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Onufri National Museum in Berat

  • 12/11/2020 10:32 AM
Onufri National Museum in Berat

The National Museum "Onufri" is located in the center of the neighborhood inhabited in the medieval castle of the city of Berat. It is located in the premises of the church of St. Mary's Cathedral.

The National Institute of Cultural Heritage in a previous material has published a link for a virtual tour in this institution and states that in the museum we can get acquainted with a rich iconographic fund, as well as with some objects of service. The museum collection consists of 200 objects selected from the funds of churches and monasteries of the district of Berat. It consists mainly of icons and a set of liturgical objects. The works of this museum date from the oldest of the XIV century to the beginning of the XX century. The icons were made by icon painters such as: Onufri, Nikola, son of Onufri, Onufër Qiprioti, David Selenica, Kostandin Shpataraku, Adam Kristo and painters with the surname Çetiri (Gjergji, Joani, Nikolla, Naumi, Gjergji i riu and Ndini), and by many other anonymous painters. And the liturgical objects, mainly, bear the signature of Albanian jewelers over the centuries. The wood carvings of the cathedral were made by masters Stefan Barka from Misras of Opar and master Naum Ngjela from Lavdari of Opar at the beginning of the 19th century. The iconostasis of the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is dated 1807. It is considered one of the best works created by Albanian woodcarving masters.

Iconostasis ornaments represent some features and principles of the Baroque style, a predominant and distinctive trend of churches built in the Balkans during the XVIII and XIX centuries. All these motifs are intertwined with other elements of the Byzantine tradition.

Under the floor of the apse on August 12, 1968, were found the two Codices of Berat, "Codex Purpureus Beratinus" of the century VI AD and after Christ "Codex Aureus Anthimi" of the IX century. The codices in question are monuments of culture and civilization as well as true encyclopedias of Christian thought. The two Codices of Berat are registered in the list of the most important works of humanity, known as "Memoire du Monde" under the protection of UNESCO.

/Klara Ruci/