Saint Nicholas Church

Lezhë, Albania

The Church of Saint Nicholas, former Selimije Mosque, is a ruined historic church and mosque where the remains of Skanderbeg are said to be preserved in Lezhë, Albania. It is now used as Skanderbeg's Mausoleum.

Originally, the building was a church, named after Saint Nicholas. Until this day, a fresco of the saint is still present in the remains of the church, although heavily damaged. The Church was located in the interior part of a Illyrian City which was later reconstructed by the Romans, in the 1st century BC. Evidence for this is the 'Gaviarius' Stone in front of the entrance, which was unearthed during the Archaeological Excavations in 1975-1980 by Frano Prendi and Koço Zheku.

When the Ottomans conquered Albania, they plundered the church and turned it into a mosque, by adding a dikka, a mihrab and a large minaret. The mosque was named after the OttomanSultan Selim I. The trouble that Skanderbeg caused to the Ottoman Empire's military forces was such that when the Ottomans found the grave of Skanderbeg in the St. Nicolas they opened it and made amulets of his bones, believing that these would confer bravery on the wearer. The St. Nicolas' Church was rebuilt by the Ottomans elsewhere in return as a gesture of tolerance towards Christians.

The Selimiye mosque was one of the last buildings from the Middle Ages in Lezhë and did not survive during the dictatorship of Enver Hoxha, who destroyed all mosques in Lezhë. The minaret of the Selimie mosque was torn down. In 1981, the Skanderbeg Mausoleum opened here.

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Details

Founded: 1459
Category: Religious sites in Albania

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Stefan Odd Gruszczynski (3 months ago)
The decorations on the wall inside the church was interesting
Bernard Dowling (4 months ago)
Fabulous church in the heart of dublin a must visit for tourists and locals
John O'Mahony (6 months ago)
Beautiful church, parking good.
Marian Hill (10 months ago)
Beautiful church priest done a lovely ceremony for my late uncle Bill ?
PATRICK BARRETT (3 years ago)
Chrisening, Holy Communion and Confirmation at St.Nicholas of Myra.
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