Manasitri “Shen Kozmait”

Fier Albania

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Monastery of St. Cosmas. In the low plain of Myzeqe, between Kolkondas and Seman River, is the Monastery of St. Cosmas. Built at the beginning of the XIX century by Ali Pashai of Tepelena in honor of Kozma Etol. It carries shades of legends and truths, which blend into one another, turning into interesting stories to surprise. Precisely under their effect every August 24 Orthodox believers in the province take the road to celebrate each year on the day of the martyrdom of Apostle Kozma. The ceremony of celebrations lasts all day in this holy place located 10 km north of Fier and hides in itself a part of Albania’s past history. The Church of St. Cosmas, Kolkondas The monastery of Shen Kozma is located in the lower plain of Myzeqe between the Kolkondas Village and the Seman River. The Monastery and the Church of St. Cosmas was built in the years 1814-1815 with the order and assistance of Ali Pashe Tepelenes in honor of Kozma Etol. For the construction of the monastery, all the people of the province of Myzeqe worked for almost two years. In this facility were used stone pegs and stones brought from Apollonia. The monastery consisted of the church of Shen Kozmait and the taverns. The suites were two storeys and contained 60 rooms. Above the floor were the clerics and monastery carers, while on the first floor the dormitories, the pilgrims and merchants who came to the fair. With Ali’s order near this monastery, an elementary school with a dormitory of 100 pupils was opened, transforming it into the largest school in this area. Another Pasha’s message was that Kolkondo’s monastery would return to the Christian-religious center of all Treves from Shkumbini to Vjosa. Ali gave the monastery numerous land properties in the villages: Kolkondas, Bubullime, Mujalli, Korkutas, Narte etc. The first masters who embarked on the construction of this temple were killed by Ali because they could not construct the church according to the example of Kozma’s head. The second masters who finished this building left their portrayals carved on wood. Place of Education and Culture As I mentioned a little above in Ali Pasha’s customary Kolkondo in 1817, a school was opened. It was a kind of gymnasium and the lessons were held in Greek. Its purpose was to prepare clergy for the needs of the church. Here is what English painter Eduard Lir, who visited the monastery in 1848, says in his travel notes:

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