Bashtova Castle

The Bashtova Castle was built in the XV century to facilitate trade under Venetian rule. Further modifications were made in the same century following the Ottoman conquest, continuing until the early XVI century. These included the addition of extra floors for the military and the construction of a mosque, among other alterations.

One of the major interventions involved the reconstruction of the western section of the castle, heavily damaged by terrain erosion caused by water overflows. Positioned on entirely flat terrain, approximately 2 km from the village of Vilë-Bashtova, 400 m north of the Shkumbin River, and around 3-4 km north of the Shkumbin River estuary, the castle offers visitors panoramic views of the coastline from the bay of Durrës to Divjaka from its walls. The fortification walls sustained damage during the 2019 earthquake and are currently undergoing restoration under the EU4Culture programme. Upon completion, designated sections of the walls will be accessible, and visitors will be able to see new discoveries from archaeological excavations within the Castle walls.

Interventions proposed and intended to be implemented for rehabilitation of Castel, regarding EU4Culture Project include different categories such as:


Conservation scope
– Geological underpinning
– Structural stabilization and repair
– Conservation and stabilization of walking platforms
– Controlled entry through one gate
– Guard rail design
– Urban landscaping around the site to allow for outdoor events
– Disaster risk management planning
– Maintenance program and plans

– Electrical system
– Surveillance and safety system
– Visitor and interpretation center including all utilities (toilettes, cafe, souvenir/traditional produce shop)


Revitalization scope
– Interactive interpretation of the castles history and wider area – ‘’linked heritage”
– Digital interpretation of the history of the castle available for remote viewing
– Identifying, engaging and supporting local producers and artisans for souvenirs and traditional produce shop
– Competition for universities across the country to engage the voice of the youth
– Branding and visual identity
– Prime opportunity for traditional skills / techniques training and revitalization


– Designing castle’s and a structure for managing visitors’ and functions for local engagement
– Introducing ticketing system and analysing additional streams of revenue
– Packaging and promoting the site alongside attractions of the area (Divjaka national park)
increasing retaining income for sustainable function
stimulating creation of additional income through added economic activities

Local socio economic component (grant schemes and practical training)
– Competition for universities of Albania for suggesting proposals of functions of the castle; proposals for branding of the castles’ promotion as a cultural heritage site; proposals for story telling and interpretation concepts