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 Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg

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Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg

  • Birth 6 May 1405 Dibër, Albania
  • Death 4 Dec 1466 Lezhe, Lezhë, Albania
  • Burial Lezhe, Lezhë, Albania
  • Memorial ID 29251249

Albanian Military Leader. He is considered the most prominent historical figure in all Albanian history. He is their national hero and known as the Dragon of Albania. He grew up in the town of Kruja during the 15th century. He excelled in his studies at the Ottoman military school and was awarded the Turkish title of Iskander Bey, or Lord Alexander. He distinguished himself in several battles in Asia Minor and Europe fighting the Greeks, Serbs and Hungarians. He was promoted to the rank of general and later to General Governor of the Central Albanian Provinces. While fighting the Hungarians in present day Serbia in 1443 he abandoned the Ottoman Army and went home to capture his home town of Kruja and raise the Albanian flag above the castle. He had the Albanian principalities united by 1444 and for the next 25 years he fought off and defeated the Ottoman Army while his own army seldom exceeded 20,000 troops. Twenty-four times the Ottomans tried to capture Kruja and Skanderbeg's forces defeated them every time. The Italian states, Venice, Naples, and the Papal State, took notice of his victories and saw him as their last hope of preventing the Ottomans from expanding their empire into Europe. They provided him money, supplies, and troops. When Constantinople (now Istanbul) fell in 1453, Pope Pius II planned another crusade predicated upon supplying Skanderbeg with as much support as possible. He died in 1468, but his army succeeded in resisting the Ottomans for another 12 years. Inspired by his heroism, poets and composers throughout the world have memorialized him in verse and song, including America's Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The Italian composer Vivaldi wrote an opera entitled "Skanderbeg."

Bio by: Tom Todd

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Tom Todd
  • Added: 23 Aug 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 29251249
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg (6 May 1405–4 Dec 1466), Find A Grave Memorial no. 29251249, citing Saint Nicholas Church, Lezhe, Lezhë, Albania ; Maintained by Find A Grave .