"Berat, Vrionis house" Top 5 Page for this destination Berat Things to Do Tip by JLBG
Berat Things to Do: 98 reviews and 239 photos
Mid way between Xhami e Mbretit and Xhami e Beqareve stands a school. However, this school is working in an ancient building that obviously was built for another purpose. On the north-eastern side, the main entrance (first photo) stands just before Hotel Mangalem, that appear on the right.
Photos 2 and 3 show the south-western side with two galleries with elegant columns and arches in the Turkish style. On the left, windows are closed with boards.
I wondered what was that building as none of the guidebooks I use said anything about it though the building is great looking. I finally found the explanation on VT in the excellent Berat page by Dritan.
I quote :
The Vrionis were one of the most powerful feudal families of Berat and Southern Albania. Several of them served as governors of the city and adjacent provinces during the ottoman period. Their house was destroyed during Albania's own 'cultural revolution'. This is what remains from their house. Thank you Dritan !
I tried to know more and learned that the Vrioni, obviously of Greek origin, took a main part in the struggles in the Balkans in the XIXth and were most of the time on the Ottoman side. Ilias Bej Vrioni (1882-1932) was an Albanian politician and landlord. He served as Prime Minister of Albania three times under king Zog. I suppose that the Berat house was looted much later.
I found also that Jusuf Vrioni was the usual translator in French of the books of Ismail Kadaré. I suppose he belongs to that family. I have just found in the introduction of Dritan's Berat page that he is indeed of that family. Thanks again Dritan! The first time I had a look at this excellent page, I must have read too fast!
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