ALBANIA: the royal crown known as Skanderbeg's helmet
When Albania became a kingdom in 1928 the new king Zog I (1895-1961) decided to adopt the historical helmet of George Kastrioti Skanderbeg (1405-1468) as the national royal crown.
Skanderbeg, prince of Krujė, was an albanian national hero who fighted against the ottoman rule in the half of XV sec. He become the national emblem of the albanian freedom and indipendence.
After his death, his wife took refuge in Italy bringing with her the helmet.
A document certify that the helmet in 1590 was a property of the count Eolfang von Sturnbeng later sold to count of Tirolo Ferdinand II of Hasburg (1529-1595).
In 1806 the emperor of Austria Francis I (1768-1835) ordered to move the helmet of Skanderbeg to Vienna.
In 1931 king Zog I asked to the austrian government the return of the helmet, now the Albania's crown but in vain.
An heraldic golden helmet crowns the albanian eagle in the kingdom's flag and the royal coat of arms.
The crown of Albania was made in gold, steel, copper and bronze in 1460 approximately at Urbino (Italy). It weights about 3 kg.
The goat's head was the arms of Skanderbeg.
Around the crown can be read the monograms JN * PE * RA * TO * RE * BT, initials of the words Jhezus Nazarenus * Principi Emathie * Regi Albaniae * Terrori Osmanorum * Regi Epirotarum * Benedictat Te (Jesus of Nazareth bless you Prince of Mat, King of Albania, Terror of the Ottomans and King of Epirus).
Today the crown is at Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
Thank you for the history lesson, I always enjoy and appreciate reading about the history of Europe, being a history buff I will now be looking more into Albania. Any books that you could recommend would be appreciated also.
I don't know many book titles about Albania history in english but in italian.
In english I can suggest you this title:
"King Zog: Self-Made Monarch of Albania" by Jason Tomes
This one is in french, I never read it because I don't speak this language so well but I think that this book is too interesting and it is about all the albanian royal history in five volumes from 1443 to 2007.
"Histoire de l'Albanie et de sa Maison Royale 1443-2007" by Patrice Najbor
About royal website I can suggest you Albanian Royal Family -
If I find other titles in english I will tell you!
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