"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.
I found this beautiful and uncommon little Helvella leucomelaena (the black and white Helvella) in the yard of the old... more travel advice
Skënderbeg Museum was designed by Enver Hoxha's daughter and finished building in 1982. It has a mixed look of both... more travel advice
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