Albania

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Additional Information
Capital TIRANA
Currency
Timezone Europe/Andorra
Total States 36
Airport City Tirana international Airport, Sarandë, Gjirokastër, Podgorica international airport, Ohrid international airport
Ruling Type Government
Offical Languages ALBANIAN (SHQIUPE), AROMANIAN, SERBIAN, MACEDONIAN,
National Animal GOLDEN EAGLE
Food Tavë kosi, Crystallized fruit (oshaf), Kakllaasarem
Seasons Autumn  : Sep - Nov
Summer : Jun - Aug
Winter     : Dec - Feb
Sprint      : Mar - May


Destination



1 ) Tirana
Popular - Capital City     Location - Tirana, -Tirane, -Albania

Tirana is located in the center of Albania and is enclosed by mountains and hills with Mount Dajt elevating on the east and a slight valley on the northwest overlooking the Adriatic Sea in the distance. Due to its location within the Plain of Tirana and the close proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, the city is particularly influenced by a Mediterranean seasonal climate. It is among the wettest and sunniest cities in Europe, with 2,544 hours of sun per year.

Tirana flourished as a city in 1614 but the region that today corresponds to the city's territory has been continuously inhabited since the Iron Age. The city's territory was inhabited by several Illyrian tribes but had no importance within Illyria. Indeed, it was annexed by Rome and became an integral part of the Roman Empire following the Illyrian Wars. The heritage of that period is still evident and represented by the Mosaics of Tirana. Later, in the 5th and 6th centuries, a Paleochristian basilica was built around this site.


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2 ) Gjirokaster
Popular - Hills     Location - Gjirokaster, -Gjirokaster, -Albania

Gjirokastër  is a city in southern Albania, on a valley between the Gjerë mountains and the Drino, at 300 metres above sea level. Its old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, described as "a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town, built by farmers of large estate". The city is overlooked by Gjirokastër Fortress, where the Gjirokastër National Folklore Festival is held every five years. It is the birthplace of former Albanian communist leader Enver Hoxha, and author Ismail Kadare.

The city appears in the historical record dating back in 1336 by its Greek name, Αργυρόκαστρο - Argyrokastro, as part of the Byzantine Empire. It became part of the Orthodox Christian diocese of Dryinoupolis and Argyrokastro after the destruction of nearby Adrianoupolis. Gjirokastër later was contested between the Despotate of Epirus and the Albanian clan of John Zenevisi before falling under Ottoman rule for the next five centuries (1417–1913). Throughout the Ottoman era Gjirokastër was officially known in Ottoman Turkish as Ergiri and also Ergiri Kasrı. During the Ottoman period conversions to Islam and an influx of Muslim converts from the surrounding countryside made Gjirokastër go from being an overwhelmingly Christian city in the 16th century into one with a large Muslim population by the early 19th century. Gjirokastër also became a major religious centre for Bektashi Sufism. Taken by the Hellenic Army during the Balkan Wars of 1912–3 on account of its large Greek population, it was eventually incorporated into the newly independent state of Albania in 1913. This proved highly unpopular with the local Greek population, who rebelled; after several months of guerrilla warfare, the short-lived Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus was established in 1914 with Gjirokastër as its capital. It was definitively awarded to Albania in 1921. In more recent years, the city witnessed anti-government protests that led to the Albanian civil war of 1997.             


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Activity

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Festival

1 ) National Festival of Urban Folk Songs

Festival Month - March

This is the most important event on folklore in Albania. It is organized in Gjirokastra Castle every four years. All Albanian folklore groups participate together with Albanian groups from Kosova, Montenegro, Macedonia the arbresh of Italy, Turkey, the United States, Greece and other countries. Folklore groups from other countries as well as international guests participate as well.


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2 ) Korça Beer Festival

Festival Month - August

Korça, the beautiful serenade city, has become a leading destination these days. Many citizens come from other districts for this festival, but foreign people have crowded streets as well. For five nights in a row, Korça will hold the Beer Festival, which has become a tradition now and this year it marks its 10th-anniversary. Korça Municipality took care of all details so this 10th-anniversary to be remembered for a long time. Endless beers, impressive decor, music e celebrations, all these will culminate in this city during five days until Sunday.


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3 ) Gjirokaster Folk Festival

Festival Month - September

This is an artistic music festival that takes place every five years. The festival is very important to Albanian culture. During the celebration, traditional music, dress and dance from Albania and surrounding areas are displayed and celebrated.


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4 ) International Festival of Modern and Contemporary Dance

Festival Month - October

Held in Durres each October, this festival is designed to bring aspects of international contemporary dance to Albania and demonstrate innovative forms of expression. Some years ago, the organizers decided to stage the first edition because they believed that Albania was too steeped in its own folk scene and culture needed to be more modernized. Performances are followed by workshops where everyone invited to take part.


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5 ) Tirana International Film Festival

Festival Month - November

TIRANA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL is the first international film festival and the only of its kind in Albania. This extraordinary cultural event created in 2003 is one of the most important cinematic event in Balkans. TIFF aims to create in Albania, as well as in the region, a cultural center of worldwide alternative and independent cinema. Albania is a solar, enthusiastic and friendly country and besides the “strong competition” TIFF aims at the same time to be a meeting point of cultures, where people of Tirana, the guests and all those who love films will have a cinema-language-communication week.


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