The massive fortress has played a pivotal role in Albania's strive for independence. After the Ottoman governor Ali Pasha Tepelena nearly destroyed it during a month long cannon bombardment, he reconstructed in 1811. In 1908, a detachment of soldiers led by Ceciz Topulli decimated the Ottoman Empire's troops. With the help of Allied logistics, the Albanians finally drove the Nazis from the city in 1942.