The city is an important cultural and economical center of Albania. Shkoder is also known as the center of the Albanian Catholicism and a perfect proof of the fact that all different religions can adjoin in one country. The city was founded in the 4th century B.C. and for a long time had an important protecting role it protected the trade routes on the rivers of Drin and Bruna. It became the capital of Illyria in the 3d century B.C. Than it was conquered by the Romans and than was a part of the medieval Serbian principality till it was gained by the Turks in 1479. It became a part of the young state Albania in 1912 after the first Balkan war. Modern Shkoder is a place where machine building and food industries are increasing and there is a development of textile and electronic manufacture. The main sight-seeing place in Shkoder is the castle of Rozafa, which was built in the 3d century B.C. Now there is a small museum here where you can see Illyrian coins, Ottoman weapons and personal belongings of the local people. Behind the castle there is the multi-domed Lead mosque. It is called “Lead” because the rocks used for the building of its walls were joined by melted lead.
In proof that Shkoder is the center of Catholicism in Albania there is a perfectly extant Franciscan church Rruga Ndre Mjeda. There was a weapon storage found in the church in 1947 and so it was closed till 1990. The Historical museum of Shkoder is located in the villa of an Ottoman merchant. Here you can see archaeological artifact and historical photographs that will tell you about different periods of the cities life. Shkoder is very proud of the monument of Mother Teresa, the nun is portrayed with hands crossed on her chest as a symbol of her faith that she carried throughout her life. Albanians are very proud that their country gave the World this Saint person! There is an old bridge within 5 km from the city, the Mes bridge over the river of Kir it is one of the oldest extant Ottoman bridges. At first there were three bridges but only one remained till nowadays. Its length is 108 m. Some tourists say that Shkoder is truly the soul of Albania with its narrow street and ancient houses that are united with stone walls and modern buildings. It is the place worth visiting to feel the real Albania!
After a pick-up from you hotel, drive to the city of Shkoder, the third largest town in Albania, located 95 km north of Tirana.
Known for its culture, tradition, and natural beauty, this city offers a diversity that is rarely found in any other city in Albania with rivers, lakes, lagoons, and mountains which make Shkodra an unforgettable destination in Albania.
Built on a rocky hill overlooking the city by the rivers of Buna and Drini, you will find the most important monument of Shkoder, The Castle of Rozafa.
After visiting the Castle area you will have the chance to explore the Leaden Mosque and Catholic Church and notice the diverse religious elements and architecture.
You will also have the possibility of strolling through the local bazaar of Shkoder, get a glimpse of Albanian traditions, and maybe buy a souvenir.
Optional: lunch with traditional dishes from the region including krap fish (carp fish) which is cooked on a roof tile.
Return to Tirana.
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