41.51388888888919.791944444444520Koordinaten: 41 ° 31 ' N, 19 ° 48 ' E
Kruja ( Albanian: Kruja, in the local dialect gegischen Kro, yes; Italian Croia; Turkish Akçahisar ) is a small town in northern central Albania. Kruja has 11,721 inhabitants ( 2011) and is the seat of the homonymous district.
The city's name comes from the Albanian word meaning " spring" or " fountain" ( kro, -i). In Byzantine documents of the early 7th century, the name appears Kroaí (Greek Κροαί ) on the first time, while the city Croia, Croya and Croarum was called in Latin. In the Ottoman period they called the Turks Ak Hisar or Akçahisar, which in Turkish means as much as " white castle ".
Kruja is located at the western foot of the Mali i Krujës, a summit of Skanderbeg mountains, at an altitude 400-640 meters above the coastal plain, which is drained by the Ishëm the Adriatic Sea.
In the early Middle Ages, Kruja developed between the 6th and 9th century by a medium-sized castle settlement to an urban center. Testify artifacts from this period that have been found in tombs and the high social status and wealth of the interred. In the 9th century the city was the seat of a bishop named David, who is attested as a participant in the Fourth Council of Constantinople Opel.
1190 founded the Principality Progon Arbanon with the castle Kruja as center of power. It was the first of an Albanian nobles ruled the principality. 1415 Kruja was conquered by the Sultan Mehmed I. guided Ottoman troops. In the middle of the 15th century Skanderbeg conquered with his League of Lezha the city back and defended by the fortress from Albania several decades against the invading Ottomans. This attacked the castle repeated thereafter on, for example, in the months-long but unsuccessful first siege in 1450. Was only after the death of Skanderbeg, the Turks could Kruja 1478 and All Albania fully occupy and dominate more than 400 years. In the 16th century, the bazaar - mosque was built, which still stands today. 1617 the medieval town of Kruja was devastated by a powerful earthquake.
1946, the first hospital and a dispensary was built in 1948. Between 1968 and 1969, a medical laboratory and a surgical department were grown. In 1970 the Rector of Hygiene and Epidemiology of the circle Kruja was founded. Between 1977 and 1979 a new hospital was built. 1986 opened its doors to the obstetrics and gynecology hospital. In 2008, the older hospital was renovated and named after its first director Stefan Gjoni.
The fortress of Kruja is a historic shrine for the Albanian nation. The Skanderbeg Museum inside the fortress wall is remembered in the on the struggle of the Albanians under Skanderbeg and his League of Lezha, was designed by the architect Pranvera Hoxha, daughter of Enver Hoxha and to give the appearance of a medieval fortress. Within the fort walls who is still a small Tekke of the Bektashi, Ethnographic Museum, and Turkish bath. In the lower part of the fort there are numerous small houses, where families still live. At the foot of the hill lies a restored bazaar, whose buildings date from the 19th century and reflect the architecture typical of the mountain area.
For tourists visiting the sights of the city, there are some hotels, cafes, bars and numerous souvenir stalls as otherwise hardly in Albania. Most visitors come for a few hours from Tirana or Durres or make a short stop in transit. It offered guided tours.
On the hill above the town is located in a cave one of the alleged tombs Sari Saltiks, a saint of the Bektashi Order. A mountain range to the east there is the National Park Qafë Shtama. At the foot of the mountain not far from Fushë - Kruja are the ruins of the Illyrian site Zgërdhesh.
Business and sports
The town developed in decline in recent decades, and has also lost to the population. The more accessible places Fushë - Kruja and Thumana in the plane today have more inhabitants than Kruja. The city offers some work mainly as an administrative center and in the tourism sector. The region is also known for traditional crafts and souvenirs that are produced and sold here.
The local football club KS Kastrioti Kruja plays since 2009 back in the top league.