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The historical masterpieces in Albania are as enveloped in beauty as they are heavy in historical and cultural context. Excavated from the ruins of ancient cities and carefully preserved throughout the centuries, these treasured objects, sculptures, and paintings are scattered throughout the country’s countless museums and galleries.
Albanian art shows a historical, deeply-rooted fascination and celebration of female beauty and strength as ancient busts, such as the Dea of Butrint and the Beauty of Durrës, and the iconic painting Motra Tone, Albania’s own Mona Lisa, reveal.
As the country passed through Christianity to Islam to a fifty-year-long ban on religion during the Communist era, the unusual fate of religious art in Albania is worth witnessing. Sculptures from antiquity celebrate the Greek and Roman mythological gods, the figure of the Christ is found in several mosaics, embroidered works, and exceptionally beautiful iconographic paintings while the paintings from the Socialist Realism celebrate heroes of war while glorifying the rulers of the time.
One of the most fascinating mosaics in Albania, the 6th century Mosaic of Mesaplik located in the National Historical Museum, raises multiple questions regarding the portrait of an unidentified person and mysterious inscription. No one can know how archeologist Damian Komata felt in 1979, when he uncovered the forgotten Mosaic of Mesaplik among the ruins [...]
Museums are the passports of each country’s history. Indeed, without them, it would be impossible to verify truths on the origins of any civilizations. Albania’s own National Museum of History is located at the heart center of the capital. In its beautifully arranged pavilions, you can find several of the national masterpieces, and sources of [...]
Like the Dea of Butrint, the Beauty of Durrës (Bukuroshja e Durrësit), dates back to the 4th century B.C. However, it was as late as 1918 that Austrian archaeologist Camillo Praschniker discovered the masterpiece. The foreign scholar first found this ancient mosaic within the foundations of an old house in Durrës. The conclusion of the Second World [...]
The Epitaph of Gllavenica dates back to the distant year of 1373. This masterpiece is Albania’s own version of the Shroud of Turin, though more ornate and intricate in nature than the famous shroud. The Epitaph’s name, given by the scholar Theofan Popa, is based on the ecclesiastical title of Bishop Kalist of Gllavenica and [...]