Built by Byzantine Emperor, Andronikos II Palaiologos in 1282 after the victory against the Angevins in the Siege of Berat, the Ardenica Monastery is famous as the place where, in 1451, was celebrated the marriage of Skanderbeg, the national hero of Albania, with Andronika Arianiti. In 1780 the Monastery started a theological school to prepare clerics in Greek Orthodoxy. It had an important library with 32,000 volumes that got completely burned by a fire in 1932. The Church of Saint Mary within the monastery contains frescos from brothers Kostandin and Athanas Zografi, notably one of saint John Kukuzelis, born in Durrës, Albania.

The monastery was closed for the public and for clerical duties in 1969 as the communist regime declared Albania an atheist state. The buildings and its surroundings were left in a state of decay for many years until 1988 when a partial reconstruction took place for tourism purposes. The Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania retook possession of the monastery in 1992 after the fall of the communist regime in Albania.

Architecture

The monastery has a Byzantine-orthodox architecture but with many romanesque features. It is composed of the Saint Mary Church, the chapel of the Saint Trinity, a mill, and a barn. 

The iconostasis is wooden and polychromed in gold. It was realized in 1744, with the help of the Moscopole masters. The icons are the work of the 18th century painter Kostandin Shpataraku.

All the watermarks are in Greek, with the exception of the prayer written in 1731 from Nektarios Terpos in Albanian. The oldest watermark dates from 1477 and can be found in the principal entry of the monastir. A second watermark dates 1743 - 44 and pertains to the painting period from the Zografi brothers. In the monastery can also be found two plates pertaining to the 17th century. One of them, dated 1754, can be found in the western side of the church, the other, dated 1770 is found in the arches of the stove. Dates can be found also on the church's bells.

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Details

Founded: 1282
Category: Religious sites in Albania

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Oriado Asanbejlli (4 months ago)
Good place!
Alesia Manushi (5 months ago)
An amazing place which show tourists for the rich culture of Albania
Tanislava Gorska (7 months ago)
Working monastery, two monks living there and taking care of the place. Beautifully maintained blooming garden, neat yard. Old wall frescoes can be seen, and on the second floor there is a big piece of wall painting representing The Last Supper and it is very detailed and interesting.
Shëndet Paç (11 months ago)
The Monastery of the Nativity of the Theotokos in Ardenica or simply Ardenica Monastery (Albanian: Manastiri Lindja e Hyjlindëses Mari, Greek: Ιερά Μονή Γεννήσεως Θεοτόκου Αρδευούσης) is an Eastern Orthodox monastery, distant 18 kilometers north of Lushnje, Albania, along the national road that links Lushnjë to Fier.[5]is an Eastern Orthodox monastery, distant 18 kilometers north of Lushnje, Albania, along the national road that links Lushnjë to Fier. Monastery of the Nativity of the Theotokos in Ardenica Manastiri i Ardenices Monastery informationOrderOrthodox Autocephalous Church of AlbaniaEstablished1282Dedicated toByzantine victory on the Angevins in Beratduring the Siege of Berat (1280–1281)PeopleFounder(s)Andronikos II PalaiologosSiteLocationFier District, AlbaniaCoordinates40°49′7″N 19°35′33″EPublic accessyes Built by Byzantine Emperor, Andronikos II Palaiologos in 1282 after the victory against the Angevins in the Siege of Berat, the monastery is famous as the place where, in 1451, was celebrated the marriage of Skanderbeg, the national hero of Albania, with Andronika Arianiti. In 1780 the Monastery started a theological school to prepare clerics in Greek Orthodoxy. It had an important library with 32,000 volumes that got completely burned by a fire in 1932. The Church of Saint Mary within the monastery contains frescos from brothers Kostandin and Athanas Zografi, notably one of saint John Kukuzelis, born in Durrës, Albania.
Ala Vanya (14 months ago)
This place is advertised as the last active Orthodox monastery in Albania. However, we could not see neither monks nor priests, the air in the church was stale, no candles burning, a chain that blocks you from going around the church...and a person dressed casually (jeans and t-shirt) and presented as the guardian of the monastery charged us tickets and did not allow taking photos.
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