Tirana Sights and Landmarks Guide, Albania
Tirana is the capital of Albania and the largest and most developed city in the country. Although the present day Tirana has to fight some serious environmental and urban development issues, most of them inherited from the communist and post-communist transition period, the city has plenty of history to display. Tirana’s hilly relief, its numerous lakes and pleasant Mediterranean climate will make your incursion into Albania’s sights even more enjoyable.
Tirana Sights – Museums and Historic Landmarks
The Skanderbeg Square (named this way after Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg, a national hero who fought against the Ottomans) is the core of Tirana’s social and cultural life. The square hosts Tirana’s oldest and most precious monuments, the Clock Tower and the Et’hem Bey Mosque, both dating from the early 19th century. The National Historic Museum, situated in the close vicinity of the two monuments, offers an interesting insight in Tirana’s history. Albanian pieces of art from all times can be admired at the Gallery of Figurative Arts. Other distinctive pieces of architecture among Tirana’s sights include the Orthodox Church of St. Prokop and the catholic churches of St. Paul and Santa Maria. The mosque which hosts the tomb of Kapllan Hysa, as well as the Martyr’s cemetery are two important reminders of Tirana’s agitated history.
Tirana Sights – Cultural Institutions
The International Centre of Culture, itself an interesting piece of architecture, is home to Tirana’s major cultural events. The impressive Palace of Culture is hosting Albania’s National Library and also the Theatre of Opera and Ballet. The palace was built in the communist period and has a special status among Tirana sights, as it had its first brick placed by soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, during an official visit. The list of prestigious cultural institutions must definitely include the National Theatre, The Ensemble of Folk Music and Dances, as well as the Symphonic Orchestra of the Albanian Radio and Television. Tirana is also an important academic center, with representative institutions like the Academy of Science and Tirana University.
Tirana Sights – Attractions around Tirana
As a result of an ambitious campaign lead by the city’s administration, several parks and green areas around Tirana have been recently re-forested. Also, the Tirana’s Zoo and Botanical Garden, situated on the city’s outskirts, on the shore of Tirana artificial lake, are the perfect spots for relaxation and family fun. Right outside Tirana, the Preze Castle and Petrela Castle will give you a clue about how people used to live in Medieval Albania. Tirana is approximately 100 miles from the Croatian city Dubrovnik and the Macedonian capital Skopie.
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