The city’s name itself comes from the Albanian word “krua”, water spring, thanks to the water sources at the castle rock side. The Albanian historian and humanist of the 15th century, Marin Barleti, calls the Kruja castle “the most beautiful and largest of all other castles”, while the Byzantine historian Kritobuli considers it “very strong and a shield of the whole country”.
Kruja is mentioned under the name Kroai, in Byzantine documents in the beginning of the 7th century. It is further mentioned by church documents of the IX century as an episcopal center, while in 1190 it returned to the core of Arbëri, the first Albanian feudal state headed by the local ruler, Progon from Arbëria. Later, Kruja is known as the main center of resistance against the Ottoman invaders, led by the national hero Skenderbeu.
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