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Berati, a city in south central Albania. Located near the Osum River, Berat is the commercial center for the surrounding agricultural region in which tobacco, grapes, and fruits are grown. The town of Berat, overshadowed to the east by mount Tomorr which is 2400m, is built on an ancient Illyrian dwelling site, which goes back to the sixth century B.C. Its innumerable monuments and beautiful and characteristic architecture of its houses have proclaimed Berat, a museum town. Much of the city is built on terraces in the steep hills overlooking the
Tirana, Albanian: Tirane or Tirana also Tirona in the local dialect, is the capital and largest city of Albania. Modern Tirana was founded in 1614 by Sulejman Pasha. Tirana became Albania's capital city in 1920. The Municipality of Tirana lies on the river Ishem, about 20 miles (32 km) inland and is located at (41.33°N, 19.82°E) in Tirana District, Tirana County. Tirana's average altitude is 110 meters (361 ft) above sea level and its highest point measures 1,828 m (5,997.38 ft) at Mali me Gropa. The city is on the same parallel as Naples, Ma
Albania lies on the Western part of the Balkan Peninsula. It is situated between latitude 39 grade 38- 42 grade 39 North and longitude 19 grade 16- 21 grade 4 East. It extends over an area of 28,748 square kilometers. It is located in the main cross roads linking the West and the East. Albania is located in the area GMT+1 (From March 28 GMT+2). In the western part of the country lie the Western Lowlands, with a mainly plain relief and rich vegetation of this type. Along the whole coastline, in the lowland area from Shkodra to Vlora, there are n




Tirana is 110 m above sea level. The average annual temperatures are in July 24 degree Celsius and in January 7 degree Celsius. Annual rainfalls are 1200m per year. Tirana is on the same parallel as Naples, Madrid and Istanbul and on the same meridian as Budapest and Krakow. Sulejman Pasha from the village of Mullet founded Tirana in 1614. In the beginning, he built a mosque, a bakery and a Turkish sauna. Two centuries later the Toptani family led the city from Kruja. There exist four theories about the origins of the name Tirana: First, it is thought that Tirana comes from the word Theranda found in ancient Greek and Latin sources because those living there called it, Te ranat - fallen material, because the plain was formed as a result of the strong materials which were brought by the water from the surrounding mountains.
Attractions in Albania

Attractions in AlbaniaT irana is 110 m above sea level. The average annual temperatures are in July 24°C and in January 7°C. Annual rainfalls are 1200m per year. Tirana is on the same parallel as Naples, Madrid and Istanbul and on the same meridian as Budapest and Krakow. Sulejman Pasha from the village of Mullet founded Tirana in 1614. In the beginning, he built a mosque, a bakery and a Turkish sauna. Two centuries later the Toptani family led the city from Kruja. There exist four theories about the origins of the name Tirana: First, it is thought that Tirana comes from the word Theranda found in ancient Greek and Latin sources because those living there called it, Te ranat - fallen material, because the plain was formed as a result of the strong materials which were brought by the water from the surrounding mountains.

Second, Tirana comes from Tirkan. Tirkan was a castle on the face of mount Dajti. The ruins of this ancient castle still exist, which dates back to the beginning of the first century before the birth of Christ, and which is thought to have been the castle which the Byzantine historian named Prokop (6th century) called the castle of Tirkan. Third, Tirana comes from Teheran, the capital of Iran, in remembrance of the victory by Sulejman Pasha (founder of the city), head of the Turkish army during the campaign in Persia. Fourth, an old Tirana tale says that Sulejman Pasha took the name of the city from an old lady whom he had met at the site where he was going to build the city. When Sulejman Pasha asked the old lady what she was doing she answered " Po tir an (meaning "spinning silk")". Mount Dajti is 1612 m high and is situated on the east of Tirana. The Congress of Lushnja declared Tirana a temporary capital for the first time on February 8th 1920 and it gained this status permanently on December 31st 1925. Tirana has been the world's Bektashi headquarters since 1925, when the Bektashis were banned and expelled from Turkey The first district in Tirana was Bami.

The mosque in the centre of Tirana, called Et'hem Bey, began to be built in 1789 by Molla Bey, who came from Petrela and was finished in 1821 by his son, Haxhi Et'hem Bey, great-grandson of Sulejman Pasha. The best artisans in Albania built it. The clock tower was begun by Haxhi Et'hem Bey around 1821-1822 and was finished with the help of rich Tirana families. Tufina family did the installation of the clock. In 1928 the Albanian State bought a modern clock in Gemany and the tower was raised to a height of 35m. During the Second World War the clock was damaged but was restored to operation in July 1946. The Tabak Bridge (in front of the Albanian parliament) dates back to the 18th century. The holy tomb of Kapllan Pasha (near the Unknown Soldier monument) was built in 1816. The fortress of Petrela is located 12km from Tirana and dates back to the 4th century BC. Its current architecture is from the 13th century during the domination of Topia tribe, and later on it became the property of the Kastriot family. The Durres Road was constructed in 1922 and was called "Nana Mbretneshė " (Queen Mother). A lot of houses and gardens were destroyed for its construction. The current Parliament building was built in 1924 and first served as officers club. There on the 1st of September Ahmet Zogu declared the monarchy.

The well-known Italian architects of the Mussolini period, Florestano de Fausto and Armando Brasini planned the centre of Tirana in the beginning of the 1930s. The Palace of Brigadiers (ex-royal palace), Ministry buildings, National Bank and the Town Hall are their work. The boulevard "Deshmoret e Kombit" (Martyrs of the Nation) was built in 1930 and it was named Boulevard Zog I. During the period of communism, the part of the boulevard between Scanderbeg square and the train station was named "Stalin" Boulevard. The Palace of Culture, the location of The Theatre of Opera and Ballet and the National Library, was finished in 1963. It was built over the former Tirana bazaar and Khrushchev laid the first brick in 1959. The monument of Scanderbeg was built in 1968. It is a work of Odhise Paskali with the collaboration of Andrea Mano and Janaq Pano. It was put up on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the death of our national hero.

The monument "Nena Shqiperi" (Mother Albania), 12 m tall, was inaugurated in the "Deshmoret e Kombit" cemetery in 1971. The Academy of Sciences was finished in April 1972. The National Art Gallery was opened in 1976 and it includes about 3200 works of Albanian and foreign artists.

The National History museum was built in 1981 and the mosaic on the front of the building is titled "Albania". The International Centre of Culture, formerly the mausoleum of Enver Hoxha was inaugurated in 1988. It was designed by a group of architects under the direction of Pranvera Hoxha and Klement Kolaneci.

Butrint

ButrintiThe ancient ruins of Butrint lie 18km (11mi) south of Saranda and are a real gem if you're into ancient world ruins. The poet Virgil claimed that the Trojans settled Butrint, but the site has been pored over by archaeologists and no evidence of this has yet been found.

Treasure hunters from Italy lifted many of the antiquities before the war, but most have since been returned and are on display at the National Museum of History in Tirana. Greeks settled Butrint during the 6th century BC, although the area had been settled long before by the Illyrians.

Within a century of the Greeks arriving, Butrint had become a fortified trading city with its own acropolis, the ruins of which you can still visit. Just below the acropolis in the forest is the 3rd century BC theatre, also used for performances when the Romans were there. Nearby are public baths with geometrical mosaics, and deeper into the forest is a wall with Greek inscriptions and a 6th-century baptistry decorated with colourful mosaics of animals and birds.

Overlooking the whole site is a triangular fortress, erected by warlord Ali Pasha Tepelena early in the 19th century. Butrint is accessibly by road from Saranda, which is linked to Tirana and Vlora by bus. The ruins are nearly on the country's southern border with Greece, 160km (99mi) south of Tirana.

Durres

DurresIt is the second largest city of Albania in terms of size, but also the largest most important port in the country. Durrės is one of the oldest towns in Albania with a long and turbulent history. According to ancient sources Durrės was founded in year 627 B.C by colonists from Corcyra and Corinth and settled in the territories of the Illyrian tribe of Taulanti. Initially, it was known by the name of Epidamnus, while later, by the name of Dyrrhachium.

Later Durrės became the seat of the Illyrian kings of Taulantii, first, King Glaukias, and later, his sons, Monounios and Mytiles. In 314 B.C. the city was occupied by the Cassander of Macedonia, while in 229 B.C. it was conquered by the Romans. During the Roman rule, the amphitheater, the aqueduct, and other objects were built there.

During the 7th to the 12th centuries, Durrės developed into the most important port of eastern Adriatic. In 1368, the city fell under the influence of Albanian prince Karl Topia, who in 1386, was forced to surrender the city to Venice. The latter held the city under its domination for 108 years. In 1501, Durrės was captured by the Ottomans. After that, the city began to decline and lost its importance. On the eve of independence, Durrės was occupied by the Serbs, who fled from it in May 1913. Unfortunately, during their withdrawal, the Serb forces plundered many rare archaeological exhibits which today are displayed in the Belgrade museums.

Today the city of Durrės is the largest and most popular holiday resort in the country. It is a sandy and shallow beach, which makes it a favorite beach for families and their children. The city hosts very important sites, favorable for cultural tourism, such as the Amphitheater, the Byzantine forum, the archaeological museum which displays the Greek and Roman periods, the Venetian tower, the Fatih mosque, the Monument of Resistance, which is dedicated to the armed struggle against the fascist occupation of the country by fascist Italy on 7 April 1939, the Ethnographic museum. Through its harbor, the city has regular links with ferryboats to the Italian ports of Bari, Ancona, and Trieste.

Durrės Beach
Perhaps the most famous Albanian beach, it lies to the south of the town of Durrės, only 39 km away from the capital. This is the most popular beach in the country. It is 6 km long and the sand belt is wide. The waters are quite shallow close to the shore, which makes the beach very suitable for families and children. Its position in Durrės Bay protects it from winds. Durrės Beach has the largest concentration of tourist facilities, such as hotels, motels, villa compounds, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, bowling alleys, fitness halls and gyms, game parlors, etc. In addition to day tourists from the capital, Durrės beach is the number one destination for tourists from Kosova and Macedonia.

To the north of Durrės, at the foot of the hills, is the well-known Plazhi i Currilave, where the waters are deep and the rocky beach is well protected from the hot winds coming from the land.

Activities: sun and sea tourism, rowing, motorboat tours, water sports, etc

Gjirokastra

GjirokastraGjirokastra, the "Stone City", situated in the southern part of Albania, on the the easter slope of mountain Mali i Gjere. It is a commercial center in South Albania, it produces foodstuffs, leather, and textiles. There are several 18th-century mosques and churches and an old citadel (rebuilt in the 19th cent.) in the town. Dating probably from the 4th cent., Gjirokastėr passed to the Turks in the 15th cent. It was captured (1811) by Ali Pasha and was the center (late 1800s) of anti-Turkish resistance. In World War II it was occupied by Italy, Greece, and Germany in succession. Enver Hoxha, the Albanian Communist party leader, was born thereGjirokastra is museum city with charasterist houses made from stone.

What strikes the visitors most in Gjirokastra are its typical and characteristic houses which resemble little fortresses, clustered one above the other. Their exterior combines roughness with the beauty of windows, small rooms and light pillars supporting the roofs prtotruding from the walls.

The most attractive feature is the stone which has been masterfully elaborated by the builders. Hence Gjirokastra has been called the "city of one thousand steps" or "the stone city".

Gjirokastra“s population is around 40,000 and one of the biggest cities of southern Albania. The name Gjirokastra comes from Illyrian Argyres Tribe which inhabited these parts of Europe.

Gjirokastra is a home of traditional Albanian folk festival, usually on fall every four.The National Folklore Festival has its beginnings in year 1968, when it was organized for the first time in Gjirokastra. Since then, it is held once in four years, and it has become the symbol of the Albanian national folklore. This Festival is the amphitheater of the best offered by the Albanian tradition, music vibes and instruments, folk art and costumes. Happening to be a visitor during the days of the Festival, the ambiance and the sensations one gets, is like walking in and interacting with the ancient folklore, or having at a grip or glance what it would take to travel all over Albania and see with your own eyes.

About 1100 Albanian singers and dancers from Albania, Kosova (three groups), Maqedonia (one group), Montenegro (one group), Italia (one group), Germania (one group), Switland (one group) and USA (one group) were together in the Castle from Sept 29 to Oct 5, 2004.

Shkodra

ShkodraShkodra is the most important urban center of Northern Albania, renowned in the entire country for its rich cultural traditions. It is one of the largest cities in Albania, with a population of 110,000 inhabitants. Shkodra has a very favorable geographic position and can be considered as an entry port both to the grandiose Albanian Alps on one hand, and to the sandy beach of Velipoja on the Adriatic, on the other. Shkodra is one of the most ancient cities in Albania. It was founded in the 4th century B.C. as the centre of the Illyrian tribe of the Labeates. Under the rule of the Illyrian king Gent, it became the capital of the Illyrian state. This is the period when the first coins of the city appear. In 168 BC it fell under Roman rule and in 1040 under Serb rule.

In the wake of the fall of the Serbian Empire, Shkodra became an important urban center. In the 14th century it became the capital of the Balsha feudal principality. In 1396 it was occupied by Venetian forces and in 1479 by the Ottomans, who razed the city to the ground. The city recovered slowly and in the 17th century became the most important centre of trade and culture in Northern Albania, while one century later it became the centre of the Shkodra Paschalik (1757-1831). During this time the Bushatllis, who governed the Paschalik, created a rich library. Also, it was in Shkodra that the first Albanian photographs were produced by Pietro Marubi. Shkodra is known as the city where the first workers' strike took place in 1901 and where the 1st of May was first celebrated in 1905. The first football game ever played in Albania was in Shkodra and the town boasts the first football club in established in 1919. Shkodra also has a rich tradition in music, painting and literature, with a long list of renowned artists and writers.

Cultural attractions to visit in Shkodra include the Rozafa Castle, the Lead Mosque, the Gjuhadol neighborhood, the Historical Museum of Shkodra and the Marubi Photographic Fund. Nearby, Northwestern Albania contains the following additional cultural attractions: Sarda, the Drisht Castle, Ura e Mesit (the Mes Bridge), the Shirgji Church and the Highlands Ethnographic Museum.

Natural attractions include Shkodra Lake, Theth National Park, Razma mountain resort and Vermosh Mountain.

Berat

BeratBerati, a city in south central Albania. Located near the Osum River, Berat is the commercial center for the surrounding agricultural region in which tobacco, grapes, and fruits are grown. The town of Berat, overshadowed to the east by mount Tomorr (2400m), is built on an ancient Illyrian dwelling site, which goes back to the sixth century B.C. Its innumerable monuments and beautiful and characteristic architecture of its houses have proclaimed Berat, a museum town. Much of the city is built on terraces in the steep hills overlooking the Osum. The city has many historical monuments, including mosques dating from the 15th to 19th centuries and an 18th-century seven-arched stone bridge. A 13th-century citadel built along a ridge high above the river gorge houses a museum and several old churches.

The castle and its fortified walls are interrelated just like a mosaic where various stages of buildings such as " Kala ", " Mangalem ", " Gorice " which are settled on hills units of the toun make up an impressive example of our genius creative people. Gorica, on the far side of the river ; Mangalem, on the fortress side of the river; and the residential quarter within the fortress (known as Kalaja). The houses on the fortress side which date from the seventeenth century, have typically two stores, with the upper storey slightly overhanging and rich wood carving within. With their wide facades and large windows, they seem to be built almost on top of one another, giving Berat its name of : The town of a thousand windows. Berati has a population of 37,000 inhabitants. The hills and the mountain slopes around Berat, are planted with fig trees olive trees and other fruits. Cult buildings and important monuments are well-known for a prominent architecture. Their foundations belong to paleochristian buildings. Monuments that preserve a complete view are of XIV centuries .

Within these monuments there are some masterpieces of our distinguished painters just like : Onufri, Nikolla , Qipriot , Cetir and many other nameless persons, whereas the institution fund of cultural monuments in Berat preserve abaut 400 religions objects and icons which in the greatest part of them as the result of the missing of financial sources are still unrestored. Mosques and small mosques are brilliant examples in their rising skill of architecture execution, but in particular the iterior part of ceilings and stained glass windows too. Institute affilation of cultural monuments in Berat is an institution that, restores and propogates all these inheritable values. Museums such as Onufri, Ethnographic and Historic preserve and devote prior importance to this treasury placing the bases of a cultural tourism.

Being proposed as a world property, Berati is going to be sooner under protection. There is very developed home tourism in Berat where foreigner's preference is the characteristic native kitchen. The distance of some main sea' beaches is about 80 km away. Taking in consideration the conditions of our country its difficult for a further preservation of monuments and art's works so Berati needs a tecnichal assistence of developed countries.

Elbasan

ElbasanElbasan is a city in central Albania. It is located on the Shkumbin River in the District of Elbasan and the County of Elbasan, at 41°06′N, 20°04′E. It is one of the largest cities in Albania, with a population of around 100,000 (2003 estimate) and an area of 1,290 km².

Elbasan was - until the beginning of the Second World War - one of the most pleasant and unspoilt Ottoman cities in Albania, with a mixture of eastern and medieval buildings, narrow cobbled streets and a large bazaar where Turkish could still be heard. There was a clearly defined Christian settlement within the castle walls, a Vlach district on the outskirts of the city and several fine mosques and Islamic buildings. At the time the population was about 15,000 people.

The castle and its surrounding walls speak of the military significance of Elbasan in the early Ottoman period. The southern wall, more or less intact, is proof of the dimensions and the strength of fortifications. Some of the materials from Roman and Byzantine periods were reused during the reconstruction of the castle by Sultan Mehmet II, as seen especially in the foundations of the south-western tower.

The castle used to have 26 towers, equidistant from each other, along the whole length of the 9 metre high wall. The fortress includes part of Via Egnatia, which runs through it, and traditional buildings with the characteristic architecture of urban dwellings, as well as other monuments.

Sinan Pasha's Turkish bath is situated within the walls of the castle. It is a well preserved attraction built in the early 19th century.

Elbasan Thermal Waters
These waters have quite high temperatures averaging 52-58ŗC. They contain 600-700 mg. of minerals and 400 mg. sulphuric gas of high radioactivity. The spas are located 12 km from Elbasan in the Tregan commune. They were first developed by the Italians in the 1930s in order to treat rheumatism and skin diseases. Now there are two hotels with about 280 beds that cater to clients that need to use the thermal waters. It is an ideal place for heath tourism.

Korēa

KorcaKorēa is the main city in South-eastern Albania. It is an interesting historical city with rich cultural traditions and fascinating buildings from the Ottoman period. The region has been inhabited from ancient times and has played a significant part in the expansion of Byzantine Christianity in Albania. Archaeological remains from the Neolithic era suggest that the area has been inhabited continually in the past 6,000 years, with significant cultural advancement from one period to the next.

Korēa is the main city in South-eastern Albania. It is an interesting historical city with rich cultural traditions and fascinating buildings from the Ottoman period. The region has been inhabited from ancient times and has played a significant part in the expansion of Byzantine Christianity in Albania. Archaeological remains from the Neolithic era suggest that the area has been inhabited continually in the past 6,000 years, with significant cultural advancement from one period to the next.

The present territory of the city is situated on the site of a former Illyrian settlement thought to be related to the Barēi culture (an area close to Korēa where Illyrian period tombs have been found).


Today Korēa represents one of the most delightful and pristine cities in Albania with a unique tradition of its own.

Places of interest to the visitor are the Orthodox Cathedral and the neighborhoods between “Shėn Gjergj” and “Republika” boulevards, with their characteristic cobble-stoned alleys.

The city is particularly known for its characteristic songs, otherwise known as "Korēa serenades" which are commonly sung to guitar accompaniment. Among the most attractive events in Korēa are the Carnival Days. The Carnival festival is one of the biggest of its kind in the country and is usually celebrated right before Easter.

Cultural attractions include the Museum of Medieval Art, the National Museum of Education, the Museum of Prehistory, Oriental Art Museum in Bratko, Museum House of painter Vangjush Mio, the Meadow of Tears (Lėndina e Lotėve) and the World War I French Soldiers Cemetery.

Natural attractions include the villages of Voskopoja, Dardha, Vithkuqi as well as the National Park “Bredhi i Drenovės”.

Voskopoja
VoskopojaVoskopoja is an important tourist attraction and a veritable gem in the crown of the Albanian landscape. The village is situated 20 kilometres away from Korēa, 1,150 metres above the sea level. What is now a village used to be a big town, believed to have been founded around 1338. With time it flourished and reached its zenith around 1750, with a population of almost 20 thousand inhabitants. In the past Voskopoja had 24 churches adorned with many exquisite frescoes of which only seven survive today. It was also known for its secondary school, Academy of Learning, and library, and as an important centre of craftsmen and textile artisans, blacksmith masters, tin workers, stonemasons, stone and wood carvers, carpet weavers, etc.

Voskopoja is an important centre due to its history of civilization and culture. The first mention of its importance appears in medieval chronicles of 14th century. At that time the town was known by the Greek name of Moschopolis. In the 15th century Voskopoja was occupied by the Ottomans who expanded it as a trade centre. It quickly grew and reached unprecedented prosperity after the expansion of the Venetians in the Balkans, at which time it served as a place of intermediary storehouses en route from Venice to Istanbul.

By the mid 1850s it population is thought to have been circa 50 thousand inhabitants in the greater area and 30 thousand in the town of Voskopoja itself. At this time it was the second most important town in European Turkey after Istanbul. The first churches were constructed here in the 17th century. The first ever print shop in the Balkans was also built here in 1720 and books in the Greek script were being printed as early as 1760. Authors Teodor Kavalioti and Teodor Haxhifilipi lived in Voskopoja. At that time there were 22 churches in the town.

Among the best preserved religious buildings are the following: Monastery of Shėn Prodhon (Saint Prodhon), partially damaged. Every 24th of June numerous visitors from Korēa and other towns come here to attend a religious service on Saint Prodhon's day. Outside the monastery one can see magnificent views of Lėnia and Ostrovica peaks, 2246 metres high.

At the Church of Shėn Koll (Saint Nicholas), built in 1721, there are frescoes and paintings of great iconographic value by David Selenica, Kostantin Jeromonaku and Anastasi. The church is well preserved and is a place of interest for a great number of tourists. The Churches of Shėn Mėhill (Saint Michael) and Shėn Athanasi (Saint Athanasius) also have important icons of great value painted by the same authors. The Church of Shėn Ilia (Saint Ilia) also commands a magnificent view and is an object of extraordinary value.

The growth and prosperity of Voskopoja at the time stirred the greed and jealousy of Turkish and Greek beys, who carried out several military expeditions against the town from 1769 to 1789. As a result of these attacks many Christians were either killed or forcibly expelled from their homes and many houses were burned down. Even now Voskopoja is a living proof of the glamorous history of the region, as seen in its numerous religious sites, its building tradition, and the 400 year-old cobble stoned streets still in use today. Voskopoja has a hospitality infrastructure for people who want to rest or spend a few days' holiday there.

Dardha
DardhaIt is a tourist attraction offering beautiful natural landscapes, hotels, restaurants and traditional cuisine. The village is situated 1,344 metres above sea level, in a depression between the hills of Shėn Pjetėr (Saint Peter) and Shkėmbi i Vjeshtės (The Autumn Rock), 20 kilometres to the southeast of Korēa. It was founded in the 1600s and was consolidated as a settlement in 1768 when the first Albanian school opened there. In the last decade of the 19th century a girls' school also started to operate. Dardha reached the zenith of its growth in 1913 when the village had as many as 500 houses. The village has a school and the Church of Shėn Gjergj (Saint George) with its famous icons.

Two other churches, that of Shėn Pjetėr (Saint Peter) and Shėn Athanasi (Saint Athanasius) are situated in two dominant points in Dardha. The village has many natural water springs, among which one with the strange name of Uji i Qelbur (Filthy Water) believed to help cure stomach and kidney conditions.

Heavy snows and natural ski tracks make the place suitable for the exercising of winter sports. The village has long been a favourite tourist destination. The colourful splendour of its natural landscape, the characteristic houses built in stone, the rich folklore, traditional cuisine, and folk costumes attract numerous local and foreign visitors. One simply must not leave Dardha without having tried some of its traditional dishes such as the famous lakror (a kind of a pie) baked in a traditional wood fire oven, or the snail and mushroom specialties.

The most commonly used drink in the area is raki (a kind of grappa) made from pears. A number of traditional events enliven the tourists' stay in the area such as: Saint Mary's Day which differently from other places is a festival celebrated on August 16th, to coincide with the Shpresa Association anniversary. In addition to the religious rites performed on the day, the villagers also celebrate by performing the traditional Dardha dance.

Vithkuqi
VithkuqiThis village is situated 25 kilometres from Korēa. The highest peak here is the Rrungaja, 1,750 metres above the sea level. The main natural attractions of the area are the natural cold water springs of Bellovoda, rich in various minerals, also known as Uji i Bardhė (White Water).

Vithkuq is a mountainous village as old as Voskopoja. It is well-known for its old churches and monasteries. Worthy of mention is the Shėn Pjetėr (Saint Peter) Monastery with its iconographic values, of which the most renowned are frescoes by masters such as Zografi and Shpataraku.

National Park Drenova Fir Bredhi i Drenovės
The park is situated 10 kilometres from Korēa, on the side of the Morava Mountain. It has an area of 1,380 hectares, of which 750 hectares are covered by forests, 240 hectares of pastures, and the rest is rough country land. The area is largely frequented by visitors from Korēa and the surrounding villages. The numerous natural springs with all-year drinkable water, such as those of Shėn Gjergj, Plaka, Pllica, add to the attractiveness of the park. The most common trees growing in the Drenova National Park, also known as Bredhi i Drenovės (Drenova Pine) National Park, are fir trees, beeches and black pines. The lower part of the park is covered in hazelnut trees. The Park has a rich fauna and includes the famous Bozdoveci Bear, a monument of culture

Kukes

KukesKukes has possibly the most beautiful setting of any town in Albania. It is high above Lake Fierza, just below the bald 2486m (8154ft) summit of Mt Gjalica. It's a pleasant place to spend a few days, and the Hotel Turizmi is one of the finest hotels, with one of the best restaurants, in the country.

The old town formerly stood at the junction of two rivers, the White Drin from Kosovo and the Black Drin from Lake Ohrid, but in 1962 it was relocated to its present position when the Party decided to build a hydroelectric dam ('The Light of the Party') and flood its location.

Pogradec

PogradecPogradec is situated in the South-eastern part of the country, on the shores of Lake Ohrid where the border between Albania and Macedonia runs through. The town itself is relatively new but has an ancient historical background. Archaeological finds on the hill to the northwest of Pogradec suggest the existence of a 5th century B.C. Illyrian settlement of the Desarate tribe, probably called Enkelana. In the following centuries the inhabitants began to come down from the hill and settle closer to shores of the lake.

Pogradec is situated in the South-eastern part of the country, on the shores of Lake Ohrid where the border between Albania and Macedonia runs through. The town itself is relatively new but has an ancient historical background. Archaeological finds on the hill to the northwest of Pogradec suggest the existence of a 5th century B.C. Illyrian settlement of the Desarate tribe, probably called Enkelana. In the following centuries the inhabitants began to come down from the hill and settle closer to shores of the lake.

Situated 720 metres above the sea level, close to Lake Ohrid and surrounded on all sides by mountain ranges, the town and its environs form an attractive basin with a pleasant climate. In addition to its climate, Lake Ohrid—the deepest in the Balkan Peninsula—is the most attractive feature of the town making it one of the most important tourist resorts in Albania with ample opportunities for sun bathing, swimming, fishing and water sports.

Only 5 km from Pogradec is the tourist attraction of Drilon. Natural water springs and lush green surroundings make Drilon one of the most beautiful and relaxing spots in Albania. A variety of decorative plants and trees grow here in perfect harmony with the water springs and the characteristic bridges. Hotels and restaurants in the area offer traditional dishes of the Pogradeci cuisine.

Cultural attractions include the Selca tombs, the basilicas and mosaics of the village of Lin.

Natural attractions include Ohrid lake, Prespa national park, the two Prespa lakes, the Treni cave and Guri i Capit (“Capi Rock”).

Lake Ohrid
Lake OhridLake Ohrid is one of the most important natural tourist attractions in the country. It is situated in the south-eastern part of Albania, at an altitude of 695 metres and covers an area of 358 square km. A third of its area falls within Albanian state borders. It is the deepest lake in the entire Balkan Peninsula, with a maximum depth of 289 metres. Lake Ohrid is 4 million years old. It is renowned for its crystal clear blueness, with see-through waters up to 22 metres of depth. The lake is home to old fauna, and from this point of view can be considered a 'relic' lake. Among the fish growing here is the koran, a kind of trout only indigenous to this lake and not found anywhere else in the world. The area is known for the traditional koran dishes.
The Lake is home to seventeen species of fish and over thirty species of molluscs as well as the Ohrid sponge, which grows only here and in Lake Baikal. The 30 km of the Albanian Lake Ohrid shoreline include areas of interest for all tourists, such as Lin, Pojska, Pogradec, and Tushemisht. Lake Ohrid was known as a holiday spot since ancient times. Emperor Justinian's parents, for instance, used to holiday in the Lin peninsula.

Things to do in the lake include swimming, speed boating, scuba diving, waterskiing, and fishing. In addition to the hotels along the lake shores, the area is known for family hospitality, especially in the Tushemisht area.

Prespa National Park
Prespa National ParkPrespa National Park covers an area of 27,750 hectares and is situated right on the border with Greece and Macedonia, in the Eastern part of the country. It consists of lakes Prespa Major and Prespa Minor and their water collecting basin. The area boasts a rich cultural heritage. One can mention here the Byzantine eremite churches, the Treni Cave, Lake Prespa Minor, the Trajan Castle, and Saint Mary's Church, built in the Island of Maligrad in the 14th century.

Lakes Prespa Major and Prespa Minor are part of the cross-border Balkan Prespa Park, created pursuant to an agreement among the Prime Ministers of the three neighbouring countries.

Prespa Lakes
The lakes of Prespa are found in the south-eastern part of Albania, about 850 metres above the sea level. These are the highest tectonic lakes in the Balkan Peninsula. Prespa Major covers an area of 285 square km and straddles the border area between Albania, Macedonia and Greece, while Prespa Minor is situated between Albania and Greece and has an area of 44 square km. 38.8 square km lie in the territory of the Republic of Albania.

Prespa LakesThe lakes are known for their crystal clear blue waters that are see-through up to 20 metres of depth. The jagged shores make the landscape even more attractive and dramatic. In the summer, moderate temperatures make the lakes suitable for sunbathing and swimming. Another form of tourism with lots of potential is eco-tourism. Eleven species of fish grow in the Prespa Lakes.

The most important are carps, eels, and anchovies. The fauna consists of pink pelicans, eagles, Dalmatian pelicans, brown bears, etc. The area is also home to twelve species of reptiles and fifty six kinds of plants. As a result of the numerous birds nesting here, the place is ideal for water bird watching. The most suitable area for this activity is a place called Kodra e Belit. Prespa is the largest national park in the country. Rural tourism is developed here and the tourists and visitors can find accommodation in the houses of local villages (Goricė e Vogėl, Gollomboc).

Vlora

VloraThe town has a rich history. In antique times, it was known by the name of Aulona, which was given to it by early Hellenic settlers. In the Middle Ages the Vlora region became an object of contention between various international powers that wanted to maintain a hold on Albania.

Vlora is a coastal city. Vlora is not only the second major port, but also a centre of great historical importance. In ancient times the city was known under the name of Aulon. It was her that in 1912, the Assembly was convened to proclaim Albania as an independent state, forming the first National government headed by Ismail Qemali on 28th of November 1912. At this time Vlora became the capital of the country until 1914.


You can drive south from Vlora, following the scenic route leading to Saranda and discover the unspoilt beaches, the Bay of Portopalermo and the traditional villages of Dhermi, Himara and Piqeras, to mention just a few, with their cobbled streets, stone houses and courtyards shaded by old vines.

Vlora is the second major port of the country after Durrės. The city is situated in the South-western part of the country, in a picturesque area along the sea coast. Opposite the town lie the Karaburun Peninsula and the Sazan Island. Vlora has regular maritime connections with the Italian port of Brindisi and seasonal connections with that of Bari.

The town has a rich history. In antique times, it was known by the name of Aulona, which was given to it by early Hellenic settlers. In the Middle Ages the Vlora region became an object of contention between various international powers that wanted to maintain a hold on Albania. During the Ottoman invasion it represented a centre of that power. This is also evidenced by the extensive Ottoman buildings in the city, such as the Great Mosque in the town centre, built in 1542 by the famous Turkish architect Mimar Sinan.

A significant moment in the history of Vlora is the Declaration of Independence prior to the First World War, on 28th November 1912, by Ismail Qemali, a local bey. The event marked the end of five hundred years of Ottoman rule in Albania. The building that was the seat of the first government of an independent Albania is today a place of great interest for tourists.

In the centre of town one's attention is drawn by the Monument of Independence, erected in Sheshi i Flamurit (The Square of the Flag).

Another very interesting religious location is also "Kuz Baba" building of the Bektashi sect, perched up on the hill towering upon the town centre. This spot offers a unique view not only of the town, but also of the entire Vlora Bay.

Saranda

SarandaSaranda, the gateway to the southern Albania, is a small town located between mountains and the Ionian Sea. The name Saranda, derives from an early Christian monastery dedicated to Santi Quaranta (Forty Saints).

Saranda, the gateway to the southern Albania, is a small town located between mountains and the Ionian Sea. The name Saranda, derives from an early Christian monastery dedicated to Santi Quaranta (Forty Saints).

Located on the shores of Ionian Sea, in front of Greek islands of Corfu, Saranda is characterized by a Mediterranean climate. Due to its locations and warm weather, Saranda is one of the most attractive tourist towns of the Albanian Riviera, where honeymooners traditionally spend heir holidays.

Saranda can be visited on day- trips by tourist travelling from Corfu by boat. The archaeological site of Butrint and the historic town of Gjirokastra are situated near Saranda, that’s why those tourists who come from Corfu have the chance to visit Butrint and Gjirokastra.

The magical place of the “Blue Eye” spring is 18km north of Saranda town, worth visiting. Near Saranda are the villages of Lukova, Piqeras and Borsh, where unique panoramic sea views beautiful mountains, and olive-grove landscapes are combined with the charm of village’s environment and the most dramatic and magnificent scenery along the whole length of the Ionian Sea.

Saranda is one of the finest gems of Albania’s coastline. Located on the country’s southernmost coastline, the town and its beaches create a half-moon on the Ionian only 5 nautical miles away from the Greek island of Corfu. Saranda enjoys a highly favorable position with easy access to other tourist centers in the hinterland such as Butrint and Gjirokastra, the Albanian Riviera as well as Greek beaches in Corfu, Igoumenitza and elsewhere.

Saranda is an old urban center known in ancient times by the name of Onkesmos. Its present name comes from Agia Saranda (Greek) and Santi Quaranta (Italian, meaning “forty saints”). The ruins of the Church of Forty Saints are found on the Qafa e Gjashtės (Pass of the Six) above the town. Although the town never reached the size of a large city, by the 1800s it played an important role in regional trade routes especially with Greece.

During the First World War, Saranda became an important base of the Italian Navy on the Entente side. Italy’s return to Albania in 1939 saw the town change its name to Porto Eda in honor of Mussolini’s daughter. After the Second World War, Saranda became an important industrial and tourist center of the Ionian coast. At this time it became a preferred destination of couples on their honeymoon. After the 1990s, the town has developed particularly rapidly, especially regarding its tourist infrastructure.

An impressive local attraction is the Lėkurės Castle which commands a great view of Saranda and its harbor. Moreover, the Archaeological Part of Butrint located 30 km away adds particular value to Saranda.

Himara

HimaraHimara is bordered by the village of Nivica to the south and the Llogara Pass in the north. West to east, the region is bounded by a beautiful blue sea and a coast line dotted with capes and beaches on one side and forbidding mountains such as Ēika, Veza, and Mesimeri on the other.
The place-name of “Himara” comes from ancient Greek—himarros—or “creek.” In ancient times, it was populated by the Kaons which were an important Epirote tribe but, perhaps more famously, are now immortalized by the local beer “Kaon.” The town of Himara is located in the center of the region which encompasses Spille and the Kala neighborhood. The oldest living space in the region is the Spille cave, from the fourth century B.C., which is located on the eastern most side of the city’s main avenue. The fields around Spille were also inhabited during this time, evidenced by an antique temple, gravestones and pottery. West of Spille, tourists can visit the ruins of a Roman bath and Roman graves. Further, above the Spille cave on the Stefaneli hill, the ruins of a medieval settlement from 1431 can be found.

Potami Beach is beautifully situated between rocks that fall diagonally in the sea. The contrast between the white beach and the clear seawater make for a very panoramic view.

Kala Neighborhood (Himara village) is built on the rocky Barbaka peak and—with an age of 4000 years—is by far the oldest settlement of the area. The church of Petro Kozmai is located on the ruins of an old church which, according to an old stone inscription, was built on 10 January 1796.

Himara is bordered by the village of Nivica to the south and the Llogara Pass in the north. West to east, the region is bounded by a beautiful blue sea and a coast line dotted with capes and beaches on one side and forbidding mountains such as Ēika, Veza, and Mesimeri on the other.

The place-name of “Himara” comes from ancient Greek—himarros—or “creek.” In ancient times, it was populated by the Kaons which were an important Epirote tribe but, perhaps more famously, are now immortalized by the local beer “Kaon.” The town of Himara is located in the center of the region which encompasses Spille and the Kala neighborhood. The oldest living space in the region is the Spille cave, from the fourth century B.C., which is located on the eastern most side of the city’s main avenue. The fields around Spille were also inhabited during this time, evidenced by an antique temple, gravestones and pottery. West of Spille, tourists can visit the ruins of a Roman bath and Roman graves. Further, above the Spille cave on the Stefaneli hill, the ruins of a medieval settlement from 1431 can be found.

Potami Beach is beautifully situated between rocks that fall diagonally in the sea. The contrast between the white beach and the clear seawater make for a very panoramic view.

Kala Neighborhood (Himara village) is built on the rocky Barbaka peak and—with an age of 4000 years—is by far the oldest settlement of the area. The church of Petro Kozmai is located on the ruins of an old church which, according to an old stone inscription, was built on 10 January 1796.

The Temple Road ends at the Church of All Saints that was rebuilt on 08 August 1826. Its majestic bell and interior paintings and iconostasis make a visit worthwhile. On its northern entrance, the visitor will find engraved “Agioi Pandon-Himarro” and the rebuilding date.

The city wall was built in the fifth century B.C. on large polygonal stones. Between the 800 m east-side walls and the west-side rocky slope, visitors can find dwellings built on rock. Leaving the Kala neighborhood on the two-kilometer dirt road, visitors can reach the great beach of Livadh. The beauty and cleanliness of this sandy beach attract many visitors in summer time.

Today Himara is a highly frequented destination for summer holiday travellers. Accommodation is mainly in local family dwellings, as well as in a variety of small hotels. The people of Himara are well known for their traditional hospitality which makes Himara a great year-round destination for all sea lovers.

Apollonia

ApolloniaThe famous Roman orator Cicero, astonished by the beauty of Apollonia named it in his Philippics, magna urbs et gravis - a great and important city. Established in the 7th century B.C., by Greek settlers from Corinth and Corcyra, the ancient city is located 11 km to the west of the modern city of Fier.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that Apollonia achieved its zenith in the 4th - 3rd centuries B.C. In the first century B.C., Octavian Augustus studied philosophy there until he heard news of Caesar’s murder in the Senate and went on to become the next Roman emperor.

The city had a 4 km long surrounding wall encircling an area of 137 hectares. It has been estimated that during the developed stages of the city, 60000 inhabitants lived inside its imposing walls. Among the most interesting monuments worth visiting are the Bouleterion (city council), the library, the triumphal arch, the temple of Artemis, the Odeon built in the 2nd century B.C., the two-storey 77 m long Stoa, a theater with a capacity of ca. 10000 spectators, and the Nymphaeum (a monumental water fountain covering an area of 2000m2), which has been visited by the Roman emperor Sulla, as ancient sources indicate.

In the 3rd-4th centuries A.D. Apollonia suffered great destruction from several earthquakes which were followed also by the shifting southwards of the nearby Vjosa (Aoos) river. Being deprived by its port facilities and damaged by earthquakes and Gothic invasions, Apollonia went into a rapid decline, loosing all its grandeur from the past. Today the site can be approached easily from the modern city of Fier and offers unique views over the Adriatic sea and the hinterland.

Peshkopia

PeshkopiaPeshkopia lies in the Northeastern part of Albania. The word “Peshkopi” derives from the Greek episcopoi , meaning “bishops residence”. The first mention of the name dates back to a document of the 15th century.
The town can serve as a base from which to visit the Lura National Park and is known for its spas and thermal waters.

The main cultural attraction in Peshkopia is the Dibra Ethnographic Museum.

Natural attractions around Peshkopia include Lura National Park and Peshkopia Thermal Waters and Spa.

Kruja

KrujaKruja is one of the towns with the richest history in Albania. It is easily accessible from the capital since it is located only 32 km away. The name and significance of Kruja is related to the deeds and activity of the Albanian national hero, Gjergj Kastrioti (Skanderbeg), who led the fight against the invading Ottomans in the 15th century.

Kruja was Skanderbeg’s capital and its castle turned into an invincible stronghold of resistance against the Ottoman threat, repelling Turkish attacks for the better part of 25 years thus becoming famous in Europe.

The name of Kruja derives from the Albanian word krua, meaning 'water spring/fountain'. In Byzantine times it is mentioned as an Episcopal centre. The first Albanian feudal state was created there circa 1190.

Later it fell under the rule of the Topia feudal family. The first Ottoman occupation occurred in 1396 but then they withdrew for 20 years. In 1430 it became the centre of the uprising led by Gjon Kastrioti, Skanderbeg's father. However, Kruja reached its zenith on the 28th of November 1443 when the Kruja castle was taken by Gjergj Kastrioti, who then organized the long anti-Ottoman resistance.

From this time on, under the leadership of Skanderbeg, Kruja repelled three Ottoman sieges in 1450, 1457 and 1466. Only ten years after the death of Skanderbeg, in 1478, were the Ottomans able to capture the castle and destroy the town. They called Kruja Akēahisar (The White Fortress). The part of the population that survived converted to the Muslim faith. Today the town lies on the side of the Kruja Mountain, about 600 metres above the sea level, commanding a panoramic view. From the Kruja town one can clearly see the Adriatic Sea.

Tepelene

TepelenaTepelenė was founded on the shores of Vjosa River, about 30 kilometers from where this river meets the Drino, on a rocky elevation. The name Tepelenė means “the Hill of Helen,” because according to legend, the place had alliance agreements with the neighboring villages of Dames and Dragot under the rule of Queen Helen.
Tepelenė is the birthplace of Ali Pashė Tepelena. Although its fortress is not as large and majestic as the castles of Berat, Shkoder and Gjirokastėr, it has a very special atmosphere, which many Anglo-Saxon visitors have experienced and written about.

Ali Pasha is a very complex figure, who elevates the name of Tepelenė. He was the son of Veli and Hanko (the daughter of the Beg of Konice). His father died when he was 14. Through his bravery and his in-laws, he made a brilliant career. In 1784 he was awarded the title “Pasha” under the Veli of Rumelia. Through war he secured leadership of the Sanjak of Delvina, in the same year.

In 1786-1788 he became the leader of the Sanjak of Thessalia and took over the governing of the Sanjak of Ioannina, defending the interests of the new landowners and the commercial bourgeoisie. He turned Ioannina into the international commercial center of southern Rumelia.

Permet

PermetiPermet is located in the southeastern part of Albania. In ancient times it was called Tryfilia, and it was inhabited by the Illyrian tribe of the Parauej, who settled close to what is called today the Vjosa River.
Historical data show that since early times, Pėrmet had markets, shops, warehouses and inns. This town is well-known for its hospitality, thrift, and its tradition in the construction and decoration of houses.

Pėrmet is the place of origin of many reputable and historical figures, such as the Frasheri Brothers, the sculptors Odhise Paskali and Janaq Paco, the historians Stefanaq e Kristo Frasheri, the writer Nonda Bulku, Sejfulla Maleshova, the violin player Tedi Papavrami, the actor Naim Servet Frasheri and others.

Among monuments of interest, it is worth mentioning the house of the Frasheri Brothers, the houses with typical architecture for the area, the Church of St. Mary in Kosine (12th century) and the bridge of Limari over the Zagori River. All these objects stand witness to the culture of this city.

Pėrmet is known for its blacksmith tradition, silver works and the art of embroidery. It is also known for its metal, wood and stone products. The dances in this area are accompanied by an instrument called the saze, which is well-known both inside and outside the country.

Erseke

ErsekaErseka is a new town founded at the beginning of the eighteenth century. It is located at the bottom of Mt. Gramoz at an altitude of 1,050 m above sea level.
The archaeological discoveries show that this area was inhabited since Neolithic times (6000-3000 B.C). Many of the objects found are displayed today in the Historical Ethnographic Museum of Ersekė.

Many famous politicians, capable publicists, talented teachers, devoted fighters, and brave military commanders, such as Fan Noli, Jani Vreto, Petro Nini Luarasi, and Themistokli Germenji were been born here.
Just like any other area, Ersekė has its own traditions, which are well preserved to this day.

Lezha

LezhaLezha is situated 69 km from Tirana and lies on both sides of the Drin River. Lezha is one of the most ancient cities in Albania, having first being mentioned in 835 B.C. and flourishing by the second half of the 3rd to the beginning of the 2nd century B.C., when it minted its own bronze coins.
The town assumed its full shape in the year 59 B.C.

At this time, the town was surrounded by walls with a circumference of 2.5 km and 8 meters high. It continued to be an urban centre known by the name of Lissus until the early Middle Ages. Until 1398 the town was under the rule of the Dukagjini feudal family, who later gave it up to Venice. It was here that the Lezha Assembly was held on 2nd March 1444, under the leadership of Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg, Albania’s national hero. The Assembly created a political-military league of Albanian princes and a common Albanian army of 10,000 strong as a response to the Ottoman threat.

It is thus no surprise that when he died, Gjergj Kastrioti was buried at the Shėn Kolli Cathedral in 1468, though his grave was later destroyed by the Turks.

Kavaje

KavajaThe town of Kavaja first appeared in 1431 and was known by the name of Kavalje. Later it was mentioned as an Ottoman settlement in the 16th century.
The town had four historical mosques, the first of which was built in 1561. They survived until the beginning of the 20th century, but then were destroyed for various reasons. Today the town commands a good position, because it is only 8 km from the Golem Beach and only 20 km to the south of the main port in the country, Durrės.

Cultural attractions in Kavaja include the Kubelie Mosque and the Clock tower at the centre of town, the Ethnographic museum, the Ceta church and the Bashtova castle near the Shkumbini river estuary. The Arapaj Mosaic and Basilica and Shkėmbi i Kavajės (The Kavaja Rock) provide further testimony to the historical importance of this region.

Kavaja’s natural attractions include Karpen beach, Beden forest, Bardhori beaches and Cape Lagji and Spillenja beach.

Rreshen

RreshenRreshen is a small township 74 km from Tirana. It has been the administrative center of the Mirdita District since 1949. The town lies on the Fan i Vogėl River and can serve as a base from where to visit the tourist attractions of the Mirdita region.
Cultural attractions in the town of Rrėshen include the Rubiku Church.

Natural attractions around Rrėshen include the Valmor-Didha Plain, the Oroshi Mountains (Shejti Mountain) and Kroi i Bardhė (“White Spring”).

Rrėshen Municipality was institutionalized after 1992 and undertakes its activity in the whole municipality area and is located in Rrėshen city.

This municipality is acting in accordance with the policy of decentralization and self – governing as well as with the law No. 7572 “For the organization and Functioning of Local Government”

There are 6 Departments within the Municipality: Finacing, Urban, Economic and Public Services, Education Culture and Sport, Agriculture and Livestock .

The staff is composed of 28 people.

Municipal offices lack equipment which is a barrier to improvement of work quality.

Municipal Council is functioning reguraly. Public Services provided by the Municipality are: Water supply, Funeral Services, Decoration, City cleaning, Maintenance of roads and pipes, Maintenance of green areas in city.

City cleaning, decoration, funerals and green areas maintenance are undertaken and funded by the State. Municipality puts out to tender private firms to take over the activity and exercices control for service ful-fillment.

Rrėshen and Surroundings

In ancient times, Rrėshen and its surroundings were inhabitet by the old tribes of Pirust. These tribes are historically well known for their mineral processing skills and as fearsome warriors. The earliest vestiges, from as far as 400 BC are found in Gėziq. Later vestiges (in Kodėr Rrėshen, Bukmmirė, Tenė, Malaj) witness historical discoveries of Ilirian, Roman and Arbnor culture.

In Ndėrfana, one of the most important Medieval monuments, the Church of Saint Mary is found. From the some time, inscriptions on the stone and Principality emblem found in Gėziq, testify to the presence of seats of the First Albanian State in XII-XII centuries.

Rrėshen and its suburbs, are parts of lands that were never converted by the Otoman empire but preserved their self-government right ( the Kanun of Lekė Dukagjini) and their Catholic faith.

Churches of Ndėrfana (Shėn Mėri), Malaj (Shen Vlashi), Rrėshen (Shnapremte) have been institutions of Christianity but in the intervening time, important cultural, educational and patriotic centers. Rrėshen inhabitants are descendants of Orosh, Kuzhnen, Kthellė ( three bajrak).

Infrastructure

Asphalt roads run through Rrėshen, Gėziq, Sheshaj and Prosek. The other villages are using summer paths.Roads are lacking in of Ndėrfanė, Tenė, Lurth, Sheshaj. The villages are missing phone lines, but Rrėshen is included in the Master plan of telecom, financed by the EU. The water supply system is a problem in the majority of willages.

Mineral resourses

The identified resources in the area are:

Copper sources in Derven and Cekaj. Non-metallic resources, used for construction purposes. Underground water that meets drinking and technological requirements. Clay resources for bricks and tiles production.

Demographic data


Total numbers of inhabitants is 15 234

Number of families : 3824

Privately employed: 603.

Employed by the government: 680.

Retired people: 883.

Handicapped: 110.

City inhabitants: 53.8%

Suburbs inhabitants 46.2%.

Inhabitants of ages 16.25.

Years old: 1325.

Inhabitants of ages 25-35

Years old: 1635.


Rrėshen Municipality is composed of Rrėshen city and 14 villages. Rrėshen is the administrative center of Mirdita District. The number of inhabitants is 15.234 out of the which 7.030 are living in rural areas. Total surface are of municipality territory is 12014 ha, altitude of 100-900 m above sea level. In Rrėshen governmental, public and cultural institutions are functioning, as well as some NGO-s. There is a “Culture Centre” as well a folk group in the municipality.

Rrėshen is the centre of the Diocese (worship of God) for Mirdita district, Burel, Bulqiza, Peshkopi.

Religion is Catholicism, and and 8 churces and Katedrale, built after 1992 are practising the religion.

Education

Attending middle schools: 532. A dormitory with a capacity for 80 students is attached to Rrėshen Middle School. Attending grammar school: 2466. On these school 191 teachers are employed, out of which 116 university. One kindergarten is operating with a capacity for 55 children. School are going through a difficult situation and there is a need for reconstruction.

Health care

Rreshen hospitaly has a capacity of 80 beds, 20 physicians, 2 pharmacists and 88 other employees are employed. Ambulant service is covered by 9 health centers, but to supply the actual needs 10 more are necessary. On these centers 19 physicians are employed. Health care is lacking a varied range of necessary equipment. Rrėshen hospitality is servicing the needs of Mirdita district and has 7 departaments.

Sports

The “Minatori” sports club is opearating in the city, though last year they faced financial difficulties in undertaking activities. Three teams are very well-known: females Volleyball team, soccer team, and the Youth Voleyball Team presently in the firs category. A sports centre with 1000 seats capacity; and there is also a soccer field.

Puka

PukaPuka is located 838 meters above sea level and is one of the towns with the highest altitude in Albania, lying 150 km from Tirana. Its origins date back somewhere between the 2nd and the 4th centuries B.C., when ancient settlements with the names of Piracea and Pezhve were founded on the way from the Adriatic to Kosovo.

The region has a 2000-year old tradition in the processing of resin. Archaeological ruins demonstrating this history of resin-processing are found in a neighbourhood of Puka that bears the same name. The ancient towns were destroyed by barbarian tribes that invaded the region around the 7th century A.D. In the 20th century, Puka became a garrison town and a center of Catholic education. Migjeni, the well known Albanian poet worked there in 1936-37. Today one can visit the school where he worked. The town is surrounded by a thick pine forest that covers an area of about 400 hectares.

Burrel

BurrelBurrel is 93 km from Tirana. It is situated on a flat plain at an altitude of 320 meters above the sea level and is surrounded by mountains on all sides.
The area has been inhabited since ancient times. It is thought that it was first settled in the 8th century B.C. Evidence to this is the discovery of burial mounds, a total of 54 in the entire Mat District, to the west and northwest of Burrel. These burial mounds belong to the Illyrian Cult of Mati. Burrel began its life as a town in 1922, as the main center of the Mat District. The town has a park with an area of 4 hectares.

The primary cultural attraction in the town of Burrel is the History Museum of the Mati.

Natural attractions near the town of Burrel are Zall Gjoēaj National Park, the Shkopeti Gorge and Ulza Lake.

Bajram Curri

Bajram CurriBajram Curri is the only alpine town in Albania and at the same time the northernmost town within the political borders of the Republic of Albania.
It is a new town built on the site of the former village of Kolgecaj. It received its present name in 1952 in honour of Bajram Curri, a well known nationalist that lived in the area and was killed in the Dragobia Cave, on the Valbona River.

Cultural attractions in Bajram Curri include the Monument of Bajram Curri, Mic Sokoli’s Kulla and Sali Mani’s Kulla.

Natural attractions in North Eastern Albania accessible from Bajram Curri include Valbona River Valley and National Park, the Korabi Mountain, the Koman lake, and Liqeni i Zi.

(Published on 17 November 2008 23:10)


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