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The Monastery of Ardenica

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The Monastery of Ardenica is located close to the village of Kolonja. It is a Byzantine structure occupying a surface area of about 2,500 m². This monument consists of the Saint Mary Church, the Saint Triad chapel, the konake, the oil mill, the oven and the stall. In the center is situated the Church of St. Mary, partly built with pumice stones brought from Apollonia. It occupies a large area, covered by a wooden roof and a flat ceiling. The church is composed of a naos, a narthex and a two-story exonarex, which at the one end connects with the 24 meter tall bell tower. At the southern part of the complex is an open portico built with columns and cantilevers. The naos is made of three parts, each of them divided in two lines by wooden columns. An iconostasis divides the naos from the altar. The church floor is paved with stone tiles, as are the narthex and exo-narthex. In 1743 CE, with the initiative of Berat’s bishop, Metod, the monastery, including Saint Mary’s Church, underwent restoration. The Saint Triad chapel lies at the northwest part and its dimensions are 7.5 x 3.7 m. Its entrance is situated to the west, and it has two small windows on its southern facade. The icons of the Monastery are painted by KostantinShpataraku ( a famous Albanian painter of XVIII century) .The monastery of Ardenica is known as a place where our National Gjergj Kastriori Scandarbeg got married with princess Andronika Arianiti.

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