albania - the land of the illyrians
Berati (Berat) - View from Gorica.
Berati, a city in south central Albania. Located near the Osum River, Berat is the commercial center for the surrounding agricultural region in which tobacco, grapes, and fruits are grown. The town of Berat, overshadowed to the east by mount Tomorr (2400m), is built on an ancient Illyrian dwelling site, which goes back to the sixth century B.C. Its innumerable monuments and beautiful and characteristic architecture of its houses have proclaimed Berat, a museum town.
Much of the city is built on terraces in the steep hills overlooking the Osum. The city has many historical monuments, including mosques dating from the 15th to 19th centuries and an 18th-century seven-arched stone bridge. A 13th-century citadel built along a ridge high above the river gorge houses a museum and several old churches.
The castle and its fortified walls are interrelated just like a mosaic where various stages of buildings such as " Kala ", " Mangalem ", " Gorice " which are settled on hills units of the toun make up an impressive example of our genius creative people.
Gorica, on the far side of the river ; Mangalem, on the fortress side of the river; and the residential quarter within the fortress (known as Kalaja). The houses on the fortress side which date from the seventeenth century, have typically two stores, with the upper storey slightly overhanging and rich wood carving within. With their wide facades and large windows, they seem to be built almost on top of one another, giving Berat its name of : The town of a thousand windows.
Berati has a population of 37,000 inhabitants. The hills and the mountain slopes around Berat, are planted with fig trees olive trees and other fruits. Cult buildings and important monuments are well-known for a prominent architecture. Their foundations belong to paleochristian buildings. Monuments that preserve a complete view are of XIV centuries. Within these monuments there are some masterpieces of our distinguished painters just like : Onufri, Nikolla , Qipriot , Cetir and many other nameless persons, whereas the institution fund of cultural monuments in Berat preserve abaut 400 religions objects and icons which in the greatest part of them as the result of the missing of financial sources are still unrestored.
Mosques and small mosques are brilliant examples in their rising skill of architecture execution, but in particular the iterior part of ceilings and stained glass windows too. Institute affilation of cultural monuments in Berat is an institution that, restores and propogates all these inheritable values.
Museums such as Onufri, Ethnographic and Historic preserve and devote prior importance to this treasury placing the bases of a cultural tourism. Being proposed as a world property, Berati is going to be sooner under protection. There is very developed home tourism in Berat where foreigner's preference is the characteristic native kitchen.