Castle

There is a small castle 2 miles from the Pinios (Kösdem) River in the Trikala foothills between Skopje and Ioannina (İnciciyan-Andreasyan, 2-3, 1973-1974, pp.61-62). The castle still exists today but we were not able to enter during our visits.

Evliya Çelebi who wandered around the castle, wrote:

“…In Venetian style, the almond-shaped castle was built in a large valley, on a craggy white peak, pointing in the direction of the stars over Mecca. It is a strong castle built with extremely craggy, substantial masonry and cut stone and it is two hundred paces long. It has just one strong, massive iron gate which opens to the west. The double walls are also very strong. There is a second set of double iron doors just inside the main gate, between these are five small structures that are like a separate little castle within the castle. Above this section, up higher on the peak is yet another iron gate. It is through this gate that the fortified middle castle can be found. There one can see ten small structures that house the enlisted men, a mosque and a high clock tower, the sound of which can be heard from quite a distance. Most other areas are empty. There are no bazaars, markets or other charitable institutions. When one climbs higher up the rocky peak they arrive at the citadel. The citadel has a small but strong iron door which opens to the west. Donkeys and horses are not allowed in this section. This castle is strong and durable with four towers at its four edges. These towers are full of wheat, corn, rice and other cereals.

In one of its towers there are the guns and other ammunitions. Except for the castle warden (Dizdàr) nobody lives there. This inner fort is so high that many other well known peaks in the distant regions and even Thessaloniki are fully visible to the south"

(VIII, 1966, p.47).

Ottoman Archive documents concerning the castle are listed as follows:
Maintenance payments would be made to Tanaş Balayat, 28 M, 1276 (August 27, 1859),(BOA, A.MKT.UM, 362/53). An entry dated 8 R, 1279 (September 3, 1862) regarding the rediscovery and the maintenance of the castle exists (BOA, A. MKT. MHM, 242/33). On 13 Ca, 1280 (October 26, 1863) maintenance of the castle commenced. It is reported that the daily wage of the workers was paid both by the Muslims and non-Muslims. It was reported that the restoration of the Trikala Castle that began on 14 S, 1282 (July 9, 1865) was greatly appreciated by the inhabitants. It was indicated that the cost for such labour should be deducted from their expenses and this reported to the Treasury (BOA, A.MKT.MHM, 336/95). Records dated 21 R, 1283 (September 2, 1866) by Hasan Tahsin Effendi concerning the restoration of Trikala Castle would be completed without burden on the Treasury. This was to be published in the Military Gazette (BOA, A.MKT. MHM, 361/88).

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