The story of the famous Mashkullora battle

Mashkullora Plane Tree is a famous tree in Albania, linked with a history of the battle of Albanian heroes Cerciz and Bajo Topulli in 18 March 1908 against ottomans.

The battle of Mashkullora in Albanian history is considered as one of the most important uprising during the years of Albanian resistance before the Independence Day of Albanian nation.

There are some songs about this battle, which the most famous one speaks about the heroism of Cerciz Topulli and his comrades. (In Albanian: Te Rrapi në Mashkullorë / foli Çerçizi me gojë / mylazim largo taborë / se të bëj të kuq me bojë / Çerçiz Topulli më thonë).


The story of this battle started with the assassination of Bimbash of Gjirokastra (the highest official in the city during the ottoman rule). Bimbash was killed by two members of Cerciz Unit, (Çeta), Hito Habili Lekdushi and Bajram Ligu Prongjia, on 13 March 1908. 5 days after the killing of Bimbash, Cerciz with 8 other comrades, were sheltered in a stable belong to Abaz Cano, in the suburbs of Mashkullora village. The Ottomans surrounded the fighters and the battle started.


The heroic fight lasted for 15 hours, and in the end one fighter Hajredin Tremishti was killed, and one other was injured. Taking advantage of the night and darkness around, all the Unit of Cerciz Topulli managed to escape. Initially they found shelter at the house of Zeman Mashkullora and then went to the Mali i Gjere, escaping safely from the big ottoman army.

Every year in Mashkullora village is remembered this heroic battle. People of this village are so proud for this story. In 1934 the sculptor Othise Paskali created the beautiful monument of Cerciz Topulli, which in 1937 was placed in the center of the main Square of Gjirokastra, named after him. In fact the original Plane Tree in Mashkullora is no longer there. A strong wind destroyed the branches, which started to rot after years of neglecting and concrete building around. The locals planted a new one, but still they missed the original one.

Cerciz Topulli Monument-Gjirokastra

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By visit-gjirokastra / Administrator, bbp_keymaster

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on Dec 11, 2019