ALBANIA Religious Monuments
Not far from the ancient town of Apollonia is the Pojan Monastery, with the beautiful St. Mary's Chapel. This is an ancient monastery, as evidenced by an inscription on the left side of its west wing, and was reconstructed by the Byzantine Emperor, Andronicus Palaeologus the Second. Below the inscription there is a painting of the emperor's family, which features eight people in regal ceremonial dress. Another inscription on a stone slab found at the bottom of an outer southern wall of the chapel, bears the date 31 March 858. The whole interior of this chapel built in the Byzantine style was once covered in paintings. The church features the first four icons of the iconostasis. Here and there on the surrounding walls one can see bas-reliefs of the ancient town of Apollonia. The chapel is dedicated to the Assumption of Our Lady, Saint Mary, celebrated on the 15th of August each year, day in which a regional fair is held in the area.
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 Sinan, an architect of Albanian origin who was one of the most important mosque builders in the Ottoman Empire. His greatest work remains the Great Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul.
Kuzum Baba is located on the Eastern part of Vlora, about 30 meters above sea level. It is a terrace carved out by sea waters, about 200-300 meters long. On top of the hill is the Kuz Baba Tekke, the religious centre of the Bektashi sect in the Vlora region.
The Kubelie Mosque is located in the centre of Kavaja town. The mosque and its portico were built around 1735-1736. It is the most important cult monument in Kavaja.
The Ceta Church is located close to the village of Zig-Xhafaj, to the north of Kavaja. It is a unique church, believed to have been built in the 13th century. Inside the church are several frescoes layered one on top of the other. The Church is called the "Shëne Premte" (Good Friday) Church, and belongs to the Roman-Gothic style of architecture, which speaks of the influence of various trends. The central wooden iconostasis was painted by the great master of Albanian iconography, Kostandin Shpataraku.
The Bazaar Hamam was built in the sixteenth century and it has been well preserved. Its roof is a chain of conical cupolas covered with stone plates. Beyond the wooden bridge there is a later structure that serves as a dressing room. The older building is located further down the road. It has hot and cold rooms. The hamam was rebuilt in 1874, it has 8 windows and a well-known Ottoman mosque.
The Rubiku church is located on a rocky hill in the small industrial town of Rubik ( km from... ). The church is an important cult object of the 12th and 13th centuries. Its construction finished in 1272. The church is well known for its frescoes and mural paintings. The building is a monument of culture and is of interest from the construction and architectural point of view. In the past, the Rubik Church served as a Benedictine Abbey and as a Franciscan Monastery.
This is a famous cultural monument in the city of Shkodra. It is located behind the Rozafa castle to the South. The Lead Mosque was built in 1773 by Mehmet Pasha Bushati, in the style of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.
This mosque is in the centre of Tirana. Its construction started in 1798 and was completed in 1821. It is a typical case of a mixture of Albanian construction tradition applied in mosque architecture. Of special interest are the painted carvings inside the dome.
Kapllan Pasha's Turbe is located on 28 Nëntori street. It is part of the 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. By definition a turbe is a monumental grave with an octagonal structure and 4 metres high. Kapllan Pasha's remains were later repatriated and reburied in Istanbul.