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Dera e Gjomarkut (Gjomarkaj Porte)

After the death of George Kastrioti Skanderbeg, in the year 1468, in Lezhe, the Turks invaded Albania. The only castle still left in the hands of the Venetians and Albanians was the castle of Shkodra called “Rozafa”. The defenders of Shkodra were the famous Venetian Captain Antonio Loredano and Albanian Prince Leke Dukagjini. In 1479 the city of Shkodra was taken by the Turks. With the fall of Shkodra, all of Albania was conquered by the Ottomans.

At that time all of Albania was Christian (Roman Catholics). With the occupation of Albania by the Turkish (Ottoman) empire, trouble began for the Albanians. A large mass of the people, especially from the south, took the routes of emigration. The first to Greece and then from Greece to Italy where, still today, there is a large Albanian colony, especially in Calabria, Puglia and Sicily, preserving language and traditions. The Albanians in Italy are called Arberesh.

In Albania, the Turks began to dominate with fire and sword. Gradually most of the Albanians began to renounce the Catholic faith (religion) and embrace Islam, except in the mountain regions of the North with Mirdita at the head and those of the South in Himara. Those in the north are Roman Apostolic Catholics and those in the South are Orthodox Schismatics.

The Mirdites have never lowered the standard of the Catholic religion, and of their nationality, even within the framework of the Turkish Empire.

The princes of Mirdita also known as “Kapidan of Mirdita” are believed to be descendants of a Dukagjini (Prince of the Dukagjini), precisely from Nikoll Pal Stefan Dukagjini, contemporary of Skanderbeg. History teaches us of the first leader of Mirdita with the name Gjon Marku (Mark Kole Pal Stefan Dukagjini) from which his dynasty is called “Dera e Gjomarkut”. The headquarters of Gjon Marku is in Orosh, the capital of Mirdita.

While the Mirdites sought the protection of the Kings of Naples, in 1502 they also turned to Carlo Emanuele of Savoy, but not being able to receive help from them they recognized the sovereignty of the Sultan. Turkey, unable to rule Mirdita by force, was constrained to enter into an agreement with Gjon Marku. The agreement was based on these basic points:

  1. Turkey will be satisfied with Mirdita recognizing the nominal authority of the Sultan.
  2. The right of juridical, civil and religious liberties (Roman Catholic apostolic) is recognized (by the Sultan) in Mirdita.
  3. Mirdita will be excluded from all state taxes. They will not pay taxes or fees.
  4. Mirdita is governed by the “Kanun” (Kanuni of Lek Dukagjini), its natural and traditional law administered by the traditional leaders of the area and defined by Gjon Marku, who recognizes himself as the supreme authority of Kanun.
  5. Mirdita has to send volunteer soldiers in case of war for a fixed period. These soldiers will be commanded by the traditional leaders of the area (region) and will be commanded by the Kapitan or its Prince. The Mirdita army will go to war wearing their national costume.

This agreement gave Mirdita peace and unity. Gjon Marku gathered the villages and divided them into Bajrak (flags) creating three Bajrak:

  • The first was Orosh: the county seat or capital
  • The second Bajrak was Spac
  • The third was Kusheneni

Thus Mirdita became a political entity headed by “Dera e Gjomarkut” (The Door of Gjon Marku). The head of the Dera e Gjomarku and the head of Mirdita saved the situation. Gjon Marku’s fame goes beyond the borders of Mirdita and also resonated abroad. Gjon Marku left a son, Marka Gjoni, who showed his distinguishment through his missions.

After the death of George Kastrioti Skanderbeg, in the year 1468, in Lezhe, the Turks invaded Albania. The only castle still left in the hands of the Venetians and Albanians was the castle of Shkodra called “Rozafa”. The defenders of Shkodra were the famous Venetian Captain Antonio Loredano and Albanian Prince Leke Dukagjini. In 1479 the city of Shkodra was taken by the Turks. With the fall of Shkodra, all of Albania was conquered by the Ottomans.

At that time all of Albania was Christian (Roman Catholics). With the occupation of Albania by the Turkish (Ottoman) empire, trouble began for the Albanians. A large mass of the people, especially from the south, took the routes of emigration. The first to Greece and then from Greece to Italy where, still today, there is a large Albanian colony, especially in Calabria, Puglia and Sicily, preserving language and traditions. The Albanians in Italy are called Arberesh.

In Albania, the Turks began to dominate with fire and sword. Gradually most of the Albanians began to renounce the Catholic faith (religion) and embrace Islam, except in the mountain regions of the North with Mirdita at the head and those of the South in Himara. Those in the north are Roman Apostolic Catholics and those in the South are Orthodox Schismatics.

The Mirdites have never lowered the standard of the Catholic religion, and of their nationality, even within the framework of the Turkish Empire.

The princes of Mirdita also known as “Kapidan of Mirdita” are believed to be descendants of a Dukagjini (Prince of the Dukagjini), precisely from Nikoll Pal Stefan Dukagjini, contemporary of Skanderbeg. History teaches us of the first leader of Mirdita with the name Gjon Marku (Mark Kole Pal Stefan Dukagjini), from which his dynasty is called “Dera e Gjomarkut”. The headquarters of Gjon Marku is in Orosh, the capital of Mirdita.

While the Mirdites sought the protection of the Kings of Naples, in 1502 they also turned to Carlo Emanuele of Savoy, but not being able to receive help from them they recognized the sovereignty of the Sultan. Turkey, unable to rule Mirdita by force, was constrained to enter into an agreement with Gjon Marku. The agreement was based on these basic points:

  1. Turkey will be satisfied with Mirdita recognizing the nominal authority of the Sultan.
  2. The right of juridical, civil and religious liberties (Roman Catholic apostolic) is recognized (by the Sultan) in Mirdita.
  3. Mirdita will be excluded from all state taxes. They will not pay taxes or fees.
  4. Mirdita is governed by the “Kanun” (Kanuni of Lek Dukagjini), its natural and traditional law administered by the traditional leaders of the area and defined by Gjon Marku, who recognizes himself as the supreme authority of Kanun.
  5. Mirdita has to send volunteer soldiers in case of war for a fixed period. These soldiers will be commanded by the traditional leaders of the area (region) and will be commanded by the Kapitan or its Prince. The Mirdita army will go to war wearing their national costume.

This agreement gave Mirdita peace and unity. Gjon Marku gathered the villages and divided them into Bajrak (flags) creating three Bajrak:

  • The first was Orosh: the county seat or capital
  • The second Bajrak was Spac
  • The third was Kusheneni

Thus Mirdita became a political entity headed by “Dera e Gjomarkut” (The Porte of Gjon Marku).

The head of the Dera e Gjomarku, as the head of Mirdita, resolved the situation. Gjon Marku’s fame goes beyond the borders of Mirdita and also resonated abroad. Gjon Marku left a son, Marka Gjoni, who showed his distinguishment through his missions.

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TE SARAJET

24 QERSHOR, 2021

Sot, tek Sarajet e Gjon Marka Gjonit midis djemve te ri te Deres se Gjomarkut.

Te dashtun miq e dashamire! Dielli i fotre gjithnon e lut njerzimin me gjet krojet e veta. Sot, si dite ne program te rindertimit te Sarajeve kishim per qellim marrjen e disa masave fizike dhe pershkrimin e terrenit per arkitektet por jo vetem kaq.

Ishte shen Gjon dhe nuk kishim si mos me e Lut Krishtin midis dy Gjonave ende gjall, te ri e te forte, Gjon Kol Gjoni dhe Gjon Nikoll Lleshi. Freskia e vetme e ksaj dite te nxehte ndodhet ne Orosh te Mirdites.

Un do ta quaj nje dit memorje sepse pas 80 vjet komunizmem vetem sot ishin bashk per bisede barku i Lleshit te Zi.Faleminderit Lal Gjonat ton, faleminderit Bianca, bija e Kapidan Ndue Gjon Markut, faleminderit Vincent.

Historishkruesit e realizmave social komunist kan than se nuk ka ekzistue Ish Republika e Mirdites. Si sot 100 vite ma par Keshilli i Ambasadoreve u mblodh per te degjue ankesat e Mirdites me Marka Gjonin ne krye e sot, pas 100 vjetesh ju deshmuam se Gjomarkajt rrojne, jan te fort e te dijshem e brezi i ri po rritet plot drite e shprese.

Ju faleminderit te dashtun kusherinj per mikpritjen dhe pranin tuaj bashkarisht sot tek Sarajet e Kapidanit te Mirdites.

Juaj.

Artan Lleshi Gjomarkaj.

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TE SARAJET

14 KORRIK, 2021

Oroshi nuk asht vetem Keshtjelle ndertue me gure, natyre, heroizem, histori, kroje e livadhe perzier. Oroshi eshe nje Keshtjelle njerzish; burrash dhe zonjash fisnike, qendisur me buzeqeshje prej shpitrash te paster e te lire, qendisur tek syte fjalet e mireseardhjes.

Kjo zonje sot na priti me lot gezimi ne sy e na percolli po me lot gezimi. Eshte ne moshen 94 vjec e gezon nje shendet plot te dhuruar prej Zotit per te prit e percjelle miq e dashamire te Oroshit. Patem fatin te gjejm ne oborr te kulles se Ndue Gjok Gjinit, Marten e Ndue Gjokes, zonjes qe vec dasmave te zakonshme, ne kohe te sundimit komunist ajo ka veshur per nuse dhe ka percjelle edhe hallen time pasi gjyshja ime ishte armike e shpallur dhe percjelle ne groten e interninit te Tepelenes me gjith femijet e mitur.

Agia qe sot nuk rron asokohe ishte prag martese e dasma e saj u be ne kete kullue fale bujarise se ktyre njerezve te mrekullueshem e plot nur ne shpirt e sy. Nana Marte, me ke mallengjyer sot. Ne do te vijme perseri, sapo te na jepet rasti.

Ju faleminderit o djemt e Ndue Gjok Gjinit per kete dite te mrekullueshme qe na dhuruat.

Faleminderit gjithashtu Klaus qe na mundesove ngjitjen tone tek votra e kujtimeve krah Sarajeve te Kapidanit te Mirdites.

Me perqafime

Juaj , ma i vogli femije i Prenges se Major Nikolles.

Artan Lleshi

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TE SARAJET

28 KORRIK, 2021

Edhe pse temperatura teper te larta ,sot ishte nje dite e veçante per Oroshin.

Faleminderit Arkitektit Giliberto Menconi dhe bashkepunetorit te studios se arkitektures dhe mikut yne Fatmir Macaj per pranine e tyre fizikisht ne truall te Sarajeve.

Me arkitektin z. Menconi diskutuam gjate ne truall te sarajeve per variantet e struktures se adheshme dhe vura re me sinqeritet te plote nje profesionalizem te shkelqyer si dhe shkelqim idesh ne perputhje me vlerat e treves tone dhe kuptimin e struktures muzeale qe do te ndertohet nga familja Gjomarkaj po mbi themelet e kullave te djegura me 1945.

Arkiteto Mendon: “Nuk e harroj kurre kete dite”. Ti u nise nga Roma ne te zbardhur te dites, e nga Rinasi rrugtove drejt e ne Orosh. Une personalisht kam mbetur pa fjale nga korrektesa juaj dhe nga mendimi juaj profesionalist dhe arkitekturor.

Bianca sot gjithashtu na nderoi me qendresen e saj kundrejt ksaj vape te tmerrshme e me gjithate nese gjithkush diten e sotme do ta shenonte ne kelendarin e tij si diten me te nxehte te vitit, une dua ta shkruaj ne kalendarin tim si diten me te ngrohte, rrethuar me miq e me bukuri prej bjeshkesh duke shenuar edhe hapin e pare drejt fillimit te realizimit te projektit te rikonstruksionit te Sarajeve te Kapidanit te Mirdites.

Ju faleminderit per mbeshtetjen dhe sakrificen tuaj.

Faleminderit Arkitekt Giliberto Menconi

Faleminderit Fatmir Macaj

Faleminderit Bianca Gjomarkaj

Faleminderit Vincent Nakovics

Juaj,

Artan Lleshi

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Rev. Henry Fenshaw Tozer Visits Sarajet – 1865

Rev. Henry Fanshawe Tozer, (1829 – 1916) was an English writer, teacher, traveler, and geographer. He traveled extensively in Greece and in European and Asiatic Turkey. He visited the Sarajet in 1865.

Below are excerpts from his book “Researches in the Highlands of Turkey, Including Visits to Mounts Ida, Athos, Olympus and Pelion, to the Mirdite Albanians and Other Remote Tribes” pub. London: John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1869.

Chapter XIII – pgs 300-301

“At last we struck up a side valley through the bed of a tributary stream, and about nine o’clock saw a bright light gleaming through the darkness, which we were told proceeded from the palace. Toward this we made our way, stumbling along over a rugged track, in the midst of the flashing light of numerous fire-flies, until at last we passed through a gateway, and entering a courtyard found ourselves in front of the dwelling of Prince Bib. While our letter of introduction is being read, and preparation made for our reception, let me endeavor to describe it.”

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WEDDING AT THE SARAJET – 1930

The Wedding of Kapidan Mark Gjon Marku took place at the Sarajet in Orosh on 24 August, 1930. The excerpt below is from the book “A British Officer in Albania” by Lt. Col. W.F. Stirling, pub. 1931. Lieutenant-Colonel Stirling held a couple of posts in Albania under King Zog’s regime. The last post was of Inspector General of Civil Administration. During his time in Albania he frequently explored the country.

A memorable occasion was attending the wedding of Kapidan Mark Gjon Marku, the eldest son of Kapidan Gjon Marka Gjoni, at the Sarajet in Orosh as a distinguished guest. Below is his account of the event which took place during the week-long festivities culminating with the wedding on 24 August, 1930.

“Gjon Marko Gjoni, Prince of the Mirdita, had invited us for the wedding of his eldest son and asked me to be the principal witness. He explained that according to custom I would thus become a blood relative of his family, so that none of his other sons, alas, could ever marry my daughter. His family had ruled Mirdita without intermission since the middle of the fifteenth century and Gjon Marko Gjoni was, in addition, Paramount Chief of the Dukagjini, the five Catholic tribes of the northern mountains. He was a force to be reckoned with for, at his call, five thousand riflemen would assemble under his orders within three days, and as many more from neighboring tribes a few days after.”

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