History of Kryezi Village, Where the Canyons and Waterfalls Meet

History of Kryezi Village, Where the Canyons and Waterfalls Meet

TIRANA, July 15

Kryezi (or in Albanian: Kryeziu) is a village in the Puka municipality, Shkodra county. It is one of the villages chosen by the government for the project ‘100 Villages’, which aims at the economic and tourist development of 100 villages throughout Albania. Kryezi is one of the most beautiful villages in the north of the country, rich with water resources, canyons, waterfalls, and many historic and cultural traditions. Its name is believed to come from the black crest of the pines that dominate the village above the Hill of Gega.

kryezi
Kryezi is part of the government project ‘100 Villages’ which aims at the rural and tourist development of 100 villages throughout Albania. Photo Credit/ Bed & Breakfast Alia

The village of Kryeziu is stretched along a lagoon for about 3 km, from the Bridge of Bardheti and the Bridge of Kodergege, up to the Neck of Ballci (in Albanian: Qafa e Ballcit). The neighborhoods of Kryeziu are: Lajthiza, Orosh, Brahaj, Murataj, Arifaj, Dervishaj, Quk Ballshi, and Zallah. There are many streams that pass along through the village, are: Fani, Rrahi, Kroni Hys, Pllacka, Bens, Prrezi, Nermjece Qaf-Hije, Brraka Kolics, Lum Mahall, etc.

Currently, the village has 1,200 inhabitants, and it is known as the place of origin of many famous Albanian patriots from the movement of the Albanian National Awakening movement (also known as the Albanian Renaissance) from the 19th century until 1912.

waterfall of kryezi
The village is rich with water resources. Pictured: the Waterfall of Kryezi. Photo Credit/ Discover Puka FB

Waterfall of Kryezi Video Credit/ Ilir Shyti FB

Reading suggestion: What Are the ‘100 Villages’ Part of the Rural Development Program 

Agriculture and Farming

The village of Kryezi produces these agricultural products: vegetables, corn, grains, potato, bean, grapes, walnuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, pears, apples, cherries, berries, etc. Also, the honey produced in Kryezi goes for sale in Tirana’s market. Kryezi is known for its farming too, raising cows, goats, pigs, etc.

Hunting

In the village, since in ancient times, it is practiced the hunting of the wild animals, respecting the regulations of hunting, done mostly in the wintertime where it snows, and especially in the high grounds, where there are many forests.

Ethnicity

In Kryezi live 12 different families and the two main religions there are: Muslim and catholic. But these families, as everywhere in Albania live in harmony with each other, furthermore, they take part in the local decisions regarding the village. One particular thing is that the women of the village dress in a way that shows from which tribe (or family) they come from.

In the past, it was a tradition that if you wanted to marry a woman from the area of Mirdita, the woman had to be dressed in the traditional costume of Mirdita. That is why many women seem like they come from that area, even though the accent of the residents of Kryezi resembles more with the accent of the town Puka municipality where it is part of.

Canyon of Kryezi
Two visitors relaxing in the Canyon of Kryezi. Photo Credit/ Nentor Oseku

Historic and Archaeological Values

Castles

Castle of Krepa (in Albanian: Kalaja e Krepave)
Castle of Leks (or in Albanian: Kalaja e Leks or Guri i Gjodhise)

Churches

The Forth Church (in Albanian: Kisha e Katert) built in 1920

Church of Saint Paraskevi (in Albanian: Kisha e Shnaprendes or Shen Premtes)

church of saint paraskevi, kryezi, puke
An old man standing in front of the Church of Saint Paraskevi. Photo Credit/ EuroEmigrant

The Old Walls

In the south of Fushe-Groshe, you could spot the old walls. The walls are almost parallel with each other in a distance that oscillates between 10-30 meters. This distance narrows with the slope of the land. Also, there is a barrack in the area, where the two walls meet, creating the shape of a funnel. The walls have a height of 1.30 meters and are built with normal stones, but it seems that there was an attempt to use bigger stones too, with a diameter of one meter, which are made of lime mortar and without being carved whatsoever.

There is a belief that these walls were built in the Middle Ages, precisely from the era of Principality of Arbanon, to protect the area from the erosion. Also, these walls might have been used as a barricade by the local habitants to avoid the arrival of foreigners from the bank of the river that runs across the Kryezi village and to be closer to the streets and the castle too.

Source/ Koha Jone

Read also: Lukova, the Hidden Village of Saranda

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