Borsh castle: an ancient mystery hidden in beautiful villages of the Ionian coast

If you are a history enthusiast and enjoy breathtaking views, a visit to this castle should undoubtedly be on your list of must-see places in Albania.

Located in the southern part of Albania, after passing through the village of Borsh and ascending approximately 500 meters above sea level, you’ll discover the Borsh Castle. Perched on a perfect hill, it offers a commanding view of the enchanting Albanian Riviera and Borsh Beach, and an ancient mystery waiting to be explored.



Borsh Beach, Photo: Julien Seguinot CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED


Borsh Castle ( alb. Kalaja e Borshit) also known as Sopot Castle ( alb. Kalaja e Sopotit) dates back to the 4th century BC, the time of the Epirote tribe of the Chaonians featuring remnants of an Acropolis. While some argue that the name “Sopot” has Slavic origins, references were mostly found in Greek documents where Borsh Castle has been mentioned as Sopoton or Sopotos.


Borsh castle, Photo: Iakov Filimonov Dreamstime


Throughout the period, the castle underwent four reconstruction phases between the Byzantine period and the late Middle Ages. However, the biggest changes were made when the castle fell into the hands of the Ottoman Empire somewhere in the 15th century. At that time, Haxhi Bendo Mosque was also added and until today, it is the only mosque that can be found on the Albanian Riviera. 

The mosque was severely destroyed at the time of the communist era when it lost its minaret.


Borsh castle, Photo: Silvitriana, CC BY-SA 4.0


Nestled in the arms of Mount Borshi, the castle spreads across 5 hectares and has 10-meter stone walls. According to a cadaster from 1431., the castle had 60 households and was the capital of the district.



Sadly, although years have passed, neither the castle nor the mosque has been restored to this day. While you relish the breathtaking panorama and delve into the Albanian historical tapestry, make sure to take precautionary measures, and show respect for the surroundings.




Once I saw that there was a bigger world out there, so I made myself be a part of it.

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