Shkoder is an old city found in Albania. It also has several names including Scodra, Scodrium, Scuttari or Skadar. It is set on the shores of the biggest lake in the Balkan region. Its backdrop is imposing mountains of Albania. This city was once a powerful place. Today it is still the center of Gheg culture and Catholicism. During the winter, Shkoder is suffering from power blackouts. Although this is the case, you can visit the place for a half day tour. Although it was more than two millenniums since it was discovered, the place has managed to keep the same appearance. The streets are narrow and surrounded with stone walls and tall gates.
- Shkoder, Albania
After the war, the city was transformed. Buildings and homes were built. The northern part of the city became an industrial zone. There are quite a number of attractions found in Shkoder. This would include Rozafa, Turkish Baths and even the Mosque of Plumbi. There are a lot of old houses in the area that characterize the city. Most locals use the lake as a means of recreation.
Shkoder has suffered from a long history. It passed through the hands of Byzantines, Slaves and the Ottoman Empire. In the 18th century, the place became an independent region. This is when commerce and crafts blossomed. The town completely changed after the war. There was a huge earthquake that happened in the late seventies but Shkodra stood up and repaired itself. The city is now the fourth largest in Albania. The center of the town is where you can find old buildings. There is a big catholic cathedral where you can find the photos of the martyrs that fought for the church.
- View of the lake and the river, Shkoder
Aside from historic background, the city has become the center of education and trade. It developed ties with Italy and Austria. Today it is the home of major faiths found in the country. The hardships of the city over the last centuries can still be seen and it offers delight to tourists. The Rozafa is a monument that still stands after 2000 years. It is a proud testament of the city’s past. The castle is situated on the hill which offers tourists breathtaking scenery. As a tourist, you shouldn’t miss Marubi’s Photo Exhibition Museum, the Archeological Museum and the Mesi Bridge. The two rivers Drin and Buna merge together at the foot of Rozafa fortress. The Albania Alps are close by making the city more attractive than ever.
Shkodra photo 1: Chaos Creator, Shkodra photo 2: Thomas Mulchi