What is hidden beneath the grave of Skenderbeg in Lezha? - Albanians In The World

What is hidden beneath the grave of Skenderbeg in Lezha?

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There are many visitors and tourists who, while visiting the burial place of Skënderbeu in Lezha, did not know that another precious treasure was hidden beneath their feet.

Even the guards do not mention such a fact. The lid in the cathedral of St. Nicholas has not been opened for years, even hiding parts of history.

Neither the Lezhanians know what is just two meters below the site where imitation of Skanderbeg's helmet and sword have been placed. This is also said by the specialist of cultural monuments Dede Margjoni.

He explains that there are doubts that apart from the structure that is crafted with a high level of art, hidden can also be a sorkofag.

Opening and exposing this great discovery would be another attraction for visitors and tourists. The specialist of the cultural monuments Dede Margjoni has his suggestions on how this goal can be realized.

Resources from the Municipality of Lezha have announced that cooperation with the archeology institute will be required to open and be visited because they are convinced that the number of visitors will be much greater. For this feature that conceals Skanderbeg's burial site in Lezha, the former National Cultural Responsible of Lezha, historian Paulin Zefi, also speaks.

According to him, in the years 1978-1981, during the process of works carried out at the Cathedral of St. Nicholas (Scanderbeg of Scanderbeg) by the specialists of "Atelies of Monuments of Culture" in Tirana, in addition to discovering the foundations of the perimeter walls of this facility , rich antique and medieval stratigraphy, plastering removal, the discovery of the ancient Iliro - Roman road and other finds has also revealed a Kriptë (underground tomb).

Archaeological excavations and other structural interventions brought to light the original masonry of the first construction phases until the XV century. During excavations in the interior space of the Cathedral of St. Nicholas near the site where the altar (destroyed by the Ottomans) was discovered, a hidden grave and a limestone sarcophagus were created according to the typology of the medieval period sarcophagus.

This sarcophagus was covered by a material about 1.8 m in thickness with respect to the floor level of the Church. It turned out to be empty, therefore, without any fragment of bone or other relic. The position of the sarcophagus was not according to the axis of the Church, east - west, but slightly deviated in the northwest - southeast axis.

It is thought that during the brutal excavation (1478) there have been various injuries. Specialists decided that just above the place where this sarcophagus was discovered, marble tiles, helmet and bronze sword (according to the original pattern) were placed. The structure we see today represents the grave of the national hero Gjergj Kastrioti, but it is actually 2m above the empty sarcophagus and the crypt of this religious object.

The re-conceptualization of this symbolic tomb, the reopening of the Church's crypt and the exposition of the sarcophagus by pointing out the true tomb that continues to remain hidden beneath a concrete cover, would give even more value to this sacred place for Albanians.

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