Albanian culture heritage


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Albanian culture heritage

  1. 1. We wish to greet you most sincerely, The country is also the home ofhappy that you have choose to visit several castle ranges starting sinceour country. the Illyrian period until the Middle Age.Albania is an attractive touristdestination, not only because of its A complex of Byzantine and postvarying landscapes, but also due to its Byzantine churches, monasteriesrich cultural and historical treasures. with valuable frescoes and icons, old bridges, mosques and otherAlbania is located in a very important monuments will enrich your visit insection of Balkan Peninsula, facing Albania.the “ancient Rome” and on the wayfrom this “capital of the world” in that The importance of Culture in Albaniatime toward the Byzantium (Istanbul). has been honored by the UNESCO, which has included three of theMany conquerors passed through country places in its World Culturalthis region, leaving the traces of Heritage List.their culture. The traces of Hellenes,Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, The particularity and uniquenessVenetians and modern Italians, are of Albania is its permanent livemore or less visible in nowadays. connection to its rich past and its cultural heritage, while it keepsFuns of archaeology will marvel at vibrantly in peace with contemporarythe mystic atmosphere of Burtinti or life, echoing its spiritualism and itswill enjoy the beautiful panorama presence in the European culturalof the ancient Apolonia in the environment.western plain of Albania. They willhave the opportunity to touch the In this brochure you will find aruins of many other objects and to summary of the most importantexperience our Archaeological parks. object to be visited during your stay in our country.The typical architecture of Beratand Gjirokastra have been highlyevaluated during the centuries bydifferent visitors who passed through Welcome!Albania.
  2. 2. ALBANIAN CULTURAL HERITAGE A selection of the most important cultural monuments, in twelve counties of Albania
  3. 3. SHKODRA COUNTY Rozafa Castle The Tumuli Burials of Shtoj Sarda The “Lead” Mosque Mesi Bridge Historic Museum Marubi Atelier of Photography
  4. 4. SHKODRA COUNTYShkodra is one of the most significant an-cient cities in northwestern Albania.It was founded in the 4th century B.C. asthe centre of the Illyrian tribe of theLabeates. Under the rule of the Illyrianking Gent, it became the capital of theIllyrian kingdom. Coins from this periodof prominence have been discovered inShkodra. In 168 B.C., it was occupied bythe Romans and eventually becoming partof Claudius empire. In 395 A.C., Shkodrabecame the centre of the ByzantinePrevalis province, following centuries ofsubstantial political power, Shkodra cameunder Serbian rule in 1040 A.C. Due to its Mediterranean location and its geographical proximity to some of the main centers of the world civilization, a number of important archaeological discoveries have been made in Albania. The sites in the North as well as in the South are great tourism destinations for those who are interested in ancient history. The Tumuli Burials of ShtojThe Tumuli Burials of Shtoj. The Plain ofShtoj is situated about 5 km to the north-east of the city of Shkodra, in the vicinityof the villages of Boks and Dragoç, on thewestern side of the Kir River. The excavatedtumuli, or burial mounds, appear to havebeen used for centuries; from the EarlyBronze Age until the Late Iron Age. Mostof the unearthed features of these tumuliare artifacts of the Iron Age, specificallyfrom the 7th - 5th centuries B.C.6
  5. 5. SHKODRA COUNTYThe most important monument to visit inShkodra is the Rozafa Castle, which riseson a rocky hill to the west of Shkodra.It is surrounded by the waters of threerivers, Buna, Drini and Kiri. Rozafa is oneof the major castles in Albania and themost important tourist attraction inShkodra. The castle dates back to Illyrianera, when the Latin historian Titus Liviusnamed it “the stronghold of the Labeats”(Illyrian tribe on the shores of LakeShkodra). The Illyrian queen, Teuta,used it as a base in the war against Rome. The Clock Tower, “Kulla e Inglizit”Rozafa Fortress 7
  6. 6. SHKODRA COUNTYMesi Bridge. At northeast of Shkodra, The form and the direction of the trackwhere river Drin divides the fields from the were defined from the cliff’s massif andhillside of Drishti and the Cukali’s highland, the water flow variations. The track wasthere is a stone bridge with many arches done with causeway and reaches a lengththat is named after the village near it. The of about 120 meters. It is sustained bymonument is one of the biggest of its kind 13 cantilevers and it makes a turn 5 min Albania, constructed around the 18th away from the central cantilever in a 15century by Mehmet Pasha Bushtalliu, who degree angle. The arch is combined withgoverned his province winsomely by two discharger windows, which differentlyassuring this important port region an from the arch don’t have a circle form. Theintensive trade development with the west. replacement of the old bridge, which oftenThe bridge made possible the transport of was submerged from the river’s flow, addedcarriages and agricultural products from other cantilevers at both of the two sides.the farmers living in the highland area to The bridges width is 3.4 meters and thethe Adriatic coast. track has the form of a staircase8
  7. 7. SHKODRA COUNTYIn the city of Shkodra you may visit also the The ruins of a castle dating back on theHistoric Museum and the Marubi Atelier 6th - 8th century B.C., are found on the island.of Photography. The island’s main attraction is the resi- dence of the Dukagjini family (one of the most important Albanian feudal families at the time), belonging to the 11th century. Among the remains are the defense walls, church ruins and the gate to the Dukagjini palace. Sarda is a very picturesque location. The “Lead” Mosque was built in 1773 by Mehmet Pasha Bushati and is one of the most prominent cultural and religious monuments in the city of Shkodra, located behind the Rozafa Castle. To be noticed is the architectural similarity with the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, which differsThe ruins of the medieval town of Sarda the unique monument from the otherare found in an island, located on the mosques constructed and conceived basedartificial lake of Vau i Dejës. The lake on a typical Arabic architectural style.covers an area of 24.7 hectares. Sarda ison the Shurdhahu Island, 35 km away fromShkodra. Sarda, at the island of Shurdhahu 9
  8. 8. The HistoricMuseum
  9. 9. LEZHA COUNTY Lezha Castle The Memorial of Scanderbeg The Church of RubikThe Church of St. Anthony of Padua in Laç
  10. 10. LEZHA COUNTY The Lezha Castle is located on top of a 186 meter high hill, to the east of town. The castle originates from Illyrian times. In 1440 it was reconstructed by the Venetians, and in 1522, after the Ottoman conquest, it was also rebuilt by the latter. The castle bears traces of Illyrian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman architecture.The Memorial of Scanderbeg. It isconstructed at the burial place ofScanderbeg. It it inaugurated in the year1981 over the ruins of the Church of SanNikolas in the town of Lezha. After theinvasion of Lezha from the ottomans theydestroyed the church and the tomb ofScanderbeg too. The church wasreconstructed in the beginningof XX Century. Inside the memorial are Interesting places to visit are the ruins ofdisplayed the emblems of Feudal Families the Ottoman buildings inside the castle,of Albanian during the period of the mosque, the tower of the south-easternScanderbeg . There is also a copy of his wall with a Roman arch, and the Illyriansword and helmet. tower on the southern wall. The Lezha castle is a cultural monument. The castle offers a beautiful view of the Lezha fields and the Adriatic Sea. The helmet of Scanderbeg12
  11. 11. LEZHA COUNTYThe Church of St. Anthony of Padua in Laç(Kisha e Shën Anoit). This church is locatedclose to the town of Laçi, (3 km far away). The Church of Saint Anthony of PaduaIt’s name is for the honor of Saint Anthonyof Padua. He is a catholic saint who wasborn in Lisbon and who died in Padua. This The Church of Rubik. The church of Rubikchurch is famous for the biggest catholic is located in the top of a rocky hillpilgrimage held in Albania. The peak of this overlooking the small town of Rubik inceremony is organized at 13 of June. This northwestern part of Albania. The churchchurch is build up in the year 1557. represents one of the most important reli- gious monument of XII - XIII centuries. It was finished to build up in 1272. The unique values of the church are the wall frescoes of Byzantine style. The Rubik church served as Benedictine Abbey and Franciscan monastery. Saint Anthony of Padua 13
  12. 12. The Memorial of Scanderbeg
  13. 13. DIBRA COUNTY Grazhdani Castle Ethnographic Museum of Dibra Historic Museum of Mat
  14. 14. DIBRA COUNTYGrezhdani Castle. This castle is located11 km in southeast of the town ofPeshkopia, not far from the village ofMaqellarë. It is proclaimed as historicalmonument since the year 1963. This castlebelongs to the IV century during the lateroman period. This monument has an areaof 34 hectares. During the middle ages itwas supposed to be the Stefigradi castle,which was under the control of nationalhero Scanderbeg. It has a strategicposition linking the region of Dibra withKosova and Macedonia. The United States Grezhdani Castlegovernment has given a grant for itspreservation. The Ethnographic Museum of Dibra.Historic Museum of Mat. It is opened It is located in “Elez Isufi” boulevard inin the year 1983 in the town of Burreli. the town of Peshkopia. The objects ofThis museum it gives a description of this museum are housed in a house withhistorical records of Mati region. traditional architecture. There are roundThe most interesting object is a layout of 2.000 objects displayed to the visitors.powder production, for which the region The items include a complex of nationalof Mati has been well mentioned. folk dresses, rugs and carpets, different arms since the Illyrian period, coins etc. The typical albanian house (kulla), close to Klosi16
  15. 15. KUKËSI COUNTY The towers of Bujan The Turbe of Dervish Luzha
  16. 16. KUKËSI COUNTYThe towers of Mic Sokoli and Sali Maniin Bujan. This two traditional towers arelocated in the village of Bujan, few kmsouth of Bajram Curri. They are culturalmonuments. The village of Bujan ismentioned as a dwelling place sincethe XIV century. Mic Sokoli was born inBujan. He was a notable fighter of theAlbanian League of Prizren. He died inthe battle of war against the ottomanforces in 1881. The next tower of Sali Maniis the place where the Conference of Bujanis held during the Second World War. The museum of Tropoja In this county there are other typical Albanian towers (kulla), especially in the region of Hasi (north of Kukës). The tower of Kurpali, the tower of Avdul Qerimi in the village of Helshan, the tower of Gjonajve in the village of Kostur, the tower of Dem Zenuni in the village of Vranisht and another tower in the village of Gajrep.You may visit also the Turbe of DervishLuzha in the village of Luzha, located insoutheast of Bajram Curri. This is a religionsmonument of bektashi sect . An Illyrian settlement has been unearthed in Rosujë, close to Bujan, (Tropoja District). The excavations brought to the light a fortified settlement. Rosuja has been inhabited since the second millenium B.C. until the V century A.D. A lot of gold and silver coins, tools and weapons are fond there.18
  17. 17. DURRËSI COUNTY Ancient Durrachium Albanopolis Early Christian Basilica of Shën Mëhill The Bazaar of Kruja The Ethnographic Museum of Kruja
  18. 18. DURRËSI COUNTYThe earliest historical reference to the city Epidamnos was involved in theof Durrës is from 627, B.C.E. The modern Peloponnesian War, and followingcity is built on top of the ruins of the the war the name was changed toancient Epidamnos or Dyrrachion, which Dyrrachion. The war led to many politicalbecame known as Dyrrachium in the and architectural changes in the city.Roman period. According to Thucydides, Trade with the Illyrians flourished duringthe city was colonized by Corcyreans the ensuing years. Many Illyrian tombsand Corinthians, who named the city are discovered in the city cemeteries,Epidamnos. The founder was Phalius, from indicating that this period of time wasCorinth and a descendant of Heracles. The characterized by a significant culturalearliest coins of Epidamnos, dating back exchange and that the people werefrom the first half of the 5th century B.C.E., moving freely between the regions.were marked with symbols of Corinthian Dyrrachium was the battlefield betweenorigin. Another account, by the historian the legions of Caesar and PompeyAppian, indicates that a non-Greek king during the Civil War of 49 - 48, B.C.E. Thenamed Epidamnos lived in the area before city sustained damages as a result. Inthe Greeks arrived. He built the first city the year 30 B.C.E., Dyrrachium became aand named it after himself. Dyrrhachos was Roman colony and was named Coloniahis grandson and the city was later named Iulia Augusta Dyrrachinorum.after him.20
  19. 19. DURRËSI COUNTY Most of the excavations begun in the 1960s and most of them are ongoing, allowing observers a rare opportunity to view an archaeological excavation in progress. One of the most interesting finds in the city is “Bukuroshja e Durrësit”, (The Beauty of Durrës) mosaic, housed in the National Historic Museum in Tirana. The mosaic dates back from the 4th century B.C.E., surviving as a wonderful example from this period. In the 9th century C.E., the city entered into a turbulent period.During the 2nd century C.E. the city’sstatus as a major trade center was furtherenhanced by the construction of the ViaEgnatia, a roadway linking the Adriatic withThessaloniki and later, with Constantinople.The largest of all public buildingsconstructed in Dyrrachium during the 1stand 2nd centuries C.E. is the amphitheater,with a capacity estimated between 15,000- 20,000 people, situated near the centerof the modern city. Other importantarchaeological finds are the public bathsdating back from the 2nd century CE, theremains of a 15km long aqueduct builtduring the reign of Hadrian, the Byzantine Normans attacked the city in 1071 andera walls, and the round forum-macellum, then again in 1081 C.E., subsequentlybuilt in the 5th - 6th centuries, C.E. attacks by Venetians and later, Ottomans, threatened the city’s very existence. In the city of Durrës you may also visit the Ar- chaeological and Ethnographic Museums. 21
  20. 20. DURRËSI COUNTYEarly Christian Basilica of Shën Mëhill(Saint Michael) in Arapaj. The ruins of theSt. Michael Basilica (Bazilika e Shën Mëhillit)were discovered during an archaeologicalexpedition in 1974, which took place 6 kmaway from the modern city of Durrës. Thechurch is notable for its architectural style,which features three naves, an atrium onthe west side, and an impressive mosaic,covering a 54 m² surface. The mosaic isalmost intact and survives in a surprisinglygood condition. Not far from the areasome sculptural objects dating back tothe 5th - 6th century C.E. were discovered.Many unearthed coins found around thearea, indicate that the settlement was inuse from 5th - 14th century C.E. In 1081,the Byzantine soldiers fleeing from theNorman invasion sought refuge in thischurch, which later was burnt to the The Bazaar of Kruja is under protectionground by the invaders. since 1961, preserving the rich characteristics of traditional Albanian markets of the 18th - 19th centuries. The Market of Kruja covers a wide area, from the center of the city to western gate of the Castle. Along the road shops in ranges, subjoin the land developing with voluminous stone blocks, being underfoot and rarely with cellar or with pairs of stairs. The roofs are made of wood, covered with tiling to protect the exposed products and the shoppers. The shops have a little space by the road, used by the craftsmen for working and exhibiting their products in front of the costumers. Nowdays the original wooden facade of The Market of Kruja are very well preserved. This market is famous abroad for its diversity and for the eldest forms of merchandising, playing a special role in Albanian culture and tradition.22
  21. 21. DURRËSI COUNTYEthnographic Museum of Kruja is one ofthe most visited museum in the country.Is housed inside the walls of castle of Krujaand it is known as one of the mostorganized museums of Albania. It isopened in 1989 in a traditional house ofnotable Toptani family, built up in 1794. Albanopolis The construction is classified as “the first (Zgërdhesh). class building’ it is big house with two floor The ancient town isand with a total of 15 rooms together with located in the vicinity of the modern towna garden. We would like to stress that 90 of Kruja. It has been hypothesized that theper cent of the objects are displayed in Illyrian castle of Zgërdhesh may actuallythis museum are original. Some of these be the site of the ancient city, Albanopolis,objects are 500 years old. Here the visitor capital of the Albans, from whom thewill have the opportunity to see the “guest present day country is named. The cityroom” and “living room” (with a separate was built on a hill and covers an area ofsection of women) “the children room “, approximately 10 ha. Protective walls once“the turkish bath” , the kitchen with its measuring 1,400 m but presently only 90 mequipment, olive oil processing tools, the are visible and survive relatively intact. Thesmithy etc. In this museum there are also large acropolis dominates approximatelydisplayed the different clothes. There are one third of the area that was onceboth Catholic and Moslem costumes. enclosed within the walls. Among the itemsPottery, wood works. Silk, cotton and wool unearthed at the site is the small marbleworks are displayed. In the county of statue of Artemis, which is particularlyDurrësi you may visit the Scanderbeg beautiful. The ancient city flourishedMuseum of Kruja, housed inside the castle. for three or four centuries but then wasYou may visit the church of Saint Anthony eventually abandoned around the secondin Rodon and the ruins of a castle, also in century C.E.Rodon. 23
  22. 22. The Amphitheaterof Durrësi The Amphithea of Durrësi
  23. 23. TIRANA COUNTY The Përsqop Fortress The Tirana Mosaic Kapllan Pasha’s Turbe (Tomb) Preza Castle The Tunners bridge (Ura e Tabakeve) National Historic Museum Archaeological Museum The Mosque of Ethem Bey Ethnographic Museum of Kavaja Bashtova Castle
  24. 24. TIRANA COUNTY The Përsqop Fortress is located south of Tirana, near Petrela castle. Perched atop the Vila Mountain, this fortress may have once been used by the inhabitants of Petrela Castle. The construction of the initial structure appears to have been initiated by the Illyrians and eventually expanded by the Romans. Remnants of an aqueduct are situated to the northeast of the fortification.The Tirana Mosaic is found on NaimFrashëri Street. It is the oldest object foundin Tirana, and it is thought to have beenpart of the floor of a Roman villa from the3-rd century A.D. Later the place was usedas a site for the construction of a paleo-Christian church. It is also known by thename of “The mosaic of the Church of SaintGeorge’s Spring“. The Tunners bridge (Ura e Tabakeve) it is a small stone bridge located in “Jeanne D’Arc” boulevard in Tirana. The bridge is 7,5 meter high. It was called also as Saint George bridge. Today is a restored monument , built in the first half of XIX century.In Tirana you will have the opportunity tovisit the biggest and the most importantmuseums in Albania as are the NationalHistoric Museum and the Archaeologi-cal Museum, the Mosque of Ethem Bey,the walls of Justinian Castle with newlyexcavations, etc. In the region of Kavaja youmay visit also the Church of Çeta near thevillage of Zig Xhafaj and the EthnographicMuseum of Kavaja.26
  25. 25. TIRANA COUNTYKapllan Pasha’s Turbe (Tomb) is locatedon “28 Nëntori” Street in Tirana. It is part ofa monumental cemetery complex of thefirst Tirana Mosque, which was destroyedduring the Second World War. The complexincluded six other monumental graves ofthe same type, but with varying dimen-sions. The only tomb remaining today isthat of Kapllan Pasha, a former ruler ofTirana. The tomb is a monumental gravewith an octagonal structure and 4 m high.The Kapllan Pasha’s remains were laterexhumed and reburied in Istanbul. The Preza Castle overlooks the village with the same name and is located on a hilltop. It is a small castle the construction of which started in the 14th century and was completed in the early 15th century and belonged to the Topias, a local feudal family. The castle has been declared a ‘monument of culture’. It has four towers, one in each corner. The clock tower was erected around 1800-1850. It is known for its beautiful location, overlooking the Tirana plain. The castle is quite close to the Mother Theresa International Airport. A restaurant and other service facilities are found inside the castle.The Bashtova Castle is situated close to theBashtova village, about 3-4 km to the north The Bashtova Castleof the Shkumbini River estuary. The castlewas built in the 15th century and was usedby the Venetians. In the past the Bashtovaregion was known as a river harbour onthe Shkumbini River and as a centre for theexport of grains. The castle has a rectangu-lar shape, 60 x 90 meters. The western partof the castle was rebuilt in the 18th century.Its walls are 9 meters high. 27
  26. 26. Petrela Castle
  27. 27. ELBASANI COUNTY The Elbasani Castle The Monastery of Saint John Vladimir The Roman road station of Ad Quintium The church of Saint Nicolas in Shelcan The Ethnographic Museum of Elbasan The Peqini Caslte
  28. 28. ELBASANI COUNTYThe Elbasani Castle. It’s a field castle inthe city of Elbasan. It is firstly referred byCristobel, Second Mehemet historian. InXVIII century, the city was visited fromottomans chronicler, Evlia Celepiu, whodescribed in details the castle. DuringAustrian evasion the castle became objectof full studies. The Austrian’s archaeologists,Prashniker and Shcober, who visited thecastle during First World War and noticedthat under medieval walls has fortificationsof antique period. The castle has quadran-gular shape with 308 x 48 m dimensions.Today we keep saved only 8 towers from26 that have been in the very beginningof its construction. During the late antiqueperiod the city within the castle namedSkampini, started its life as inhabitedcentre in so called “Egnatia” street. The Monastery of Saint John VladimirThe reconstruction of castle is done by (Shën Gjon Vladimiri) in Shijon.Turkeys for strategic purposes. Even today This monastery is located only 4 km awaythe castle is still habituated. Inside her we form Elbasan. It was build up in the yearcan still find very important Muslimism cult 1381 by Albanian prince Karl Topia, whoobjects as well as Christians ones. brought here the remaints of Saint John Vladimir. The Saint John Vladimir was the Duke of Krajina (Montenegro). He was declared a saint and it has a wide fame in Balkan peninsula. For his honour a big pilgrimage was organized in this monastery until 1967 when the communist regime closed by force the religious institutions all over the country. Nowadays this pilgrimage is organized for each 3-4 June. This monastery has been a very important cultural centre for Albanians, with a very rich library. Unfortunately a part of monastery was burned during the Second World War by Nazi Forces. The monumental gate of the monastery, carved in stone is actually preserved in National Historic Museum in Tirana.30
  29. 29. ELBASANI COUNTYThe Roman road station of Ad Quintium islocated in Bradashesh village in the vicinityof the modern city of Elbasan. The excava-tions here are ongoing. Based on the con-struction techniques found, this site datesfrom the 2nd - 4th centuries C.E. In the county of Elbasan you may visit the Ethnographic Museum of Elbasan, the Peqini Caslte (XV century), the churches of Good Friday (Shën e Premtes) in Valësh (the region of Shpat) and the Church of Saint Nicolas (XVIII century) in Grabova,The church of Saint Nicolas in Shelcan Gramsh.(Kisha e Shën Nikollës). This church islocated in the village of Selcan in theregion of Shpati, south-east of Elbasan.This monument has valuable frescoespainted by Onufri, the famous Albanianpainter of XVI century, . 31
  30. 30. The “Naziresha”Mosque
  31. 31. KORÇA COUNTY The Tumuli Burials of KamenicaThe Monumental Tombs of “Selca e Poshtëme” The mosaics of Lin The Ristozi Church of Mborje The Churches of Voskopoja The Churches of Vithkuqi Goliku Bridge The Mosque of Ilias Bey Mirahori The Museum of Medieval Arts The Island of Maligradi Boboshtica
  32. 32. KORÇA COUNTYThe Tumuli Burials of Kamenica.Kamenica is situated in the southern partof Korça, along the national road linkingKorça with Erseka. This is one of the mostimportant representative monuments ofthe Albanian prehistory. Visiting the siteyou will have the chance to get acquaintedwith the life of the prehistoric community,in the period between XIII-VI centuries B.C. The Monumental Tombs of Selca eThe basilica, where the mosaics are to be Poshtëme (Lower Selca). The 2,400 yearfound, is located in the village of Lin, in a old tombs are located 40 km from thedistance of 22 km north of Pogradec.. modern city of Pogradec. Selca was a townThey dates back to VI century A.D. and founded by the Illyrian tribe of Desarteshave different motives (floral, geometrical in the 6th century BC. It is thought thatetc.). They are similar with other mosaics Pelion was the residence of Illyrian king Klitfound in Durrës. located in Selca. The settlement reached its greatest prominence in 3rd - 4th centuries, BC, when its protective, surrounding walls encircled an area of 3 hectares. Five monumental tombs in Ionic style have been excavated at this archaeological site. Four of the carved tombs are located inside tunnels. Although examples of these types of tombs can be found throughout southern Italy, few are known to exist in the Balkans. It is supposed that vast treasures have been buried inside the tombs.34
  33. 33. KORÇA COUNTYGoliku Bridge is part of the medievalbridges with a hunch, or hump upon themain cantilever. It lift up on two circledvaults that are divided from a dischargerwindow. Along the causeway the bridgehas a length of 37 meters and the vaultlatitude is 2,8 meters. The big vault has alight area of 7,4 meter and at height fromthe water of 9.4 meters, and a latitude of90 centimeters. At the big vault’s end, aresituated the holes with 20x20 centimeters,for the gripping of the crib’s balk. The rightvault has an opening of 6.3 meters and athickness of 75 centimeters. The dischargerwindow has an opening of 1,2 meters and The Ristozi Church of Mbroje in Korça, isheightens about 3 meters. The causeway composed by the naos, a porch that lieswas done with river stones, with brace in the western and in the southern part.girdles each 1,2 meters and have a right The church planimetry is an inscribedincline of 16%, and 11% left incline. The cross-type. In the eastern wall we find thevaults were done with scale stone and the semicircular abside, with an arched nike.front walls with limy and stuff stones. Two other nikes, reaching the ground, are situated in the southern and northern wall. The church has two entrance portals, one in the southern part, and the other in the eastern part. In the junction point of the cross’s beams, in a podium, an equiangular tumbler lifts up. According to the building techniques and its forms, it is thought that the church is likely to have been built during the 14th century. 35
  34. 34. KORÇA COUNTYThe Churches of Voskopoja. Voskopoja is The Church of Saint Michael (Shëna mountain village, perched at the height Mëhilli), 1726 painted by Zoografi brothers.1200 meters above sea level, 21 km westof Korça. Once upon a time it was a promi-nent city with 24 churches and monaster-ies, culminating in the middle of the 18thcentury. Only seven of these twenty-fourchurches survive nowadays. The Church of Saint Athanas (Shën Thana- si), together with the cemetery, 1724. The church was build up by five masters from Kastoria. The Church of Saint Ilias (Shën Ilia) and the Church of Saint Mary (Shën Mëria), 1722.These are the Monastery of Saint Prodhombuilt in 1632, the Church of Saint Nicolas(Shën Kolli), 1721. The famous mastersof iconography, David Selenicasi and theZoografi brothers painted the frescoes ofthe church.36
  35. 35. KORÇA COUNTYVithkuqi is a mountain village in the districtof Korça, 26 km south-west of the city. Inthe XVII century Vithkuqi was an importanturban center with 27 churches. In the county of Kroça there are also a range of old churches in the villages of Boboshtica, Shipska (XVII century), and in the island of Maligradi in Lake Prespa; the eremite churches in the coast of Lake Prespa, the Church of Saint Nicolas in the village of Vodica (1799) in the region of Kolonja etc. In the city of Korça there are several museums. You may pay a visit to the Prehistoric Museum, the Museum ofThe site is wellknown for the churches of Education, the Museum of Medieval Arts,Saint Michael (Shën Mëhillit) XVIII century, the Museum House of a notable painter,together with the cemetery, the Saint Vangjush Mio, the Museum of OrientalPeter Church (Shën Pjetri), the Saint Paul Art Collection, Bratko etc. In the city of Ko-Church (Shën Pavlli). The famous Zoografi rça you may visit also the Mosque of Iliasbrothers painted the frescoes of the Bey Mirahori , which is the oldest monu-churches of Saint Michael and Saint Peter. ment of the city. 37
  36. 36. The Maligradi Island
  37. 37. BERATI COUNTY Dimal The Saint Triad Church The Red Mosque The Gorica Quarter Home Gorica Bridge The Ethnographic Museum
  38. 38. BERATI COUNTYDimal. The first excavations began atthis site in 1963. Since that time, a 30m long stoa (covered walkway) hasbeen unearthed. The monument clearlyresembles to the stoa of Apollonia,indicating the strong links between thesetwo cities. Many stamped tiles have beenfound, bearing the names of the workshopowners but also the word “DIMALITAN”indicating that the workshops wereproperty of the city. The writer Polybiusmentions the role of the city in the SecondIllyrian-Roman war, around 218 B.C. An The remains of the Red Mosque are foundeffort was undertaken to further fortify on the south of the upper fortress, nearthe city at this time. The Roman historian the west surrounding wall of the caste.Titus Livius, mentions Dimal again in the It is believed that this monumental mayevents of 205 B.C. when the city was ruled be the mosque that when Elvia Çelebiuby Romans. Several inscriptions were talks of the castle, he identifies is as Sultanfound during the excavations hinting at Bajaziti’s mosque. This building is formed ofthe advanced political status of the ancient the hall of prayers with an almost square-city. When the Illyrian regent Demeter Fari shaped plan and form the vestibule inorganized the uprising against Rome after front of it with the same width. On thethe year 228 B.C., he gathered his army in left side of the hall is the marinaret. ThisDimal. The campaign against him was lead placing, unlike all the other mosques,by Roman general Paul Emilius. seems to be limited from the presence of the boundary wall very close to it, in the southwest. The shrine’s walls as well as the foundation of the marinaret are built with the opus mixtum technique with two lines of horizontal bricks and one or two vertical bricks between the calcareous stones. The date of the mosque is uncertain, however, based on Çebeliu’s data, the tenchnique used and it is position it is thought that the mosque is dated in the 15th century CE. In case this monument is built from Sultan Bajaziti or if it’s an earlier construction, it makes it even harder to date it. It is thought that the Turkish garrison, who were there around the second half of the 15th century CE or around the end of the century.40
  39. 39. BERATI COUNTY The “Lead” Mosque known as charity of Ahmet Skurës has been built up in the middle of XVIth century. The social cultural and religious complex is embodied in the topology of classic Turkish portic style like hall–cupola and a mosque at the right of the entrance. Together with the mosque they were a tekke and a helevet tarikatit and a bathroom of water supply from the aqueduct built in 1640 from the architect imperial Reiz Mimar Kasemi. It is not known when these constructions have been ruined but at the end of 19th century the portik of the mosque has been reconstructed. According to Evlija Celebiut the old portik was with arcadesThe Saint Triad Church. The church built and covered with seven cupolas. The leftbetween the second half of 13th century tracks indicate that it lay out of the actualand the beginning of 14th century is the longitude but the new constructionsbest example of the inscribed cross-type hinder definition of its plan.churches with a cupola. Its compositionconsists of the naos supported on fourpillows and narthex built later on. Thewings are formed from an archway systemand the center is the cupola. The church’swalls are built with stones, pieces of bricksin the lower part and with opus mixtum inthe upper part. The interior of the church iscovered with mural paintings. 41
  40. 40. BERATI COUNTYThe Gorica Quarter Home has two floorsand a basement. The porch, a crib onthe left side and a stere on the right sideform the basement. Two pairs of stairs areconnected to the balcony at the first floor.The first floor plan shapes like a horseshoewhere in the center is the church which issurrounded by the other areas. The househas been through various construction andrestoration phases. In the 1st phase thehome was of the garret type, where thewooden columns that hold the joist, onwhich the roof sits, joined in the upper part Later, the house went through three morewith a carved wooden pillow. phases of construction and restoration: in the first, was the the construction of additional areas on the left of both floors; in the next phase was the extension of the areas on the right side and the closing of garret; in the last phase, the house was divided into two parts suited for two families. At the threshold of the basement is noted the year 1864, which was during the third phase of construction, though the home itself may have been built in the 18th century.42
  41. 41. BERATI COUNTYGorica Bridge is one of the biggest stone neighborhood. Gorica Bridge is a sevenmedieval bridges in our country, with a cantilever bridge, lifted up 10 meters onlength of 127 meters. In the 13-th century Osumi River, with a length of 129,3 metersduring the war between the Byzantine and 5,3 meters wide.and the anzhuins, this spot of Osumi was This monument was built in 1870 and waspassed only with a raft. In 1670 the Turkish reconstructed with the request of Ahmettraveler, Evlija Çelebi mentioned the Osumi Kurt Pasha during 1920-1930. Prior tobridge with 9 cantilevers, eight wooden this period, the two sides of Osumi werebankseats and two cleats. connected by a wooden bridge.The track was made of wooden joist sawed The Turkish traveler Evlia Çelebiu was veryat the Thatë Mountain in front of it. In 1777, impressed by this monument and made athe local lordship Ahmed Kurd Pasha built short, but very interesting description of it;the Gorica Bridge with stone cantilevers. “Gorica Bridge had nine cantilevers, whichIn December 1888 river Osum damaged lay upon stone bankseat and oak joints.Gorica’s bridge, which suffered another This monument had a particular interestdamage during the Firs World War 1914- for the local inhabitants, who preserved1918. The Gorica bridge is made of seven with extra care the woods near the nei-vaults with light openings that vary from ghborhood, where the raw material6.7 meters (the first vault right) to 16.5 for the bridge reparation was to be found”.meters (the second vault right). In six of Its actual state is due to a total restoration,its bankseats were opened discharger done on the same spot and on the samewindows, and in five of them there are fundaments. The monument presents atwo smaller windows. The bridge on the stone bridge with many vaults, with a flatOsumi River has linked the administrative causeway and inclined ramps in the bothcenter of the city of Berati with the Gorica sides. 43
  42. 42. BERATI COUNTYEthnographic Museum of Berat is found ina traditional house, which belongs to theend of XVIII century. The house of Xhokaxhifamily is composed with two floors, usingas a construction material the stone forthe first floor and the wood for the secondone. The most attraction part of the houseis the “garret”, which is noted for its higharchitectural values. The house is a realcomplex indeed where all the elementssuch as the garden, the museum complexof the other houses around are a witnessof a rich ethnographic culture. In interiorsetting of the museum there are displayed1.000 objects, which belong to the area ofBerat region. The first floor is organized as a medieval bazaar with many objects and crafts. What catch your eyes are the clothes of both man and women with filigree. Other objects are the different items of decoration, copper works etc. Inside the first floor there are displayed the equipment of olive oil processing, the equipment of other drinks, the pottery and smithy. In the second floor the most interesting part is the “garret” and also the living amenities equipped with many ethnographic objects and values. In one of this amenities is the “guest room” where is a separate part where the women used to stay. Other objects are the chimney, the sofas round the room, one hanging gun and a flag 100 years old. Next to the guest room is the kitchen equipped with all cooking tools. In the second floor there are also two other rooms, which are “the country room” and “loom room“. These two room depict the ambience of working and living aspects. In the “loom room” you may see all the tools for wool, cotton processing. There are also displayed the carpets and rugs.44
  43. 43. BERATI COUNTYThe bridge of Vokopola. In the villageof Vokopola, upon the watercourse ofÇoragjafi, near the spring of “Ujit të Zi”(the Black Water), is found the Bridge ofVokopola. This bridge must have been builtduring the times of Ali Pashë Tepelena andhas been considered as the most importantpoint, for connecting the valley of Osumiwith the valley of Vjosa. The branch thatconnected Berati with Tepelena coveredthese villages: Vokopola-Çorgjaf-Qafae Gllavës-Luftinjë-Memaliaj. The bridgeof Vokopola, is a stone bridge with abig archway, circular segments and twodischarge windows. The bridge is43 meters wide, and includes three archesand two recesses. The pavement of In this county you may visit also theVokopola bridge, is being constructed with interesting churches in the villagesblack flagstones, while the archway was of Kozara and Perondia, close to thebuilt with two rows of stones. The bridge town of Kuçova.of Vokopola is one of the largest bridges,the most monumental and preservedof this district. The monument has beenrestored lately and is being used by theinhabitants of the surroundings. 45
  44. 44. The Saint Michael Church
  45. 45. FIERI COUNTY Apollonia Byllis Nikaia (Klos) Gurëzeza The Monastery of ArdenicaThe monastery of Saint Mary in Pojan
  46. 46. FIERI COUNTYApollonia. Cicero, the famed Roman orator,was captivated by the beauty of Apolloniaand in his Philippics, referred to it as“magna urbs et gravis,” or “the great andimportant city”. The ancient city founded inthe 7th century B.C., by the Greek settlersfrom Corinth and Corcyra, is located 11 kmwest of the modern city of Fier. Apolloniawas discovered by a French mission lead byProf. Leon Rey. Archaeological excavationshave shown that Apollonia reached itszenith around the 4th – 3rd century B.C.It is estimated that around 60,000 Also noteworthy is the Odeon, which datesinhabitants lived inside the city gates. on the 2nd century B.C., which at the timeThe city has a 4 km long wall encircling accommodated approximately 10,000an area of 137 hectares. Sources depict spectators, and the 77 m long stoa with itsa flourishing culture, with a busy harbor covered walkway. An earthquake in the 3rdalong this active trading route. Among century C.E. altered the path of the Vjosathe most interesting remains are the city River and caused infrastructural damage.council building, the library, the triumphal The harbor eventually filled with silt,arch, and the temple of Artemis. effectively changing the trading route. The once proud city declined until it was nearly uninhabited. Apollonia was “rediscovered” in the 18th century C.E., and archaeological efforts have continued intermittently throughout the 20th century. Today the site can easily be accessed from the nearby city of Fier and it offers both unique views of the Adriatic coastline and extensive historical and archaeological items of great interest for the visitors.48
  47. 47. FIERI COUNTYByllis. Established in the 3rd centuryB.C., Byllis once flourished as a political,economic, and cultural center in the region.Governed by a body of civil servants, theintroduction of a bronze currency system,and a reputation for having skilled artisanswere the hallmarks of this powerful society.The surrounding wall of Byllis is very wellpreserved. It measures 2,250m long, 3.5mwide and 8 - 9 m high. It surrounds anarea of 30 ha, and has a triangular shape.The theater was built in the middle ofthe 3rd century B.C., and is located in thesoutheast corner of the agora. The theater The adjacent stoa, measuring 60 x 11.4 m,exhibits several unique features including remains partially preserved. The basilicaa sculpture display area, an immense located in the site measures an impressivearea with the ability to accommodate an 33 x 22.8 m. Inside are many examples ofestimated 7,500 spectators. Interestingly, mosaics, depicting a variety of subjects.historians believe the design of the To the south of the basilica lie the remainsindividual steps would allow for standing of a school, which dates from the 3rdroom only. century B.C. This area features a series of alcoves and the rectangular footprint of the original building. The cathedral is perhaps the most impressive area within Byllis. It consists of the basilica, the baptistery, and the diocese complex. This cathedral underwent several reconstructions; first in 470, and again in 547, C.E. After each reconstruction, the cathedral increased in size. The basilica of the cathedral exhibits a much more elaborate configuration than the other basilica in Byllis. The threshold leading to the entryway is made of an extensive mosaic. Notably, it is the largest mosaic discovered in Albania to date. It displays diverse motifs and scenes reflecting the daily life of shepherds, fishermen, and others. The walls of this cathedral were once covered in beautiful frescoes, while several depicting geometrical shapes remain. 49
  48. 48. FIERI COUNTY Gurëzeza. Located near the modern town of Cakran, the site of Gurëzeza, dominates the plain of Vjosa and offers a view which extends to the Karaburun peninsula and the island of Sazan in the bay of Vlora. The partially preserved walls cover an expansive area of over 15 ha. Settlements of the site appear to be divided into three distinct phases: the Protourban, Urban, and Late Antique periods. Several important coin hoards have been found in the vicinity of this site, one with about 2,000 bronze coins from Apollonia and Epirus. Also part of this find were 200 silver coins, forty of which belonged to the Illyrian king Monunios. Based on this find, some archaeologists and historians speculate that this may have been Monunios’ residence. In the town of Ballsh you may visit also the Basilica of Ballshi.Nikaia (Klos). The ancient city of Klosis located southeast of the modern cityof Fier, near Byllis. The city features aprotective wall that is notable for itslength, 1850 m, ageing back from 425 B.C.To be noticed is the use of polygonal andtrapezoidal blocks in its construction.The single entrance to the city is guardedby three defensive towers. Among themost important archaeological finds arethe small theatre, a stoa and the ruins ofa stadium. The theatre had a capacity ofapproximately 900 spectators. On one ofthe theatre walls, inscriptions grantingcitizenship to several individuals havebeen preserved. They date from the 3rdcentury B.C. The stoa, (or covered walkway)measures 10 x 40 m and has been partiallyexcavated. Life in Nikaia came to an abruptend in 167 B.C., when the invading armiesof Paulus Aemilus ravaged the region.50
  49. 49. FIERI COUNTYThe Monastery of Ardenica. The Byzantine in the south facade. This chapel was builtMonastery of Ardenica occupies a surface with pumice stones and its semicircularof about 2,500 m2. This monument consists wall, divides it from a rainwater collectionof the Saint Mary Church, the Saint Triad tank. The chapel’s portal is covered by achapel, the konekes, the oil mill, the oven, stone cantilever. Near the eastern windowand the stall. In the center is situated the is a ceramic bassorelief.St. Mary church, which was partly built withpumice stones brought from Apollonia.It occupies a large area; covered by awooden roof and a flat ceiling. The churchis composed of a naos, a narthex, and thetwo-floor, exo-narthex, which at the endunifies to the 24 meters tall bell-tower.At the south part of the complex is an openportico built with columns and cantilevers.The naos is made of three parts, which aredivided in two lines by wooden columns.The naos is divided from the altar by aniconostasis. The church floor is pavedwith stone tiles, as are the narthex andexo-narthex. In 1743, with the initiativeof Berat’s bishop, Metod, the monastery,including Saint Mary’s church underwenta restoration. The Saint Triad chapel lies at The monastery of Saint Mary in Pojan.the northwest part and its dimensions are The monastery of Saint Mary is located7.50 m by 3.70 m. Its entrance is situated in within the complex of Apolloniathe west part and it has two small windows Archaeological Park. It was build up in the XIII century. By the end of antiquity the Apollonia was largely depopulated, hosting a small Christian community, which build on a hill which was probably of cite of old city this monastery. It was reconstructed by Byzantine Emperor Andronicus Paleologus the Second. The chapel was built in the Byzantine style. The Monastery of Saint Mary is one of the most beautiful objects of this kind all over Albania In the region of Myzeqe you may visit several churches in the villages of Kolkondas, Karavasta, Vanaj, Libofsha, Hoxhara, Krutje, Kadipashaj etc. 51
  50. 50. The Church of Kurjan
  51. 51. VLORA COUNTY Amantia Butrinti (Bouthrotos) Finiqi (Phoenice) Orikumi (Orikos) Aulona (Vlora) Treporti Onchesmos (Saranda) The fortified settlement of Karos The Porto Palermo Castle The Monastery of Saint Nicolas in Mesopotam The Muradie Mosque
  52. 52. VLORA COUNTYAmantia was the historical capital of theIllyrian tribe of Amanties, which wasfounded around the 5th century B.C.Its present location is near the village ofPlloça in the river valley of Vlora.At its peak, Amantia featured an acropolisand a doric style temple dedicated toAphrodite. The most notable archeologicalobject among the preserved features isthe stadium, measuring 60 X 12.5 m.A significant sculptural object is thebasorelief of the God of Fertility, which canbee seen at the National Historic Museum.Additional relics from Amantia are ondisplay at the Archaeological Museum Finiq (Phoenice) is located near thein Tirana. modern city of Saranda and about 20 km north of Butrint Lake and the Albanian border with Greece. In antiquity the territory surrounding the settlement belonged to Chaonia, part of the Epirus kingdom. The site is rich in findings from the Classical to the Byzantine period. Ancient sources mentioned of the wealth of the city, especially during the Hellenistic period, between the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C., when Finiq was a prominent city in the Epirote League. The city of Finiq hosted the historically significant signing of the ending treaty of the first Macedonian War. The document became known as “The Peace of Phoenice”. The city’s prosperity continued throughout the Roman and Byzantine periods. The Ottoman occupation appears to have caused the shrinking of the city of Finiq. Phoenice boasts several archaeologically important relics, including a small prostylos temple, a theatre, examplars of Hellenistic houses, and several Roman water cisterns. A signi- ficant Byzantine church can also be obser- ved when visiting this picturesque site.54
  53. 53. VLORA COUNTYButrint (Bouthrotos) is located in the Butrint was declared a UNESCO Worldsouthwestern coastline of Albania. The Heritage Site in 1992. The ground ofcity is separated by a narrow stretch Butrint features an impressive array offrom the Greek island of Corfu. The site historically significant archaeological sites.has been occupied approximately at the Foremost among them is the theater,8th century B.C., but legends hint at the which dates from the 4th century’s foundation by Trojan exiles. By the hosting approximately 1,500 spectators.4th century B.C., a walled settlement Performances are still staged there at ahad been established and the city began summer-festival each year. An impressiveto develope through trade. Augustus baptistery (with extensive mosaics) and afounded a colony at Butrint and the town basilica from the 6th century C.E. attest toremained a relatively small Roman port the various occupations of the city. A canaluntil the 6th century C.E. Following the and vestiges of Roman courtyard houses liefall of the Roman Empire, the city shrank near the theater. Additionally, kilometersin population and significance. Butrint of imposing walls surround much of thethen entered a turbulent period and site. Nearby, the recently renovated Butrintcontrol of the city was bitterly fought by Museum houses many fascinating objectsthe Byzantine, Norman, Angevin, and unearthed during the various archeologicalVenetian states. The Ottoman Turks and digs. One must travel to the Nationalbriefly the French disputed later ownership. Historic Museum to view the famousBy the time it became a part of Albania head of Apollo, unearthed by the Italianin 1912, it was virtually deserted. Various archaeologist Luigi Maria Ugolini duringarcheological efforts began in the 1920’s, his excavations in the 1920’s.and continue today. 55
  54. 54. VLORA COUNTYBehind the Independence MonumentSquare in Vlora, the remains of a recta-ngular castle have been excavated. Thecastle comprised a portion of the ancientcity of Aulona and was built in the 4thcentury C.E. to withstand Gothic invasions.Other finds in the area indicate that it wasfirst settled around the 4th century B.C.The best known find from this period isa sculpture known as “the aulonian girl”,depicting a girl wearing an Illyrian dress.Historical sources mention Aulona in the2nd century C.E., in relation to Romanefforts to improve roads in this part ofthe western Balkans. In various itineraries Treport. Excavations near the Cape ofAulon is mentioned as a principal stopping Treport, located in the lagoon of Narta,place on the main road from Dyrrachium to have revealed traces of an ancientButrint. Following the Gothic invasions of settlement dating from the 7th centurythe 5th century C.E., an archdiocese was B.C. Over the centuries the settlementestablished inside the castle. During the extended and a new wall was built aroundreign of Justinian, the castle was further it in the 4th century B.E. Between the 4thfortified by his direct orders. Late in the 6th and 2nd centuries B.C., the city prospered.century C.E. Slavs invaded the city, causing The original name of the city is unknown,widespread damage and an evacuation by but finds in the area indicate that it mightmany citizens to the island of Sazan, where have been called Daulia. The city wastraces of this settlement have been disco- mysteriously abandoned after the 2ndvered. The city might have never regained century B.C., but this might have beenits status, appearing to have diminished related to the Illyrian-Roman wars.significantly in size and importance.Aulona is mentioned again in Byzantinedocuments, around 1100 C.E.56
  55. 55. VLORA COUNTYOrikum (Orikos) is located in southwest theatre with the capacity of 400 spectators.Albania, about 40km south of the Additionally, ruins of protective walls andarchaeological site of Apollonia. According streets can be seen lying underwater in ato Pliny, the city of Orikum was established lagoon. The nearby Marmiroi Church, ofby colonists from Colchis. Its geographical Byzantine origin, was commissioned byposition made it an important harbor and the emperor Theodore in the 13th centurya trade center of the Adriatic coast. C.E. It has a small 6 m x 9 m main hall andOrikum was important to military a dome approximately 3 m in diameterstrategists, as well. It was used by the that is supported by four Roman arches. ItsRomans as a defensive base in the wars internal walls feature fragments of muralsagainst the Illyrians as well as in the 3rd that reflect various aspects of Byzantinecentury B.C. against the Macedonians, who culture. The church has three entrances andlater occupied it in 214 B.C. Julius Caesar is renowned for its elaborate constructionused the area as a troop encampment for and architectural significance. Todayseveral months, until Pompeius Magnus Orikum is an important city, which hastook them. Being subject to such varied been part of many regional developmentcultural influences, Orikum became a programs and has seen a distinct increasethriving urban center. This is evidenced in the tourism sector. This is a result of itsby various archaeological ruins, such as proximity to the Adriatic Sea and its relativepart of an orchestra platform and a small position to other nearby cities. 57
  56. 56. VLORA COUNTYOnchesmos (Saranda). The name of theancient town derives from Anchises, theTrojan warrior, whose mythological unionwith the goddess Aphrodite resultedin a son named Aeneas. Aeneas, alongwith his father and his son, Ascanius,escaped the sack of Troy, and journeyedthroughout the Mediterranean. Dionysos ofHalicarnassus calls Onchesmos the Harborof Anchises, while the Byzantine historianProcopius mentions that Anchises died atOnchesmos. During the 6th century C.E.,the town’s name changes to Hagia Sarandaor “Forty Saints”. The circumstances ofthis name change are unclear, but might Porto Palermo Castle. Ali Pasha Tepelenahave been related to the construction of built Porto Palermo castle, located in thea great basilica overlooking the modern Vlora region, in the late 18th century. It hascity of Saranda. Various monuments a rectangular shape with four bastions inand archaeological finds from the its corners. Along the terrace’s parapet is acity have been excavated. Among the positioned loophole for canons. The innermore impressive finds are the ruins of a space is made of halls, stores and othersynagogue, a portion of a Roman Imperial areas. In its central part are positionedarchway, and the ruins of a late antique stone stairs that lead to the terrace. Wallshouse. Also noteworthy are an apsidal protect the entire environment with gunbuilding, an Odeon, a cemetery, and an loopholes on the front and on the side.elaborate mosaic, widely known as the On the outside, in the archway entrance, isDolphin Pavement. a stone balcony in a cantilever form.58
  57. 57. VLORA COUNTY Muradie Mosque. It is located in the very heart of the city of Vlora. This is a sultan style mosque, with a dome that was built in the second half of the 16th century. It consists of a prayer hall and a minaret build of carved stone. This monument is noted for the harmonious distribution of its windows. The design and construction of this mosque were carried out by Mimar Sinan Aga the Great, an architect of Albanian origin who was one of the most important mosque builders in the Ottoman Empire. It is supposed that he was born in the village of Gjergaj (today Sinanaj) inThe Monastery of Saint Nicolas in the region of Tepelena, south Albania. HeMesopotam. This beautiful monument is is consider the greatest architect of thelocated in the village of Mespotam, not far classical period of Ottoman architecture from the turist city of Saranda. It a very and is often compared to Michelangelo.good accessibility because is on the Muradie Mosque is the only object that hasnational road linking Saranda with remained form this master in Albania.Gjirokastra. It is a Byzantine church whichis reconstructed two time in the years 1793and 1843. The main characteristic ofthe monastery, is its distinctive defensefeatures. The fortified wall surroundingthe monastery includes rectangular towers.Being located near the National Park ofButrint, could attract numerous visitors. 59
  58. 58. VLORA COUNTYThe fortified settlement of Karos The towers of Dervish Aliu,is located near the village of Qeparo in Dukatialong the Qeparo River. In a locationclearly chosen for its natural defenses,the fortress is situated atop a hill.Approaches from nearly all directionswould require a difficult climb up a rockyslope. The original defense walls apparentlyhad only one entrance. The present statusof the walls is a mere shadow of what itused to be, but still extending for 350 mand is approximately 3 m thick. It variesin height, but achieves a maximum of1.5 m in its ruined state. Two structuresbehind the entrance gate would have The county of Vlora is very rich with otherprovided additional barriers for attackers objects. We should mention a range ofand suggest just how heavily fortified orthodox churches alongside the Albanianthis location once was. Origins of the Riviera as are the Chuch of Saint Mary ofsettlement are unknown, but artifacts Mesodhia in Vuno (1783), the Church ofunearthed during the archaeological dig Saint Spiridhoni in Vuno (1778), the Chuchrepresent a wide range of inhabitants from of Ipapandia in Dhërmi, the Church of Saintthe Early Iron Age to the 4th century C.E. Mary of Athali in Himara. The traditional houses of Odise Kasneci in Vuno and Lilo LLazari in Himara. The Church of Qeparoi60
  59. 59. VLORA COUNTYOther monument in the district of Vloraincludes the Church of Marmiroi (XIII The Lëkursi Castlecentury) close to Orikum, the towers ofDervish Aliu in the village of Dukat, thecastle of Kanina, the Gjon Boçari Castle inthe village of Tragjas. While in the districtof Saranda you may visit the ruins of themonastery of 40 Saints close to Saranda,the Lëkursi Castle (2 km south of Saranda),the small castle at the entrance of Vivarichannel near Burtint etc. As regards the museums, in the city of Vlora you may visit the Museum of Independence, the Ethnographic and Historic Museums. The Kanina Castle 61
  60. 60. The Church of Marmiroi
  61. 61. GJIROKASTRA COUNTY Antigonea Hadrianopolis The Tepelena Castle The Bazaar of Gjirokastra The habitation of “Zenaja of Zekatëve” The Church of Saint Mary in Labova e Kryqit The Tekke of Melani The Libovoha Castle The church of Saint Mary in Leuse
  62. 62. GJIROKASTRA COUNTYThe Ancient city of Antigonea lies on Hadrianopolis. Located in the Drino Riverthe east side of the Drinos Valley, near Valley near Gjirokastër, this city wasthe modern day village of Saraqinishtë. known as Adrianopolis in Roman times.The ruins of an extraordinary wall, which The site features a theatre which couldmeasures approximately 4 km in length, accommodate approximately 4,000surround it. Not long ago, the significance spectators. It was excavated in 1984.of the site was unknown. Excavationsspanning the last fifty years, however, havepositively identified the site through thediscovery of a bronze tesserae inscribedwith the word “ANTIΓΩNEΩN”. Discoveredcoins from many once-powerful regionaleconomies hint at the thriving trade thatonce fueled this civilization. The historicalorigins of the city are unclear, but literarysources suggest that Antigonea wasfounded either by King Antigonos Gonatasof Macedonia or, more probably, by theMolossian King, Pyrrhus, around 300, B.C.Several other prominent features grace thelandscape of Antigonea. Near the central Tepelena Castle. Is is build up by Aliagora, an impressive stoa with a covered Pasha in the end of XVIII century in thewalkway measuring 9 X 59 m has been town of Tepelena. The construction of thisexcavated. A paleo-christian basilica with a monument is finished in the year 1819.triangular design dating back to the sixth It has an area of 4 - 5 ha and it is protectedcentury C.E., boasts extensive mosaics by three towers. The height of the wallsdepicting a variety of historical subjects. arrives to 10 meters. The eastern entrance is called “Porta e Vezirit”. Here there is an inscription .64
  63. 63. GJIROKASTRA COUNTY The Bazaar of Gjirokastra (Pazari i Gjirokastrës). The urban location of this site indicates that the bazaar belongs to the 17th century. Gjirokastra’s old bazaar is situated on the top of the Castle hill, where even today the site is known as the “The Old Bazaar”. According to Elvia Çelebiu, around 1771 - 1772 the old bazaar started gradually relocating towards the city center, where it actually exists. At the end of the 19th century, a destructive fire collapsed the entire bazaar. After this tragedy, the bazaar was rebuilt again according to contemporary architectural standards. Changes were made to the original urban plan to reconstruct the bazaar with fragmented blocks and steps, due to the rugged terrain. The top front of the shops are made of wooden and metallic eaves, while later, the entrances ofGjirokastra castle, is mentioned for the the shops were closed with metallic rollerfirst time as a city and a castle in 1336. In curtains. The narrow streets of the bazaarthese years it was the center for Albanian spread out from a small city center into fivefeudalists family of Zenebishëve. Later, different directions. Every street is lined upduring the lordship of Gjin Bue Shpata, with fragmented blocks of was included in the Despotate of Epir.According to them, the castle underwenttwo construction phases, the first oneduring the Gjin Bue Shpata rule andlater in the 19th century during the AliPasha of Tepelena regime, who in 1812,occupied the fortress accommodatingthere a garrison of 5,000 soldiers. The castleincluded various underground storehouses,which were used to secure munitions andfood storage. Chronicles of the periodmention that 1,500 people worked on theconstruction of Ali Pasha’s castle. Duringthe First and the Second World Wars, thecastle served as a bomb shelter for thetown habitants. 65
  64. 64. GJIROKASTRA COUNTYThe habitation “Zenaja of Zekatëve”. The The habitation of Zekatëve has three yards.habitation has been through two phases In the yard from the west is building,of housing. The first phase is during the Zapanaja, a subsidiary construction andyear 1811-1812 and the second phase a grass depot. One habitation is a variantis about of the beginning of XX century. marked in two cantilevers. By reason ofThe habitation of Zekatëve is been the rocky slanting land, whereon lift of,constantly utilized for Habitation until 90’s. the habitation in the over floor widen backIn nowadays it is unutilized. Zapanaja, a while eastern cantilever is three-storied,subsidiary construction inside to the space whereas western cantilever is four-storied.of the first yard today is habitable. The In its design the habitation separatedhabitation of Zekateve is one of the typical in three complex, that central, courierrepresentatives and in the same time is and two lateral with equal operation.very mature of Gjirokastra habitation, a The ground floor and the first of easternpet model in typology of the habitation cantilever are uninhabited. In the centralAlbanian civilization of century XVIII-XIX. part emanate the stairs, in the eastern cantilever is katoi, whereas in the western is the mainland for the accumulation of rainy water, with the taking of water by the courier spaces that dominated under divan. Over that is made theonly space for enshrine the products of food, cellar of zahirese. The mezzanine formed by two settings, which the family spend the winter. The last floor is more marked because widen at the mezzanine with two alcoves for cooking, one for each floor. Also, in the central part, the pervious garret with kiosk it has been add the plane of kamariese incumbent over a pillar crowing with a cantilever and arch system. In the western cantilever is built the guest-room while in the left side are two habitant alcove. The habitation descry for design alluvial in altitudes, axis monumental view and to manage connection with building plot. In the axis more processed view, the design appears as a dynamic, fattened by gouts almost unvoiced in the upstairs with full light and elements. Inside, with asset furnish architectonic, the guest-room descry forepart, with the special ceiling in66
  65. 65. GJIROKASTRA COUNTYthe side of arch. The two ceilings descry for churches of Kosturi and Ohri at that time.trappings with rosettes and border, partly In the out appearance the church is createdpainted florae figured, like as girdle with using kluasonazh style similar to the otherplane of shelf and tumbler of decorative churches of Southern Albania.smokestack. In the present condition thehabitation of Zekatëve doesn’t presentproblems for serious intervention ofrestoration. In this county you may visit also the Ethnographic Museum of Gjirokastra, the churches of Saint Mary in Leusë and Kosinë, near the town of Përment, the Libovoha Castle, (XVIII century), the Holy Virgin Monastery in Goranxi, (Region of Dropulli), the Tekke of Melani (close to Libohova), etc.The Church of Saint Mary in Labova eKryqit. The church of Saint Mary in theLabova of the Cross is of the style of aninside-written cross with roof of provincialByzantine type. Inside are used archesof two floors that carry the roof andmaking thus reference to the to some ofKostandinopoje churches. The originatetime is still undetermined in lack of writtendocuments but voices confirm as theoriginate date the XVIII-XIV based this tothe volume and plain similarity with the 67
  66. 66. The Church of Leusa
  67. 67.“Abdi Toptani” Str., No.4, AL 1010 Tirana, ALBANIA, Tel: +355 42 273 778, Tel/Fax: +355 42 260 224