"Kruja, Skënderbeg’s stronghold" Rrethi i Krujes by JLBG

Rrethi i Krujes Travel Guide: 68 reviews and 162 photos

Caution : this is not a new page. I have tranfered here without any change my previous Vlora page, based on my 1988 travel. I have now built a new Kruja page, based on my May 2007 visit.

Krujë is an old Illyrian settlement. It was later the seat of the first Albanian feudal state.

The four sons of Gjon Kastrioti were sent as hostages to Constantinople in 1415. The youngest, Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeg (1405-1468), the national hero of Albania, converted to Islam under the name of Iskandar, Skënder in Albanian.

Being very proud in the battlefields, he was given by the Turkish rulers the honorary title of "beg". In 1443, while he was fighting for the Ottoman army in Hungary, he suddenly left and came back to Albania to fight the Turks. He raised an Albanian army and fought efficiently the Turks on several occasions.

In May 1450, sultan Murad the Second decided to get rid for ever of these stubborn Albanians. He raised a 100,000 men army in order to take Krujë and eliminate the Albanian army. Skënderbeg succeeded in putting together an army of 17,500, which he divided into three bands. Count Uran lead a garrison of 1,500 to withstand the siege from inside the citadel. Skënderbeg himself lead a band of 8,000 that burnt and destroyed any food supply around Krujë, in order to starve the assaulting army of Murad. The remaining 8,000 were formed in smaller bands that would ambush, raid and snipe the Turkish troops between Macedonia and Krujë and cut any communication with their homeland. After 18 weeks, Murad realized that he would not win Skënderbeg and chose to retreat after he had already lost more than 20,000 of his men. It was only 28 years later (1478), after Skënderbeg died naturally (1468), that the Turkish, with Sultan Mehmet finally took Krujë.

  • Intro Updated Oct 20, 2007
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Reviews (13)

Comments (6)

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Oct 26, 2007 at 10:54 AM

    You came back in almost 20 years to watch fascinating remaining of the castle and medieval town. Enver Hoxha and Skënderbeg - interesting compeering... Thanks Jean-Louis for the time-machine tour!

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Oct 18, 2007 at 1:47 PM

    A nice browse through some history I knew nothing about but would agree on the mushroom cooking!!

  • Sep 17, 2007 at 5:11 PM

    hahaha mr mushroom found a mushroom! :) nice page JL, the castle looks interesting to explore!

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Feb 5, 2007 at 4:37 AM

    The Skenderbeg Museum looks to be a great place to learn about the surrounding area of Kruje and its history.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Mar 3, 2006 at 3:36 PM

    Thanks for this peek into 'unknown' Albania!! Quite a story about how this small fortress held out against the Ottoman Empire. Although unidentified, the architecture of that Byzantine building does indeed catch one's eye!

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Feb 25, 2006 at 1:31 AM

    A very interesting discovery! Thanks for sharing. Congratulations about Helvella leucomelaena :-) Can I find them in Poland? In a botanical garden, maybe :-)

JLBG

“I believe that tourists are very valuable to the modern world. It is very difficult to hate people you know. (Steinbeck)”

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