The Krujë castle was the center of Skanderbeg's rebellion against the Ottoman Empire. During the Albanian Revolt of 1432-1436 the city was unsuccessfully besieged by Andrea Thopia and Ottoman rule was restored. After Skanderbeg's rebellion in 1443 the castle withstood three massive sieges from the Turks respectively in 1450, 1466 and 1467 with garrisons usually no larger than 2,000-3,000 men under Skanderbeg's command. Mehmed II 'The Conqueror' himself could not break the castle's small defenses until 1478, 10 years after the death of Skanderbeg. Today it is a center of tourism in Albania, and a source of inspiration to Albanians.

Inside the castle is the Teqe of Dollme of the Bektashi (an Islamic Sufi sect), the National Skanderbeg Museum, the remains of the Fatih Sultan Mehmed mosque and its minaret, an ethnographic museum and a Turkish bath.

Another attraction for tourists is the Ethnographic Museum, located in the south side of Kruje Castle. This museum is designed based on a typical house of 19th century. It reveals the sustainable methods of tools, food, drink and furniture production in a typical household. There are also objects and old wood and metal supplies that represent the lifestyle back then in the castle.

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Address

Rruga Kala, Krujë, Albania
See all sites in Krujë

Details

Founded: 6th century AD
Category: Castles and fortifications in Albania

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Dave Carr (6 months ago)
This is an amazing castle first built 1,000 years ago and offers a fascinating historical museum focused on Scanderbeg's role in Albanian history. Many displays and historical items. I had a tour guide to add to the experience. Kruja also offers an amazing views and the trip up the mountain by car is worth the trip as well, 360 view including the Adriatic Sea on a clear day.
David Hardman (6 months ago)
Interesting, but you need a guide for the most benefit. A very complicated history in this area. If you are on a coach, feel very sorry for the driver, hairpin bends everywhere.
Kim E. (6 months ago)
Really nice castle with museum. The entry for the castle is free, the museum fee is very cheap. Great view of the region!
Albert Hysa (7 months ago)
I liked the history inside those walls. The two museums are gorgeous. Maybe the historicity of the place could have been preserved better by not allowing restaurants inside, but at least the walls have been covered with stone. Absolutely a must if you are visiting Albania.
Christina Kr (7 months ago)
It was such a beautiful place. The scenery there was magestic with the greenery all over the place and those colourful flowers. The view from the castle which now is a museum is just wonderful . Also the market there has a variety of things to buy which are so beautiful, some affordable and some a little expensive. Finally in the restaurants the atmosphere was friendly especially the one called ELLI, the food was delicious which I thought it was a bit expensive but worth it ! For my first time it was a wonderful experience and of course I will go there again soon ! ❤
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Wawel Hill – a Jurassic limestone rock, a dominant feature in the landscape of Kraków, have provided a safe haven for people who have settled here since the Paleolithic Age. It is supposed that the Slav people started living on Wawel hill as early as the 7th century. Early medieval legends tell stories about a dreadful dragon that lived in a cave on Wawel Hill, about his slayer Krakus, and about the latter’s daughter Wanda, who drowned herself in the Vistula rather than marry a German knight. Towards the end of the first millennium A.D Wawel began to play the role of the centre of political power.In the 9th century it became the principal fortified castrum of the Vislane tribe. The first historical ruler of Poland, Miesco I (c.965-992) of the Piast dynasty as well as his successors: Boleslas the Brave (992-1025) and Miesco II (1025-1034) chose Wawel Hill as one of their residences.

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During the reign of Casimir the Restorer (1034-1058) Wawel became a significant political and administrative centre for the Polish State. Casimir’s son, Boleslas the Bold (1058-1079) began the construction of a second Romanesque cathedral, which was finished by Boleslas the Wrymouth (1102-1138). In his last will of 1138, this prince divided Poland into districts, and provided that Kraków was to be the residence of the senior prince. In 1291 the city of Kraków along with Wawel Hill temporarily fell under the Czech rule, and Wenceslas II from the Premysl dynasty was crowned King of Poland in Wawel cathedral.

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The Italian Renaissance arrived at Wawel in the early 16th century. King Alexander (1501-1506) and his brother Sigismund I the Old (1506-1548) commissioned the construction of a new palace in place of the Gothic residence, with an impressive large courtyard with arcaded galleries which was completed about 1540. Sigismund’s patronage also left an indelible impression in the cathedral, where a family chapel was erected, known today as Sigismund’s Chapel - the work of Bartolomeo of Berrecci Florence, and through various foundations, one of which was that of a large bell, called the Sigismund to commemorate the king. Close artistic and cultural relations with Italy were strengthened in 1518 by the king’s marriage to Bona Sforza. Alongside Italian artists, German architects, wood workers, painters and metal smiths worked for the king. The last descendant of the Jagiellonian dynasty, Sigismund II Augustus (1548-1572), enriched the castle’s interiors with a magnificent collection of tapestries woven in Brussels. In the “Golden Age” of Polish culture Wawel became one of the main centres of humanism in Europe.

The reign of Sigismund III Waza (1587-1632) also made a strong impression on the history of Wawel. After a fire in the castle in 1595 the king rebuilt the burned wing of the building in the early Baroque style. The relocation of the royal court to Warsaw was the cause of a slow but nevertheless steady deterioration in the castle’s condition. The monarchs visited Kraków only occasionally. Restoration of the castle was undertaken during the reign of John III Sobieski, the Wettins and Stanislas Augustus to counteract neglect.

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