The monastery has a Byzantine-orthodox architecture but with many romanesque features, which lies in a surface of 2.500 meters square. It is composed of the Saint Mary Church, the chapel of the Saint Trinity, a mill, and a barn. The guide will let you in the chapel and its surrounding. The mill and barn are not open. The paints on the walls in the chapel are really impressive . The iconostasis is wooden and polychrome in gold.
But before you enter the monastery have a look around! It’s very nice view. You can see Adriatic sea, Karavasta lagoon, town Fier, Kruja,Laberia mountains.
Note: the guide is really nice guy… we didn’t pay any entrance tickets and he gave to kids balloons 🙂
Bit of history
Andronikos II Palaiologos started building the monastery in 1282 after the victory against the Angevins in the Siege of Berat. The chapel of Saint Trinity was already there, erected centuries before. A pagan temple, dedicated to Artemis had existed on the site before the chapel, and it is thought that the name of Ardenica stems from Artemis.
Since 1780, in the Monastery existed a Greek school to prepare clerics. In 1817, the school became a high school, which had also a student house. From this school graduated the Bishop of Berat, Josif.During the Albanian National Awakening period the school became one of the places where also the Albanian language was taught.
The monastery had an exceptional library of 32,000 volumes that got completely burned by a fire in 1932.
The Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania retook possession of the monastery again in 1992 after the fall of the communist regime in Albania.
If you will be tired or hungry during your trip you can visit one of the restaurants build on the hill :- )
My husband is so kind and took me to one of the restaurant and ordered food for us. The food was so lovely!! But then he asked me… Do you know what have you just eaten? In that moment my blood started to run faster in my veins!! I asked him back what? His answer was : Frog !