Impressive Works of Religious Art in Albania

Impressive Works of Religious Art in Albania

TIRANA, August 9

Well-preserved religious art seems to have an eternal power that uplifts the mind to the spiritual. While millions of tourists visit every year the Sistine Chapel in Italy, Albania on the other coast of the Adriatic Sea still preserves a rich heritage of religious art from different historical periods. They managed to survive the Communist mass destruction of religious structures and art thieves.
Located throughout Albania, small churches, mosques, and shrines continue to preserve an important part of the Albanian art history. Here you can find a collection of them, some famous, some less known.

The Epitaph of Gllavenica

Epitafi i Gllavenices

Savia was a monk from Ballshi that in 1373 embodied a shroud in silver and gold that today is known as the Epitaph of Gllavenica and one of the most important objects inherited from the medieval times. Credit, The National Historical Museum, Tirana

The Mosaic of Mesaplik

Mesaplik Mosaic

Wall ruins and traces of a mosaic were found in the spring of 1978 in Mesaplik village, Vlora area, at the foot of Smokthina hill during digging works. Among the ruins that date back to the sixth century a well-preserved piece of the mosaic was found. It shows the profile portrait of a man with long. One of the most interesting elements of this mosaic is a text in four rows saying ‘A ΠΑP ΚΕ ΑC’. Specialists, refereeing to the wind orienting system say that it says ‘Wind of the North’. The Mosaic of Mesaplik is preserved at the National Historical Museum

Et’hem Beu Mosque, Tirana

Tirana Ethem-Beu-Mosque

Et’hem Beu Mosque, Tirana, built in the late 18th century and it was spared by the communists due to its architectural value. The Mosque is located next to the Clock Tower at Skanderbeg Square

Tirana Ethem-Beu-Mosque

The Mystic Dinner

Berat The Mystic Dinner

Anonymous painter, 18th-century. Exhibited at the National Iconographic Museum Onufri in Berat

The Life-Bearing Spring

The Life-giving Spring

Anonymous painter, 17th-century. Exhibited at the National Iconographic Museum Onufri in Berat

The Bachelors’ Mosque

Xhamia e Beqareve, located in the lower part of Mangalem Neighborhood. It was the mosque of the unmarried artisans and merchants. According to the inscription, the mosque walls were painted in 1827-1828.

The King Mosque, Berat

Berat Xhamia Mbret

Saint George and the Dragon, Ardenica Monastery


St George and the Dragon icon was painted by the Cetiri Brothers in the 18th century. Now it is part of the National Historical Museum collection in Tirana. The Monastery of Ardenica is a must-visit site located in the hills close to Lushnja-Fier national road.

Ravena Monastery, Goranxi, Gjirokastra

Gjirokaster Ravena Monastery

St Mary Church, Labova e Kryqit, Lunxheri

Labova e Kryqit

St Spiridhoni Church in Vuno, Albaniana Riviera

Vuno, Shen Spiridhoni

Shen Thanasi Church in Karavasta e Re

St Mary Church in Voskopoja


Shen Koll, Shelcan, Elbasan

Elbasan, Shen Kolli



Image credit: IMK, MHK, Wikimedia

Read also: Spiritual Albania, Top Destinations, You Shouldn’t Miss

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