October 26, the feast day of St. Demetrius, was chosen for the inauguration of Berat’s new Cathedral in south-central Albania. The opening ceremony of the Orthodox temple, named after the Christian Martyr, was performed by Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Durres and All Albania and attended by hundreds of congregations from across the country, as well as state, local officials and MPs.
In his speech after the end of the inauguration ceremony, Archbishop Anastasios underlined that “every orthodox temple is a place of peace and consolation for all people, regardless of their faith. It is a place where people can find not only God but themselves too. At the same time, it is a place of fraternization, where people associate with each other in respect. Furthermore, it is a place of spiritual rejuvenation and sanctification. A place to worship God, where the truth coexists with love and beauty.”
Commenting on the significance of the new temple in the lives of the local people, the Archbishop underlined that “the new Cathedral of Berati, standing magisterial in the city’s heart, forms, from now on, one of its basic spiritual cells.” The total area of the Cathedral is 527 square meters and its height is 22 meters. It was founded in 1994, but due to several difficulties and a cholera outbreak in the city around that time, its construction only started in 2002, under the inspection of the technical office of the Orthodox Sovereign Church of Albania. Its cost was 850,000 euros and the money for its completion came from international donations.
Since June 2014, a total of seven new temples were completed in various areas across the country. Two in Tirana and one in Shkodra, Pogradec, Aliko, Kleisoura and Berat, respectively.