Krujë (definite Albanian form: Kruja, see also the etymology section)
is a town and a municipality in north central Albania. Located between
Krujë and the
Ishëm River, the city is only 20 km north
from the capital of Albania, Tirana.
Krujë was inhabited by the ancient Illyrian tribe of the Albani. In
Krujë became the capital of the first autonomous Albanian state
in the middle ages, the Principality of Arbër. Later it was the
capital of the Kingdom of Albania, while in the early 15th century
Krujë was conquered by the Ottoman Empire, but then recaptured in
1443 by Skanderbeg, leader of the League of Lezhë, who successfully
defended it against three Ottoman sieges until his death in 1468.
The Ottomans took control of the town after the fourth siege in 1478,
and incorporated it in their territories. A 1906 local revolt against
Ottoman Empire was followed by the 1912 Declaration of
Independence of Albania. In the mid-1910s
Krujë was one of the
battlefields of the conflict between the short-lived Republic of
Central Albania, founded by Essad Toptani, and the Principality of
Albania. In 1914 Toptani managed to seize the town but during the same
year it was reincorporated by
Prênk Bibë Doda
Prênk Bibë Doda in the Principality of
Albania. During World War II it was the center of the activities of
resistance leader Abaz Kupi.
The museums of
Krujë include the
Skanderbeg Museum, located in the
environs of the
Krujë Castle, and the national ethnographic museum.
6 Notable people
7 See also
9 External links
The name of the city is related to the Albanian word kroi, krua,
meaning "fountain", from Proto-Albanian *krana < *krasna.
The city was attested for the first time as Kroai (in medieval Greek
Κροαί) in Byzantine documents of the early 7th century. In
medieval Latin it was known as Croia, Croya and Croarum. During the
Ottoman era it was also known as Ak Hisar or Akçahisar from the
Turkish words ak (white) and hisar (castle).
See also: Illyrians
In ancient times the region of
Krujë was inhabited by the Illyrian
tribe of the Albani, while the town is located near the Iron Age
Illyrian site of Zgërdhesh. Some scholars have identified the
site with the main settlement of the Albani, Albanopolis, while others
Krujë itself. During the Illyrian
Wars the area of
Krujë was captured by the Roman Republic.
See also: Principality of Arbanon
Krujë Castle is a major landmark located on the highest point of
Early medieval artifacts of
Krujë include dress items and weaponry
found in fifth- and sixth-century cemeteries, which display the high
status and the wealth of the burials. Originally a middle-sized
fortress like other urban centers of
Krujë expanded to a town
probably from the sixth to the ninth century AD. In 1190 Krujë
became the capital of the first autonomous Albanian state of the
middle ages, the
Principality of Arbër
Principality of Arbër founded by Progon of the House
of Progon. During the reign of Gulam of
Albania the principality
was dissolved and incorporated in the newly founded Kingdom of
Albania. During the late 13th and early 14th century the Byzantine and
in 1343 the
Serbian Empire took control of the city. The Kingdom
Albania was eventually dissolved between 1363 and 1368, when Karl
Topia captured its capital
Durrës and incorporated its territories,
Krujë in 1363 in the Princedom of Albania. After 1389
the House of Thopia gradually lost control of the town, which by 1395
had come under Ottoman vassalage. The Ottomans lost control of Krujë
in the early 15th century, when it was captured by
Niketa Thopia and
regained it in 1415. After its recapture it was incorporated in
the Sanjak of
Albania and formed an administrative unit with the
status of Subaşilik as attested in the regional register of 1431.
Albanian Revolt of 1432-1436
Albanian Revolt of 1432-1436 the city was unsuccessfully
besieged by Andrea Thopia.
Until 1432, the subaşi (governor) of
Krujë had been Zagan
Bey, then Hizir Bey, and later during 1437—1438
Skanderbeg was its governor. In November 1438 Hizir Bey was again
appointed as subaşi of
Krujë until he was replaced in April 1440 by
Umur Bey. On 28 November 1443
Skanderbeg gained control over
Krujë by deceiving its subaşi with forged sultan's letter. In
Skanderbeg incorporated it in the League of Lezhë, the
confederation of the Albanian principalities.
Alley of the old market
From 1450 until 1477
Krujë was defended successfully by the Albanian
troops four times against the Ottoman army, which eventually captured
it in 1478 during the fourth Siege of the city. During the first siege
Krujë in 1450, the 1,500 to 2,000 soldiers of the League of Lezhë
Vrana Konti and
Skanderbeg defeated an Ottoman force of about
100,000 men led by Sultan Murad II, who had tried to bribe Konti to
surrender the castle of the town. In the following decade
first besieged in 1466 and then in 1467 unsuccessfully by Ballaban
Pasha and Sultan Mehmed II, whose total troops were about 150,000.
After Skanderbeg's death in 1468, the city's garrison was supplemented
by troops of the Republic of Venice. In 1476 the town was once more
besieged by a ten-thousand-man army under Gedik Ahmed Pasha; however,
the local garrison led by proveditor Pietro Vetturi fended off the
Ottoman besiegers, who retreated after the arrival of reinforcements
under Francesco Contarini and Nikollë Dukagjini. The city was
eventually conquered by the Ottomans in 1478 after being besieged for
over a year. This success was viewed by the Ottomans as a good
omen that the siege of Shkodra would also be successful.
During the rise of nationalism in the
Krujë became the
battlefield of various anti-Ottoman rebellions also related with the
imposition of new taxes. In 1906 the people of
Krujë revolted once
more against the Ottoman Empire. The
Wāli of Shkodër, Sali Zeki
Pasha sent four battalions of the Ottoman army stationed in the city
against the rebels of Krujë.
The old bazaar and the mosque of Krujë
After prolonged confrontations the Ottoman officials offered to begin
negotiations with the rebels. On 20 September 1906 the leaders of
Krujë and the Ottoman diplomats met at the Tallajbe quarter of Krujë
to discuss the administrative status of the town, however, the Ottoman
army under Şemsi Pasha ambushed the rebel leaders. During the
battle that followed, which became known in history after the Tallajbe
district, about 30 people died including uninvolved civilians.
Throughout the Albanian Revolt of 1912, that led to the creation of
Albanian Vilayet and later in the Declaration of Independence of
Albania Krujë, which was captured on 14 August, was one of the major
anti-Ottoman centers. In 1914 Essad Toptani, a member of the
notable Toptani family of the region and officer of the Ottoman army,
captured the town and incorporated it in the Republic of Central
Albania making it a center of his movement, but in June of the same
year it was reincorporated by
Prênk Bibë Doda
Prênk Bibë Doda in the Principality of
Albania. On 20 December 1914 the local anti-Essadists, led by
Abdi Toptani and Mehmet Gjinali, formed the Union of Krujë, which
quickly extended its authority in central Albania.
Following the Italian invasion of
Albania the country became a
protectorate of the Kingdom of Italy. Mustafa Merlika-Kruja, a native
of Krujë, who became the Prime Minister of the new regime ordered the
formation of a 300-man gendarmerie force to defend the town against
resistance groups. However, soon afterward, resistance leader Abaz
Kupi, another native of the town, created one of the first permanent
resistance forces of
Krujë and gradually took control of
the region. In 1943 at the assembly of Tapizë Balli Kombëtar
proposed to the LNÇ the creation of provisional resistance
Krujë as the capital city, but this proposal was
rejected by the LNÇ leaders. In the end of November 1944, the
last German troops stationed in the area were defeated and LNÇ
battalions entered the town.
Krujë is found at an altitude of 600 m (1,969 ft) on the foot of
Krujë (Albanian: Mali i Krujës) of the
Krujë Gorge, while
south and west of the town is found the plain of the
The town is located in the northern part of the outer Albanides
tectonic unit, which consists of anticlines of Mesozoic carbonate
platforms. The administrative center of the municipality is the town
of Krujë, but it also includes the villages of Barkanesh, Brre and
Picerragë. The closest cities to
Durrës at a
distance of 20 and 37 km respectively.
The municipality was formed at the 2015 local government reform by the
merger of the former municipalities Bubq, Cudhi, Fushë-Krujë,
Nikël and Kodër-Thumanë, that became municipal units. The
seat of the municipality is the town Krujë.
The current mayor of
Krujë is Artur Blushi, who was elected in the
2015 local elections as a candidate of the Socialist Party of
The total population of
Krujë is 59,814 (2011 census), in a total
area of 339.02 km2. The population of the former municipality
at the 2011 census was 11,721.
In 1922 the Director General of Health Services appointed the first
director of health services in Krujë, Ihsan Korça while the last to
hold the post before the establishment of the Socialist People's
Albania was Abdulla Mehmeti. The first hospital and the
first polyclinic of
Krujë were built in 1946 and 1948
respectively. During 1968–69 a new medical laboratory and a
department of surgery were added and expanded. In 1970 the Directorate
of Hygiene and Epidemiology of the district was established in the
town. In 1977-9 a new hospital and polyclinic were built, while in
1986 the first
Obstetrics and gynaecology hospital of the town was
opened. In 2008 the first hospital was rebuilt and renamed after
its first director Stefan Gjoni.
Sari Saltik on top of Mt Kruja
Krujë was a site used for pagan rituals, while after the
spread of Christianity a church dedicated to Saint Alexander was built
near Mount Krujë. In the late 9th century David of
mentioned as one of the bishops, who participated in the Fourth
Council of Constantinople. In the early 10th century
Krujë had an
Eastern Orthodox suffragan bishop, subject to the metropolitan bishop
of Durrës. The Roman Catholic bishopric of
Krujë was established in
1167, when its bishop was consecrated by Pope Alexander III. In
Byzantine Empire expelled the Catholic bishop of Krujë,
Stefan Uroš II Milutin
Stefan Uroš II Milutin captured the town, he also
expelled the Catholic bishop Andreas Croensis in 1317.
Daniele Farlati documented fourteen Catholics
bishops of the town from 1286 to 1694, while
Konrad Eubel documented
four additional bishops. Bektashism was introduced in the region of
Krujë in the early 18th century. During the Ottoman era a tekke
dedicated to the
Sari Saltik was built near the church
of Saint Alexander. In 1789–99 the Dollma tekke was built by the
Dollma family near the castle. In 1807 Sheikh Mimi, sent by Ali Pasha
Krujë founded another tekke in the town. However, Sheikh Mimi was
executed by Kaplan Pasha, who destroyed the tekke, which was restored
by Baba Husayn of Dibër in the middle 19th century. In the early
20th century, Hasluck wrote that the population of
appeared to be almost entirely Bektashi. 
Skanderbeg Museum with the Fatih Sultan Mehmet mosque in the front
The museums of
Krujë include the
Skanderbeg museum and the national
ethnographic museum. The
Skanderbeg museum, founded in 1982, was built
in the environs of the
Krujë castle. Its collection includes mostly
15th century artifacts related to the Albanian-Ottoman wars, during
which the castle was besieged four times by the Ottoman army. The
national ethnographic museum of
Krujë was founded in 1989 and is
located in a 15–6 room villa of the Toptani family built in 1764.
The main exhibits of the museum are objects of artisanship, whose age
varies from 60 to 500 years.
Krujë's most important football club is KS Kastrioti, founded in 1926
and briefly renamed as Puna
Krujë in 1951. The club's home ground is
Kastrioti Stadium, which has a capacity of 8,500 people.
Further information: Category:People from Krujë
History of Albania
Shtamë Pass National Park
Church ruins, Krujë
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^ Orel, Vladimir (1998). Albanian etymological dictionary. Brill.
p. 198. ISBN 9004110240.
^ a b Fishta, Gjergj; Elsie, Robert (2005). The Highland Lute.
I.B.Tauris. p. 434. ISBN 9781845111182.
^ Fishta, Gjergj; Elsie, Robert (2005). The Highland Lute. I.B.Tauris.
p. 434. ISBN 9781845111182. it was first referred to as
Kroai in a Byzantine document in the early seventh century.
^ Elsie p.294
^ Harding p.429
^ a b Stipcevic p.99
^ Myers p.188
^ Spieser p.55-7
^ Norris p.35
^ (Buschhausen & Buschhausen 1976, p. 35)
^ Lala p.27
^ a b c Norris p.141
^ İnalcık, Halil (1995), From empire to republic : essays on
Ottoman and Turkish social history, Istanbul: Isis Press, p. 76,
ISBN 978-975-428-080-7, OCLC 34985150, D'après le registre
de l'an 1432, à Kruje on fait les subasi en ordre chronologique, les
titulaires suivants : en 1432 Hizir Bey, en novembre 1438 encore
Hizir Bey, en avril 1440 Umur Bey. Vers 1438 Iskender Bey, fils de
Jean, avec le kadi de Kruje ont delivre des certificats (biti, mektub)
sur des transfers de timar, operation qui indique que Iskander Bey
(Scanderbeg le Kastriote) avait ete nomme subasi de Akcahisar (Kruje),
avant que ne soit nomme a ce poste pour la deuxième fois Hizir
^ Jaques p.549
^ Barleti, Marin. Rrethimi i Shkodrës. Tiranë: Instituti i
Historisë, 1967, pp. 48–49
^ a b c d Gibb p.285
^ a b History of the Albanian People p.450-70
^ a b Pearson vol.1 p.27
^ Pearson vol.1 p.71
^ Pearson vol.1 p.84
^ Fischer p.111
^ Fischer p.150
^ Law nr. 115/2014 Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Kruje, fiton Artur Blushi i PS-se Archived 11 August 2011 at the
Wayback Machine. Alblink.com
^ Interactive map administrative territorial reform
^ 2011 census results Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
^ a b History of health services in the district of Krujë
^ Lala p.157
^ Lala p.108
^ Birge p.71
^ Norris p.131
^ Hasluck, F. W (1915). "Geographic Distribution of the Bektashi".
Annual of the British School at Athens Volume 21 : page 121 -- "
Croia.-The population of this town seems to be almost exclusively
Bektashi. Its extraordinary importance as a place of Bektashi
pilgrimage is brought out by Degrand's interesting account of the
saints' tombs, traditionally 366 in number, in and about the town"
^ a b N.A.T
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Krujë.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Kruje.
Municipality of Kruja Official Website
Skanderbeg and Kruja National Ethnographic Museums Official Website
"Albanian Canadian League Information Service website". Retrieved
Links to related articles
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