"Tirana, the capital of Albania" Top 5 Page for this destination Tirana by JLBG

Tirana Travel Guide: 387 reviews and 1,025 photos

With an estimated 700,000 inhabitants in 2000, Tirana is by far the largest city of Albania. It is the administrative, cultural, economic, and industrial center of the Republic of Albania. It stands mid distance between the areas where the Gueg is spoken, in the North and where the Tosk dialect is spoken in the south and does not belong to any of these areas. It is an intermediate between the Adriatic shore and the mountainous inland through the Qafa e K‘rab‘s valley and the Shkumbin river it is easily connected with the inner parts of the Balkan peninsula.

However, though the area around Tirana has been inhabited since the Neolithic age, for a long time, there has not been any city and unlike most Albanian cities, Tirana, the capital of the country is not an ancient city. There existed in the 1st century BC on the hill of Dajti a fortress called the castle of Tirkan. This is the origin of the name "Tirana".

Tirana was founded in 1614 by Sulejman Pasha Bargjini of Muleti who built a mosque, a hammam, a bakery, and several shops. Until it became the capital of the country in 1920, it remained a small town like any other ones. However, as it stands in a vast plain, that allows easy building. Under Italian influence, the city was really built as a capital between 1920 and 1930 with the huge Skanderbeg square and the impressive Bulevardi Dëshmorët I Kombit, a perfect setting for grandiose parades, let them be fascist or communist.

This page has been built with photos taken in 1988 on the occasion of a visit to find both rare plants and flowers and wild birds and other animals. We have been in Shkodra on a day trip in summer 2005 and plan to make a week long tour of Albania in Summer 2006. I will then add new tips on my Tirana page (and other pages in Albania).

  • Last visit to Tirana: May 1988
  • Intro Updated Apr 7, 2010
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Reviews (29)

Comments (29)

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Sep 14, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    nice page

  • Oct 24, 2010 at 12:23 AM

    This pic "Tirana, Palace of Congresses" - Tirana Things to Do Tip by JLBG shows the Palace of Congresses where the P.P.SH held its 9th and 10th congress in 1986 and 1991. Prior to that the congresses were held in the Palace of Culture.

  • Aug 17, 2009 at 3:37 AM

    Intersting page with intersting tips!

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Jun 11, 2009 at 2:51 PM

    Interesting page here = I do love parks and botanical gardens :) sometimes I think I'm a plant freak = enjoyed the Virtual tour & the historical content

  • mjbcoffee's Profile Photo
    May 20, 2009 at 10:31 AM

    The Rom women are still the ones who clean the streets now (2009) with the same homemade brooms as in your 1988 picture!

  • VikingHarald's Profile Photo
    Oct 15, 2008 at 2:28 PM

    Nice Albania pages. I worked during 1999 in Albania and have heard lot of progress after that. Rgds

  • Jun 12, 2008 at 1:09 AM

    A correction on this photo members.virtualtourist.com/m... That is not Enver but his successor Ramiz Alia. Once again great photos.

  • tere1's Profile Photo
    May 16, 2008 at 2:01 AM

    Very interesting page on a non touristic country. It was nice to know a bit about Albania. Thanks:)

  • Feb 25, 2008 at 1:37 PM

    The building you are wondering about is: Materniteti i Tiranes (i vjetri) - Hospital where women give birth

  • Sep 9, 2007 at 2:34 PM

    I was in Tirana for a month in 2/2007. It's great to see how things have changed for the better. I notice that the soldiers were grinning in your pictures. I'm sure they wouldn't have gotten away with that under Hoxha, change was already in the air.


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