The Holy Monastery of St. Nicholas Perched on a mountain in the Country of the Eagles, an imposing building rises, with a magnificent structure and a deeply enveloping atmosphere. The Sacred Monastery of San Nicola is located in Dhivër, a fraction of the Municipality of Finiq, in southern Albania.
The last kilometer of road leading to the sacred building is not passable by car. It is therefore necessary to park and walk the path on foot. The walk can be a little tiring, but it’s really worth it. From the point where the monastery stands, you can enjoy a splendid panoramic view of the surrounding hills.
The Byzantine building, entirely built in stone, is in good condition and seems not to be affected by the weather, as well as receiving good care from men.
On the upper part of the roof, a turret rises, with a crucifix dominating the building and the entire territory. The small tower, with a round shape, beautiful to see on the outside, reserves a pleasant surprise on the inside. Its vault is entirely covered by a fresco depicting St. Nicholas, surrounded by other magnificent paintings. The four side slits allow the sun’s rays to pass inside, thus creating extraordinary plays of light.
The door that leads to the structure is made of solid wood and an imposing crucifix is carved in the middle. The atmosphere that envelops the interior of the Monastery is made of pure enchantment and the sensation of finding yourself in a mystical place and time becomes very strong. There are many paintings that embellish the walls; there is no shortage of precious paintings and sacred icons, such as the precious incense holders with a golden color.
Inside there are still magnificent hand-crafted crucifixes, splendid candelabra, icons of the saint from different eras and nations, an imposing women’s gallery and then, again, the work tools used by the monks who once inhabited the place and above all the holy relics of the Saint, known to have healing powers. Legends tell that they healed demoniacs and children.
The reliquary is a precious rectangular silver casket, with a rhombus carved on the lid and four crosses around it. In the center of the box, from top to bottom, the names of three saints are engraved, that of San Mercurio di Cesarea, San Nicola and San Eleuterio. The ossuary is hermetically sealed, the bones are not visible and their presence can only be felt by shaking the box, embellished with a 17 cm long crucifix.
There are many questions that scholars ask about why the monastery was dedicated to the saint, or about the choice of names engraved on the reliquary, but the historical documents found so far are few and with little information. From a historical point of view, the most reliable sources narrate that the building was born before 1428. Apart from this fact, nothing is certain, except that the monument represents one of the charms of Albania, with its enveloping beauty, the portentous silence that distinguishes it, its historical richness and its precious contents.