Sunday, June 4, 2023

Skanderbeg Castle in Kruja Albania

Built during 1190, in Kruja, this city that had later become the capital of the first autonomous Albanian state in the Middle Ages. Kruja Castle is the oldest castle in the entire Albanian territory. This elliptical castle with a perimeter of 804 meters, occupies an area of 2.5 hectares of land and is built on a rocky hill. It is also ranked as one of the best castles in the whole world.

Kruja Castle is built on a rocky ridge detached from Mount Sarisalltëk and the surrounding hilly formations. It connects with the latter only on the northeast side, where the main entrance to the castle is located. One of the features of the Kruja castle is the way it is supplied with water, which has made it never suffer from lack of water. Within the territory of the castle, in the rock flows an underground spring, which emerges at the foot of its eastern wall.

This fountain, still used today in a fountain, has been surrounded by a system of walls and towers. This was also the reason for naming this city Kruja and then the castle “Kruja Castle”. The castle has an architectural structure which is unique and never seen before. The materials which are used for the construction of the castle are mainly stone and concrete. This is also due to the stability that the castle should have, given that the time when it was built was a time of invasions by the enemies of Albania, specifically by the Ottoman Empire.

This castle has an interesting construction project with parts which places are raised higher and have a square shape, as well as other parts of the castle which are round in shape and are located at a lower level with the ground. Now this place is one of the most visited places by tourists, and at the same time a historical monument that all Albanians should be proud of.

Archaeological excavations prove that in Kruja there was an Illyrian settlement, since the III century BC. The village of Zgërdhesh, located about 4 km from Kruja, is thought to have been the “Albanopolis” mentioned by the geographer and astronomer from Alexandria, Ptolemy, in the 2nd century AD.

Archaeological excavations of 1978 prove that the hill has been inhabited since the III century p.e.s while the castle was erected in the V-VI century e.r. The first document that mentions the castle of Kruja is that of the act of the ecclesiastical synod, which was held in the Church of St. Sophia in Constantinople, in November 879



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