The Red and White barracks, which were in place of today’s City Park, Sports Hall and the Stadium, have special importance for the history of Bitola.
The Red and White barracks, which were in place of today’s City Park, Sports Hall and the Stadium, have special importance for the history of Bitola. The Red Barrack intended for the Turkish infantry was built in 1837/38, when the governor and commander in Bitola was Kjose Ahmet Pasha (Ќосе Ахмет Паша). Architect of the building was Stoyan Vezenkov, who later for the successfully accomplished task was appointed as official Turkish architect by the Sultan.
The construction of the Barack began in 1837 and according to the Turkish historian Mehmed Tefik, all citizens of Bitola participated in its construction:
“When the Red Barrack was built, all masons from Bitola and its surroundings were called to Bitola and were constantly engaged in the construction of the barracks. All inhabitants of Bitola were forced to carry stones, earth, timber and other materials needed for the masonry. Ahmed Pasha, ordered a tower to be built in the center of the building site, and with rifle in his hands personally shoot the workers who did not work properly. It seems that many of them were killed by him. Yet, thanks to the constant efforts of the frightened masons and citizens of Bitola, as well as the threats of Ahmed Pasha, within a period of six months, this barrack was built and completed with all accompanying facilities, the capacity of which is eight battalions of troops.”
Shortly after the completion of the Red Barracks, the construction of the White Barracks intended for the Turkish cavalry and artillery began. It was completed in 1844. In the vicinity of these two barracks in 1845, the Military Academy was built, which exists today and in which the Museum of Bitola is located. In this building from 1895 to 1899 Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey, was educated.
According to some sources in these two barracks and their accompanying facilities about 30,000 troops could have been accommodated.
During the First World War, Bitola was bombarded for a period of about two years and a large part of the city, as well as the barracks were badly damaged. After the war, it can be said that with the stone material of these two objects, many others were restored in then destroyed Bitola.