Kruja is a town and a municipality in north central Albania. Located between Mount Krujë and the Ishëm River, the city is only 20 km north from the capital of Albania, Tirana.
Krujë was inhabited by the ancient Illyrian tribe of the Albani. In 1190 Krujë became the capital of the first Albanian state in the middle ages, the Principality of Arbër. Later it was the capital of the Kingdom of Albania, while in the early 15th century Krujë was conquered by the Ottoman Empire, but then recaptured in 1443 by Skanderbeg, leader of the League of Lezhë, who successfully defended it against three Ottoman sieges until his death in 1468.
The Ottomans took control of the town after the fourth siege in 1478, and incorporated it in their territories. A 1906 local revolt against the Ottoman Empire was followed by the 1912 Declaration of Independence of Albania. In the mid-1910s Krujë was one of the battlefields of the conflict between the short-lived Republic of Central Albania, founded by Essad Toptani, and the Principality of Albania. In 1914 Toptani managed to seize the town but during the same year it was reincorporated by Prênk Bibë Doda in the Principality of Albania. During World War II it was the centre of the activities of resistance leader Abaz Kupi.
The museums of Krujë include the Skanderbeg Museum, located in the environs of the Krujë Castle, and the national ethnographic museum.
In antiquity Krujë was a site used for pagan rituals, while after the spread of Christianity a church dedicated to Saint Alexander was built near Mount Krujë. In the late 9th century David of Krujë is mentioned as one of the bishops, who participated in the Fourth Council of Constantinople.