Today, January 17, marks the 554th anniversary of the death of our national hero, Gjergj Kastriot Skënderbeu.
Gjergj Kastrioti was the youngest son of Gjon Kastrioti and Princess Vojsava, the last child between 4 boys and 5 girls. He is thought to have been born on May 6, 1405 in Mat. He was taken hostage by Sultan Murat in 1421 and sent to the Sultan's court in Adrianople. There, ingenuity and dexterity led George to the school of the sultan (ichoglans) which trained clerical commanders.
Nature had given him mental and physical gifts. There he took the name Alexander (Alexander). After finishing school, Gjergj Kastrioti "(Skënderi)" performed military duties in the Balkans and Asia Minor, distinguished for bravery and for this reason he was given the title bej which means prince or noble, so Skënderbeg means Alexander prince. or noble.
He did not forget his beloved land and eagerly awaited the opportunity to return to the land that gave birth to him. With the death of his father, he hoped to take his place, but in fact the sultan appointed him sanjakbey outside Albanian lands. Skanderbeg did not give up the idea of returning to Albania to his father's throne, until 1443 when he set out against Janos Hunyadi under the command of the beylerbey of Rumelia.
On November 3, 1443 near Nis, the two armies clashed. The Ottoman army was routed and retreated in panic. Skanderbeg began to implement the plan of the uprising, together with 300 Albanian cavalry and his nephew Hamza Kastrioti, returned to Debar, where the people welcomed him as a liberator. He took measures to strengthen the roads from where the Ottomans could come, and from there he headed to Kruja. With a false order he captured the city and the garrison and so on November 28, 1443 the restoration of the Kastriot principality was announced. The flag with the black double-headed vulture of the Kastriots was raised over the castle of Kruja.
The uprising quickly spread to other areas and other feudal lords also rose up. During December, Central and Northern Albania were cleared of Ottoman forces, and one after another the castles of this area were liberated. Skanderbeg was the organizer of the Assembly of Arber, in which he was elected leader of the Albanian League of Lezha. He married Gjergj Arianiti's daughter Donika Arianiti to strengthen his ties with other principalities.
In January 1468 Skanderbeg fell ill during the holding of an Assembly convened by him, to which all Albanian princes were invited. He died on January 17, 1468 in Lezha. Covered in glory, he was buried in Lezha. The Albanians lost the glorious leader who led them for 25 years in a row. The wife and her son emigrated, as well as a part of the Albanian parish, to Italy. There is an idea about the helmet that he wore in honor of Pyrrhus of Epirus, as he also wore the same helmet./oranews