City Break in Shkodra

Shkodra ,known as the “capital of north Albania” it is one of the oldest cities in the country, founded in the 4th century B.C. as the center of the Labeat tribe of Illyrians. Shkodra has been occupied several times throughout history.

Firstly  by the Romans (168 B.C.), then the Serbians (1040), the Venetians (1396), and finally by the Ottomans (1479). The city was  returned to Albanian control as the feudal principality of the Balshaj during the 14th century and served as the municipal center of the Bushatllinj Pashallëk from 1757 to 1831. Shkodra is rich in cultural heritage; the city itself as well as the people bears the pride that the large number of artists, musicians, painters, photographers, poets, and writers born here strove to create. Shkodra’s main tourist attraction is Rozafa Castle.  the castle has Illyrian origins. According to the historian Tit Liri, “it was the strongest area of the Labeats.

1 Rozafa Castle.

Rozafa castle comes with a popular local legend. Rozafa was the name of the bride of the youngest of three brothers who originally built the castle. The three men worked tirelessly by day laying mortar and stone but the walls always crumbled overnight.

Consulting a wise man they learned that to expel the evil tearing at their daily work and protect their friends and family with a strong castle that would last through the ages, one of their wives needed to be entombed within the walls. The brothers made a heart-wrenching pact not to alert their wives to this danger, and whoever brought her husband his noon meal the following day would be sacrificed. The elder brothers broke their word however, and it was Rozafa alone who came with food. When she heard the proclamation, she wept for her newborn son and husband, but allowed herself to become a living part of the walls so that the castle could be built.

According to both legend and local folklore, the calcareous water flowing at the entrance of the castle is the milk flowing from one of her breasts, which she requested be left exposed so that she could feed her baby. She also pleaded for one foot and one arm to be left free, in order to rock her son’s cradle at night and sooth him during the day.

Within the castle walls is a museum where a discerning lover of antiquities could spend a comfortable afternoon reading more of the history, and a restaurant has been added to showcase local food and traditional dress.

2 Ura Mesit.

Mes Bridge (Albanian: Ura e Mesit "bridge in the middle is a bridge in the village of Mes about five kilometres (straight line) northeast of Shkodër, in northwestern Albania. It was built in the 18th century, around 1780, by Kara Mahmud Bushati, the local Ottoman pasha,and it spans the Kir River It is 108 m long, and represent one of the longest Ottoman bridges in the region. It was built as part of the road that goes up the Kir Valley, eventually to Pristina.

3 Sarda, Natural resort.

Sarda is a very picturesque location, surrounded by 24.7 hectares of fresh, blue waters. The ruins of a castle dating back to the 6th- 8th centuries BCE are also on the island which  can be found  in the artificial lake of Vau i Dejës, 35 km away from Shkodra. But the island’s main attraction is the residence of the Dukagjini family, one of the most important Albanian feudal families in the 11th century. Among the remains are the defensive walls, church ruins and the gate to the Dukagjini palace.

4 Historic Museum and the Marubi Atelier of Photography.

 

The art of photography in Albania begins about the middle of the 19-th century, with a first studio opened in 1858 by Pjeter Marubi in Shkodra-at that time one of the most important cities of Albania.

 

Pjeter Marubi (1834-1903) was a real master of photography. Unlike many other studios, which were set up later in Albania, Marubi’s studio was a laboratory of artistic photography from its initial steps.

 

Studio Marubi worked not only for the personal needs of the citizens and their families.From the 70’s of the last century Marubi became photo reporter of the magazine Illustrazione Italian, for the Shkodra vilayet. Pictures of an ethnographic, historical or geographical interest bearing the signature of Studio Marubi illustrated scores of works by foreign authors on Albania, or were published as postcards.

In 1970 Gege Marubi donated the phototeque of his Studio-with about 500,000 negatives, to the Albanian people.It is today an important archive-scientific centre.Its photographs constitute a rare wealth for the historians, ethnographers, architects, town-planners, artists and so on.

5 Lead Mosque.

Located behind the Rozafa  Castle, the Lead Mosque was built in 1773 CE by Mehmet Pasha Bushati and is one of the most prominent cultural and religious monuments in the city of Shkodra. Of particular significance is its architectural similarity to the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. This stands it apart from other mosques in Albania, which were designed and built based on typical Arabic architectural styles.

6 The Tumuli Burials of Shtoj

 

The Plain of Shtoj is situated about 5 km to the northeast of the city of Shkodra, in the vicinity of the villages of Boks and Dragoc, on the western side of the Kir River. The excavated tumuli, or burial mounds, appear to have been used for centuries, from the early Bronze Age until the late Iron Age. Most of the unearthed features of these tumuli are artifacts of the Iron Age, specifically from the 7th - 5th centuries BCE.

7 Castle of Drishti.

This castle is located 6 kilometers from the Middle Bridge over Kir River. The actual village is found under the antique Drivatum. It was built during the Roman period as a shelter place for the road Shkodër - Kosovo. This castle is located 6 kilometers from the Middle Bridge over Kir River. The actual village is found under the antique Drivatum. It was built during the Roman period as a shelter place for the road Shkodër - Kosovo. This castle served as one of the fortresses that defended Shkodra. The castle is located at the top of an 800 meters high hill. There can be found 11 homes inside the walls of this castle that create a small neighborhood

 

8 The Flower's Day in Shkoder.

Today in 6 of May the main urban center of north Albania, Shkodra has celebrated “The Day of Flowers” . In addition to their love for bikes , the citizens of Shkodra , has continually show a great interest and attention to flowers and the city is known for its attractive gardens too.
This event it goes together with the opening of summer tourist season. This can be a very opportunity to promote Shkodra and its potential for both international and domestic visitors. 
The National Tourism Agency in collaboration with the municipality of Shkodra are taking care by joining their efforts , to in provide all the assistance that this season needs.

8 Summer season opening in Velipoja.

 

The Albanian National Tourism Agency were present today with its stand during the summer season opening ceremony in Velipoja (Shkodra). The NTA staff supported the activity with a photo-gallery exhibition of the best views of Velipoja. Also different brochures, maps and catalogs about Albanian tourism were distributed for free for the participants. On the other hand, the NTA invited tourists through the television to visit this year Velipoja which has made a lot of investment in infrastructure and services.