1024px-Shkodër-rozafa-2001Rozafa castle (Albanian: Kalaja e Rozafës) is a castle near the city of Shkodër, in northwestern Albania. It rises imposingly on a rocky hill, 130 metres above sea level, surrounded by the Bojana and Drin rivers. Shkodër is the capital of the District of Shkodër, and is one of Albania’s oldest and most historic towns, as well as an important cultural and economic centre. The Fatih Sultan Mehmet Mosque is one of the most prominent buildings within.

Xhamia-e-Plumbit-11The history of the multiple-domed Lead Mosque (Xhamia e Plumbit) dates back to 1773, when it was built in Ottoman style by Mehmet Pasha Bushati.The name Lead Mosque derives from the material which was used for the roof and the cupolas.In 1948 the mosque was declared a Cultural Monument, which probably also saved it from destruction during the communist years. In 1967 the minaret was destroyed by lightning.

Directions:The Lead Mosque is situated just a short walk down from the Rozafa Castle, which is located about 2,5 km south west of Shkoder’s city centre.

This area was once a lively bazaar, but due to too many floods it was abandoned. If you didn’t visit the Lead Mosque, but the best views of it can probably be enjoyed from the entrance to the Rozafa Castle anyway.

62_bigAfter the theatre in Tirana, the Migjeni Theatre is considered the second most important theatre in Albania.

First performances took place in 1879 and during the communist years many plays of Bertolt Brecht were shown here.

Up to 1919 women were not allowed to perform on stage, which meant that men had to play the female characters.

Directions:
The Migjeni Theatre stands at the square Sheshi Demokracia (former: Sheshi 5 Heronjte), right in the heart of Shkoder’s city centre.

kisha_e_madheShkoder’s Catholic Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Stephen and also known as the “Great Church” (Kisha e Madhe).

It was constructed in the late 19th century and transformed into a sports hall in 1967. The reopening as a church and inauguration by Mother Teresa took place at the beginning of the 1990′s.

Directions:
The Catholic Cathedral is located at the street Rruga Skenderberg; a 15 minutes walk east of the city centre.

Address: Catholic Cathedral, Rruga Skenderberg, Shkoder

 

National Photo Gallery “Marubi” – is located in the centre of the town and is the richest and most important photographic archive in Albania. It contains more than 500,000 negatives, of which the earliest go back to 1858.

Mes Bridge (Ura e Mesit) – is 6 km north of Shkodra, near the village of Mesi, builded in 1768, over the Kir river. This is the largest and best preserved Ottoman bridge in Albania, built along the ancient trade route from Shkodra to Kosovo. The bridge is 108m long, 3m wide, with 13 asymmetrical archs. The Kir river it crosses has incredibly blue, clear mountain water and the bridge is located in a picturesque landscape.

Shkodra Lake – on the border of Montenegro with Albania is in fact a former sea bay that was cut off from the Adriatic when the sea levels dropped, thousands of years ago. The lake is the largest in the Balkans at 41km long and with surface between 370-530 km2. As its depth is up to 60 metres, the bottom of the lake is well below sea level, making it a so-called cryptodepression. Shkodra Lake is one of the largest bird reserves in Europe, having some 240 bird species inhabiting its shores, including some of the last pelicans in Europe, and thus popular with birders.

Albanian Alps – embrace roughly 2240 km2 and lie in the prefectures of Shkodra and Tropoja. Thirteen peaks exceed 2500 m in height and the principal rivers are the Valbona, Shala, Cemi and Kiri. There is a great diversity of fauna and flora, particularly in the Thethi National Park. Centres of Alpine tourism are Boga, Thethi, Vermosh and Valbona