Visit Shkoder

Skoder is one of the oldest cities in Abania, located on the bank of Skadar lake within 20 km from the Adriatic coast and 120 km from the countries capital – Tirana.

The city is an important cultural and economical center of Albania. Skoder is also known as the center of the Albanian Catholicism and a perfect proof of the fact that all different religions can adjoin in one country.

The city was founded in the 4th century B.C. and for a long time had an important protecting role – it protected the trade routes on the rivers of Drin and Bruna. It became the capital of Illyria in the 3d century B.C. Than it was conquered by the Romans and than was a part of the medieval Serbian principality till it was gained by the Turks in 1479. It became a part of the young state –Albania – in 1912 after the first Balkan war. Modern Skoder is a place where machine-building and food industries are increasing and there is a development of textile and electronic manufacture.

The main sight-seeing place in Skoder is the castle of Rozafa, which was built in the 3d century B.C. Now there is a small museum here where you can see Illyrian coins, Ottoman weapons and personal belongings of the local people. Behind the castle there is the multi-domed Lead mosque. It is called “Lead” because the rocks used for the building of its walls were joined by melted lead.  In proof that Skoder is the center of Catholicism in Albania – there is a perfectly extant Franciscan church Ruga-Ndre-Mjeda. There was a weapon storage found in the church in 1947 and so it was closed till 1990. You should visit the Cathedral of Saint Stefan, which is the main Roman-Catholic sanctuary in Skoder.

The Historical museum of Skoder is located in the villa of an Ottoman merchant. Here you can see archeological artefacts and historical photographs that will tell you about different periods of the cities life. Skoder is very proud of the monument of Mother Teresa – the nun is portrayed with hands crossed on her chest as a symbol of her faith that she carried throughout her life. Albanians are very proud that their country gave the World this Saint person!

There is an old bridge within 5 km from the city – the Mes bridge over the river of Kir – it is one of the oldest extant Ottoman bridges. At first there were three bridges but only one remained till nowadays. Its length is 108 m.

Some tourists say that Skoder is truly the soul of Albania with its narrow street and ancient houses that are united with stone walls and modern buildings.

It is the place worth visiting to feel the real Albania!