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Shkoder History, Albania

The city of Shkoder is situated near a lake of the same name in the northwestern part of Albania. It is the capital of the Shkoder District and also one of the oldest and most historic cities of the country. Aside from these, Shkoder is also a significant center for culture and economy. Here are some traces of Shkoder History that every traveler should learn about.

Shkoder History – Ancient Times

The establishment of Shkoder dates back to the 4th century BC. The Illyrian tribe known as Labeates settled in the area and shortly after it became the capital of King Gentius’s kingdom. The Romans occupied Shkoder in 168 BC and afterwards, it became a significant route for trading and military services.

Shkoder History – Medieval Era

Slavs arrived in the city at the beginning of the Middle Ages. Shkoder was transferred to the Serbs and became a chief medieval city. During the 10th century, when Saint John Vladimir reigned, Shkoder became the capital of Duklja. For a period of time, Duklja was given to Samuil, the Bulgarian leader.

Following a number of dynastic scuffles, Shkoder became a part of Zeta. The city had to endure a few more transfers. Finally, Shkoder was given to the Venetians and was made a part of the coalition fighting against the Ottomans.

Shkoder History – From the Renaissance to Industrial Revolution

During the Venetian rule, the city of Shkoder defended itself from a 1474 Ottoman invasion. The city was once again attacked by the Ottomans in 1478. The aggressors used tremendous war tools to invade the city resulting in many casualties from both sides. The battle ended in an agreement on January 25, 1478. The Venetians surrendered the city to the Ottoman Empire. In turn, the empire allowed the residents of Shkoder to leave the city untouched.

By the 17th century, Shkoder started to flourish and became the capital of Sanjak. Apart from this, the city became the center of North Albania’s economy. Many craftsmen lived in the city and two-storey houses made of stone were built.

During the 18th century, the city became the capital of the pashaluk of Shkoder. However, when the pashaluk declined, residents of Shkoder started several revolts against the Ottoman Empire.

The city grew to be a significant center of trade during the latter half of the 1800s. At that time, Shkoder had more than 3,500 stores. Its major products were clothes, gun powder, leather, and tobacco. Aside from this, the city took part in a significant political event in Albania. Residents of the city helped to liberate Albania from the foreign occupants.

Shkoder History – 20th Century

When the Balkan Wars broke, the Ottomans succumbed to the Kingdom of Montenegro and Shkoder was surrendered to the country. The Montenegrins were forced to leave the city shortly after the turnover because Montenegro’s citizens depleted due to high mortality rate. However, during the First World War, the Montenegrins had once more occupied Shkoder. Following the war, Albanian troops temporarily set their headquarters in the city.

At the latter part of the 20th century, the city had once again become the center of a democratic movement, which ended the communist rule founded by Enver Hoxha. This eventually led to the progress of the city making Shkoder History as interesting as Bari History and Skopie History.

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