Berat

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Berat

(bĕrät`) or

Berati

(bĕrä`tē), town (1993 est. pop. 148,100), capital of Berat dist., S central Albania. It is a commercial center and the seat of a bishop of the Albanian Orthodox Church. There is an oil field nearby. Probably built on the site of ancient Antipatrea, Berat fell to the Serbs in 1345 and to the Turks in 1440. A citadel, rebuilt by the Byzantines in the 13th cent., overlooks the town, which has a 15th-century mosque and several old churches. The autocephalic Albanian Orthodox Church was proclaimed there in 1922.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Berat

 

a city in southern Albania, on the Osum River; administrative center of Berat Region. Population, 24,000 (1967). Trade center of the tobacco-growing, horticulture, and viticulture region. There is cotton textile industry and processing of olive oil and tobacco. There are petroleum enterprises in Kuçova, near Berat.

Berat has been known since the fourth century B.C.; in the second century B.C. it was known as Antipatreia and in the early Middle Ages, as Pulcheriopolis. From the ninth century A.D. it was called Beligrad (hence the name Berat).

Architectural monuments include remains of a 13th-century fortress, residential blocks from the Middle Ages, the Church of St. Mary of Vlakhern (13th century; frescoes from 1578 by Nikolla of Neokastron), an 18th-century cathedral with a carved wooden iconostasis (19th century), the chapel of a sect of Helvetians (1782), and a bridge across the Osum River (1780). There is a museum of local lore containing monuments of archaeology and applied art.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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On a windy mountaintop citadel in Berat, Albania, in a church lit only by incense lamps and their dim reflections off the peeling gold-painted icons, I met Simon Vrusho, the creator and director of the Muzei Solomoni, Albania's first and only Jewish museum, which opened earlier this year.