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

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Pauline Goodwin (14 months ago)
Lovely church great service
Andrew Stynes (15 months ago)
One of the best classical churches you will ever see. The sculpture work around the altar is a joy to behold and a few secrets to bestoy as well.
Vinny Phelan (19 months ago)
Love visiting here. Always peaceful.
Flughafenkaiser (19 months ago)
Hidden away off Francis Street Dublin you wouldn't think it was there at all but inside it is large and very beautiful place of worship. Highly worth the visit.
Eveline Fox (20 months ago)
What a beautiful Church. A jewel in the centre of Dublin. Atmosphere tranquil, peaceful and very comfortable to sit and reflect.
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