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Located approximately 20 kilometers from Gjirokastër, the Church and Monastery of Saint Mary in Spile stand proudly atop Saraqinisht. Records on the main gate's inscription reveal its venerable history, tracing back to the year 1634. Designated as a cultural heritage monument of the "Architecture" category in June 1973, this church's unique typology classifies it as a structure built around the specified period.

Crafted in the form of a cross with an internally measured dome of 7.40 x 6.20 meters, the naos boasts intricate paintings by Mihali, created during the era of Bishop Kalist. Connecting to the narthex on the western side, the gate (naos) forms an architectural harmony with a longitudinal arch centrally positioned above two round arches. The southern entrance, safeguarded by an open portico, reveals a captivating square platform crowned by a dome.

Perched on a limestone rock with karst caves, the monastery has historically served as a residence for hermits seeking isolation to repent for their sins before God.

Situated near a mountainside, the religious complex is intelligently designed to ensure optimal illumination. Beyond its role as a center for religious practices, the church beckons visitors with not only its spiritual significance but also its exceptional artistic and cultural values.

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  • March 2, 2024 1:32 am local time

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