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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

SCUBA Diving Albania - Sirens Bay, Monestery Beach Reef, Ali Tepelena Island 7/2012

SCUBA Diving Albania Part 1 - Fisherboat and Probitas Wrecks

My first two SCUBA dives in Albania:
1 - The Fisherboat wreck was a fishing boat that sank in the bay of Saranda in the 1960s or 1970s during a storm.
2 - The Probitas wreck was an Italian ship sent to evacuate troops from Albania after Italy surrendered to the Allies. The Nazis sank the ship in the bay of Saranda.
Music: Aleksander Gjoka - Kenget e Rinise

3 - Sirens Bay - Rock reef, small cave, arch
4 - Monestery Beach Reef - Rock reef, grass
5 - Ali Tepelena Island - Wall reef and cave, remains of ancient ship wrecks.

Music: Xhamadani vija vija (Proud to be Albanian) - Iliret Kenga Origjinale

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Albania tourism in the eyes of Al Jazeera's


 Tirana - Published: October 27.2012 - 16:58
Albanian tourism has been the focus of a report broadcast on international television, Al Jazeera. Albanian beauties south coast have captivated and this television journalists who were stopped in Saranda.

For most of the Balkans, Albania is a country rock full of bunkers. But some areas of the country are completely different gjë.Aq unlike prejudices, as they lure Al Jazeera television, which carried a report on two blue seas and sandy beaches.

This report begins by Saranda, the city that bears the name of the center of the Albanian tourism. At the time of the dictatorship of Enver Hoxha, the southern city was the destination of the rich youth. Today the number of tourists from the Balkans, Europe and around the world, has increased significantly.

"The structure of the tourists who come to Saranda is varied. This year we stayed here nearly 500 thousand tourists, nearly half of them were foreigners, who come from many countries around the world. Saranda Saranda is not only real, or Albania. But is wealth the Balkans, Europe would say beyond ", says Stefan Cipa, Saranda mayor.

Albania's main goal is to join the European Union and the exit from the ranks of weaker economies. This road passes exactly through the Ionian Adriatic beaches. "Tourism in Albania is one of the most important sectors of the economy, which is slowly bearing fruit. This year, tourism falls to 6.1 percent of GDP brito vendit.Ky is a big step for us," said Al Jazeera Brikena Arapi, director of the National Tourism Agency.

Al Jazeera

Saturday, October 27, 2012

VILLAGE ZHULAT GJIROKASTER - Albania, SOME VIEWS interesting for a guide in your traveling low-cost in Albania .....


Zhulat is a village in South Albania, in south east Europe, on the road Tepelenë - Gjirokastër. It is part of the municipality Cepo. It played a significant role in the creation of the Albanian Nation.

Papa Zhuli-law of Laberia, although originating from ancient folk tradition ascribes Canon Papa Julie by Zhulati, shek.XI, who was speaking as chief of Kurveleshit priest known by the Normans during the invasion of(1081). Figure Papa Julie belongs to the Byzantine time, which indicates that Canon Laberia tracks found since then and have operated in practice alongside Byzantine monokanonit. For this legend has also written Eqrem Vlore (Shejzat 1957), although there is still no written documentation found.
Petro Zhulati

Contents
1 Notable personalities
1.1 Petro Zhulati
1.1.1 Original version (Albanian)
1.1.2 English version
1.2 Rakip Gjoca I
1.3 Mersin Gjoca
2 External links
Notable personalities

Zhulati is a village in the south of the country in the western part of Gjirokastra axis-axis lies in width gejografike 40 ° 07'11 "north and longitude 19 ° 59'20" east. Adrimistativisht by Zhulati depend White Field-and Field-alder This village is remarkable for a prominent position patriotic.
Content
Old chronicles slime village, once he mentioned the name Julius, somewhere Jules, somewhere different. Byzantine rulers and later Venetians, not so much for self Zhulatin, but more properties Zhulatit residents along the Ionian coast, valley areas Rrëzomës, all prosperous Delvinës Basin.
Turkish historian Evliya Çelebi, writes that Zhulati located in a remote mountainous area, has 200 houses located near a natural fortification defense too. Slopes of the mountains and surrounding hills were covered with vineyards. "Its residents deal with handicrafts products exchanges with other cities in and outside the province ... Zhulatit Castle has established the King of Spain, when these people were his allies. Later ploy netted Duke Venice and later / / / / / / / Bayezid holy century, invaded Qedik Ahmet Pasha ... It rises skyward in grand fashion ... Fortress of unparalleled beauty, which can përngjasë she Kordusit or she Benefshes Peloponesus "
So there were few Albanian Christians to abandon their faith and embrace Islam, in order to enable their involvement in various service of a military character. Albanian defenders case Zhulatit castle (village in the district of Gjirokastra), who changed their religion as the only way to remain in service above, is actually more significant for what was stated above.
Petro Zhulatin from the village singing, emphasizing that fought against the Byzantines while they were at the height of their power

Petro Zhulati
One of the most powerful landlord to have lived in Zhulat. It is believed to have lived in the eleventh century. He died in battle while fighting against the Byzantine empire.
Poem written for Petro Zhulati and believed to have been recited by his mother during his funeral.
[edit]Original version (Albanian)
Lum, o bir, Petro Zhulati
Kal i kuq sa gjysëm shpati
Me Bizant të zu inati
Ç’i bëre gjithë ata trima
Me kuaj si vetëtima
Jataganët vringëllimai?
[edit]English version
My son, Petro Zhulati
with your red mountain climbing horse
and your rage for Byzantine
how you managed all the braves
with lighting horses
and thundering swords?
Zhulat (Kosta Zhulati)
Ju malesoret e zhulatit
bindjuni sulltan muratit
U pikoje djami dashit
Shtati djemve si lis shpati
Trima si Koste Zhulati


Qani mallet e Zhulatit
Qani mallet e Zhulatit,
Qani qani o male,
Se koste Zhulati vajti,
Qani qani o male,
Vajti ne nje stan pas darke
Qani qani o male,
Me kobure me patllake,
Qani qani o male,
Kosta dhe trimat me palle,
Qani qani o male,
Ai stan ish stan laneti
Qani qani o male,
Atje na u be qameti,
Qani qani o male,
Asnje turk I gjalle smbeti,
Qani qani o male,
Edhe Koste trimeria,
Qani qani o male,
Gjalle I mbeti lavdia,
Qani qani o male…

[edit]Rakip Gjoca I
Land lord of Zhulat and leader of local militia that fought during the Balkan wars.
[edit]Mersin Gjoca
Land lord of Zhulat and leader of local militia. Son of Rakip Gjoca I
[edit]External links

Zhulati at Worldcitydb
Coordinates: 40°07′11″N 19°59′20″E
This article about a specific location in Gjirokastër County, Albania, is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.
Zhulati (Shqipëria)
{{{alt}}}
Zhulati
Emri:Zhulati
Qarku:Qarku i Gjirokastrës
Rethi:
Komuna:-
Kryeplak:-
Popullsia:-
Kodi telefonik:-
Lartësia mbidetare:-
Gjerësia gjeografike:40°07'11" veri
Gjatësia gjeografike:19°59'20" lindje
Web-faqe:s'ka

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Discovery Berat in your Albanian low-cost holiday,Berat was inscribed in the UNESCO list as a world heritage city


Berat is a very special city. Its age, culture, and folk traditions make it one of the most interesting towns in the Mediterranean area.
http://www.berat.info/

The city’s history began with the creation of a fortified acropolis in the VI Century B.C. However, there are traces of human settlement dating back 4000.

Contrary to the other cities in Albania, Berat was the only one that managed to preserve the qualities of civilization throughout all of its history. The soaring castle of Berat commanded the road to the port of Vlora and the city of Korça and dominated also may lesser passes. The city was militarily strategic and it held the key to the exploitation of the rich natural surroundings. As the major empires took turns in conquering Berat they left their remarkable traces which are still visible today. In ancient times Berat was called Antipatrea, after Antipater, Alexander the Great’s regent of Macedonia and later Pulcheriopolis after the sister of Emperor Theodosius II. The Romans called it “Albanorum Oppidum” (Town of the Albanians). During the second Bulgarian Empire, 960 – 1018, the town was named Belgrade (White Castle). It became the center of the feudal Muzaka family in the Middle Ages. Ottoman rule began in 1417. At this time Berat developed as an important strategic and commercial centre. During the Ottoman era, Berat had about 5.000 inhabitants and was one of the largest cities and an important centre in Albania. In 1774 the Pashalik of Berat was created under Ahmet Kurt Pasha, which in 1809 became part of the Pashalik of Ioannina, the ottoman province which included today’s southern Albania and northern Greece.
The Present 
The city of Berat is located on the southeast of Albania. It is located among 7 hills and divided in two parts by the picturesque river Osum. On the east side of the city resides the mighty “Saint Tomor” (Mount Tomor), the so-called Olympus of Albania. On the west the mountainous landscape is completed by Tomor’s brother, Mount Shpiragu with the deep “wound” in its body. Legend has these as the bodies of two feuding brother giants.
Berat is the place of sun and flowers. The area enjoys 300 sunny days per year as a gift from God and 25 square metres of green spaces per person, gardens and parks, are maintained by its citizens, who are well known as lovers of flowers.
Berat has a population of 78.000 inhabitants. The hills and the mountain slopes around Berat are planted with fig trees, olive trees and other fruit trees.
Its religious buildings and important monuments are well known for their architectural excellence. The monuments that are the most complete are from the XIII century or later. The castle and its fortification walls are interwoven like a mosaic of different ages. The various quarters “Kala”, “Mangalem” and “Gorica” nestle on the skirts of the hills and valley sides of the town.
 Heritage


Berat has a rich and varied heritage. The most distinguished of the tangible heritage are the castle of Berat, the old churches and mosques, the vernacular houses, the picturesque natural setting, iconography and ethnography. All combined give to Berat a unique physiognomy and identity. In 1961 the government of Albania awarded to Berat the status of a museum city and in 2008 Berat was inscribed in the UNESCO list as a world heritage city.
Berat breathes out a strong sense of the past as its heritage is still put into use: the vernacular houses are still inhabited today; the old characteristic streets are filled with the sounds of children playing on summer afternoons and people going about their daily chores. The whole setting has been preserved with minor changes in its overall structure.
UNESCO

Berat was inscribed in the UNESCO List in series with the city of Gjirokastra on 8 July 2008.  Both  cities are considered as rare examples of an architectural character typical of the Ottoman period. Berat and Gjirokastra applied for World Heritage status according to criterions III and IV of the justification for inscription, under which the status was granted. According to criterion III Berat and Gjirokastra bear outstanding testimony to the diversity of urban societies in the Balkans, and to longstanding ways of life which have today almost vanished. Berat bears the imprint of a more independent life style, linked to its handicraft and merchant functionsThe description under criterion IV is that the two towns of Berat and Gjirokastra bear outstanding testimony to various types of monument and vernacular urban housing during the Classical Ottoman period, in continuity with the various medieval cultures which preceded it, and in a state of peaceful coexistence with a large Christian minority, particularly in Berat.
In Berat the UNESCO status was awarded to the old Castle, the two historic districts of Mangalem and Goricaand the Medieval Center.
GORICA  is the third residential quarter of Berat, having developed since the 16th century. Located across the river and until recently connected to Berat only by the landmark Gorica bridge, most houses have large gardens giving it a more rural character. Gorica has retained much of its original way of life and still breathes the silence and slow pace of the past. 
Information: Mapguide of Berat


 MANGALEM The historic quarter of Mangalem is a well preserved area containing buildings of characteristic architecture and charming narrow alleys. While the Mangalem riverfront has traditionally been a bazaar area, the residences of merchants and artisans extend on the steep slope above. The quarter is shaped like an elegant pyramid, on top of which is the castle. The harmonization with the terrain is performed with a rare architectural mastery. The main visual characteristic of this quarter is the number of windows which have given the whole city the epithet “ the city of windows on top of each other”.


The CASTLE of BERAT rises on a rocky hill on the left bank of the Osum river and is accessible only from the south. It is the oldest and most representative monument of the city. After beign burned down by the Romans in 200 BC, the walls were strengthened in the fifth century under the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II, and were rebuilt during the 6th century under Emperor Justinian and again in the 13th century under the Despot of Epirus, Michael Angelus Comnenus. The churches inside the fortress were largely built from this time onwards and because of their characteristic architecture are preserved as cultural munuments. The castle hill rises 187 m above the sea level with an area of 9.6 hectares. There are 24 towers of different forms and sizes along the impressive Hellenistic and medieval walls. The interior once contained 42 churches and chapels, though now there are only 8 intact shrines and the ruins of 2 mosques. The interior of the castle is still inhabited today.


The MEDIEVAL CENTER OF BERAT is the former Islamic town centre built by Sultan Bayezid II in the XVI century. It contains the King Mosque, the Helveti Tekke and the Dervish Chambers. In the area in between the monuments was a graveyard that was removed during the Communism area. The centre is surrounded by typical vernacular houses of the XVII-XVIII century.
Medieval Centre
The King Mosque is one of the main mosques of the city. It is composed by the prayer hall, the porch and the minaret. In the centre of the ceiling are rosettes with inscriptions from various Kuran writings. A frieze below the ceiling displays the 99 beautiful names of God. The massive painted ceiling, the wide two stories Mafil supported on two wooden columns, the Mihrab at the eastern wall and the Mimbar form its decorative structure.
King Mosque
The Helveti Tekke was built in the XV century and was rebuilt by Ahmet Kurt Pasha in 1782. It has a wooden ceiling and interior decorated with Ottoman paintings of exceptional beauty.  The paintings feature geometric shapes, natural sceneries, mosques and vernacular houses. Small holes are spread through the walls to improve the acoustics in the hall. Inside the holes and within the walls are ceramic vessels used to this purpose. This technique was commonly used in the temples of the Helveti order of Sufi (a tradition of Muslim mystics).
Helveti Tekke
The Dervish Chambers are the rooms were the Dervishes (priests of the Sufi sect) were accommodated. On the first floor are the stables that were used for the animals and on the second floor are the rooms which house today the Regional Directorate of National Culture. The rooms are small with characteristic chimneys and windows.





Guided Tours Berat
My name is Marius Qytyku and I am a local guide in the city of Berat. I offer guided tours to tourists and people that are interested. The most common tour I offer includes a tour of the castle of Berat (the old city), visits to the Ethnographic Museum and Onufri Iconographic Museum, a walk in the other two historical quarters of Mangalem and Gorica, and a visit to the Medieval Centre. I have plenty of information regarding what we are going to see. My customers have also the chance to see inside monuments such as Byzantine and Medieval Churches and Mosques which are otherwise are closed to the public.
I hope that at the end of the tour you will have an understanding of the past and present of Berat and Albania in general. I always like to drive tourists into the heart of the social conditions, culture and mentality of my country. Above all, this is the lofty mission of history: to have a better understanding of people and nations. I also take into consideration also special interests that tourists might have and want to explore in the city.
A tour might last from 2.30 to 3 hours. Price 20 €
mail: mqytyku@yahoo.com                  tel: +355 69 37 71 773

  




Image 2
 About Us
 “Kris Guesthouse is housed in a typical castle house dating back from the ottoman empire. The first floor is made of stone and the second floor is made of light wood. The house belongs to the XVII-XVIII centuries. It is situated within a complex of Byzantine churches: Church of Saint Nicolas, Church of Saint Mary Blacherna and Church of Saint Constantine and Helen, the latest being only a few meters away from the house.
The guesthouse was started in 2005. It is an appropriate place for bed and breakfast tourism, as it is situated in the 24000 years old castle of Berat considered a living museum.
Special qualities are the quietness and the panorama.
LOCATION of Kris Guesthouse is in the Castle of Berat. Once you enter the main Castle gate, turn right and walk past the castle wall for about 70 meters. The guesthouse is at the open space where the bust of Constantine is. Look at the map for clearer instructions.
SERVICE The guesthouse has a playground for children. It has also a garden and a veranda from which is possible to see the sunset and surrounding churches. It has a Bar, Parking area, free Internet WI-FI, telephone, air conditioner. Breakfast is free and normally is cheese butter, jam, egg omelette, milk

CONTACT US
24/7 Contact
+355 69 54 00 979

Monday, October 22, 2012

ALBANIA Guesthouses

ALBANIA Guesthouses 
archaelogical-parks For more info visit http://www.albaniantourism.com/
Guesthouses
Alfred Selimaj
Name: Alfred Selimaj
Location: Tropoje
Tel: 00 355 692173603
Languages we speak: Albanian, English
Activities: Hiking, walking, camping, etc.
Price:
Number of rooms: 5
Guesthouses
Fran Molla
Name: Fran Molla
Location: Theth
Tel: 00 355 682180228
Languages we speak: Albanian
Activities: Walking in the forest, horse-riding, etc
Price:
Number of rooms: 5
Guesthouses
Gjergj Frani
Name: Gjergj Frani
Location: Vermosh
Tel: 00 38267595512
Languages we speak: Italian, French, English, German
Activities: Walking in the mountains, etc
Price:
Number of rooms: 6
Guesthouses
Gjokë Bujaj
Name: Gjokë Bujaj
Location: Vermosh
Tel: 00 38269562512
Languages we speak: Albanian
Activities: Walking in the mountains, horse-riding, etc
Price:
Number of rooms: 1
Guesthouses
Gjon Ded Noja
Name: Gjon Ded Noja
Location: Theth
Tel: 00 355682191405
Languages we speak: Albanian
Activities: Horse-riding in the mountains.
Price:
Number of rooms: 6
Guesthouses
Gjon Dukgilaj
Name: Gjon Dukgilaj
Location: Shkoder
Tel: 00 355 682086056 / 00 355 2240537
Languages we speak: Albanian
Activities: Traditional Music, theatrical show, humour, bejte days, the festival of olive oil, etc
Price:
Number of rooms: 10
Guesthouses
Gjon Frashnishta
Name: Gjon Frashnishta
Location: Theth
Tel: 00 355 693118712
Languages we speak: Albanian
Activities: Mountaineering, speleology, billiards, soccer field, etc..
Price:
Number of rooms: 10
Guesthouses
Gjovalin Lokthi
Name: Gjovalin Lokthi
Location: Theth
Tel: 00 355 682393992
Languages we speak: Albanian
Activities: Walking in the mountains, etc.
Price:
Number of rooms: 3
Guesthouses
Hamit Mustafa
Name: Hamit Mustafa
Location: Fushe - Arrez
Tel: 00 355 682357774
Languages we speak: Albanian
Activities: Walking in the mountain, etc.
Price:
Number of rooms: 7
Guesthouses
Ilirjan Lamthi
Name: Ilirjan Lamthi
Location: Tropoje
Tel: 00 355 692522486
Languages we speak: Albanian
Activities: Walking in the mountains, horse-riding etc.
Price:
Number of rooms: 1
   1 2 3 4 » »»

10 stories you need to know about Albania


did-you-know
 archaelogical-parks For more info visit http://www.albaniantourism.com/
 
1. The last battle between Caesar and Pompey occurred near the Kavaja Rock in 48 B.C. Named Petra at the time, the Rock provided much needed shade to the camp of Caesar’s army perhaps facilitating the victory of the latter against Pompey.

2. The three largest and deepest tectonic lakes of the Balkan Peninsula are located in Albania. The lake of Shkodra in the country’s northwest has a surface of 368 km2, out of which 149 km2 belong to Albania. The Albanian coast line of this lake is 57 km.  Ohrid Lake is situated in the country’s southeast. It has a maximal depth of 289 meters and it is so old that a unique flora and fauna can be found there, including “living fossils” and many endemic species. Because of its natural and historical value, Ohrid Lake is under the protection of UNESCO. Finally,

 Prespa Lake is also located in the country’s southeast at 850 meters above sea level, thus constituting the Balkans’ highest tectonic lake. Its karstic underground river supplies the springs on the shore of Ohrid Lake.

3. Sailing on the artificial Koman Lake, visitors can enjoy a typical “fjord landscape” that will remind them of Northern Europe in the heart of the Mediterranean. The lake was formed in 1986 as a result of the completion of the Koman hydropower station on the river Drin. It has a surface of 12 km2, 34.5 km long and with a width that varies between 50-60 meters. The lake cuts t

1. The last battle between Caesar and Pompey occurred near the Kavaja Rock in 48 B.C. Named Petra at the time, the Rock provided much needed shade to the camp of Caesar’s army perhaps facilitating the victory of the latter against Pompey.

2. The three largest and deepest tectonic lakes of the Balkan Peninsula are located in Albania. The lake of Shkodra in the country’s northwest has a surface of 368 km2, out of which 149 km2 belong to Albania. The Albanian coast line of this lake is 57 km.  Ohrid Lake is situated in the country’s southeast. It has a maximal depth of 289 meters and it is so old that a unique flora and fauna can be found there, including “living fossils” and many endemic species. Because of its natural and historical value, Ohrid Lake is under the protection of UNESCO. Finally,

 Prespa Lake is also located in the country’s southeast at 850 meters above sea level, thus constituting the Balkans’ highest tectonic lake. Its karstic underground river supplies the springs on the shore of Ohrid Lake.

3. Sailing on the artificial Koman Lake, visitors can enjoy a typical “fjord landscape” that will remind them of Northern Europe in the heart of the Mediterranean. The lake was formed in 1986 as a result of the completion of the Koman hydropower station on the river Drin. It has a surface of 12 km2, 34.5 km long and with a width that varies between 50-60 meters. The lake cuts through beautiful valleys and canyons. The rocky mountainous bridges precipitate vertically into the water thus creating wonderful landscapes. Sailing on this lake connects Shkodra and Tirana with the towns of Bajram Curri, Tropoja and the surrounding areas.
 
4. Remains of prehistoric cave bears (ursus speleaus) have been found in Pëllumbas cave, located 25 km from Tirana. This type of bear was extinguished about 400 thousand years ago. Only five caves in Europe contain its fossils nowadays. Located in the panoramic Skorana Pass, the cave is in good condition with a width of 10-35 meters, a height of 15 to 40 meters and a length of 300 meters. Ancient human skeletons have also been found in this cave.

5. The Lagoon of Karavasta is the westernmost nesting point of the Kaçurrel Pelican (pelicanus crispus). Since 1994, the Lagoon has become a member of the RAMSAR International Convention. It has an area of 4,330 hectares making it the largest lagoon of the Albanian coast. It has been declared one of the twelve national parks of Albania and is therefore under the protection of the Albanian government.  Observing the pelicans is a wonderfully rare experience. They land on a small sandy island of the lagoon that is popularly known as “Pelican Island.” Visitors can rent a boat to sail close to it. And observe some of the 5 percent of the world population of this species of pelicans that make Karavasta their home. However, the Lagoon is an important eco-system for a number of other species, too.
 
6. It is thought that the Albanian language comes from the ancient pelasgian language. The Pelasgians constituted a Neolithic culture at the beginning of the Bronze Age in the territory known today as Albania. Archaeologists have uncovered remains of this culture in Podgorie, Kolsh and elsewhere. The thesis of Pelasgian-Illyrian continuity was first articulated in the seventeenth century. Perhaps the most important defenders of this thesis was the German Albanologue, J.G. Hahn.
 
7. The Roman amphitheatre in Durrës is the second largest of its kind in the Balkans. It was built in the first century A.D., at the time of Emperor Hadrian. It had a capacity of 15,000 to 20,000 spectators, its style resembling similar structures in Pompey and Capua in Italy. A “cupola” with rare mosaics was added to its galleries in the tenth century.
 
8. Some songs from Southern Albania are sung without any musical instruments. This type of interpretation is called “iso-polyphony.” It is registered as “Part of the Oral Traditions of Human Kind” and is under protection by UNESCO. Iso-polyphony is sung in that part of Southern Albania called “Toskëria” and especially in the Labëria region. Every November the National Festival of Iso-Polyphony is performed in the city of Vlora. 
 
9. The ancient city of Butrint is mentioned by Virgil in his “Aeneid.” Also known as the second Troy, together with the museum city of Gjirokastra is in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. Butrint was a fortified city of the Kaon tribe of Southern Illyria. Its ruins today include the theatre, the temple of Asclepious, the Venetian fort, city entrances and others. Gjirokastra is a major city in Southern Albania. It is also known as the “city of one thousand steps.” According to local legend, it was founded by a local princess named Argyro. What makes Gjirokastra particularly attractive as a tourist attraction is its stone houses that appear like castles built on top of each other on the mountain side.
 
10. The Albanian National Hero, Gjergj Kastrioti, was the first to be declared Athleta Christi by the Vatican for his successful 25 year resistance to the Ottomans. Among other battles, he defeated three massive armies led by Sultans Murat II and Mehmet II who laid siege to Kruja in 1450, 1467 and 1475.