Tirana

Kruja Citadel

20 Jun 2022
Kruja's legendary fortress is perched on an outcrop of rock overlooking the valley. Its walls withstood waves of Turkish sieges, only finally being conquered well after Skanderbeg's death. Entering the city gate from the Old Bazaar, you first come across the ruins of the old mosque of Sultan Mehmet Fath, dating back to 1478, just below the Skenderbeg Museum. Beyond that stands the Ethnographic Museum. Take a right down some lovely cobbled lanes to enter the inhabited part of the fortress; you'll pass the hamam from around 1480 and finally the Dollma tekke, a Sufi shrine built in 1780 by the Toptani family (being renovated at time of writing). Outside are the graves of several babas and a dervish (holy men), shaded by a 500-year-old olive tree, said to have been planted to commemorate Skanderbeg's wedding. A hole in the city wall near here offers great views over to the Adriatic Sea.

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