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Kalaja (The Fortress of Tirana)

Kalaja (The Fortress of Tirana), also known as Tirana Castle, is a fortification regarded as the historic kernel of the capital. The preserved ruins show that the castle was probably founded in antiquity, maybe in the Early Byzantinum (400-600 AD).

The current fortification has three known towers (although the existence of more is suspected) and it is undergoing a process of restoration, for touristic purposes. Inside the fortified walls of the former fortress, there are many buildings that can be visited, including restaurants, hotels, and cultural institutions.

These include the King Zog I residence (Pallati i Brigadave), a house erected in 1928, currently used by the government for ceremonies and state receptions; the restaurant and cinema Milenium, both built in 2001; a small cinema for children; two historic seraglio of Pasha Selim Toptani, one used as center for geographical studies; the Hall of the Albanian Parliament; the Academy of Sciences; the local police; the Kalaja hotel; the ruins of the Long Tower, a historic building dating from the late 18th century; and the semi circular arcade, built in 1927 as a boundary to the Pallati i Brigadave yard.

Kalaja (The Fortress of Tirana) is also known as the Fortress of Justinian (Albanian: Kalaja e Justinianit) or simply as Tirana Castle (Albanian: Kalaja e Tiranës).

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