Rozafa Castle, also known as the Shkodër Castle is located near the city of Shkodër, in northwestern Albania. It rises imposingly on a rocky hill, 130 metres (430 ft) above sea level, surrounded by the Buna and Drin rivers.
30 minutes walking
Since we stayed at the Camping Legjenda just 30 minutes walking distance from the castle we took a nice walk up the hill to the Rozafa Castle. We passed nice houses with lush gardens full of different kinds of fruits. There were also a couple of souvenir shops on our way where we could buy snacks, drinks and souvenirs.
The legend of the Rozafa Castle
Once upon a time, there were three brothers married to three beautiful wives who lived in what now is northern Albania. The three brothers worked very hard, to build a castle to protect their town, but every time they finished the work, the castle’s walls would fall down.
One day, they met an old man who told them that there was only one way to keep the castle walls from tumbling down: a sacrifice. The sacrifice consisted of burying one of the wives in the wall of the castle, particularly, the first wife to bring lunch to her husband the next day.
The two older brothers, once at home, explained the situation to their wives, while the youngest brother said nothing to his wife. The day after, the three brothers waited anxiously for lunchtime. The wives of the older brothers didn’t come with lunch, but Rozafa, the wife of the youngest brother, came with her box full of delicacies.
Rozafa’s husband explained to her that she had to be sacrificed and buried in the walls of the castle in order for the castle to be finished. She accepted her fate, but under one condition: the brothers would leave a hole for her right breast so her newborn son could feed, another hole for her right hand to caress him and a third hole for her right foot to move his cradle. The castle never collapsed.
How to get there
The castle is 3.5km south of the city centre. Grab a bicycle (many of the hotels rent them out) and enjoy the ride down here. If cycling is too energetic, take one of the municipal buses that stop near the turn-off to the castle. Or a taxi to the entrance costs 2-3 Euros from the city centre. If you are staying at Camping Legjenda like we did it's just 30 minutes walking distance from there.