Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

South East Europe / Via Adriatica

Fortress of Kruja

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Fortress of Kruja

About the site

Corridor: Via Adriatica
Country: Albania, Kruja
Type: Fortress, Historic Town
Epoch: Middle Ages
World Heritage:
Middle AgesFortressHistoric Town

The Fortress of Kruja is one of the most important fortresses in Albania. In 879 AD, it was an important Bishopric and an important Byzantine center. In 1190, the city became the seat of the Arberi princedom. In the 15th century, Kruja was a symbol of resistance against the Turks under the leadership of Scanderbeg.
The Fortress of Kruja was built on top of a rocky crest. It has a perimeter of 800 m, with walls reinforced by nine towers of different shapes. In the 13th century, in the highest part of the fortress, a castle was built. One of the towers of the castle, which is well preserved, has also served as a clocktower. The castle has two main gates on the northeast side, the third leads to a fortified courtyard where water springs are located.
Different phases of construction can be traced, from the early Middle Ages up to the 19th century. The construction works on the tower near the main gate, carried out by the national hero, Scanderbeg, in the 15th century are of particular importance and interest for military architecture.
There is an inhabited neighborhood within the territory of the fortress. The Ethnographic Museum was established within the fortress, and situated in a characteristic house of the 18th century. The National Museum of Gjergj Kastrioti Skenderbeg also situated in the castle, is dedicated to the life of this national hero and his deeds.

Council of Europe