Bitola Fortress - Dzhepane
The Bitola fortress – Dzhepane (tur. Cephane – gunpowder, ammunition depot) is one of the most beautiful buildings in Bitola. It was built in 1876 and it consists of four independent buildings built of carved stone, enclosed by a high wall.
The building is considered a top architectural achievement of the builders from village Smilevo and was located in the immediate vicinity of the Red and White Barracks located in today’s city park. During the First World War, all these military facilities were severely damaged, but unlike the Barracks, the Dzhepane survived and was later renovated.
During the JNA (Yugoslav People’s Army) and later the ARM (Army of the Republic of Macedonia) this facility again received military purpose and was kept as a military secret, protected by guards, barbed wire, and steel gates. The large number of lightning rods surrounding this building are also interesting, as a kind of other protection – against natural influences.
In addition to its unusual interior, the Dzhepane has architectural elements, especially on the facade which contains Gothic and Baroque elements.