Tekeja e Baba Aliut – Alipostivan

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September, 2019

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The Tekeja e Baba Aliut is a Bektashi temple or teqe: Bektashism is regarded as the fourth religion of Albania and a less formal version of Islam.

The teqe is located outside the town of “Përmeti”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/attraction/200783-review-sightseeing-in-and-around-p-rmeti and having turned off the main road, a 10km stone track took us to the summit of its mountain top location. Although we could see the white buildings and green domes from the bottom, it was hard to imagine how we could drive to the top, especially in a small Vauxhall Astra. As we discovered, it was common to find teqes high up, as when the Ottoman’s tried to supress Bektashism, the babas or leaders, moved into the mountains. The track twisted and turned up and around and was so narrow, we frequently had to give way to cars coming down. Occasionally as we went around a bend, the teqe disappeared from view.

At the very top we parked up and walked through a very ornate arch with four golden lions at the top and a green dome. We found three white buildings: the first, with three green domes, was apparently where people could stay and where they served free food, although it all looked very closed on our visit. We walked around the building, which provided stunning views of the forested mountains, and then past a white statue high on a plinth. Then it was through another arch to a second white building with a large courtyard in front with white painted benches. Here was an invisible line that for some reason we couldn’t pass, and Roy got told off when he strayed too far. Apparently, this is a waiting area as only three people at one time are allowed in the third building, the main temple. The symbol of the Bektashism was on the flying green flag with a 12 petaled flower and leaves underneath.

When I looked down below, over the wall, I spotted and heard two sheep tethered up under a metal rail with a gulley running down the centre of the concrete floor. Having seen hooks above, I suspected the animals were about to be slaughtered remembering the teqe of “Sari Salltiku in Kruja”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review?id=200392. The throat of the first sheep was slit, the blood poured, and it was hung up. The hooves were removed, before it was expertly skinned. It was unclear, what was going to happen to the meat in such a remote location: was the slaughtering at the site significant?

The temple is still unfinished, and scaffolding was present at the entrance. We were told that when it’s completed, the road will be tarmacked. Although there were a few houses, it was not clear what had been there beforehand and why the site had been chosen. Unfortunately, this day we didn’t have a guide and we left with many unanswered questions.

Helen Jackson

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