Albanian Cultural Heritage

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We wish to greet you most sincerely, happy that you have choose to visit our country. Albania is an attractive tourist destination, not only because of its varying landscapes, but also due to its rich cultural and historical treasures. Albania is located in a very important section of Balkan Peninsula, facing the ancient Rome and on the way from this capital of the world in that time toward the Byzantium (Istanbul). Many conquerors passed through this region, leaving the traces of their culture. The traces of Hellenes, Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, Venetians and modern Italians, are more or less visible in nowadays. Funs of archaeology will marvel at the mystic atmosphere of Burtinti or will enjoy the beautiful panorama of the ancient Apolonia in the western plain of Albania. They will have the opportunity to touch the ruins of many other objects and to experience our Archaeological parks. The typical architecture of Berat and Gjirokastra have been highly evaluated during the centuries by different visitors who passed through Albania.

The country is also the home of several castle ranges starting since the Illyrian period until the Middle Age. A complex of Byzantine and post Byzantine churches, monasteries with valuable frescoes and icons, old bridges, mosques and other monuments will enrich your visit in Albania. The importance of Culture in Albania has been honored by the UNESCO, which has included three of the country places in its World Cultural Heritage List. The particularity and uniqueness of Albania is its permanent live connection to its rich past and its cultural heritage, while it keeps vibrantly in peace with contemporary life, echoing its spiritualism and its presence in the European cultural environment. In this brochure you will find a summary of the most important object to be visited during your stay in our country.


ALBANIAN CULTURAL HERITAGEA selection of the most important cultural monuments, in twelve counties of Albania

SHKODRA COUNTYRozafa Castle The Tumuli Burials of Shtoj Sarda The Lead Mosque Mesi Bridge Historic Museum Marubi Atelier of Photography

SHKODRA COUNTYShkodra is one of the most significant ancient cities in northwestern Albania. It was founded in the 4th century B.C. as the centre of the Illyrian tribe of the Labeates. Under the rule of the Illyrian king Gent, it became the capital of the Illyrian kingdom. Coins from this period of prominence have been discovered in Shkodra. In 168 B.C., it was occupied by the Romans and eventually becoming part of Claudius empire. In 395 A.C., Shkodra became the centre of the Byzantine Prevalis province, following centuries of substantial political power, Shkodra came under 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 Shtoj

The Tumuli Burials of Shtoj. The Plain of Shtoj is situated about 5 km to the northeast of the city of Shkodra, in the vicinity of the villages of Boks and Drago, on the western side of the Kir River. The excavated tumuli, or burial mounds, appear to have been used for centuries; from the Early Bronze Age until the Late Iron Age. Most of the unearthed features of these tumuli are artifacts of the Iron Age, specifically from the 7th - 5th centuries B.C.


SHKODRA COUNTYThe most important monument to visit in Shkodra is the Rozafa Castle, which rises on a rocky hill to the west of Shkodra. It is surrounded by the waters of three rivers, Buna, Drini and Kiri. Rozafa is one of the major castles in Albania and the most important tourist attraction in Shkodra. The castle dates back to Illyrian era, when the Latin historian Titus Livius named it the stronghold of the Labeats (Illyrian tribe on the shores of Lake Shkodra). The Illyrian queen, Teuta, used it as a base in the war against Rome. The Clock Tower, Kulla e Inglizit

Rozafa Fortress


SHKODRA COUNTYMesi Bridge. At northeast of Shkodra, where river Drin divides the fields from the hillside of Drishti and the Cukalis highland, there is a stone bridge with many arches that is named after the village near it. The monument is one of the biggest of its kind in Albania, constructed around the 18th century by Mehmet Pasha Bushtalliu, who governed his province winsomely by assuring this important port region an intensive trade development with the west. The bridge made possible the transport of carriages and agricultural products from the farmers living in the highland area to the Adriatic coast. The form and the direction of the track were defined from the cliffs massif and the water flow variations. The track was done with causeway and reaches a length of about 120 meters. It is sustained by 13 cantilevers and it makes a turn 5 m away from the central cantilever in a 15 degree angle. The arch is combined with two discharger windows, which differently from the arch dont have a circle form. The replacement of the old bridge, which often was submerged from the rivers flow, added other cantilevers at both of the two sides. The bridges width is 3.4 meters and the track has the form of a staircase


SHKODRA COUNTYIn the city of Shkodra you may visit also the Historic Museum and the Marubi Atelier of Photography. The ruins of a castle dating back on the 6th - 8th century B.C., are found on the island. The islands main attraction is the residence 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 differs the unique monument from the other mosques constructed and conceived based on a typical Arabic architectural style.

The ruins of the medieval town of Sarda are found in an island, located on the artificial lake of Vau i Dejs. The lake covers an area of 24.7 hectares. Sarda is on the Shurdhahu Island, 35 km away from Shkodra.

Sarda, at the island of Shurdhahu


The Historic Museum

LEZHA COUNTYLezha Castle The Memorial of Scanderbeg The Church of Rubik The Church of St. Anthony of Padua in La

LEZHA COUNTYThe 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 is constructed at the burial place of Scanderbeg. It it inaugurated in the year 1981 over the ruins of the Church of San Nikolas in the town of Lezha. After the invasion of Lezha from the ottomans they destroyed the church and the tomb of Scanderbeg too. The church was reconstructed in the beginning of XX Century. Inside the memorial are displayed the emblems of Feudal Families of Albanian during the period of Scanderbeg . There is also a copy of his sword and helmet.

Interesting places to visit are the ruins of the Ottoman buildings inside the castle, the mosque, the tower of the south-eastern wall with a Roman arch, and the Illyrian 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 Scanderbeg



The Church of St. Anthony of Padua in La (Kisha e Shn Anoit). This church is located close to the town of Lai, (3 km far away). Its name is for the honor of Saint Anthony of Padua. He is a catholic saint who was born in Lisbon and who died in Padua. This church is famous for the biggest catholic pilgrimage held in Albania. The peak of this ceremony is organized at 13 of June. This church is build up in the year 1557.

The Church of Saint Anthony of Padua The Church of Rubik. The church of Rubik is located in the top of a rocky hill overlooking the small town of Rubik in northwestern part of Albania. The church represents one of the most important religious 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


The Memorial of Scanderbeg

DIBRA COUNTYGrazhdani Castle Ethnographic Museum of Dibra Historic Museum of Mat

DIBRA COUNTYGrezhdani Castle. This castle is located 11 km in southeast of the town of Peshkopia, not far from the village of Maqellar. It is proclaimed as historical monument since the year 1963. This castle belongs to the IV century during the late roman period. This monument has an area of 34 hectares. During the middle ages it was supposed to be the Stefigradi castle, which was under the control of national hero Scanderbeg. It has a strategic position linking the region of Dibra with Kosova and Macedonia. The United States government has given a grant for its preservation. Historic Museum of Mat. It is opened in the year 1983 in the town of Burreli. This museum it gives a description of historical records of Mati region. The most interesting object is a layout of powder production, for which the region of Mati has been well mentioned.

Grezhdani Castle The Ethnographic Museum of Dibra. It is located in Elez Isufi boulevard in the town of Peshkopia. The objects of this museum are housed in a house with traditional architecture. There are round 2.000 objects displayed to the visitors. The items include a complex of national folk dresses, rugs and carpets, different arms since the Illyrian period, coins etc. The typical albanian house (kulla), close to Klosi


KUKSI COUNTYThe towers of Bujan The Turbe of Dervish Luzha

KUKSI COUNTYThe towers of Mic Sokoli and Sali Mani in Bujan. This two traditional towers are located in the village of Bujan, few km south of Bajram Curri. They are cultural monuments. The village of Bujan is mentioned as a dwelling place since the XIV century. Mic Sokoli was born in Bujan. He was a notable fighter of the Albanian League of Prizren. He died in the battle of war against the ottoman forces in 1881. The next tower of Sali Mani is the place where the Conference of Bujan is 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 Kuks). 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 Dervish Luzha in the village of Luzha, located in southeast of Bajram Curri. This is a religions monument of bektashi sect .

An Illyrian settlement has been unearthed in Rosuj, 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.


DURRSI COUNTYAncient Durrachium Albanopolis Early Christian Basilica of Shn Mhill The Bazaar of Kruja The Ethnographic Museum of Kruja

DURRSI COUNTYThe earliest historical reference to the city of Durrs is from 627, B.C.E. The modern city is built on top of the ruins of the ancient Epidamnos or Dyrrachion, which became known as Dyrrachium in the Roman period. According to Thucydides, the city was colonized by Corcyreans and Corinthians, who named the city Epidamnos. The founder was Phalius, from Corinth and a descendant of Heracles. The earliest coins of Epidamnos, dating back from the first half of the 5th century B.C.E., were marked with symbols of Corinthian origin. Another account, by the historian Appian, indicates that a non-Greek king named Epidamnos lived in the area before the Greeks arrived. He built the first city and named it after himself. Dyrrhachos was his grandson and the city was later named after him. Epidamnos was involved in the Peloponnesian War, and following the war the name was changed to Dyrrachion. The war led to many political and architectural changes in the city. Trade with the Illyrians flourished during the ensuing years. Many Illyrian tombs are discovered in the city cemeteries, indicating that this period of time was characterized by a significant cultural exchange and that the people were moving freely between the regions. Dyrrachium was the battlefield between the legions of Caesar and Pompey during the Civil War of 49 - 48, B.C.E. The city sustained damages as a result. In the year 30 B.C.E., Dyrrachium became a Roman colony and was named Colonia Iulia Augusta Dyrrachinorum.


DURRSI COUNTYMost 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 Durrsit, (The Beauty of Durrs) 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 citys status as a major trade center was further enhanced by the construction of the Via Egnatia, a roadway linking the Adriatic with Thessaloniki and later, with Constantinople. The largest of all public buildings constructed in Dyrrachium during the 1st and 2nd centuries C.E. is the amphitheater, with a capacity estimated between 15,000 - 20,000 people, situated near the center of the modern city. Other important archaeological finds are the public baths dating back from the 2nd century CE, the remains of a 15km long aqueduct built during the reign of Hadrian, the Byzantine era walls, and the round forum-macellum, built in the 5th - 6th centuries, C.E.

Normans attacked the city in 1071 and then again in 1081 C.E., subsequently attacks by Venetians and later, Ottomans, threatened the citys very existence. In the city of Durrs you may also visit the Archaeological and Ethnographic Museums.


DURRSI COUNTYEarly Christian Basilica of Shn Mhill (Saint Michael) in Arapaj. The ruins of the St. Michael Basilica (Bazilika e Shn Mhillit) were discovered during an archaeological expedition in 1974, which took place 6 km away from the modern city of Durrs. The church is notable for its architectural style, which features three naves, an atrium on the west side, and an impressive mosaic, covering a 54 m surface. The mosaic is almost intact and survives in a surprisingly good condition. Not far from the area some sculptural objects dating back to the 5th - 6th century C.E. were discovered. Many unearthed coins found around the area, indicate that the settlement was in use from 5th - 14th century C.E. In 1081, the Byzantine soldiers fleeing from the Norman invasion sought refuge in this church, which later was burnt to the ground by the invaders.

The Bazaar of Kruja is under protection 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.


DURRSI COUNTYEthnographic Museum of Kruja is one of the most visited museum in the country. Is housed inside the walls of castle of Kruja and it is known as one of the most organized museums of Albania. It is opened in 1989 in a traditional house of notable Toptani family, built up in 1794. The construction is classified as the first class building it is big house with two floor and with a total of 15 rooms together with a garden. We would like to stress that 90 per cent of the objects are displayed in this museum are original. Some of these objects are 500 years old. Here the visitor will have the opportunity to see the guest room and living room (with a separate section of women) the children room , the turkish bath , the kitchen with its equipment, olive oil processing tools, the smithy etc. In this museum there are also displayed the different clothes. There are both Catholic and Moslem costumes. Pottery, wood works. Silk, cotton and wool works are displayed. In the county of Durrsi you may visit the Scanderbeg Museum of Kruja, housed inside the castle. You may visit the church of Saint Anthony in Rodon and the ruins of a castle, also in Rodon.

Albanopolis (Zgrdhesh). The ancient town is located in the vicinity of the modern town of Kruja. It has been hypothesized that the Illyrian castle of Zgrdhesh may actually be the site of the ancient city, Albanopolis, capital of the Albans, from whom the present day country is named. The city was built on a hill and covers an area of approximately 10 ha. Protective walls once measuring 1,400 m but presently only 90 m are visible and survive relatively intact. The large acropolis dominates approximately one third of the area that was once enclosed within the walls. Among the items unearthed at the site is the small marble statue of Artemis, which is particularly beautiful. The ancient city flourished for three or four centuries but then was eventually abandoned around the second century C.E.


The Amphitheater of Durrsi The Amphithea of Durrsi

TIRANA COUNTYThe Prsqop Fortress The Tirana Mosaic Kapllan Pashas 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

TIRANA COUNTYThe Prsqop 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 Naim Frashri Street. It is the oldest object found in Tirana, and it is thought to have been part of the floor of a Roman villa from the 3-rd century A.D. Later the place was used as a site for the construction of a paleoChristian church. It is also known by the name of The mosaic of the Church of Saint Georges Spring.

The Tunners bridge (Ura e Tabakeve) it is a small stone bridge located in Jeanne DArc 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 to visit the biggest and the most important museums in Albania as are the National Historic Museum and the Archaeological Museum, the Mosque of Ethem Bey, the walls of Justinian Castle with newly excavations, etc. In the region of Kavaja you may visit also the Church of eta near the village of Zig Xhafaj and the Ethnographic Museum of Kavaja.


TIRANA COUNTYKapllan Pashas Turbe (Tomb) is located on 28 Nntori Street in Tirana. It is part of a monumental cemetery complex of the first Tirana Mosque, which was destroyed during the Second World War. The complex included six other monumental graves of the same type, but with varying dimensions. The only tomb remaining today is that of Kapllan Pasha, a former ruler of Tirana. The tomb is a monumental grave with an octagonal structure and 4 m high. The Kapllan Pashas remains were later exhumed 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 the Bashtova village, about 3-4 km to the north of the Shkumbini River estuary. The castle was built in the 15th century and was used by the Venetians. In the past the Bashtova region was known as a river harbour on the Shkumbini River and as a centre for the export of grains. The castle has a rectangular shape, 60 x 90 meters. The western part of the castle was rebuilt in the 18th century. Its walls are 9 meters high. The Bashtova Castle


Petrela Castle

ELBASANI COUNTYThe 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

ELBASANI COUNTYThe Elbasani Castle. Its a field castle in the city of Elbasan. It is firstly referred by Cristobel, Second Mehemet historian. In XVIII century, the city was visited from ottomans chronicler, Evlia Celepiu, who described in details the castle. During Austrian evasion the castle became object of full studies. The Austrians archaeologists, Prashniker and Shcober, who visited the castle during First World War and noticed that under medieval walls has fortifications of antique period. The castle has quadrangular shape with 308 x 48 m dimensions. Today we keep saved only 8 towers from 26 that have been in the very beginning of its construction. During the late antique period the city within the castle named Skampini, started its life as inhabited centre in so called Egnatia street. The reconstruction of castle is done by Turkeys for strategic purposes. Even today the castle is still habituated. Inside her we can still find very important Muslimism cult objects as well as Christians ones.

The Monastery of Saint John Vladimir (Shn Gjon Vladimiri) in Shijon. This monastery is located only 4 km away form Elbasan. It was build up in the year 1381 by Albanian prince Karl Topia, who 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.


ELBASANI COUNTYThe Roman road station of Ad Quintium is located in Bradashesh village in the vicinity of the modern city of Elbasan. The excavations here are ongoing. Based on the construction techniques found, this site dates from the 2nd - 4th centuries C.E.

The church of Saint Nicolas in Shelcan (Kisha e Shn Nikolls). This church is located in the village of Selcan in the region of Shpati, south-east of Elbasan. This monument has valuable frescoes painted by Onufri, the famous Albanian painter of XVI century, .

In the county of Elbasan you may visit the Ethnographic Museum of Elbasan, the Peqini Caslte (XV century), the churches of Good Friday (Shn e Premtes) in Valsh (the region of Shpat) and the Church of Saint Nicolas (XVIII century) in Grabova, Gramsh.


The Naziresha Mosque

KORA COUNTYThe Tumuli Burials of Kamenica The Monumental Tombs of Selca e Poshtme 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

KORA COUNTYThe Tumuli Burials of Kamenica. Kamenica is situated in the southern part of Kora, along the national road linking Kora with Erseka. This is one of the most important representative monuments of the Albanian prehistory. Visiting the site you will have the chance to get acquainted with the life of the prehistoric community, in the period between XIII-VI centuries B.C.

The basilica, where the mosaics are to be found, is located in the village of Lin, in a distance of 22 km north of Pogradec.. They dates back to VI century A.D. and have different motives (floral, geometrical etc.). They are similar with other mosaics found in Durrs.

The Monumental Tombs of Selca e Poshtme (Lower Selca). The 2,400 year old tombs are located 40 km from the modern city of Pogradec. Selca was a town founded by the Illyrian tribe of Desartes in the 6th century BC. It is thought that Pelion was the residence of Illyrian king Klit 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.


KORA COUNTYGoliku Bridge is part of the medieval bridges with a hunch, or hump upon the main cantilever. It lift up on two circled vaults that are divided from a discharger window. Along the causeway the bridge has a length of 37 meters and the vault latitude is 2,8 meters. The big vault has a light area of 7,4 meter and at height from the water of 9.4 meters, and a latitude of 90 centimeters. At the big vaults end, are situated the holes with 20x20 centimeters, for the gripping of the cribs balk. The right vault has an opening of 6.3 meters and a thickness of 75 centimeters. The discharger window has an opening of 1,2 meters and heightens about 3 meters. The causeway was done with river stones, with brace girdles each 1,2 meters and have a right incline of 16%, and 11% left incline. The vaults were done with scale stone and the front walls with limy and stuff stones.

The Ristozi Church of Mbroje in Kora, is composed by the naos, a porch that lies in the western and in the southern part. The church planimetry is an inscribed cross-type. In the eastern wall we find the semicircular abside, with an arched nike. 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 crosss 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.


KORA COUNTYThe Churches of Voskopoja. Voskopoja is a mountain village, perched at the height 1200 meters above sea level, 21 km west of Kora. Once upon a time it was a prominent city with 24 churches and monasteries, culminating in the middle of the 18th century. Only seven of these twenty-four churches survive nowadays. The Church of Saint Michael (Shn Mhilli), 1726 painted by Zoografi brothers.

The Church of Saint Athanas (Shn Thanasi), together with the cemetery, 1724. The church was build up by five masters from Kastoria. The Church of Saint Ilias (Shn Ilia) and the Church of Saint Mary (Shn Mria), 1722. These are the Monastery of Saint Prodhom built in 1632, the Church of Saint Nicolas (Shn Kolli), 1721. The famous masters of iconography, David Selenicasi and the Zoografi brothers painted the frescoes of the church.


KORA COUNTYVithkuqi is a mountain village in the district of Kora, 26 km south-west of the city. In the XVII century Vithkuqi was an important urban center with 27 churches.

The site is wellknown for the churches of Saint Michael (Shn Mhillit) XVIII century, together with the cemetery, the Saint Peter Church (Shn Pjetri), the Saint Paul Church (Shn Pavlli). The famous Zoografi brothers painted the frescoes of the churches of Saint Michael and Saint Peter.

In the county of Kroa 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 Kora there are several museums. You may pay a visit to the Prehistoric Museum, the Museum of Education, the Museum of Medieval Arts, the Museum House of a notable painter, Vangjush Mio, the Museum of Oriental Art Collection, Bratko etc. In the city of Kora you may visit also the Mosque of Ilias Bey Mirahori , which is the oldest monument of the city.


The Maligradi Island

BERATI COUNTYDimal The Saint Triad Church The Red Mosque The Gorica Quarter Home Gorica Bridge The Ethnographic Museum

BERATI COUNTYDimal. The first excavations began at this site in 1963. Since that time, a 30 m long stoa (covered walkway) has been unearthed. The monument clearly resembles to the stoa of Apollonia, indicating the strong links between these two cities. Many stamped tiles have been found, bearing the names of the workshop owners but also the word DIMALITAN indicating that the workshops were property of the city. The writer Polybius mentions the role of the city in the Second Illyrian-Roman war, around 218 B.C. An effort was undertaken to further fortify the city at this time. The Roman historian Titus Livius, mentions Dimal again in the events of 205 B.C. when the city was ruled by Romans. Several inscriptions were found during the excavations hinting at the advanced political status of the ancient city. When the Illyrian regent Demeter Fari organized the uprising against Rome after the year 228 B.C., he gathered his army in Dimal. The campaign against him was lead by Roman general Paul Emilius.

The remains of the Red Mosque are found on the south of the upper fortress, near the west surrounding wall of the caste. It is believed that this monumental may be the mosque that when Elvia elebiu talks of the castle, he identifies is as Sultan Bajazitis mosque. This building is formed of the hall of prayers with an almost squareshaped plan and form the vestibule in front of it with the same width. On the left side of the hall is the marinaret. This placing, unlike all the other mosques, seems to be limited from the presence of the boundary wall very close to it, in the southwest. The shrines 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 ebelius 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 its 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.


BERATI COUNTYThe Lead Mosque known as charity of Ahmet Skurs 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 hallcupola 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 arcades and covered with seven cupolas. The left tracks indicate that it lay out of the actual longitude but the new constructions hinder definition of its plan.

The Saint Triad Church. The church built between the second half of 13th century and the beginning of 14th century is the best example of the inscribed cross-type churches with a cupola. Its composition consists of the naos supported on four pillows and narthex built later on. The wings are formed from an archway system and the center is the cupola. The churchs walls are built with stones, pieces of bricks in the lower part and with opus mixtum in the upper part. The interior of the church is covered with mural paintings.


BERATI COUNTYThe Gorica Quarter Home has two floors and a basement. The porch, a crib on the left side and a stere on the right side form the basement. Two pairs of stairs are connected to the balcony at the first floor. The first floor plan shapes like a horseshoe where in the center is the church which is surrounded by the other areas. The house has been through various construction and restoration phases. In the 1st phase the home was of the garret type, where the wooden columns that hold the joist, on which the roof sits, joined in the upper part with a carved wooden pillow.

Later, the house went through three more 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.


BERATI COUNTYGorica Bridge is one of the biggest stone medieval bridges in our country, with a length of 127 meters. In the 13-th century during the war between the Byzantine and the anzhuins, this spot of Osumi was passed only with a raft. In 1670 the Turkish traveler, Evlija elebi mentioned the Osumi bridge with 9 cantilevers, eight wooden bankseats and two cleats. The track was made of wooden joist sawed at the That Mountain in front of it. In 1777, the local lordship Ahmed Kurd Pasha built the Gorica Bridge with stone cantilevers. In December 1888 river Osum damaged Goricas bridge, which suffered another damage during the Firs World War 19141918. The Gorica bridge is made of seven vaults with light openings that vary from 6.7 meters (the first vault right) to 16.5 meters (the second vault right). In six of its bankseats were opened discharger windows, and in five of them there are two smaller windows. The bridge on the Osumi River has linked the administrative center of the city of Berati with the Gorica neighborhood. Gorica Bridge is a seven cantilever bridge, lifted up 10 meters on Osumi River, with a length of 129,3 meters and 5,3 meters wide. This monument was built in 1870 and was reconstructed with the request of Ahmet Kurt Pasha during 1920-1930. Prior to this period, the two sides of Osumi were connected by a wooden bridge. The Turkish traveler Evlia elebiu was very impressed by this monument and made a short, but very interesting description of it; Gorica Bridge had nine cantilevers, which lay upon stone bankseat and oak joints. This monument had a particular interest for the local inhabitants, who preserved with extra care the woods near the neighborhood, where the raw material for the bridge reparation was to be found. Its actual state is due to a total restoration, done on the same spot and on the same fundaments. The monument presents a stone bridge with many vaults, with a flat causeway and inclined ramps in the both sides.


BERATI COUNTYEthnographic Museum of Berat is found in a traditional house, which belongs to the end of XVIII century. The house of Xhokaxhi family is composed with two floors, using as a construction material the stone for the first floor and the wood for the second one. The most attraction part of the house is the garret, which is noted for its high architectural values. The house is a real complex indeed where all the elements such as the garden, the museum complex of the other houses around are a witness of a rich ethnographic culture. In interior setting of the museum there are displayed 1.000 objects, which belong to the area of Berat 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.


BERATI COUNTYThe bridge of Vokopola. In the village of Vokopola, upon the watercourse of oragjafi, near the spring of Ujit t Zi (the Black Water), is found the Bridge of Vokopola. This bridge must have been built during the times of Ali Pash Tepelena and has been considered as the most important point, for connecting the valley of Osumi with the valley of Vjosa. The branch that connected Berati with Tepelena covered these villages: Vokopola-orgjaf-Qafa e Gllavs-Luftinj-Memaliaj. The bridge of Vokopola, is a stone bridge with a big archway, circular segments and two discharge windows. The bridge is 43 meters wide, and includes three arches and two recesses. The pavement of Vokopola bridge, is being constructed with black flagstones, while the archway was built with two rows of stones. The bridge of Vokopola is one of the largest bridges, the most monumental and preserved of this district. The monument has been restored lately and is being used by the inhabitants of the surroundings.

In this county you may visit also the interesting churches in the villages of Kozara and Perondia, close to the town of Kuova.


The Saint Michael Church

FIERI COUNTYApollonia Byllis Nikaia (Klos) Gurzeza The Monastery of Ardenica The monastery of Saint Mary in Pojan

FIERI COUNTYApollonia. Cicero, the famed Roman orator, was captivated by the beauty of Apollonia and in his Philippics, referred to it as magna urbs et gravis, or the great and important city. The ancient city founded in the 7th century B.C., by the Greek settlers from Corinth and Corcyra, is located 11 km west of the modern city of Fier. Apollonia was discovered by a French mission lead by Prof. Leon Rey. Archaeological excavations have shown that Apollonia reached its zenith around the 4th 3rd century B.C. It is estimated that around 60,000 inhabitants lived inside the city gates. The city has a 4 km long wall encircling an area of 137 hectares. Sources depict a flourishing culture, with a busy harbor along this active trading route. Among the most interesting remains are the city council building, the library, the triumphal arch, and the temple of Artemis.

Also noteworthy is the Odeon, which dates on the 2nd century B.C., which at the time accommodated approximately 10,000 spectators, and the 77 m long stoa with its covered walkway. An earthquake in the 3rd century C.E. altered the path of the Vjosa River and caused infrastructural damage. The harbor eventually filled with silt, 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.


FIERI COUNTYByllis. Established in the 3rd century B.C., Byllis once flourished as a political, economic, and cultural center in the region. Governed by a body of civil servants, the introduction of a bronze currency system, and a reputation for having skilled artisans were the hallmarks of this powerful society. The surrounding wall of Byllis is very well preserved. It measures 2,250m long, 3.5m wide and 8 - 9 m high. It surrounds an area of 30 ha, and has a triangular shape. The theater was built in the middle of the 3rd century B.C., and is located in the southeast corner of the agora. The theater exhibits several unique features including a sculpture display area, an immense area with the ability to accommodate an estimated 7,500 spectators. Interestingly, historians believe the design of the individual steps would allow for standing room only.

The adjacent stoa, measuring 60 x 11.4 m, remains partially preserved. The basilica located in the site measures an impressive 33 x 22.8 m. Inside are many examples of mosaics, depicting a variety of subjects. To the south of the basilica lie the remains of a school, which dates from the 3rd 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.


FIERI COUNTYGurzeza. Located near the modern town of Cakran, the site of Gurzeza, 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 Klos is located southeast of the modern city of Fier, near Byllis. The city features a protective wall that is notable for its length, 1850 m, ageing back from 425 B.C. To be noticed is the use of polygonal and trapezoidal blocks in its construction. The single entrance to the city is guarded by three defensive towers. Among the most important archaeological finds are the small theatre, a stoa and the ruins of a stadium. The theatre had a capacity of approximately 900 spectators. On one of the theatre walls, inscriptions granting citizenship to several individuals have been preserved. They date from the 3rd century B.C. The stoa, (or covered walkway) measures 10 x 40 m and has been partially excavated. Life in Nikaia came to an abrupt end in 167 B.C., when the invading armies of Paulus Aemilus ravaged the region.


FIERI COUNTYThe Monastery of Ardenica. The Byzantine Monastery of Ardenica occupies a surface of about 2,500 m2. This monument consists of the Saint Mary Church, the Saint Triad chapel, the konekes, the oil mill, the oven, and the stall. In the center is situated the St. Mary church, which was partly built with pumice stones brought from Apollonia. It occupies a large area; covered by a wooden roof and a flat ceiling. The church is composed of a naos, a narthex, and the two-floor, exo-narthex, which at the end unifies to the 24 meters tall bell-tower. At the south part of the complex is an open portico built with columns and cantilevers. The naos is made of three parts, which are divided in two lines by wooden columns. The naos is divided from the altar by an iconostasis. The church floor is paved with stone tiles, as are the narthex and exo-narthex. In 1743, with the initiative of Berats bishop, Metod, the monastery, including Saint Marys church underwent a restoration. The Saint Triad chapel lies at the northwest part and its dimensions are 7.50 m by 3.70 m. Its entrance is situated in the west part and it has two small windows in the south facade. This chapel was built with pumice stones and its semicircular wall, divides it from a rainwater collection tank. The chapels portal is covered by a stone cantilever. Near the eastern window is a ceramic bassorelief.

The monastery of Saint Mary in Pojan. The monastery of Saint Mary is located within the complex of Apollonia 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.


The Church of Kurjan


VLORA COUNTYAmantia 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

VLORA COUNTYAmantia was the historical capital of the Illyrian tribe of Amanties, which was founded around the 5th century B.C. Its present location is near the village of Plloa in the river valley of Vlora. At its peak, Amantia featured an acropolis and a doric style temple dedicated to Aphrodite. The most notable archeological object among the preserved features is the stadium, measuring 60 X 12.5 m. A significant sculptural object is the basorelief of the God of Fertility, which can bee seen at the National Historic Museum. Additional relics from Amantia are on display at the Archaeological Museum in Tirana.

Finiq (Phoenice) is located near the 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 citys 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 significant Byzantine church can also be observed when visiting this picturesque site.


VLORA COUNTYButrint (Bouthrotos) is located in the southwestern coastline of Albania. The city is separated by a narrow stretch from the Greek island of Corfu. The site has been occupied approximately at the 8th century B.C., but legends hint at the citys foundation by Trojan exiles. By the 4th century B.C., a walled settlement had been established and the city began to develope through trade. Augustus founded a colony at Butrint and the town remained a relatively small Roman port until the 6th century C.E. Following the fall of the Roman Empire, the city shrank in population and significance. Butrint then entered a turbulent period and control of the city was bitterly fought by the Byzantine, Norman, Angevin, and Venetian states. The Ottoman Turks and briefly the French disputed later ownership. By the time it became a part of Albania in 1912, it was virtually deserted. Various archeological efforts began in the 1920s, and continue today. Butrint was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. The ground of Butrint features an impressive array of historically significant archaeological sites. Foremost among them is the theater, which dates from the 4th century B.C. hosting approximately 1,500 spectators. Performances are still staged there at a summer-festival each year. An impressive baptistery (with extensive mosaics) and a basilica from the 6th century C.E. attest to the various occupations of the city. A canal and vestiges of Roman courtyard houses lie near the theater. Additionally, kilometers of imposing walls surround much of the site. Nearby, the recently renovated Butrint Museum houses many fascinating objects unearthed during the various archeological digs. One must travel to the National Historic Museum to view the famous head of Apollo, unearthed by the Italian archaeologist Luigi Maria Ugolini during his excavations in the 1920s.


VLORA COUNTYBehind the Independence Monument Square in Vlora, the remains of a rectangular castle have been excavated. The castle comprised a portion of the ancient city of Aulona and was built in the 4th century C.E. to withstand Gothic invasions. Other finds in the area indicate that it was first settled around the 4th century B.C. The best known find from this period is a sculpture known as the aulonian girl, depicting a girl wearing an Illyrian dress. Historical sources mention Aulona in the 2nd century C.E., in relation to Roman efforts to improve roads in this part of the western Balkans. In various itineraries Aulon is mentioned as a principal stopping place on the main road from Dyrrachium to Butrint. Following the Gothic invasions of the 5th century C.E., an archdiocese was established inside the castle. During the reign of Justinian, the castle was further fortified by his direct orders. Late in the 6th century C.E. Slavs invaded the city, causing widespread damage and an evacuation by many citizens to the island of Sazan, where traces of this settlement have been discovered. The city might have never regained its status, appearing to have diminished significantly in size and importance. Aulona is mentioned again in Byzantine documents, around 1100 C.E.

Treport. Excavations near the Cape of Treport, located in the lagoon of Narta, have revealed traces of an ancient settlement dating from the 7th century B.C. Over the centuries the settlement extended and a new wall was built around it in the 4th century B.E. Between the 4th and 2nd centuries B.C., the city prospered. The original name of the city is unknown, but finds in the area indicate that it might have been called Daulia. The city was mysteriously abandoned after the 2nd century B.C., but this might have been related to the Illyrian-Roman wars.


VLORA COUNTYOrikum (Orikos) is located in southwest Albania, about 40km south of the archaeological site of Apollonia. According to Pliny, the city of Orikum was established by colonists from Colchis. Its geographical position made it an important harbor and a trade center of the Adriatic coast. Orikum was important to military strategists, as well. It was used by the Romans as a defensive base in the wars against the Illyrians as well as in the 3rd century B.C. against the Macedonians, who later occupied it in 214 B.C. Julius Caesar used the area as a troop encampment for several months, until Pompeius Magnus took them. Being subject to such varied cultural influences, Orikum became a thriving urban center. This is evidenced by various archaeological ruins, such as part of an orchestra platform and a small theatre with the capacity of 400 spectators. Additionally, ruins of protective walls and streets can be seen lying underwater in a lagoon. The nearby Marmiroi Church, of Byzantine origin, was commissioned by the emperor Theodore in the 13th century C.E. It has a small 6 m x 9 m main hall and a dome approximately 3 m in diameter that is supported by four Roman arches. Its internal walls feature fragments of murals that reflect various aspects of Byzantine culture. The church has three entrances and is renowned for its elaborate construction and architectural significance. Today Orikum is an important city, which has been part of many regional development programs and has seen a distinct increase in the tourism sector. This is a result of its proximity to the Adriatic Sea and its relative position to other nearby cities.


VLORA COUNTYOnchesmos (Saranda). The name of the ancient town derives from Anchises, the Trojan warrior, whose mythological union with the goddess Aphrodite resulted in a son named Aeneas. Aeneas, along with his father and his son, Ascanius, escaped the sack of Troy, and journeyed throughout the Mediterranean. Dionysos of Halicarnassus calls Onchesmos the Harbor of Anchises, while the Byzantine historian Procopius mentions that Anchises died at Onchesmos. During the 6th century C.E., the towns name changes to Hagia Saranda or Forty Saints. The circumstances of this name change are unclear, but might have been related to the construction of a great basilica overlooking the modern city of Saranda. Various monuments and archaeological finds from the city have been excavated. Among the more impressive finds are the ruins of a synagogue, a portion of a Roman Imperial archway, and the ruins of a late antique house. Also noteworthy are an apsidal building, an Odeon, a cemetery, and an elaborate mosaic, widely known as the Dolphin Pavement.

Porto Palermo Castle. Ali Pasha Tepelena built Porto Palermo castle, located in the Vlora region, in the late 18th century. It has a rectangular shape with four bastions in its corners. Along the terraces parapet is a positioned loophole for canons. The inner space is made of halls, stores and other areas. In its central part are positioned stone stairs that lead to the terrace. Walls protect the entire environment with gun loopholes on the front and on the side. On the outside, in the archway entrance, is a stone balcony in a cantilever form.


VLORA COUNTYMuradie 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) in the region of Tepelena, south Albania. He is consider the greatest architect of the classical period of Ottoman architecture and is often compared to Michelangelo. Muradie Mosque is the only object that has remained form this master in Albania.

The Monastery of Saint Nicolas in Mesopotam. This beautiful monument is located in the village of Mespotam, not far from the turist city of Saranda. It a very good accessibility because is on the national road linking Saranda with Gjirokastra. It is a Byzantine church which is reconstructed two time in the years 1793 and 1843. The main characteristic of the monastery, is its distinctive defense features. The fortified wall surrounding the monastery includes rectangular towers. Being located near the National Park of Butrint, could attract numerous visitors.


VLORA COUNTYThe fortified settlement of Karos is located near the village of Qeparo along the Qeparo River. In a location clearly chosen for its natural defenses, the fortress is situated atop a hill. Approaches from nearly all directions would require a difficult climb up a rocky slope. The original defense walls apparently had only one entrance. The present status of the walls is a mere shadow of what it used to be, but still extending for 350 m and is approximately 3 m thick. It varies in height, but achieves a maximum of 1.5 m in its ruined state. Two structures behind the entrance gate would have provided additional barriers for attackers and suggest just how heavily fortified this location once was. Origins of the settlement are unknown, but artifacts unearthed during the archaeological dig represent a wide range of inhabitants from the Early Iron Age to the 4th century C.E. The towers of Dervish Aliu, in Dukati

The county of Vlora is very rich with other objects. We should mention a range of orthodox churches alongside the Albanian Riviera as are the Chuch of Saint Mary of Mesodhia in Vuno (1783), the Church of Saint Spiridhoni in Vuno (1778), the Chuch of Ipapandia in Dhrmi, the Church of Saint Mary of Athali in Himara. The traditional houses of Odise Kasneci in Vuno and Lilo LLazari in Himara. The Church of Qeparoi


VLORA COUNTYOther monument in the district of Vlora includes the Church of Marmiroi (XIII century) close to Orikum, the towers of Dervish Aliu in the village of Dukat, the castle of Kanina, the Gjon Boari Castle in the village of Tragjas. While in the district of Saranda you may visit the ruins of the monastery of 40 Saints close to Saranda, the Lkursi Castle (2 km south of Saranda), the small castle at the entrance of Vivari channel near Burtint etc. The Lkursi Castle

As regards the museums, in the city of Vlora you may visit the Museum of Independence, the Ethnographic and Historic Museums. The Kanina Castle


The Church of Marmiroi


GJIROKASTRA COUNTYAntigonea Hadrianopolis The Tepelena Castle The Bazaar of Gjirokastra The habitation of Zenaja of Zekatve The Church of Saint Mary in Labova e Kryqit The Tekke of Melani The Libovoha Castle The church of Saint Mary in Leuse

GJIROKASTRA COUNTYThe Ancient city of Antigonea lies on the east side of the Drinos Valley, near the modern day village of Saraqinisht. The ruins of an extraordinary wall, which measures approximately 4 km in length, surround it. Not long ago, the significance of the site was unknown. Excavations spanning the last fifty years, however, have positively identified the site through the discovery of a bronze tesserae inscribed with the word ANTINEN. Discovered coins from many once-powerful regional economies hint at the thriving trade that once fueled this civilization. The historical origins of the city are unclear, but literary sources suggest that Antigonea was founded either by King Antigonos Gonatas of Macedonia or, more probably, by the Molossian King, Pyrrhus, around 300, B.C. Several other prominent features grace the landscape of Antigonea. Near the central agora, an impressive stoa with a covered walkway measuring 9 X 59 m has been excavated. A paleo-christian basilica with a triangular design dating back to the sixth century C.E., boasts extensive mosaics depicting a variety of historical subjects. Hadrianopolis. Located in the Drino River Valley near Gjirokastr, this city was known as Adrianopolis in Roman times. The site features a theatre which could accommodate approximately 4,000 spectators. It was excavated in 1984.

Tepelena Castle. Is is build up by Ali Pasha in the end of XVIII century in the town of Tepelena. The construction of this monument is finished in the year 1819. It has an area of 4 - 5 ha and it is protected by three towers. The height of the walls arrives to 10 meters. The eastern entrance is called Porta e Vezirit. Here there is an inscription .


GJIROKASTRA COUNTYThe Bazaar of Gjirokastra (Pazari i Gjirokastrs). The urban location of this site indicates that the bazaar belongs to the 17th century. Gjirokastras 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 elebiu, 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 of the shops were closed with metallic roller curtains. The narrow streets of the bazaar spread out from a small city center into five different directions. Every street is lined up with fragmented blocks of buildings.

Gjirokastra castle, is mentioned for the first time as a city and a castle in 1336. In these years it was the center for Albanian feudalists family of Zenebishve. Later, during the lordship of Gjin Bue Shpata, it was included in the Despotate of Epir. According to them, the castle underwent two construction phases, the first one during the Gjin Bue Shpata rule and later in the 19th century during the Ali Pasha of Tepelena regime, who in 1812, occupied the fortress accommodating there a garrison of 5,000 soldiers. The castle included various underground storehouses, which were used to secure munitions and food storage. Chronicles of the period mention that 1,500 people worked on the construction of Ali Pashas castle. During the First and the Second World Wars, the castle served as a bomb shelter for the town habitants.


GJIROKASTRA COUNTYThe habitation Zenaja of Zekatve. The habitation has been through two phases of housing. The first phase is during the year 1811-1812 and the second phase is about of the beginning of XX century. The habitation of Zekatve is been constantly utilized for Habitation until 90s. In nowadays it is unutilized. Zapanaja, a subsidiary construction inside to the space of the first yard today is habitable. The habitation of Zekateve is one of the typical representatives and in the same time is very mature of Gjirokastra habitation, a pet model in typology of the habitation Albanian civilization of century XVIII-XIX. The habitation of Zekatve has three yards. In the yard from the west is building, Zapanaja, a subsidiary construction and a grass depot. One habitation is a variant marked in two cantilevers. By reason of the rocky slanting land, whereon lift of, the habitation in the over floor widen back while eastern cantilever is three-storied, whereas western cantilever is four-storied. In its design the habitation separated in three complex, that central, courier and two lateral with equal operation. The ground floor and the first of eastern cantilever are uninhabited. In the central 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 in


GJIROKASTRA COUNTYthe side of arch. The two ceilings descry for trappings with rosettes and border, partly painted florae figured, like as girdle with plane of shelf and tumbler of decorative smokestack. In the present condition the habitation of Zekatve doesnt present problems for serious intervention of restoration. churches of Kosturi and Ohri at that time. In the out appearance the church is created using kluasonazh style similar to the other churches of Southern Albania.

In this county you may visit also the Ethnographic Museum of Gjirokastra, the churches of Saint Mary in Leus and Kosin, near the town of Prment, 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 e Kryqit. The church of Saint Mary in the Labova of the Cross is of the style of an inside-written cross with roof of provincial Byzantine type. Inside are used arches of two floors that carry the roof and making thus reference to the to some of Kostandinopoje churches. The originate time is still undetermined in lack of written documents but voices confirm as the originate date the XVIII-XIV based this to the volume and plain similarity with the


The Church of Leusa

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