Skanderbeg Square (Sheshi Skënderbej)

Skanderbeg Square (Sheshi Skënderbej)

Skanderbeg Square is the largest and most important of the squares of Tirana and the whole of Albania. 

Dedicated to the national hero Giorgio Castriota Skanderbeg but simply called Sheshi Skënderbeu, its large size is a consequence of the willingness of the Albanian communist government to show the rest of the world its power and prestige; here, in fact, the spectacular military parades took place during the communist period.

The Square took its current name in 1968, when the bronze equestrian statue of the Albanian patriot was placed here On the Square there are many palaces and monuments that tell the story of Albanian history in addition to the National Historical Museum.

The Mosque of Et’hem Bey is among the best known Muslim places of worship in Tirana. It was built in 1789 and was finished in 1823. Although closed during the communist period, the Mosque of Et’hem Bey remained intact as a national monument, testifying to the great value that this building has for the Albanian people.

Located next to the mosque is the Clock Tower (also known as Kulla and Sahatit), was built from 1821 and was finished with the decisive economic help of the wealthy families of Tirana according to the tradition of Muslim culture. The tower underwent an increase of 35 meters in 1928 when a clock from Germany was placed on top. 

The Opera and Dance Theatre is the largest theatre in Albania, and is at the centre of a collaborative network with the main theatres of Central and Eastern Europe. 

Built in 1953, the theater contributed (and still contributes) to increase the cultural life of the city with numerous events.

The New Orthodox Cathedral was inaugurated in 2011 after ten years of work and is located a few meters from the square. Officially consecrated on June 24, 2012, the New Cathedral is today the cathedral of the archdioceses of Tirana, Durres and all of Albania. The construction of the New Cathedral became necessary due to the fact that the communist regime, strongly layman, had totally destroyed the old Orthodox cathedral to erect in its place the Hotel International Tirana.

A few steps from the Square we can find the Tanners’ Bridge (stone pedestrian bridge of the Ottoman period) and the Friendship Square with the homonymous monument donated by Kuwait as a symbol of friendship between the two countries.

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