Sheshi Skënderbej is a plaza located in the heart of Tirana, named after the Albania's most important national hero George Kastrioti Skanderbeg. After Tirana’s mayor decided to modernize, work began on March 2010, with funding provided by the State of Kuwait. Great results could already be seen in during our September 2012 visit.
We stayed at the Tirana International Hotel and Conference Centre and could not have wished for a better location. The hotel is situated in the heart of Skanderbeg Square, and our bedroom window provided a “front-row” view of this beautiful square day and night.
Walk north of the Square and you will reach the central train station. Walk south and you will end up in the Lana River, Blloku and Mother Teresa Square. Walk a few steps to the west and you will face huge mosaic and beautiful colored mural of the National Historical Museum OR walk east, for two hours, and you will reach the express cable car station to Fusha e Dajtit.
Some of the attractions in Skanderberg Square are:
*****The Opera & Ballet company that produces shows periodically. During our stay there was a folklore show promoted and tickets were offered at 5 to 15 USDs. The front part of the Opera building has an outdoor coffee shop that offers cold/hot drinks and gelatos.
*****Et’hem Bey Mosque is considered to be one of the most beautiful Islamic worship buildings in Albania. The frescoes of the mosque show trees, waterfalls and bridges, which are not seen frequently in Islamic Art. A call for prayers never failed to reach us at night and early morning. Though the mosque was closed during the communist rule it reopened in 1991, without government permission, after 10,000 people entered the premises carrying Albanian flags.
****A visit to Skanderbeg Square is not complete without viewing the Statue of Skanderbeg, sitting proudly on his galloping horse, ready to defend Albania from any invading forces, just as he did from 1444 to 1468 after being elected Chief of the League of the Albanian People. Even today Skanderbeg is considered to be a model of Christian resistance against the Ottoman Muslims.
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