Shpirti i Shqiperisė
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Gazetteer of Albanian Towns and Cities

















Population :
3. 400. 000; 50 % of whom live in the countryside. Tirana, the capital has a population of about 400. 000; Almost 98 % of the population is ethnic Albanian.

Language :
The official language is Albanian . Italian, English and Greek are the most common foreign languages spoken.

Religion :
Three main religions coexist in Albania : muslim, orthodox, christian and catholic.


Public Holidays :
January 1 (New Year's Day), May 1, Bajram Day, Easter Day, November 28 (Independence and Liberation Day), December 25 
(Christmas ). Where a holiday falls on Sunday, the following Monday is normally declared a public holiday.









Anthony Weir is an Irish poet. He visited Southern of Albania twice in 1994 and for his impressions he wrote Albanian poems. Also he wrote:

"When I went to Albania in 1994, 'the poorest country in Europe', with ethnic divisions and virtually no modern 'infrastructure', I thought it compared very favourably with Northern Ireland. The food was edible, for a start (okra, beans, tomatoes, peppers). Almost every family distilled its own raki, from grapes or plums, some of it of a quality that any French maker of alcool blanc would envy. People were very friendly and curious. I was enthusiastically directed or taken to places that interested me. I could get by very well with a mixture of Italian, German and French as well as English and a few words of Albanian - aided by Albanian goodwill".







































































 Map of Albania


Map of Albania showing the main Towns and their briefly histories extended in North, Center and South of Albania.

To use this map as guide click on the towns





To use this map as guide click on the towns


Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Albania
conventional short form: Albania
Data code: AL

Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea, between Greece and FYROM, Kosova and FRY

Geographic coordinates: 41 00 N, 20 00 E

total: 28,750 sq km
land: 27,400 sq km
water: 1,350 sq km

Land boundaries:
total: 720 km
border countries: Greece 282 km, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 151 km, Kosova and FRY 287 km (114 km with Serbia, 173 km with Montenegro)

Coastline: 362 km

Climate: mild temperate; cool, cloudy, wet winters; hot, clear, dry summers; interior is cooler and wetter

Terrain: mostly mountains and hills; small plains along coast

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 meter
highest point: Maja e Korabit (Golem Korab) 2,753 meter

Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, timber, nickel

Land use:
arable land: 21%
permanent crops: 5%
permanent pastures: 15%
forests and woodland: 38%
other: 21% (1993 est.)

Geography—note: strategic location along Strait of Otranto (links Adriatic Sea to Ionian Sea and Mediterranean Sea)

Administrative divisions: 36 districts (rrethe, singular—rreth) and 1 municipality (bashki); Berat, Bulqizė, Delvinė, Devoll (Bilisht), Dibėr (Peshkopi), Durrės, Elbasan, Fier, Gjirokastėr, Gramsh, Has (Krumė), Kavajė, Kolonjė (Ersekė), Korēė, Krujė, Kuēovė, Kukės, Laē, Lezhė, Librazhd, Lushnjė, Malėsi e Madhe (Koplik), Mallakastėr (Ballsh), Mat (Burrel), Mirditė (Rreshen), Peqin, Pėrmet, Pogradec, Pukė, Sarandė, Shkodėr, Skrapar (Ēorovodė), Tepelenė, Tiranė (Tirana), Tropojė (Bajram Curri), Vlorė.
Note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses).



Albania has its own distinctive traditions of etiquette, and enormous goodwill will be created if the foreign visitor is aware of them. In general they are intimately linked with the concept of hospitality. Mikpritesi, the notion of the guest approaching that of the sacred visitor that readers of Homer and Classical literature will be familiar with, but where the guest also has certain clear obligations to the host. While informal patterns of behaviour are gaining ground, particularly in the lowland cities, the old traditions are widely respected in most places, even among the Westernised young.

After fifty years, when it was against the law to invite a foreigner into your own house, Albanians are anxious to meet strangers and to recapture these traditions of hospitality. When entering a traditonal house, particularly a Muslim household, it is customary to remove one's shoes, and to slip on one of the numerous pairs of plastic sandals or slippers inside the outer door. The guest will be shown into the main room, and it's customary to wait to be shown where to sit, which will usually be in the corner of the room. Cushions will often be provided, and a small mat or rug may be put under the feet. The guest will be offered coffee, a glass of water and recently glass of juice of fruit, and a small dishes of jam or preserved homemade fruit.

Tobacco plays an important part in Albania life. The Llulla, or in Turkish language the Chibuk, was a very long pipe, often a metre long with its base on small wooden wheels that was passed round after dinner in Ottoman Albania. Albanians nowdays are often heavy smokers and the guest will be offered cigarettes, unless the guest is a confirmed non-smoker, he or she should accept. Albanian tobacco is very good, light, mild and aromatic. It is polite to carry cigarette to offer to the people you will meet. Western cigarettes are welcome presents. Also a small glass of raki is offered usually for men and liquor for women.

Gestures are important in Albanian social life. As well as the usual handshake, it is normal for men who are friends to greet each other with a light touch, although not a kiss, on either cheek. The famouse confusion, where an Albanian shakes his or her head if 'yes' is meant is common. To place the flat of the hand on the chest is to say 'thank you'. To stroke the shoulder lightly means'good luck'.


Wines and Spirits

Both the quality and quantity of wine and spirit production have increased considerably recently.

Raki is the national drink, a colourless spirit made from grapes and plums. It can be very good indeed. Famous areas for raki production are Permet and Skrapar but it is made every where in Albania. It is usually very strong, and should be treated with respect. The Albanian toast is 'Gezuar'/ Cheers.
Albanian wines can also be quite good, although quality varies, with most people preferring the red wines to the white. The Merlot grape is the most common. Kallmet from Shkodra is a quality red wine, while Shesh i Zi, and White Reislings, from near Durrës, are good drinks for daily quaffing.

The best Albanian brandy is the Skënderbeu variety, similar in character to lighter Greek brandies. A type of ouzo is produced in some places in the south, but as in Crete, is not really regarded as a suitable drink for a man who is confident of his masculinity.





I am indebted with my Irish friend poet Anthony Weir for his help in designing of this site, for information ,pictures given to this site, and for editing of my English.



with grateful acknowledgement to the :
"Blue Guide Albania" 
by James Pettifer

all Albanian sites










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