has been a main point of defence for the Cappadocia region and was often used by locals as a place of refuge when invading enemies arrived. Today it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the region.
Castillo de los Tres Santos Reyes Magnos del Morro, Cuba
Morro Castle was built during the late 1500s and early 1600s to guard the entrance to Havana harbour and drive back pirates and other unwanted visitors. Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the fortress was originally under the control of the Spanish but fell into British hands after a 44-day siege in 1762.