June 24, 2012

Cathedral of the Resurrection in Tirana Consecrated

The third largest Orthodox church in Europe was consecrated today, 24 June 2012, in Tirana, Albania, after 8 years of construction and an investment of millions of euros. The consecration of the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ was attended by many political and religious figures, including Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Durres, and All Albania, President Bamir Topi, Prime Minister Sali Berisha, opposition leader Edi Rama, representatives from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Archbishop Demetrios of America, the leader of the Albanian Archdiocese of Boston, and a large number of clergy and laity.

The Cathedral is in the central square of Tirana and was added to existing buildings which belong to three historical periods: the Turkish occupation by the Mosque of Etem Beu (1794) and the clock tower (1822); the "Italian" decade of the 1930's-40's which are the Town Hall and the other ministry buildings; and the Communist period from which came the operas, the national museum, the central bank, etc.

Thus the clock tower, which measures at 35 meters and is a registered trademark of Tirana, will not be alone anymore, as a few meters south will stand the bell tower of the Cathedral at 46 meters.

The land area is about five thousand square meters, and the church itself occupies 1660 square meters. This consecration coincided with the 20th anniversary of Anastasios of Tirana as Archbishop in Albania.

The complex, besides many works in marble, is divided into several parts. The ancient church in the northwest corner is dedicated to the Birth of Christ, then to the east side is the seat of the Holy Synod, while inside the premises has a cultural and conference center, amphitheater and library.