Manastiri i Shenkollit Mesopotam

Delvinë District, Albania

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“It is located south of the Mesopotamian village, on a small hill between the two Bistrica river beds. It was built at the time of the Byzantine emperor Constantine Monomaco (1042-1054). From the monastery are preserved today the ruins of the surrounding walls that reach a territory of 100 m long and 80 m wide and controlled by 7 rectangular towers. A tower is kept on the west side (one of its sides) with a height of 10 m. The protective walls are earlier than the existing church. The monastery chambers that no longer exist are built later.

This church is a unique type, it is the largest among the Byzantine churches preserved in Albania in the XI-XIV century and among the oldest architectural monuments. Its outer appearance is in the form of a cubit 17,20 x 11,04 m in planimetry, with its central part being elevated above both sides and covered by 4 dome. The other parts, lower, are three-sided. The outer walls consist of three horizontal bands and are constructed of limestone, large in size. The southern wall has been well preserved and gives more of the former idea. The stones are worked well, but only on the outside. The windows in the upper belt are located three in the south wall and 3 in the west, one on each front. On the eastern wall, in the lower lower part there is an eagle, two dragons and a lion on the sides of the abscess. On the other side of the abscess there is another mythological animal with head as being. Naosi has square shape with a column in the center. Above to pass arches in both directions forming 4 square cores. It is divided by the endonarch and the altar environment with elegant stone crossbow arches.”

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