Albanian Cities

Tirana
Tiranë (Gheg Albanian: Tirona) is the capital and the largest city of Albania. 
Tirana was founded as an Ottoman town in 1614 by Sulejman Bargjini, a local ruler from Mullet. 
Tirana became Albania’s capital city in 1920.
The city is mostly surrounded by hills, with mountain Dajti on the east and a valley on the north-west overlooking the Adriatic coast. 
Lana river runs through the city. 
Tirana has four artificial lakes: Tirana Artificial Lake surrounded by a Big Park, Paskuqani Lake, Farka Lake, and Tufina Lake.
What to visit in Tirane
- The Old bridge of Tabakave is built in XVII-XVIII centuries, or St. George's Bridge, whose construction the first half of the nineteenth century, attest to the ancient traditions of our country in the field of construction.
- The house of Toptanasve in Tirana, dating back to the eighteenth century, a true architectural ensemble and is part of Tirana's historical part.
- E'them Bey Mosque built in 1793, a heritage architecture.
- The home of Sali Shijakut, which belongs to the year 1400 or Bunec House dating back to the XVII century.
- Petrela Castle south of Tirana. 
- Preza Castle was built by the Turks after the death of Skanderbeg in 1468. 
- Dorsi Castle located on the outskirts of Peza and the culture of the early Illyrian

Museums 
- National Historic Museum 
- Archaeological Museum 
- Gallery of Fine Arts
- Martyrs Cemetery which contains the “Mother Albania” monument. 


Durres
Durres is the second largest city of Albania is the most ancient city and economically, very important port city. 
Its location has long been desirable, in the last 850 years control of the city has changed 33 times. 
The city was colonized by Corinth and Korkyra in 627 B.C.
Durres was an important port and trading route, between Rome and Byzantium (Istanbul). 
During the middle ages Durres was occupied by many different intruders from all over Europe. 
The city has been inhabited throughout its history and very little of the ancient city has been excavated.
The famous Roman orator, Cicero called Durres an admirable city, while the poet Catullus called it the tavern of the Adriatic.
Today the city is well known for the beach resort of Durres with miles of sandy beaches. 

What to visit in Durres
- The Archaeological Museum 
- The Amphitheater, partially excavated starting since 1960, has a seating capacity between 15.000-20.000 people and is situated on the middle of the modern city; 
- Byzantine Forum 
- Venetian Torra (small castle now is a bar)
- Ancient city wall
- The Exhibition of Folk Culture 
- The mosaic of Arapaj, Arapaj village (special permit is required)


Shkodra
Shkodra is a large city north of Albania located on the east side of a lake, between the rivers Drini and Buna. 
Shkodra is an ancient city, it is also an important cultural and economic center.
Shkodra has been inhabited since its foundation in the 4th century BC. 
It was the main town of Illyrian tribe and that of King Gent and Queen Teuta the chief centre of the Illyrian state. 
In the year 168BC, the city was taken by the Romans and it became an important trade and military route for them. 
In 1040 AD, Shkodra was captured by the Serbs and became an administrative center. 
In 1396, the city came under Venetian rule, forming a coalition against Ottoman Empire. 
Despite resisting attacks for some years, Shkodra fell under Turkish rule in 1479. Many inhabitants fled shortly after the occupation that devastated the city. 

What to visit in Shkoder
- Rozafa Castle (fortress of Shkodra)
- St. Stephen's Church standing in the main court of Rozafa Castle.
- Leaden Mosque located below Rozafa Castle in a medieval quarter
- Historical Museum Ottoman-era building with archaeological and ethnographic collections.
- National Photo Gallery "Marubi" 
- Catholic Cathedral one of the biggest catholic cathedrals in Balkans
- Mesi Bridge located 6 km north of Shkodra, near the village of Mesi, builded in 1768, over the Kir river.


Kruja
Kruje is a medieval town northwest of Tirana, on the foot of Sari -Salltiku mountain.
The name of Kruja derives from the Albanian word krua, meaning 'water spring'. 
The citadel was the main Illyrian fortress and was mentioned in year 879 for the first time as a Christian religious town. 
The first Albanian feudal state was created here.
The ottomans occupied Kruja twice, in 1396 and 1415. 
Kruja got its glory on the 28th of November 1443 when the Kruja castle was taken by Gjergj Kastrioti (Skanderbeg), who then organized the long anti-Ottoman resistance. 
From this time on, under the leadership of Skanderbeg, Kruja defined three Ottoman sieges in 1450, 1457 and 1466. 
Ten years after the death of Skanderbeg, in 1478, were the Ottomans able to capture the castle and destroy the town.

What to visit in Kruje
- Kruja Castle - was built during the 5th and 6th centuries and has an elliptical shape
- Museum of Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg - inside of Kruja Castle.
- Ethnographic Museum - inside of Kruja Castle
- Traditional Bazaar - on the way to the castle, a medieval - type bazaar with traditional handicrafts
- Archaeological site of Albanopoli, the capital of the Illyrian tribe 'Alban' which flourished from the end of the 3rd century A.D. 

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