Tetovo Kale (Fortress) (Тетовско Кале, Бал Тепе, Bal Tepe) – archeological site near Tetovo

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Adjacent to Tetovo, just 2 km from the city center rises a hill with a flattened plateau split from the slopes of the Sar Mountain (Шар Планина) with picturesque flow of the river Pena (Река Пена).

This plateau is known as Tetovo Kale or Bal Tepe. It is built by Abdurrahman Pasha between 1822 to 1842 years. Otherwise he was the son of the famous Recep Pasha who was appointed as responsible for this “pashalak” in the Ottoman Empire.
Here are preserved several grandiose buildings, such as large caravan, small caravan, dining, defense facilities, walls, tunnels, dungeon (jail) and the church of St. Holy Mother of God, building restored in XX century on the older medieval foundations.
The said buildings were built more than 20 years. Spread in an area of 20 hectares on a plateau which rises above the town of Tetovo.
From this position visitors can capture the clarity and stunning view of the Polog region, city of Tetovo and Sar Mountain (Шар Планина).
Most remarkable object is Golemiot Saraj (Large Saray), on the eastern side of the plateau, rather than a little less grandiose Summer Saraj or Small Saray, which are characterized by richly profiled stone sculptures especially in the entrance areas.
On the south side of the small plateau on elevation are set 2 buildings with defense functions. The whole plateau of Tetovo Kale is surrounded by stone walls that surround the facilities in order to ensure the safety of the living space, protecting the rest of the pasha and his entourage.
Particular interest arouse  the tunnels designed for fast and safe evacuation on more sides of the Saray and other buildings connected to the walls and under them, and the prison which is hidden below the current facilities.
Today, this site which is also known as the recreation center at an altitude of 1000 m, can be reached by car on asphalt road or by walking on steep mountain path.

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