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Title: Krujë  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Fushë-Krujë, Rinas, Durrës County, Krujë District, Siege of Krujë (1466–67)
Collection: Cities in Ancient Illyria, Gegëri, Populated Places in Durrës County
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Castle of Kruja and Skanderbeg Museum over the skyline
Castle of Kruja and Skanderbeg Museum over the skyline
Krujë is located in Albania
Country  Albania
County Durrës
 • Mayor Artur Bushi (SP)
 • Municipality 339.02 km2 (130.90 sq mi)
Elevation 600 m (2,000 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Municipality 59,814
 • Municipality density 180/km2 (460/sq mi)
 • Municipal unit 11,721
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 1501
Area code 0511
Vehicle registration KR

Krujë (definite Albanian form: Kruja) is a town and a municipality in north central Albania. Located between Mount Krujë and the Ishëm River, the city is only 20 km north from the capital of Albania, Tirana. The municipality was formed at the 2015 local government reform by the merger of the former municipalities Bubq, Cudhi, Fushë-Krujë, Krujë, Nikël and Kodër-Thumanë, that became municipal units. The seat of the municipality is the town Krujë.[1] The total population is 59,814 (2011 census), in a total area of 339.02 km2.[2] The population of the former municipality at the 2011 census was 11,721.[3]

Inhabited by the Illyrian tribe of the Albani, in 1190 Krujë became the capital of the first autonomous Albanian state in the middle ages, the Principality of Arbër. Later it was the capital of the Kingdom of Albania, while in the early 15th century Krujë was conquered by the Ottoman Empire, but then recaptured in 1443 by Skanderbeg, leader of the League of Lezhë, who successfully defended it against three Ottoman sieges until his death in 1468.

The Ottomans took control of the town after the fourth siege in 1478, and incorporated it in their territories. A 1906 local revolt against the Ottoman Empire was followed by the 1912 Declaration of Independence of Albania. In the mid-1910s Krujë was one of the battlefields of the conflict between the short-lived Republic of Central Albania, founded by Essad Toptani, and the Principality of Albania. In 1914 Toptani managed to seize the town but during the same year it was reincorporated by Prênk Bibë Doda in the Principality of Albania. During WWII it was the center of the activities of resistance leader Abaz Kupi.

The museums of Krujë include the Skanderbeg museum, located in the environs of the Krujë castle, and the national ethnographic museum.


  • Etymology 1
  • Geography 2
  • History 3
    • Ancient 3.1
    • Medieval 3.2
    • Modern 3.3
  • Administration 4
  • Culture 5
    • Religion 5.1
    • Museums 5.2
    • Sports 5.3
  • Infrastructure 6
    • Health 6.1
  • See also 7
  • Notable people 8
  • Sources 9
  • External links 10


View of the town from the southern walls of the castle

The name of the city is related to the Albanian word kroi meaning "fountain". In Albanian the city is known as Krujë or Kruja. In Byzantine documents of the early 7th century it has been attested as Kroai (in Greek Κροαί), while in medieval Latin it was known as Croia, Croya and Croarum. During the Ottoman era it was also known as Ak Hisar or Akçahisar from the Turkish words ak (white) and hisar (castle).[4]


Krujë is found at an altitude of 600 m (1,969 ft) on the foot of Mount Krujë (Ishëm River.[5] The town is located in the northern part of the outer Albanides tectonic unit, which consists of anticlines of Mesozoic carbonate platforms. The administrative center of the municipality is the town of Krujë, but it also includes the villages of Barkanesh, Brre and Picerragë. The closest cities to Krujë are Tiranë and Durrës at a distance of 20 and 37 km respectively.



In ancient times the region of Krujë was inhabited by the Illyrian tribe of the Albani, while the town is located near the Iron Age Illyrian site of Zgërdhesh.[6][7] Some scholars have identified the site with the main settlement of the Albani, Albanopolis, while others identified Albanopolis with Krujë itself.[7][8] During the Illyrian Wars the area of Krujë was captured by the Roman Republic.


Krujë Castle is a major landmark located on the highest point of Kruje

Early medieval artifacts of Krujë include dress items and weaponry found in fifth- and sixth-century cemeteries, which display the high status and the wealth of the burials. Originally a middle-sized fortress like other urban centers of Krujë expanded to a town probably from the sixth to the ninth century AD.[9] In 1190 Krujë became the capital of the first autonomous Albanian state of the middle ages, the Principality of Arbër founded by Progon of the House of Progon.[10] During the reign of Gulam of Albania the principality was dissolved and incorporated in the newly founded Kingdom of Albania. During the late 13th and early 14h century the Byzantine and later the Serbian Empire took control of the city. The Kingdom of Albania was eventually dissolved between 1363 and 1368, when Karl Topia captured its capital Durrës and incorporated its territories, including Krujë in 1363 in the Princedom of Albania.[11] After 1389 the House of Thopia gradually lost control of the town, which by 1395 had come under Ottoman vassalage. The Ottomans lost control of Krujë in the early 15th century, when it was captured by Niketa Thopia and regained it in 1415.[12] After its recapture it was incorporated in the Sanjak of Albania and formed an administrative unit with the status of Subaşilik as attested in the regional register of 1431.[12] During the Albanian Revolt of 1432-1436 the city was unsuccessfully besieged by Andrea Thopia.

Alley of the old market

Until 1432, the

  • Municipality of Kruja Official Website
  • Skanderbeg and Kruja National Ethnographic Museums Official Website
  • "Albanian Canadian League Information Service website". Retrieved 2008-05-02. 

External links

  • Birge, John (1994). Encyclopedia of world art. Luzac Oriental.  
  • Elsie, Robert (2004). Historical dictionary of Albania. Scarecrow Press.  
  • Fischer, Bernd Jürgen (1999). Albania at war, 1939–1945. Purdue University Press.  
  • Frashëri, Kristo (2002), Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeu: jeta dhe vepra, 1405–1468 (in Albanian), Tiranë: Botimet Toena,  
  • Gibb, Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen (1970). The Encyclopaedia of Islam. Brill Archive. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  • Hardin, A. F. (2000). European societies in the bronze age. Cambridge University Press.  
  • Historia e Popullit Shqiptar. Academy of Sciences of Albania. 2002.  
  • Jaques, Tony (2007). Dictionary of battles and sieges: a guide to 8,500 battles from antiquity through the twenty-first century. Greenwood Publishing Group.  
  • Lala, Etleva; Gerhard Jaritz (2008). "Regnum Albaniae and the Papal Curia" (PDF). Central European University. p. 32. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  • Myers, Samuel (1959). Encyclopedia of world art. McGraw-Hill.  
  • "National Agency of Tourism of Albania". Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
  • Norris, H. T. (1993). Islam in the Balkans: religion and society between Europe and the Arab world. University of South Carolina Press.  
  • Pearson, Owen (2 February 2006). Albania in the Twentieth Century, A History: Volume I: Albania and King Zog, 1908–39. I.B.Tauris.  
  • Spieser, J. M.; Cutler, Anthony; Papaconstantinou, Arietta (2007). The material and the ideal: essays in medieval art and archaeology in honour of Jean-Michel Spieser. BRILL.  
  • Stipcevic, Aleksandas (1977). The Illyrians: History and CultureFebruary 2011 . Noyes Press.  
  • "History of health services in the district of Krujë" (in Albanian). Directorate of the Stefan Gjoni Hospital of Krujë. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  1. ^ Law nr. 115/2014
  2. ^ Interactive map administrative territorial reform
  3. ^ 2011 census results
  4. ^ Elsie p.294
  5. ^ a b c d Gibb p.285
  6. ^ Harding p.429
  7. ^ a b Stipcevic p.99
  8. ^ Myers p.188
  9. ^ Spieser p.55-7
  10. ^ Norris p.35
  11. ^ Lala p.27
  12. ^ a b c Norris p.141
  13. ^  
  14. ^ Jaques p.549
  15. ^ Barleti, Marin. Rrethimi i Shkodrës. Tiranë: Instituti i Historisë, 1967, pp. 48–49
  16. ^ a b History of the Albanian People p.450-70
  17. ^ a b Pearson vol.1 p.27
  18. ^ Pearson vol.1 p.71
  19. ^ Pearson vol.1 p.84
  20. ^ Fischer p.111
  21. ^ Fischer p.150
  22. ^ Kruje, fiton Shkelzen Hoxha i PD-se
  23. ^ Lala p.157
  24. ^ Lala p.108
  25. ^ Birge p.71
  26. ^ Norris p.131
  27. ^ a b N.A.T
  28. ^ a b History of health services in the district of Krujë


Notable people

See also

In 1922 the Director General of Health Services appointed the first director of health services in Krujë, Ihsan Korça while the last to hold the post before the establishment of the Socialist People's Republic of Albania was Abdulla Mehmeti. The first hospital and the first polyclinic of Krujë were built in 1946 and 1948 respectively.[28] During 1968–69 a new medical laboratory and a department of surgery were added and expanded. In 1970 the Directorate of Hygiene and Epidemiology of the district was established in the town. In 1977-9 a new hospital and polyclinic were built, while in 1986 the first Obstetrics and gynaecology hospital of the town was opened.[28] In 2008 the first hospital was rebuilt and renamed after its first director Stefan Gjoni.



Krujë's most important football club is KS Kastrioti, founded in 1926 and briefly renamed as Puna Krujë in 1951. The club's home ground is Kastrioti Stadium, which has a capacity of 8,500 people.


The museums of Krujë include the Skanderbeg museum and the national ethnographic museum. The Skanderbeg museum, founded in 1982, was built in the environs of the Krujë castle. Its collection includes mostly 15th century artifacts related to the Albanian-Ottoman wars, during which the castle was besieged four times by the Ottoman army.[27] The national ethnographic museum of Krujë was founded in 1989 and is located in a 15–6 room villa of the Toptani family built in 1764. The main exhibits of the museum are objects of artisanship, whose age varies from 60 to 500 years.[27]

League of Lezhë sculptures in the national museum of Krujë


In Illyricum Sacrum Daniele Farlati documented fourteen Catholics bishops of the town from 1286 to 1694, while Konrad Eubel documented four additional bishops. Bektashism was introduced in the region of Krujë in the early 18th century.[25] During the Ottoman era a tekke dedicated to the Bektashi saint Sari Saltik was built near the church of Saint Alexander. In 1789–99 the Dollma tekke was built by the Dollma family near the castle. In 1807 Sheikh Mimi, sent by Ali Pasha to Krujë founded another tekke in the town. However, Sheikh Mimi was executed by Kaplan Pasha, who destroyed the tekke, which was restored by Baba Husayn of Dibër in the middle 19th century.[26]

In antiquity Krujë was a site used for pagan rituals, while after the spread of Christianity a church dedicated to Saint Alexander was built near Mount Krujë. In the late 9th century David of Krujë is mentioned as one of the bishops, who participated in the Fourth Council of Constantinople. In the early 10th century Krujë had a Byzantine Orthodox suffragan bishop, subject to the metropolitan bishop of Durrës. The Roman Catholic bishopric of Krujë was established in 1167, when its bishop was consecrated by Pope Alexander III.[23] In 1284 the Byzantine Empire expelled the Catholic bishop of Krujë, while after Stefan Uroš II Milutin captured the town, he also expelled the Catholic bishop Andreas Croensis in 1317.[24]

Sari Saltik on top of Mt Kruja



The current mayor of Krujë is Shkëlzen Hoxha, who was elected in the 2011 local elections as a candidate of the Democratic Party of Albania.[22]


Following the Italian invasion of Albania the country became a protectorate of the Kingdom of Italy. Mustafa Merlika-Kruja, a native of Krujë, who became the Prime Minister of the new regime ordered the formation of a 300-man gendarmerie force to defend the town against resistance groups. However, soon afterward, resistance leader Abaz Kupi, another native of the town, created one of the first permanent resistance forces of Albania in Krujë and gradually took control of the region.[20] In 1943 at the assembly of Tapizë Balli Kombëtar proposed to the LNÇ the creation of provisional resistance government, with Krujë as the capital city, but this proposal was rejected by the LNÇ leaders.[21] In the end of November 1944, the last German troops stationed in the area were defeated and LNÇ battalions entered the town.

Throughout the Albanian Revolt of 1912, that led to the creation of the Albanian Vilayet and later in the Declaration of Independence of Albania Krujë, which was captured on 14 August, was one of the major anti-Ottoman centers.[17] In 1914 Essad Toptani, a member of the notable Toptani family of the region and officer of the Ottoman army, captured the town and incorporated it in the Republic of Central Albania making it a center of his movement, but in June of the same year it was reincorporated by Prênk Bibë Doda in the Principality of Albania.[5][18] On 20 December 1914 the local anti-Essadists, led by Abdi Toptani and Mehmet Gjinali, formed the Union of Krujë, which quickly extended its authority in central Albania.[17][19]

During the rise of nationalism in the Ottoman Empire Krujë became the battlefield of various anti-Ottoman rebellions also related with the imposition of new taxes. In 1906 the people of Krujë revolted once more against the Ottoman Empire.[5] The Wāli of Shkodër, Sali Zeki Pasha sent four battalions of the Ottoman army stationed in the city against the rebels of Krujë. After prolonged confrontations the Ottoman officials offered to begin negotiations with the rebels. On 20 September 1906 the leaders of Krujë and the Ottoman diplomats met at the Tallajbe quarter of Krujë to discuss the administrative status of the town, however, the Ottoman army under Şemsi Pasha ambushed the rebel leaders.[16] During the battle that followed, which became known in history after the Tallajbe district, about 30 people died including uninvolved civilians.[5][16]

Adriatic Sea in the distance from Kruja Castle


[15] would also be successful.siege of Shkodra This success was viewed by the Ottomans as a good omen that the [14] Pietro Vetturi fended off the Ottoman besiegers, who retreated after the arrival of reinforcements under Francesco Contarini and Nikollë Dukagjini. The city was eventually conquered by the Ottomans in 1478 after being besieged for over a year.proveditor; however, the local garrison led by Gedik Ahmed Pasha. In 1476 the town was once more besieged by a ten-thousand-man army under Republic of Venice, whose total troops were about 150,000. After Skanderbeg's death in 1468, the city's garrison was supplemented by troops of the Mehmed II and Sultan Ballaban Pasha unsuccessfully by 1467 and then in 1466, who had tried to bribe Konti to surrender the castle of the town. In the following decade Krujë was first besieged in Murad II and Skanderbeg defeated an Ottoman force of about 100,000 men led by Sultan Vrana Konti under League of Lezhë in 1450, the 1,500 to 2,000 soldiers of the first siege of Krujë. During the fourth Siege of the city. From 1450 until 1477 Krujë was defended successfully by the Albanian troops four times against the Ottoman army, which eventually captured it in 1478 during the Albanian principalities, the confederation of the League of Lezhë In 1444 Skanderbeg incorporated it in the [12]

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