Ardenica, Fier – Old Orthodox Monastery In Albania

The Monastery of the Nativity of the Theotokos in Ardenica or simply Ardenica Monastery (Albanian: Manastiri Lindja e Hyjlindëses Mari Greek: Ιερά Μονή Γεννήσεως Θεοτόκου Αρδευούσης) is an Eastern Orthodox monastery, distant 18 kilometers north of Lushnje, Albania, along the national road that links Lushnjë to Fier.

Built by Byzantine Emperor, Andronikos II Palaiologos in 1282 after the victory against the Angevins in the Siege of Berat, the monastery is famous as the place where, in 1451, was celebrated the marriage of Skanderbeg, the national hero of Albania, with Andronika Arianiti. In 1780 the Monastery started a theological school to prepare clerics in Greek Orthodoxy. It had an important library with 32,000 volumes that got completely burned by a fire in 1932. The Church of Saint Mary within the monastery contains frescoes from brothers Kostandin and Athanas Zografi, notably one of Saint John Kukuzelis, born in Durrës, Albania.