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.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.