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Baleč

Baleč was an Albanian medieval fortified town near Shkodër in what is now Albania. It was built on the hill whose name was Baleš (later known as it. Balezo or sq. Maja e Balecit). The settlement may have originated in Roman times. During Byzantine rule over the area, it was part of the Dyrrhachium theme. Later it was a seat of a župa of the Kingdom of Duklja, and later still of the Lordship of Zeta. Baleč suffered much damage during the Second Scutari War between the Serbian Despotate and the Republic of Venice. After the Republic of Venice gained control over it at the beginning of the 15th century, its size was reduced to a small pronoia with only 25 houses, and the fortress was abandoned and fell to ruin. Skanderbeg's forces rebuilt the fortress during his war with Venice in 1448 and established a strong garrison in it, but the Venetian forces soon drove them away and demolished the fortress. Ottoman plans to rebuild Baleč and populate it with Turkish settlers were never implemented and Baleč remained in ruins, which can still be seen today.