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Peshta Fortress


The Peshta Fortress is located 52km. distance from Bitola, between the villages of Gradeshnica and Staravina above the Gradeshka Reka canyon on 919 m. altitude.

There is evidence that the fortress Peshta existed since Roman times and military troops had been stationed there during the Roman Empire.




Remains of Peshta Fortress

The history of Peshta Fortress is closely related to Mariovo riot of 1564/1565 year. Namely, Kalesh Angja’s rescue from home qadi who previously had been captured was the reason for starting fights between the Ottoman army and residents of the Mariovo region known as Mariovo riot that took place in the immediate vicinity of Peshta Fortress.
After rebels of Mariovo had resisted quite fiercely  against the Ottoman army they were surrounded by the numerous Ottoman army and were forced to retreat to Peshta Fortress.
The fights continued, but the Ottomans could not conquer the fortress. But the key moment that brought success to the Ottomans was when they located the underground channel which supplied water to Peshta Fortress.
According to one legend, Ottomans were helped by one old woman who had been forced to help them because of her husband had been beaten by the Ottomans. She advised them to take several horses and keep them without water several days and nights; after that to take the horses to the fortress and they will find the place.
The Ottomans obeyed the old woman’s advice and managed to find the underground channel; so they disrupted the water supply to the fortress. After this act by the Ottomans, part of the rebels together with the women and children have been taken in captivity, while part of them have fought bravely to the death.
After the riot, the life stopped in Peshta Fortress; it remained abandoned; despite that, it was bombed during the World War I; therefore only remnants of the former fortress are left today that testify to its past.


Text: Vladimir Kuzmanov

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