Albania is an unexpectedly religious country despite its difficult history. Once communism fell, missionaries started writing a new spiritual chapter for Albania. Below you will find the very best churches in Albania.
The Fatih Mosque (Albanian: Xhamia e Sulltan Mehmet Fatihut) is an old church mosque that was transformed into a mosque during the 15th century and is recognized as an Albanian Cultural Monument.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Tirana’s St Paul’s Cathedral stands as an outstanding example of modern architecture. Conceived to look like a large yurt, its distinctive design sets it apart from other churches nearby and houses an iconic statue of Mother Teresa – an Albanian Catholic nun and missionary who made her mark around the globe.
The church complex is set within a spacious courtyard that allows visitors to gain a closer glimpse of its cathedral itself. Built between 1994 and 2002, its main building resembles more closely traditional churches than modern structures would; Paul visited Albania during his missionary journeys and preached Christianity among its population during that time period. This cathedral bears his name.
This cathedral serves the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Tirane-Durres and is known for its beautiful stained glass windows that depict Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa. Additionally, the cathedral serves as a popular venue for classical concerts while offering regular services both in Albanian and English.
The cathedral is an amazing sight and well worth the trip if you’re seeking peace and solitude in prayer or reflection on spiritual matters. Please dress modestly when entering this religious site; shoes should remain at its entrance.
The Cathedral of the Resurrection
The Cathedral of Resurrection in Tirana, an Albanian Orthodox church built between 2004 and 2012 and inaugurated as an autocephalous Albanian Orthodox Church and elected Archbishop Anastasius to lead its congregation, is truly breathtaking. A true mix of traditional and modern architecture with its dome-topped exterior housing exquisite icons; as well as housing a cultural center and exhibition hall it serves as the seat of the Holy Synod and houses cultural center and exhibition hall facilities for cultural events held there.
Resurrection Cathedral in Albania offers one of the best places to view magnificent frescoes, making it well worth a visit for anyone interested in this art form. Built by Haxhi Et’hem Bey and featuring beautiful frescoes of trees, waterfalls, bridges, and other natural scenes – which is rare to come across within Islamic artwork – Resurrection Cathedral offers something truly exceptional for its visitors who appreciate beautiful art such as frescoes.
Albania is known for its long tradition of religious tolerance and ecumenism, making it common to find mosques, Catholic Churches, Orthodox cathedrals, and Protestant congregations all in one city. This reflects that the majority of Albanians are Muslims while 20% are Eastern Orthodox and 10% Roman Catholic with small religions such as Protestantism or Bektashi Sufism also making an appearance despite Communist era destructions of many beautiful churches – which still stand today!
The Church of the Holy Cross
Gjirokaster, an area with traditional stone buildings, was home to one of the hallmark churches for many decades: Holy Cross Church. Archbishop Anastasios bought and renovated it, believing that its central role in developing young people’s intellect and spiritual capacities made it essential as an Ecclesiastical High School with modern facilities like a library, study rooms, dormitory space, chapel space etc made this church essential to his vision for youth development.
Saint Elias (known in Albanian as Shengjerj/Sveti Djordje) was revered as an embodiment of the ancient sun god Helios, with numerous hilltop churches and sanctuaries dedicated to him throughout Albania. Additionally, he is celebrated as the patron saint of herders, with his feast day being observed annually on November 11 by Albanian Orthodox.
In 1873, Protestant missionaries Xh. Berd, Marsh, and Hauz arrived in Albania and settled at Monastery. These evangelicals were among the first evangelicals to preach in Albanian. Qiriazi later took over this responsibility before spreading Christianity throughout Korca and Pristina.
The Church of St. Mary of Blachernae
The Church of Saint Mary of Blachernae, more commonly referred to as the Dormition of St Mary, is a historic church located within Berat’s castle quarter and constructed during Byzantine rule during the 13th century. As part of Berat and Gjirokastra UNESCO World Heritage sites, it has a special significance and should not be taken for granted as part of an ancient site.
Church was an important center for replicating miniature decorated codices during the 16th and 17th centuries, thanks to an onufri who founded the Berat School of Icon Painting during this time. Additionally, there are Byzantine frescos within its walls which have become damaged from humidity but remain worth viewing.
Saint George (known in Albanian as Shengjergj), one of the most beloved saints, features prominently in folk tales and is used to facilitate many customs aimed at encouraging children, livestock, and crops to prosper. Saint George’s Day is observed every April 23 and commemorated by eating special flea pies similar to pizza for celebration.
Saint Cosmas Aitolos, who served as bishop of Lycia in Asia Minor during the 4th century AD and is widely revered in Albanian Orthodoxy as well as Catholicism, is widely venerated and worshiped throughout his homeland and beyond. Many churches across Albania honor him with religious services dedicated to him primarily within Orthodox and Catholic denominations – these dedications primarily take place in southern parts of Albania where there are Catholic congregations dedicated to him as patron saint.