The Et’hem Bey Mosque is without doubt one of the loveliest mosques in Tirana, the Albanian capital. The structure is well known as much for its design as its rich history.
Location and How to Get to This Specific Site
The mosque is right in the main square so it is very easy to spot. If you want to ride the train, the options are those from Pogradec, Vlore, Elbasan, Shkodra and Durres. Bus services from Serbia, Macedonia, Turkey and Athens may be used.
What to See There
From the outside, the dome and the towers dominate the main square. Due to its popularity, you will likely see many people around the site. The interiors of the mosque are decorated with intricate details.
The overall color of the interior is a golden yellow. Just like other mosques, the place is regarded as sacred. Worthy of inspection are the frescoes on the exterior and the portico. These show trees, bridges and waterfalls. These are rarely seen in other Islamic works of art.
The Et’hem Bey Mosque was constructed between 1794 and 1821. When the country fell to the Communists, the mosque was closed down. During its construction, various architects worked on it. The man at the helm upon its completion was Et’hem Bey.
In 1991, the mosque was finally reopened without permission from the government. Upon its opening, 10,000 religious devotees went to the place. Surprisingly, the police did not interrupt the services. It would be the first step towards religious freedom in the country.
Transport fares depend on where you are coming from. Trains from Durres cost 100 Lek. From Shkodra, the fare is 1600 Lek. From Vlore it is 210 Lek and from Elbasan 200 Lek. Train rides from Pogradec
cost 350 Lek.
The National History Museum is also in the square. There is also a clock tower near the mosque. Walking around the area, you will see a statue of Skanderbeg, the Albanian hero. Other attractions nearby include the Natural Sciences Museum, the Palace of Congresses, the Gallery of Figurative Arts and the National Theater.
The Kopshti Zoologjik Tirane and the theater of Opera and Ballet are also nearby. Other landmarks include the Petrela Castle, Mount Dajti and the Piramida.
The Et’hem Bey Mosque can be visited anytime except when there is a prayer service. Before you proceed to the inner room, remove your shoes.