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BERAT The city of Berat is located in South Central Albania, 120 km south BERAT The city of Berat is located in South Central Albania, 120 km south of Tirana. It has a population of 64. 000 inhabitants.

The Historic Center of the city was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List The Historic Center of the city was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List on 8 July 2008 as “ a rare example of architecture typical for the Ottoman period. ” Berat was declared a Museum City in 1961 by the Albanian Government.

A brief History Berat is one of the oldest cities of Albania. Two stone A brief History Berat is one of the oldest cities of Albania. Two stone hammers found during archaeological excavations that date back to the last period of the Copper age prove that the city was inhabited during VI-VII B. C.

The city is thought to have been established and turned into an important fortification The city is thought to have been established and turned into an important fortification by General Antipatros, regent of Alexander the Great. It is from Antipatros that Berat is thought to have inherited its first name, Antipatrea.

In 1431, the Castle had 227 families and about 1500 inhabitants. Later the people In 1431, the Castle had 227 families and about 1500 inhabitants. Later the people started to build their houses outside the castle walls establishing the historic neighborhoods of Gorica and Mangalem.

Architecture : The Castle makes one of the most amazing views of the city. Architecture : The Castle makes one of the most amazing views of the city. It has preserved unaltered its original plan of IV century B. C. With time it has undergone some changes during the VI, VIII, XV and XIX centuries.

The houses in the castle were built during the XIII century and because of The houses in the castle were built during the XIII century and because of their characteristic architecture have been preserved as cultural monuments. The Castle has many Byzantine churches and some mosques built during the Ottoman period which started in 1417.

The monuments in the city of Berat are of three types: Religious monuments, Fortifications The monuments in the city of Berat are of three types: Religious monuments, Fortifications and folk houses. The religious monuments are divided in Churches, Mosques and Tekkes.

The oldest churches found in the city of Berat are Byzantine from the XIII The oldest churches found in the city of Berat are Byzantine from the XIII century. Those are the church of Saint Mary Blaherna, the church of Saint Michael and the church of Holy Trinity.

The mosques started to be built mainly in the middle of the XV century. The mosques started to be built mainly in the middle of the XV century. Among the first mosques built in the city of Berat are The Red Mosque, The White Mosques and King Mosque. Of great values are also the Bachelors Mosque and the Helveti Tekke.

 Dwelling Houses Dwelling Houses

 “Onufri” National Iconographic Museum – Is housed inside the Dormition of Saint Mary “Onufri” National Iconographic Museum – Is housed inside the Dormition of Saint Mary Cathedral (18 Century).

The icon fund dates from the XIV-XIX centuries and includes important works by the The icon fund dates from the XIV-XIX centuries and includes important works by the great painter Onufri and his school of painters.

 The Ethnographic Museum – Is housed inside one of the characteristic dwelling houses The Ethnographic Museum – Is housed inside one of the characteristic dwelling houses of Berat, dating from the XVIII century.

Inside the museum is the archeology pavillion, a recreation of the medieval baazar, the Inside the museum is the archeology pavillion, a recreation of the medieval baazar, the pavillion of architecture and the inner ambiences of a typical house from the XVIII century.

The church of Saint Mary Blaherna (XIII) – Is the oldest existing church in The church of Saint Mary Blaherna (XIII) – Is the oldest existing church in Berat. This church was restored in the XVI century and its frescoes were painted by artist Nicolas, son of Onufri.

 The church of Saint Nicolas (XVI Century) – The archaelogical excavations have shown The church of Saint Nicolas (XVI Century) – The archaelogical excavations have shown that the walls of the church have been built in the XVI century. Inside the church is a capitol used for religious rituals which is an element of the paleo-christian architecture.

The Church of Holy Trinity – (XIII-XIV century). Is built next to the second The Church of Holy Trinity – (XIII-XIV century). Is built next to the second perimeter of Castle walls. Is famous for its beautiful Byzantine frescoes and its walls are built using the clausonage technique.

The acropolis – Is situated on the highest part of the castle and composes The acropolis – Is situated on the highest part of the castle and composes the second perimeter of the castle walls. Inside the acropolis are the ruins of buildings used by the ottoman garrisons, the Residence of the Pasha, the ruins of the White Mosque, built in the early stage of the ottoman invasion, and a Byzantine water cistern.

The Red Mosque – (XV Century) – The Mosque is one of the oldest The Red Mosque – (XV Century) – The Mosque is one of the oldest in Albania. First was used by the caravans that came from the east heading west and later was used by the Turkish.

The church of Saint Theodore (XV-XVI) – The church was built in the middle The church of Saint Theodore (XV-XVI) – The church was built in the middle of the XV century and was painted by Onufri. Inside the church is a copy of the Glavenica Epitaph, an outstanding work of art from 1373.

The Monastery of Saint Spiridon (XIX Century) – The Monastery of Saint Spiridon is The Monastery of Saint Spiridon (XIX Century) – The Monastery of Saint Spiridon is in the center of Gorica Quarter. The inscription on the entrance dates it in 1864. The building is typical for the basilicas of the XVIII century.

The Gorica Bridge – The Gorica Bridge was built of wood in 1780 by The Gorica Bridge – The Gorica Bridge was built of wood in 1780 by Ahmet Kurt Pasha. Was rebuilt with stones in the XVIII century and later again during 1920 -1930.

The Bachelors Mosque – Was built in 1827 to serve the bachelor craftsmen of The Bachelors Mosque – Was built in 1827 to serve the bachelor craftsmen of the city. Characteristic for this mosque are the paintings surrounding its outer walls showing views from the city.

The Church of Saint Michael (XIII century) – Was built over a rock in The Church of Saint Michael (XIII century) – Was built over a rock in Mangalem Quarter on the south of the castle. It shows great skill in the application of the clausonage technique.

 The Medieval Centre : The King Mosque – The king Mosque is one The Medieval Centre : The King Mosque – The king Mosque is one of the most important mosques in the city. It was built in the end of the XV century by Sultan Bayzit II.

 The Helveti Tekke – (XV century) The Helveti Tekke is thought to have The Helveti Tekke – (XV century) The Helveti Tekke is thought to have been built in the XV century and was rebuilt by Ahmet Kurt Pasha in 1782. Characteristic for this Tekke is the ceiling made of decorative wood following the baroque style integrated in Islam art, with paintings described as of the most beautiful of the time.

The Iconography Onufri is the most important representative of post. Byzantine painting in Berat The Iconography Onufri is the most important representative of post. Byzantine painting in Berat and Albanian territories. His Icons are distinguished by the use of a specific shade of red, known as a very special color in the style of the icons and frescoes of that time, unreatable red colour.

 Berat became an important center of productivity and preservation of the important values Berat became an important center of productivity and preservation of the important values of Byzantine and post-Byzantine painting which by reaching us in our days are important treasures of our national culture.

- The Glavenica Epitaph -1373 -. Is a work of art, embroidered with golden, - The Glavenica Epitaph -1373 -. Is a work of art, embroidered with golden, silver and silk threads showing Jesus dead – with a crown of thorns and sorrounded with inscriptions in Greek.

The Codices of Berat “The Purple Codex of Berat“ (called Beratinus), contains excerpts from The Codices of Berat “The Purple Codex of Berat“ (called Beratinus), contains excerpts from the Gospels and is one of the oldest variations used in the New Testament. At the time when it was written in the VI century, it was one of the two similar codices existing in the world.

During World War II the German invaders tried to find them and failed. The During World War II the German invaders tried to find them and failed. The Codices were presented to the government in 1972 after removal from the basement of the cathedral of Saint Mary (Onufri Museum) and were later restored in China. Today they are preserved in the Central National Archive of the State and are part of World Memory – UNESCO Heritage.

The Rescue of the Jews during World War II: During World War II, 600 The Rescue of the Jews during World War II: During World War II, 600 Jews were sheltered and welcomed by Berat families in order to escape the holocaust. Albania is a unique case in the world, the only country included in the war that didn’t allow the Jews that entered its historical borders to be at risk.

The artisans have mostly family businesses and are based in woodwork, metalwork, embroidery, iconography, The artisans have mostly family businesses and are based in woodwork, metalwork, embroidery, iconography, hay works and carpets.

Religious Affiliation The coexistence and religious harmony is a distinct value of Berat citizenship. Religious Affiliation The coexistence and religious harmony is a distinct value of Berat citizenship. In the city coexist three religions: Muslim, Orthodox and Bektashi. The cultural coexistence: The city preserves features of influences from different cultures throughout the centuries, spiritual connections between different communities, and stands out for a distinct tolerance in the bringing cultures closer.

Challenges The challenges of our region consist in the future safeguarding of the present Challenges The challenges of our region consist in the future safeguarding of the present situation by making possible the living of the Berat people within such a historic site, by improving the quality of life Developing the economical situation without altering the urban historical ensemble. The architectural heritage and the interior ornamentals of the ancient buildings.

Thank You! Thank You!