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Schloss von Kruja, Bild: Andrew Mayovskyy / shutterstock

Kruja in Albania: A historical and cultural treasure on the hills

The town of Kruja, which is located on a hill in the north of Albania, is one of the most important historical cities in the country. It is known for its imposing castle, narrow old town and traditional craftsmanship. Kruja was also the home of Albanian national hero Skanderbeg, who fought against Ottoman rule in the 15th century and is now considered a symbol of Albanian resistance.

Sights in Kruja

Skanderbeg Castle in Kruja
Skanderbeg Castle in Kruja, Image: Adam Radosavljevic / shutterstock

The Kruja Fortress is the symbol of the city and was built in the 5th century. It was expanded and strengthened in the 15th century by Skanderbeg to defend itself against the Ottomans. Today, the fortress is a museum that houses a wealth of historical artifacts and information about the history of Albania and Skanderbeg. Visitors can enjoy the impressive architecture and panoramic views of the city.

The Old Town of Kruja, also known as the “Bazaar”, is a picturesque area with narrow streets and traditional craft workshops. Locals have been producing handmade carpets, silver jewelry, leather goods, and other products here for centuries. The bazaar is a great place to shop for authentic Albanian souvenirs and experience the cultural heritage of the region.

In addition to the fortress and the old town, Kruja also offers other attractions. The Ethnographic Museum shows the life and culture of the region in times gone by, and the National Museum of Skanderbeg displays weapons and armor from the era of the national hero.

Another highlight of the city is the Teqe, a Bektashi monastery built in the 18th century. The monastery was an important site for the Bektashi religious community, a Sufi group that is widespread in Albania and other parts of the Balkans. Visitors can tour the monastery and learn more about the Bektashi tradition and its importance to Albania.

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Kruja is not only a place for history and culture lovers, but also for nature lovers. The town is located at the foot of Mount Sari-Salltiku and offers numerous hiking opportunities and spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

There are a variety of accommodation options in Kruja, including guesthouses and hotels. Most of the accommodations are family-run and offer an authentic insight into life in Kruja. There is also a good selection of restaurants serving traditional Albanian cuisine.

Kruja offers a unique opportunity to experience and discover the beauty and charm of Albania. The city is easily accessible from Tirana , the capital of Albania, which is only 20 kilometers away. The drive to Kruja passes through picturesque landscapes and offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.

The National Festival of Kruja

A visit to Kruja is not complete without a visit to the annual National Festival of Kruja, which takes place in early September. The festival features a variety of events, including folklore performances, craft exhibitions, traditional Albanian music and dances, and local food. The festival attracts thousands of visitors every year and is a great opportunity to experience the best of Kruja’s culture and history.

Overall, Kruja in Albania offers a unique opportunity to discover the country’s cultural heritage. The city is a fascinating place that combines history and traditions with modern amenities. From the impressive castle to the traditional bazaar and the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, there is a lot to do and discover in Kruja.