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December 05 2019

Shkodër

Shkodër, historically also Scodra (in Albanian: Shkodra o Shkodër, in Serbian Skadar), located in north-western Albania, near Lake Scutari, on the border area between Albania and Montenegro, is the capital of the homonymous prefecture. A geographical feature of this city is the presence in it of three rivers, Drin, Kir and Buna (Boiana) which is the emissary of the aforementioned lake.

It is situated in a flat valley surrounded by high mountains, the Dinaric Alps, in a very particular environmental context.

Scutari is one of the oldest cities in Europe, and has always been one of the most important cultural centers of Albania, is considered "The cradle of Albanian culture"Or the cultural capital of Albania. The city has different phases of construction, from the Illyrian period to the present day.

The old city is formed by the different neighborhoods around the Rosafa Castle, up to the north, with houses built with the ruins of the Illyrian, Roman-Byzantine and Venetian walls and with historic houses from the Ottoman period.

Name of inhabitants: scutarino / i (Italian); shkodran / ë (Albanian). Altitude: 13 m slm Inhabitants: 218.523, (census 2016).

Shkodra, Scutari, Shkoder Albania
Scutari / Shkodër. Photo of the tourist office of Albania
Shiroka, Scutari, Albania
Shiroka, Scutari

Physical geography

Scutari is located on the eastern edge of Lake Scutari, the largest in the Balkans, with an area of ​​370 km². East of the inhabited center flows the Kir river which, at the Rosafa Castle hill, joins the Drin river.

The latter flows a few hundred meters later into the Boiana (Buna in Albanian, in terms of flow, after the Po), the emissary of Lake Scutari. The city is surrounded to the west and north by the southern offshoots of the Dinaric Alps. The most important peaks are the Cukal (1.722 meters), the Maranaj (1.576 meters), the Tarabosh and the Sheldi (541 meters). Near Scutari are the two border crossings with Montenegro: Hani i Hotit and Muriqan.

The road to Podgorica is only 36 km (via Hani i Hotit), the road to Ulcinj and the Adriatic sea to 18 km (via Muriqan). The climate is Mediterranean, with usually cold winters and hot summers. In winter the temperature hardly drops below -5 C °, instead of summer it can reach 40 C °. A few kilometers away from Scutari is the beach of Velipoja on the Adriatic Sea.

History

Scutari was founded around the 5th-4th century BC. The ancient name found engraved on a bronze coin was Scodrinon, according to the scholar David LUKA, who advanced a hypothesis on the etymology of the name, the ancient name should derive from "Sco 'Drinon", or "place where the river Drin passes».

From archaeological excavations carried out at the Rosafa castle, it can be deduced that the center had been inhabited since the Bronze Age. Populated by the Illyrians, in 168 BC Scutari was the theater of the final clash that ended the third Illyrian war and the reign of King Gentius. Colonized by the Romans, Scodra became an important road and commercial hub of the province ofIllyricum.

Following the death of Emperor Theodosius the Great and the subsequent division into two of the Roman Empire, Scutari was included in the territories of the Eastern Roman Empire. In the 7th century the emperor Heraclius ceded the city to the Serbs. Later it fell into the hands of the Bulgarians and then again of the Byzantines.

In 1042 the latter were driven out by Serbian prince Stephen Vojislav who made Scutari the seat of his court. Attached to the despotate of Epirus in the 1214, the city returned to Serbian hands in the 1330, when King Stephen Uroš III Dečanski entrusted its government to his son Stephen Dušan. On the death of the latter, Scutari and his county entered the orbit of the Balšić family (Balshaj), which dominated the nearby Principality of Zeta. Driven by the growing Ottoman threat, in the 1396 the Balšići ceded control of the city to the Venetians.

During the domination of Venice the city castle was fortified and the inhabitants were drafted Statutes of Scutari. After the death of Scanderbeg and the progressive disintegration of the League of Alessio Scutari he came to be in the front line against the Turkish advance in Albania. In the 1474 a first Ottoman siege was repelled by an Albanian and Venetian army led by Captain Loredan. Three years later the Ottomans, led by Sultan Mohammed II himself, besieged Scutari again. After seven months of fighting, the Venetian garrison together with a group of Albanian soldiers were forced to capitulate and leave the city. During the Ottoman rule, which lasted more than four centuries, Scutari became the site of a sangjacato and, by virtue of its strategic position, an important commercial and cultural center. In 1867 the Scutari sangiato, was joined to that of Skopje (Üsküb) and elevated to the rank of vilayet. During the first Balkan war, Scutari was besieged by Montenegrin troops supported by Serbian ones. The 23 April 1913, after seven months of siege, the commander of the Ottoman garrison Essad Pasha surrendered to the Montenegrins. Despite the ambitions of conquest of the latter, following the outcome of the London Conference, Scutari was annexed into the newly established Principality of Albania. During the First World War, with the collapse of the new Albanian state, Scutari was again occupied by the Montenegrins on January 27 1915. The 23 January 1916 the city fell into the hands of the Austro-Hungarian army and only the 30 October 1918 will be taken by the Entente troops.

From the 1925-29 Scutari is part of the Albanian Republic and up to the 1939 of the Kingdom of Albania with King Zog. Following the Italian occupation of the Kingdom of Albania that took place between the 1939 and the 1943, when the crown of the Albanian Kingdom was assumed by Vittorio Emanuele III of Italy, following the war promoted by the fascist regime and the establishment of the Italian Protectorate of the Kingdom of Albania. During the Second World War, following the annexations of the 1941, Scutari was part of the state known as Great Albania. Then there was the German Occupation of the Kingdom of Albania, up to the 1944. From 1944 to 1990, the year of the fall of the dictatorial regime, Scutari, being the center of Catholicism in Albania, was one of the most tormented cities of the communist regime in Albania.

At the time of the dictatorship Scutari housed the only one Museum of atheism, in Albanian Muzeu ateist, in the world.

Monuments and places of interest

The Castle of Rozafa

In Albanian Kalaja and Rozafës located on the hill near the city is the most important monument.

To guard this "humanistic lighthouse" of the Balkans, the Rosafa Castle was built in the 4th century BC and has never succumbed to the Ottoman attacks in this area. Legend has it that a woman, Rosafa, sacrificed for the good of the community, was walled up in the fortress walls.

The castle of Scutari was built on a high hill, completely covered with rocks that were difficult to climb. For its strategic position it was for centuries an unassailable bastion. The history of the castle is halfway between myth and legend, without hiding a historical truth. It tells of how the castle would repeatedly collapse and according to an oracle, to avoid other failures, human sacrifice would have been necessary. With deception Rosafa, wife of one of the builders of the castle, was sacrificed, who was walled alive, but in order to leave half of her body free to allow her to breastfeed, rock, hug and regularly admire her young son.

Obviously we are talking about the myths of the creation of the world. The Albanian society sees in women a precious good whose "sacrifice", according to legend, would have symbolically brought something important as the rebirth of a culture, a new world. After all, the woman is the genesis. Mother earth.

It is known with certainty that Scutari was the capital of the Illyrian people, considering the written sources and the interesting finds of the time discovered nearby. This shows that already at the time of the Illyrians the castle was used to protect the local population. In fact the populations that inhabited Scutari already in the 230 BC, in case of danger of a siege or cause of terrible floods, took refuge on the hill of rocks, which then took the name of Scutari Castle, Kalaja and Shkodrës.

The walls and internal structures mostly date back to the Venetian period, although traces of the far more remote fortifications of the Illyrian era are also visible. The large lawns that extend into the fortress, divided into three courtyards, invite a long pause to enjoy the beauty of the landscape.

The Museum of the Castle of Rozafa

It houses an interesting collection of objects and documents, which illustrate the history of the city from the Illyrian period to the Ottoman period. On the ground floor you can see maps and artifacts dating back to the wars fought by Scutari against the Romans, Byzantines and Slavs, while on the upper floor the scutarians' heroic resistance to the siege of the Ottoman army is represented. The museum is located in the third courtyard, inside the building built by the Venetians as the governor's residence.

Bridge of Mes

(Middle bridge) in Albanian Ura and Mesit, rebuilt in the 1780, is a stone bridge in the village of Mes, at 5 km north from Scutari. There are evidences that prove the existence of a Venetian bridge that connected Scutari with Drivasto, in Albanian Drisht, which was an important city in medieval Albania. Drivasto existed before the 12th century. The Diocese of Drivasto in the 1089 became a suffragan of the archdiocese of Antivari after being a suffragan of the archdiocese of Ragusa.

The Mes Bridge is a monument to the culture of Shkodra, the site is transformed into a tourist attraction where tourists can climb the bridge and observe it closely. It was restored in the 18th century, around the 1770, by Kara Mahmud Bushati, the local Ottoman pasha, and crosses the Kir river. It is long 108 meters, wide 3,4 meters, high 12,5 meters with 13 arcs.

The clock tower

O English clock is the only building in Scutari that looks like a medieval castle. The house, together with the clock tower, was built with the huge funds of the English Lord Paget, who went to Albania to spread Protestantism. He moved to Scutari at the end of the nineteenth century, after considerable adventures for the possession of buildings and those lands, he wanted to build something in medieval style, which recalled the past of Albania, not very consistent in reality for the time of construction. In any case, it is a unique complex. Despite the medieval Albanian setting, the English clock is a construction that recalls the era of Albanian feudalism.

Statue of Blessed M. Teresa of Calcutta

(Statuja and Nënë Terezës) is located in the very center of Shkodra, near the Ebu Bekr mosque. Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhi better known as Mother Teresa of Calcutta; he obtained in the 1979, the Nobel Peace Prize, "for the work done in the struggle to overcome poverty and misery, which are also a threat to peace".

The Bojaxhiu family is originally from Shiroka, on Lake Scutari. Mother Teresa's grandparents, Lazër and Çeçile, lived here; in the mid-nineteenth century, even a street in Shiroka bore the name of the Bojaxhiu.

Mother Teresa, like Saint Francis, was the daughter of wealthy merchants. She was born in the 1910, the 26 August, in Skopje, in what is now the capital of Macedonia but at that time was a thriving town of the Kingdom of Albania, itself part of the Ottoman Empire. In the 30 years, Mother Teresa's family lived in a house in the center of Scutari, where a commemorative plaque is placed on the facade.

Statue of Isa Boletini

(Statuja and Isa Boletinit) Perash Square. 1 km south of Piazza della Democrazia, passing by Viale Scanderbeg, turning right towards Via E. Durham and located in a small park, this bronze statue of 4,6 m high was erected in 1986 to celebrate the "Lion of Kosovo ”(Luani i Kosovës).

Isa Boletini - Grande is a figure of the Albanian resistance during the Balkan wars (1912-1913) against the Ottoman Empire and against Serbia and Montenegro. Isa Boletini (1864-1916) fought for the inclusion of Kosovo in the new Albanian state. He was assassinated in the 1916 in Podgorica (Montenegro).

The statue is one of the last works by Shaban Hadëri (1928-2010). Former partisan and one of the most prolific sculptors of the communist era. Estimated for his style of "social realism", he trained at the School of Fine Arts in Leningrad. In particular, he created five statues of Enver Hoxha (all destroyed at the fall of the regime) and participated in the construction of the Monument of Independence of Vlora (1972) and the statue of Mother Albania (1971) in the Martyrs' National Cemetery, in Tirana.

Statue of the Heroes of Vig

(Monuments the Heronjve të Vigut) - Another work by Shaban Hadëri in Scutari. The monument was made of concrete in the 1969 (2 m in height), then in bronze in the 1984 (5 m in height).

It is a tribute to the five young partisans of the nearby village of Vig-Mnela who fell in the 1944. This work was initially installed in Piazza Democrazia, next to the Rozafa hotel. Now it is located on a roundabout, 2 km north of the city center, in the direction of the main road to the Albanian Alps and the Montenegrin border.

Religious buildings

The Cathedral of Scutari

It is one of the most important historical buildings of the Catholic districts is the cathedral of the city, dedicated to Santo Stefano protomartire, called in Albanian Kisha and Madhe or "The Great Church”And visited in the 1993 by Pope John Paul II. The cathedral is the main church of the Archdiocese of Scutari-Pult.

Church of San Francesco

O of the Franciscan Friars, in Albanian Kisha Françeskane. Construction work began in the 1902 from the Franciscan mission in the city of Scutari and in the 1905 the building was completed. In January 1947 the Sigurimi (Albanian secret police) used the church as a weapons and ammunition depot. Many Franciscan priests were arrested on the false accusation of hiding weapons in the church. In the 2007 the bell tower and the rear wing of the church have been restored.

Orthodox Cathedral of the Nativity of Jesus

In Albanian language Katedralja and Lindjes së Krishtit, is a place of worship of the Albanian Orthodox church. The cathedral, completed in the 2000, at the site where a wooden church already stood. The current stone building consists of a large nave, three domes and a bell tower.

Shrine of the Mother of Good Counsel

In Albanian Kisha, Zoja and Këshillit të Mire, patroness of Albania is located at the foot of the Rosafa castle. A legend linked to this church tells that the 25 Aprile of 1467, during a violent confrontation with the Turks, who were about to occupy the city, the image of the Lady of Scutari and Patroness of all Albania, broke away from wall to avoid being profaned and, accompanied by the Angels and a group of believers, crossed the Adriatic to settle in Genazzano del Lazio.

Lead Mosque

In Albanian Xhamia and Plumbit, of the 1773. The Piombo mosque, which takes its name from its lead-covered domes, is the only mosque in the city that was not destroyed during the 1966 cultural revolution. It is said that in ancient times it was a Byzantine church, the Church of San Nicola, transformed after the Ottoman occupation into a mosque.

Ebu Beker Mosque

In Albanian Xhamia Ebu Beker. The Mosque was built in the 1994 near the remains of the ancient eighteenth-century mosque, destroyed in the 60 years during the dictatorship period. The mosque has a dome of 24 meters high and two minarets of 41 meters high.

Parrucra Mosque

In Albanian Xhamia and Parrucës it is the last one to have been built in Shkodra. Sort to replace a previous mosque located in the same place and demolished by the communist regime in the 1967. The Parrucra Mosque is an Ottoman style construction and was completed in the 2006.

Culture, events and traditions

The Migjeni Theater

From a cultural point of view Scutari certainly represents a very busy city and among the various artistic initiatives, the theater performances of the Migjeni theater are undoubtedly noteworthy: in this theater, in fact, numerous shows of international importance were held such as "Six characters in search of an author"By Luigi Pirandello and the theatrical work"Wandering"(Reigen) by the Austrian writer and playwright Arthur Schnitzler.

Museums

Marubi Museum

In Albanian Muzeu Marubi, is the first museum of photography in Albania and one of the richest in the Balkan region, with an archive of over 500.000 negatives. In the 2016 he was included in a state project to enhance historical works. Furthermore, the Marubi photographic archive, now preserved in the Museum, is recognized as a UNESCO international heritage, constituting an almost unique example in Europe for its quality and importance from a documentary point of view.

Historical Museum of Scutari

It is located in the city center on Oso Kuka Street. This museum is known by the citizens as "The house of Oso Kuka", in Albanian Shtëpia and Oso Kukës, because this building has been transformed from a home into a museum. The museum has the appearance of a traditional Scutari house with two floors, large rooms, fireplace, decorative ceiling and a large courtyard.

In this museum there are several treasures that show the history of the city of Shkodra and all of Albania. On the first floor is the archaeological sector, where there are about 500 objects from different periods, from the Neolithic (6000 BC) to the Middle Ages. Work tools, weapons, jewels and vases are some of the exhibits. Although the museum is relatively small, it is quite rich and has many historical objects.

Museum of Memory

In Albanian Muzeu i Kujtesës or the Museum of the Communist Crimes (it is also called the Museum of Sufferings by the Communist Dictatorship). According to the architect Viktor Dhimgjini who designed the building, the museum's exhibition itinerary was conceived as a symbolic journey in a tunnel with a length of about 50 m that, retracing the distance traversed by the prisoners, from the cells destined for preventive detention (Hetuesija) leads up to the prisons. The rooms of the former prison and the headquarters of the secret services (Sigurimi) located to the left of the building have been preserved intact.

The museum is a place of memory to remember what happened during the period of the communist dictatorship mainly in Scutari (Shkodër) in Albania from the 1944 up to the 90 years. The exhibits, including the testimonies collected: interviews, photographs, memories, recall the physical and psychological violence suffered by prisoners.

The route is designed for the installation of video workstations, with direct audio transmission, in which witnesses surviving the massacre and mainly Scutarian political prisoners that tell their experiences according to a path divided into thematic stages in which various aspects of the story are narrated appear. imprisonment as the arrival, life, torture and death in the cells. The structure is a place of knowledge and meeting for those who wish to deepen the themes of historical memory oriented also towards current issues.

The Museum of Crimes of Dictatorship is a joint project between the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sport and the Municipality of Scutari. It is the first museum of its kind in Albania, after the Genocide Pavilion (Floor the Gjenocidit), opened in recent years in the National Museum of Tirana.

Museum of Venetian masks

At the Mask Factory. Here are also produced the most beautiful Venetian-style masks for export to Italian and foreign markets. The masks are a masterpiece and have also been designed for a series of productions and films such as Eyes Wide Shut

Museum of Franciscan culture

Muzeu i Kulturës Françeskane of Scutari, where you can visit a section of works by Lin Delija. The opening of the section was possible through the donation of 103 works to the Franciscans (in the person of Provincial Father Aurel Gjerkaj OFM) by the Association "Art Union Albania" (in the person of the President Arch. Gjon Radovani).

Other

Museum houses

Çekaj Summa House Museum

Shtëpia and Familjes Çeka, Summa. The Çeka Family House (Summa) was built around 300 years ago, during the Ottoman period. It is part of the historic houses of Scutari. This characteristic Scutarina home is one of the few historic houses left in the city and has been declared a Category I cultural monument since Ministry for Goods, Cultural Activities and Tourism in the 1963 year. The house preserves all the ancient features of a historic home.

The çardak (porch or porch), the hajat (portico), the fireplace and the large rooms are interesting. The antique furniture, furnishings and various memorabilia make this house fascinating. At guests' disposal an ancient room with two separate beds that can accommodate up to two visitors. Since the hosts live in the same building, the visiting hours are free. Every year the house is visited by a considerable number of foreign visitors.

More

  • Mati Jubani Museum House, Scutari
  • Tower-house, Kulla and Zef Koçekut, Theth

Archaeological sites

Castle of Drivasto (Kalaja and Drishtit)

It is a ruined castle. The first traces of fortifications date back to the late Neolithic period. The present walls and towers date back to the 1396-1478 in the Venetian era.

Sardinian Island (Ishulli i Shurdhahit)

It is located in Vau i Dejes Reservoir, which is fed and drained by the river Drin. It can be reached by tourist boat in the summer from Vau i Dejes o Rragam. It contains the ruins of the medieval city of Sarda. You can visit the ruins of the medieval castle dating from the 11th century, which includes two rings of defensive walls and towers (some unfortunately submerged by the lake), the remains of a Byzantine church and other medieval walls. The steep rocks that rise from the lake give an impressive view.

Gajtan cave

In this cave in Scutari one finds traces of the initial appropriations of the Albanians (Illyrians). The populating of Albanian lands increased in the Neolithic age. It is the period when men begin to leave the caves and settle in open spaces.

Culture

Instruction

According to the historian E. Jacques, the first school was founded in 1698 by the missions of Pope Clement XI. The movable type printing was introduced in the city only 38 years after the invention of Johann Gutenberg. In 1858 we have the first photo, taken by the Pietro Marubi from Piacenza. In the 1877 the Saverian College was founded, initially as a merchant school and then as a classical high school. A year later, in the 1878 the Order of the Stigmatine Sisters opened the first Franciscan girls' school. Scutari is home to the first state high school in Albania (Gjimnazi shtetëror), now called Gjimnazi 28 Nëntori. In the city there is the Luigj Gurakuqi University and the first Albanian work was born, Mrika, the Migjeni Theater and the first Cinema. In the city the first astronomical observatory was built in the 1888.

Football

The oldest traces of football in Albania date back to 1905. Some informal matches of Topekambë (ball-and-foot, as football was called at the time) of Scutarina youth were already reported. The real debut of football in Albania came around the 1913 with the foundation of the «Indipendenca» of Palok Nika, considered the pioneer of Albanian football.

This team, which boasted of having obtained the country's independence, obtained in the 1912, faced an Austrian military team in September of the 1913, where it lost 1 to 2. Thanks to the fame gained from that race, the team made one round across the entire country, giving rise to the formation of other clubs as they pass.

Events, parties

The most famous Carnival Festival in Albania

The origins of the celebration of the carnival in Shkodra arise from the historical connection between this city and Venice, since the latter ruled the area during its heyday. If you are unable to be present during the period of the colorful Scutari Carnival celebrations, it is worth visiting the Mask Factory.

The International Jazz Festival

The International Jazz Festival stops every year in Scutari. This Jazz Festival brings world-famous pieces to music lovers. The masters of the scene bring not only jazz but also classical music, from the 27 August to the 2 September. The famous city of the first Albanian work welcomes the fantastic performances of foreign instrumentalists that are present every year in Scutari.

Lake Scutari Day

Dita and Liqenit të Shkodrës. The 3 June celebrates the feast day of the day Lake Scutari, the largest lake in the Balkans and of great value for the natural ecosystem. The festival is organized every year by the Municipality of Scutari and aims to promote the natural landscape and cultural heritage of the area.

Other parties

  • The Flower Festival
  • Christmas' Eve, Feast and buzmit
  • Shkodra Jazz Festival
  • Giffoni Film Festival Albania
  • National song festival for children - Festivali Mbarëkombëtar i Këngës për Fëmijë

Near Scutari

Shiroka

Village 3 km away from Scutari on the shores of Lake Scutari. The view is very beautiful, the landscape is suggestive. The road that runs along the lake has been completely rebuilt (with sidewalk and bike path, it is illuminated at night). Romantic place for a dinner in the various restaurants (in old and modern style) overlooking the lake, up to Zogaj, another village by the lake to the border with Montenegro (from Shiroke to Zogaj the road is narrower, however paved). By car, on foot or by bicycle, I recommend at least one ride ...

Lake Scutari

In Albanian Liqeni i Shkodrës- 7 km south-west of the center of Shkodra. It is the largest lake in the Balkans.

Its surface varies, according to the seasons from 370 to 530 km2. Between Albania and Montenegro, its shores stretch for just over 200 km. The mountains on the western side of the lake and the plains and marshes in the northern part of the Albanian coast offer landscapes of an exciting beauty that recall some spectacular places in Asia.

In fact, the Chinese coasts in the film Cantando dietro i paraventi of the 2003 (written and directed by Ermanno Olmi, set in Imperial China and inspired by the true story of the pirate Ching) were reconstructed by turning the exteriors on Lake Scutari, on the border with Montenegro, and using digital technology, especially for the scenes of the imperial fleet.

The Montenegrin part of the lake, which accounts for two thirds of its total area, was promoted to the national park in the 1983 and is included in the sites protected by the 1996. Ramsar Convention.

The entire lake is registered in the international list of wetlands, thus constituting an important site for supporting lake and migratory birds. Separated from the sea by the Rumija mountain range, its temperature rarely drops below 0 ° C. One of its other peculiarities derives from the presence of a cryptodepression, which means that parts of its underwater bottom are below sea level.

There are thirty depressions and the deepest reaches 60 m, while the average depth of the lake does not exceed 6 m. - In the lake, live around 842 species of algae and 50 species of fish. Furthermore, the lake is home to one of the largest bird sanctuaries in Europe with 270 registered species, including some endangered species such as the pelican with iridescent feathers, the pygmy cormorant, the pelican hedgehog and the leaded blackbird.

Theth

In Theth we can visit the church of Theth, the segregation tower house, the waterfall, the Grunas canyon and the blue eye.

Koman

The lake of Koman develops in over 40 km up to Fierzë and that on the shores there are some villages and guest houses reachable only by lake, these boats, which in summer also welcome tourists, are the line transport used daily. from those who live in these places immersed in a true natural paradise. Emerald green water, very high jagged rocks that fall sheer to the lake, a rich and shining vegetation; this is what we will see when we visit Lake Koman.

Velipoja

Beach about 10 km away from Scutari. Adriatic Sea, sandy beach, water activities.

Lake of Vau i Dejës

In Albanian: Liqeni Vau i Dejës (facebook page)

Tourist attractions in the Shkodra region. Mountaineering, excursions

Alps of Albania, Razma, Lepusha, Boga, Tamara, Prekal, Vermosh etc.

Sllapi waterfall is located in village of Selce in Sllapi. Instead the canyon of Gërrle crosses the village of Selca, among walnut groves. The canyon is long 900m and deep 25m.

Cave of Malqe Gradës The cave is located near Tamarë, at an altitude of 1165 m above sea level and is 310 m high, with long tunnels up to 25m, wells, a small lake, stalactites and stalagmites, at its end the cave is divided into four narrow galleries not passable by visitors.

Gavllaja Grabomit cave, municipality of Broja, near the road towards Grabom. A large spring of water flows out of the cave and flows over the moss-covered rocks.

Skurra and Gjackës cave in Nikç, it is a karst cave with small underground lakes. The entrance is 20 m high; extends in a series of large galleries with stalactites.

Vizhnae waterfall and karst pools they are located along the stream that runs along the village of Nikc.

Kelmendi's strength: it is an egg-shaped calcareous plaque with 1000 height m and width 450 m which is located in the village of Nikç, to the right of the Dobraçes Golla.

Vusha cave is located near Vukel. The cave contains 10 tunnels divided by high settlers up to 3 m.

Canyon of Gercara is located in Vermosh and has a length of more than 1 km and its walls reach a height of 30 m.

The Albanian Alps they are a great choice for mountain tourism. The Theth and Valbona National Parks and the Kelmendi Region, the "Damned Mountains" (in Albanian Bjeshkët and Namuna) are spectacular. The caves have dozens and many are waiting to be explored: Tartashicave (Preke Calit) in Vukel, Plloçices in Kozhnje, Malqe Gradit (Milcit) in Tamarë, Pogonices in Selce, Jaçices in Vermosh etc.

Some characters that have left their mark on the history of Scutari

Marino Barlezio

(in Albanian Marin Barleti, in Latin Marinus Barletius; Scutari, 1450 - Rome, 1513) was an Albanian writer, religious and humanist. Born and raised in Scutari, then part of the Republic of Venice, he is considered the first Albanian historian, especially for his work in Latin De obsidione Scodrensi, published in the 1504 in Venice, eyewitness testimony of the siege of Scutari of the 1478, conducted personally by Mohammed II and which marked the passage of the city to the Ottoman Empire. After the fall of the city he moved to Venice and then to Rome. He was the author of theHistoria de vita et gestis Scanderbegi Epirutarvm Principis, Rome, 1508-10, a biography of Giorgio Castriota Scanderbeg, leader and Albanian patriot, in which the historical narrative is surmounted by the epic-lyric poem form of the hero's deeds.

Kolë Idromeno

One of the representatives of the art of painting in Albania. In fact, he is the greatest exponent of the Albanian Renaissance. Also known abroad, Idromeno was also involved in set design, architecture and photography. Kolë Idromeno was born in Scutari in July of the 1870 in a family of artists.

During the 1871-1874 he dedicated himself to the first watercolor works, such as the portrait of his master, La Povera, La pastora, etc. Other works by Idromeno are: L'imboscata, Notti di Alambicco, The Twelve Warriors of Parga where he portrays the removal of the ancestors from Parga to Himara.

In 1875, Idromeno continues his studies at the Academy of Art in Venice, where he is influenced by the great works of Renaissance painting by Civelli, Mantegna, Bellini etc. In the 1878 he returns to Scutari and participates in the patriotic movement of the city. At that time Albania was under Ottoman rule, therefore Idromeno was also a patriot who aspired to the independence of Albania.

Migjeni

Millosh Gjergj Nikolla (Migjeni), was born in 1911 in Scutari and died in 1938 in Torre Pellice (Turin). Writer of verses and prose, he is one of the most famous Albanian intellectuals of the twentieth century.

Luigj Gurakuqi

Gurakuqi Luigj (1879 - 1925) (also Luigi Gurakuchi) was an Albanian writer and politician. He was an important figure of the Albanian National Renaissance and was awarded the posthumous honor of Hero of the People of Albania. After the restoration of the regime of King Zog, Gurakuqi lived in Bari, Italy, where he was assassinated in a cafe by a hit man.

Where to eat

The cuisine is interesting: lake fish, carp is recommended, it is prepared in various ways. Here's one our recipe and a list of famous restaurants

What to do

The pedestrian zone of the Kol Idromeno road

Following the entire district of the historic center will transport you to a unique nineteenth century atmosphere Picturesque two-storey houses of typical pastel-colored architecture, small bars, restaurants, museums and shops will make your walk pleasant, relaxing and will make you fall in love with one of the most beautiful pedestrian areas in Albania.

Cycle paths

Go cycling it is one of the most widespread activities in Lake Scutari considering that cycle paths can be used all year round. Most of them are reported and easy to use for tourists. They pass through picturesque villages and areas with thick vegetation. Scutari was called by the Albanians the city of bicycles because of the high number of bikes per inhabitant. The scutarini have always been lovers of the bicycle

The ARKA youth center

Born from the project "Development of Social Enterprise in Albania " (funded by the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region) and the project Social Enterprise: an Economic Perspective for Disadvantaged Youth " (funded by the Swiss and Austrian Agency for development cooperation).

The goal of the center is to create a point where the community and local institutions can come together to work in partnership to meet the needs of the whole person (body, mind and spirit), through the provision of educational programs, recreational, cultural, sports and social. By now a reference point for many young people from Shkoder and foreigners, the Center promotes various cultural and recreational initiatives, with a vast program that varies from month to month. Bar & Hostel and Library.

A vibrant social space for I young di Shkodër e young from all parts of the world / Facebook page

Art House

The house of contemporary art in Scutari: The Albanian artist Adrian Paci he opened his birthplace to the public, transforming it into a place of exhibition and meeting between gallery owners, critics and artists.

Among the artist's solo exhibitions (n. Scutari 1969) we mention: in the 2002, the exhibition at the Bildmuseet in Umea (Sweden) and the first Italian exhibition at the Francesca Kaufmann Gallery in Milan; exhibitions at the Baltic art center on the Swedish island of Gotland (2003), at the Galleria civica di Modena (2006), at the Center for contemporary art in Tel Aviv (2009), at the Kunsthalle in Zurich (2010), at the National Gallery of Kosovo in Pristina (2012) and in the Milan Contemporary Art Pavilion (2013) / Facebook page

Other

  • Migjeni Theater
  • Cinema Millenium

La Scutari guide was prepared by Gino Luka and remains updated by the staff of Albania News. The last update: 29 September 2019

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