Restoration Works at the Ishmi Castle Completed

May 28, 2024

The ceremony marking the completion of restoration works at Ishmi Castle and the announcement of the Call for Project Proposals “Recraft the Past, Build up the Future 3” was held on May 28, 2024. Ishmi Castle, damaged by the 2019 earthquake, was restored under the EU4Culture program, funded by the European Union and implemented by UNOPS in close partnership with the Ministry of Economy, Culture, and Innovation.

This event brought together representatives from the Ministry of Economy, Culture and Innovation, the EU Delegation to Albania, Durrës Municipality, United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), Civil Society Organizations, and community members.

The castle is located in the municipality of Durrës, with a view of the Ishmi plain and the mountains of Kruja and Dajti to the east, the delta of the Ishem River, Cape Rodon and a part of the Adriatic coast to the west. Due to its strategic position, in the past, Ishmi Castle served as an important bastion of Ottoman defense. Built between 1572 and 1574, it was widely used by Ottoman soldiers to control and protect the roads from insurgents and to prevent unauthorized trade with the Republic of Venice. With the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the Castle was abandoned. In 1977, the remains of the Castle were designated as a First Category Monument.

Notably, Ibrahim Kodra, one of the most important and influential Albanian painters, was born in Ishmi, with his grave located at the Castle’s entrance.

The interventions consisted in the restoration and consolidation of the castle walls and the repair of the damage caused by the earthquake to ensure its longevity without compromising the integrity, historical and architectural values ​​of the site.

The ceremony was opened by Mr. Hubert Perr, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation in Albania, Mrs. Lira Pipa, Deputy Minister of Economy, Culture, and Innovation and Mr. Renis Mullaj, Deputy Mayor of Durrës Municipality.