The Kruje Castle, locally known as Kalaja e Krujës, is a historic monument located in the city of Krujë, Albania. Built in the 5th or 6th century, the castle is perched above the city, offering a breathtaking panoramic view of the surrounding landscape from an elevation of 557 meters (1,827 ft).
The castle is deeply intertwined with Albanian history, being the center of the legendary Skanderbeg's rebellion against the Ottoman Empire. Despite being under siege multiple times, the castle withstood the Ottoman forces until 1478, a decade after Skanderbeg's death.
The interior of the Kruje Castle houses several significant attractions. Among these is the Teqe of Dollme of the Bektashi, an Islamic Sufi sect, the remains of the Fatih Sultan Mehmed mosque and its minaret, an ethnographic museum, and a Turkish bath.
One of the castle's primary attractions is the National Museum "George Castroti Skanderbeg" (Muzeu Kombetar "Gjergj Kastrioti Skenderbeu" in Albanian). Established in the early 1980s, the museum exhibits a wide array of original documents, objects, and authentic reproductions that represent the history of the Albanian people in the 15th century. The museum has become an iconic feature of the city's skyline.
Another notable attraction is the Ethnographic Museum located on the south side of Kruje Castle. Designed to replicate a typical 19th-century house, the museum showcases the sustainable methods of tools, food, drink, and furniture production in a typical household, along with various objects and old wood and metal supplies that represent the lifestyle of that era.
Kruje Castle's significant historical value and cultural importance are reflected in its depiction on the reverses of the Albanian 1000 lekë banknote of 1992–1996, and of the 5000 lekë banknote issued since 1996.
Today, Kruje Castle stands as a center of tourism in Albania, drawing countless visitors each year who wish to explore its historical treasures. It continues to be a source of inspiration for Albanians, symbolizing their rich history and resilience in the face of adversity.