Rising over the center of the spectacular alpine village of Theth, this tower holds the history of an entire region, told in detail by one of the tower owners’ descendants.
The Lock-in Tower of Theth, also known as the Tower of Nikoll Koçeku, is one of the most valued historic and architectural monuments of Albania’s highlands. A unique structure that contains hundreds of years of history, in the village of Dukagjin, this tower is known for having imprisoned all of those who had committed serious crimes against the Kanun of Lekë Dukagjin, a set of oral traditional Albanian laws coded in the 15th century.
Located in the center of Theth Village, the tower is one of the main touristic attractions of the surrounding mountainous region. It has historically belonged to the Koçeku family and, in fact, one of the family’s descendants, Sokol, serves as its current guide. He can truly recount its history in full and vivid detail which usually includes an accurate and dramatic interpretation of the Kanun.
Reconciliation and Imprisonment
The tower is a four-sided structure made entirely of stone and topped by an alpine roof, a construction which creates total isolation, typical of the country’s northern region. This type of fortress structure is widespread in the area as it provided the maximum level of defense. The towers’ small windows, called frëngji, gave the locals an advantage over the enemy as the former were constantly aware of the movements outside of the towers’ walls.