Monastery of Forty Saints
Ruins in Sarandë
Saranda takes its name from the Forty Saints Monastery a 6th century Byzantine monastery. It is thought that the Monastery was a major Byzantine pilgrimage site.
“Forty Saints” relates to the tale of forty Roman martyrs forbidden who were once asked to renounce their faith in exchange of shelter from a severe sea storm. The Romans were loyal to their faith and refused, choosing martyrdom and sure death in the storm and were thus honored by having the monastery named after them.
The monastery buildings stretches over the hillside although the second floor was destroyed during the bombings by the Allies of the Second World War and now the building is in a state of decay However much of the stonework survives which includes columns, symmetrical rows of windows and arches over them, as well as several halls constructed of stone. Originally the monastery was thought to have 40 rooms, each named after one of the martyrs.
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