1-Mangalem and Gorica

Mangalem and Gorica are twoo Berat squares that are known for their harmony with the relief where they are built. Both neighbourhoods aand the foortres make the tipical view of the city. Most of the houses in the neighbourhoods are Cultural Monuments

In Mangalem the quarter below thw fortress, the houses are characterized by the great number of windows. One feature of great interes is the network of small streets, wich provide a very cosy atsmophere.

The neighbourhood is knowfor its number of craftsmen and merchants. It was populated relatively late byVlachs that came down from the destroyd Moscopole in the 18th century.

The Gorica is across Mangalem, and it hardly gets any sunshine in the winter. People of Berat humorously describe the quarter as “the neighbourhood where roosters stand on one leg only” This because it can get very cold there sometimes.

You can go to the fortress from Mangalem, by following a narrow path among the bushus known only to the locals. It is steep and good only for those that have already practiced mountain hiking. The trail follows a rocky terrain, and in addition to strong legs, you should olso have very good shoes. The treal goes past a place that the locals call the Cave of the Dumb. The name of the cave derives from a dumb person, who decide to seclude himself in the cave, where he spent the rest of his life.

To the left, on the edge of the rock, the St.Michael’s Church was built in the 13th century. The church is on the higher point of Mangalem, and the form they you can watch not only the neighbourhood but olso the quit flow of Osum, where it takes a very sudden turn to the west, and Gorica quartes across the river. A few metres above St.Michael’s Church is the cave with the same name, wich must have been an ancient Christian shrine. Remains of oldfrescos have been discovered in it, which are even older than Church below them.

Both quarters are connected by the Bridge of Gorica, which was originally built of wood. It was not until the 18th century that the bridge was transformed into what it is today. It is nearly 130 meters long and 5.3 metres wide. With its seven arches, the Bridge of Gorica stands 10 metres abovethe river. It is built on strong abutments, and the entire bridge has an outer layer of slabsthat are slabs that are held together with metallic hooks. The eleganc of the white stones that were used for the constustions of the bridge has made it a symbol of the town. St. Spiridon’s Church is located in Gorica, across the river. The church as a long arcade on its eastern side, on which thare is a small alcove. The icons of St.Spiridon and St. Demetrus are paint abovethe main antrance. This big church was built in the 19th century. It has a wooden iconostasis, a big upper gallery and the bell tower stwps.

In front of pedestrian streest, just above the streets that leads left to the small pine forest there is another church. It is a smaller than St.Spiridon Church and it has been reconstructed recently.

2- The fortress of Berat

The Fortrees is built on a 187 meter high hill overlooking the town, with high walla marked by 24 turrets of various form and sizes. The Fortress was built with huge squere stones, and it has a triangle shape. Unless it is too hot, you should try to climb it on foot. The other option is going there by car, which you can park in a small square in front of the Fortress.

Upon entering the Fortress, you will see St. Theodore’s Church to your left, which has very beautiful rescos by Onufri the famous Albanian painter. The church was built in the 16th century on even older foundations. When inside you will be impressed by the wall paintings showing the open armed Virgin, the Fathers of the Church,Christ, and angel Gabriel. You will olso find several icons in the church: Chrits Pantocrator, John the Baptist, and the Virgin Mary with the Child, most of which are by Onufri.After you leave the church, in a asmall square, you will came across a statue of Onufri, the Berat master of medieval iconography . In the center of Forttress is the Cathedral of St. Mary, whichis olso the Iconographic Museum “Onufri”.

Behind St.Theodire’s Church there are three smaller churches: St. Nicholas Church of St. Mary and Vllaherna. St.Nicholas Church has very interesting frescos, as well as an evidence of an earlier chuch dating from the 6th century. St. Costantantine and St. Helens Church is a later church, which was completed in 1644. Its frescos mainly depict scenes of the martyrizant of Christ. The smaller Church of St.Mary of Vllaherma has a very beautiful mural paintings by Onufri’s son, Nikolla, dating from late 16th century. Inside the fortress walls you will find the Chuch of Holy Trinity, dating from late 18th century to early 14th century. It has beautiful murals. After you leave the church, you will came across the inner walls. Next to the gate tou will see the ruins of the White Mosque and many houses. After you enter the inner quarter of the fortress you will came to the southern outer walls, next to the fortress, are the ruin of the Red Mosqu, Which was built in the second half of the 15th century to be used by the Turkish garrison.

About 500 metres from the mosque there is another church from the 14th century: St.Gergios Church.

Infomation :

-The Fortress can be visited at any time during the day

Tickets is: 50 leke for Albanian
100 leke for foreigners

3-The National Iconographic Museum ONUFRI

Museum Onufri is one of the mostly sights in the town. There you will find a great number of icons by the great Albanian medievalmaster Onufri and his son Nikolla and other painters. The museum was first opened in 1986. St. Mary’s Church was built in the century on the foundations of another church of the 10th century. It has a lot of decorations, which include figures of animals, Saint Nicholas, Saint Gerorge and Saint Basil. Its magnificent iconostasis is of elaborately carved walnut wood plated in gold, and it was made in 1806 by a master from Berat called Stephen.

The museum has three rooms:

-The central Rom: Across its entrance you will see one of the most beautiful icons by Onufri, showing Saint Mary holding baby Jesus in her right arm, an exception from all iconographic art canons. Another icons is by the entrence showing two warrior saints kneeling. Two other beautiful icons used in liturgy and cover are shown in the hall.

-Room2: It has a lot of icons. Here you will see the icon that shows the Mass of Candles. Another important icon is one showing the Virgin Mary, dating from the 17th century. Two other beautiful icons show Saint Michael and Saint Geroge.

-The upper room: You can reach this all by climbing a flight of wooden steps. The most beautiful icons include the one showing Saint Nicholas and other one showing the fortress and a view of the medieval town of Berat, painted by the masters Chetiri.

Informacion: Time Table
-Winter Opening Hours 1 October- 30 Aprill
Every day: 09:00-16:00
Sunday: 09:00-14:00
Monday Closed

-Summer Openning Hours 1 May- 30 September
Ever day : 09:00-13:00 16:00-19:00
Sunday: 09:00-14:00
Monday Closed
Ticket’s Price 200 leke

4-The Etnographic Museum

The Etnographic Museum is located on the lower face of the hiull, on the right of the road to the Fortress. It is situated in a atypical house of Berat, dating from late 18th. The building has twoo floors and an open veranda. On the gound of floor is the archaeological pavilion, a section of a mock medieval market, a silver smith and the architectural pavilion. On the first floor there is a reconstructed worshop, a bedroom, a kitchen and a reception room with vintagefurniture. The building itself, the museum exhibition and the housing complex surrounding it are proof pf an interesting and rich ethnographic culture.

Information time table

Winter Opening Hours 1 October- 30 April
Every day: 09:00-16:00
Sunday: 09:00-14:00
Monday Closed

Ever day : 09:00-13:00 16:00-19:00
Sunday: 09:00-14:00
Monday Closed
Ticket’s Price 200 leke