Monuments of culture
Lezha, (ancient Lissus) is proud to trace its origins to the same period as the ancient Albanian cities of Durres, Apollonia, Shkodra, Berati, Butrinti. These cities together make up the cradle of the civilization of ancient Albania. Following its ancient period, the city of Lezhe maintained a great historical importance throughout the Middle Ages. In the 1400s it was the site of the union of the Albanian princes under Skanderbeg, and was where Skanderbeg himself died and was buried. In recent years, Lezha has contributed towards the progress and modernization of the district and the entire country. For all visitors Lezha provides the opportunity to visit and enjoy unique archeological, monumental and historical sites. The settlement of Akrolissi (11th century B.C.) atop a nearby hill is the most ancient settlement in Lezha. Later on, in 385 B.C., the city of Lissus developed nearby. The most prominent monument in the current city is the Castle, which was started in the 4th century and completed in the year 1521. Below the Castle in the city center lies an Obelisk from 1968 that commemorates the union of the Albanian princes in the Council of Lezha on the 2nd of March, 1444. It is adjacent to the memorial and burial place of the leader of this union, national hero Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg. This memorial was erected in 1981 on the ruins of Shen Kolli Church to honor the place where Skanderbeg was buried on January 17th, 1468. In the neighborhood north of the Skanderbeg memorial is another historic site, the House of Mlikaj (1910). This typical building of the Ottoman style previously contained the city's museum. Near the house is the Old Bridge. Built in 1926, it is the oldest bridge built over the Drini river. In addition to its historical sites, Lezha boasts a rich cultural and artistic tradition. Many famous Albanian authors and artists hail from the Lezha region and their paintings and works can be seen in coffee bars and galleries throughout the city. On holidays there are often events with live music and dancing celebrating local traditions in the city square. A visitor might even catch a concert on the steps of the Skanderbeg memorial in the summer months. In the center of town is the city's Cultural Palace (1983), an important center of community, cultural and artistic life. Inside the Cultural Palace is a small art gallery that serves as a center for exhibitions from Lezhjan authors and artists on a continual basis. The nearby Public Library offers a good selection of books in Albanian and other languages and frequently holds events for the public. For the sports enthusiast, the "Beselidhja" Stadium offers an opportunity to catch the city's football team in action. And nearby, just a stone's throw away from the city of Lezhe, lie the outdoor opportunities offered by the beach at Shengjin, the coastal Kuna / Vain National Park and the mountains of northern Albania.
Rising upon the foundations of the antique Acropolis, it is widely accepted that the works for its building started around the VIII century AD. The castle passed through many construction phases until the last reconstruction of the 1520 by Sultan Selimi I. in the historical literature the Castle of Lezha was known by the name of Elison Castle. It has three entrances which were protected by towers and hidden alcoves, who favored by the geographical position made the castle unbreakable. On the year 2002, after the restoration works carried on, it was noted that the walls reached the thickness of 4.30 m.
The Memorial and Burial place has been built over the Church of S. Nicholas, on the spot where on 1468 was buried Gjergj Kastrioti – Scanderbeg. On 1478 the ottomans occupied Lezha and destroyed the grave of Scanderbeg, taking his bones to use as totems of infallibility. The Actual Memorial was built on 1981. Inside it there is the bust of Scanderbeg built by Odise Paskali. Over the marble plate there are bronze copies of the sword and spade of Scanderbeg. Inside the castle there are a series of shields symbolizing each a battle of Scanderbeg.