Elbasan

ELBASANI – ALBANIA

GENERAL INFORMATION

Kalaja e BeratitElbasan (Albanian: Elbasan or Elbasani) is a city and a municipality in the county of Elbasan, located in central Albania. One of the largest cities in Albania, it is located on the Shkumbin River. There was a new main road constructed in . . . . . . with tunnels that blast through the Albanian mountains, making the journey from Tirana to Elbasan last less than an hour. Buses to Elbasan leave Tirana from the northern side of the Qemal Stafa Stadium, the bus fare is 150 lek. Most large cities of Albania are connected to Elbasan by bus.
The main bus station in Elbasan is located in the main square, just in front of the sports center. The bus that goes to Tirana and returns leaves from 100 meters further down, on the opposite side of the street.
For those with their own transportation, the old road from Tirana to Elbasan is long and precipitous, but offers panoramic views over the Martanesh Mountains of Albania. The highest point of the road reaches 931 meters above the sea level and then goes downhill for a long way, passing a series of large Socialist Realist murals on the hillside wall, until the vast steel plant of Elbasan can be seen, spreading for many kilometers at the bottom of the mountain.


 

ACCOMMODATION IN ELBASAN OF ALBANIA

It is usually easy to find accommodation in most areas of Albania, what we have tried to do is to give you the many many options but to also give our own personal advise of the goods and the bads as well as the exact location and the facilities of each accommodation choice. We would appreciate it if you would reserve your accommodation via this website and we will be there either in person or with a representative of ours to personally assist you while you are on  your holidays in Albania.

ACTIVITIES IN ELBASAN OF ALBANIA

 

 


 

SIGHTSEEING IN ELBASAN

The Castle of Elbasan: The Castle of Elbasan is a field castle in the city of Elbasan. Cristobel, the second Mehmet historian, referred to it first. The Ottoman chronicler, Evlia Celebiu, visited the city in the 18th century CE and described the castle in detail. During the Austrian invasion, the castle became subject to extensive study. Austrian archaeologist Prashniker and Shcober, who visited the castle during the First World War, noticed that there are ancient fortifications under the medieval walls. The castle has a quadrangular shape with 308 x 48 m dimensions.

The Church of Saint Nicolas in Shelcan: The Church of Saint Nicolas in Shelcan (Kisha e Shën Nikollës) is located in the village of Shelcan in the district of Shpati, southeast of Elbasan. Inside the church there are valuable frescoes painted by Onufri, a famous Albanian painter from the 16th century CE.

Roman Road Station of Ad Quintium: Roman Road Station of Ad Quintium is located close to Bradashesh village, in the vicinity of the modern city of Elbasan. Based on the construction techniques used, the site has been dated back to the 2nd – 4th centuries CE. Excavations are ongoing.

The Monastery of Saint John Vladimir: The Monastery of Saint John Vladimir (Shën Gjon Vladimiri) in Shijon is located only 4 km away from Elbasan. It was built in 1381 CE by the Albanian prince, Karl Topia, who brought the remains of Saint John Vladimir. Saint John Vladimir was the Duke of Krajina (Montenegro). He was declared a Saint and is well known in the Balkan Peninsula. A large pilgrimage was organized in his honor at this monastery until 1967 CE, when the communist regime forcibly closed religious institutions all over the country. Nowadays this pilgrimage is organized every 3-4 June.

THE HISTORY OF ELBASANI

The origins of the town of Elbasani lie in the 2nd century BC, when a trading post called Scampa grew up at the junction of the branches of the Via Egnantia, the great Roman road running between the Albanian coast Byzantium, whose starting points were Dyrrachium and Apollonia. By the 2nd century AD, this had developed into a sizable way station called Mansio as Quintum. During the upheavals and invasions of the 4th century AD, the Romans fortified the settlement and stationed a legion there to protect the Via Egnantia. The castle which they built is exactly in the center of the modern town of Elbasani and covers almost one square kilometer.

The walls of the city were re built by the Ottomans in the year 1466, during the Mehmed II’s expedition against Skanderberg. Their plan was to use the castle as a base for extending their conquest and they gave it the name “Elbasan” which in Turkish means ‘the area for raiding other people’s territory’. The town flourished under the Ottomans, and by the 17th century, it had become an important commercial center, exporting its leather, fabrics and silver work throughout the Ottoman Empire. In the 20th century, Elbasani was the home place, for many years of Margaret Hasluck, a British archaeologist and ethnographer who went on direct SOE’s activities in Albania.

The metallurgical complex called the Steel of the party, was built in 1974, with technical and financial support from China, and it employed over 8000 people in its heyday. Now, most of the plants lie idle; it is almost impossible to bring it up to international environmental standards, and the result has been unemployment and emigration. For many people, it is the only thing that they know about Elbasani and so, they drive straight past the town without realizing that its history goes back, much further.

USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT ELBASAN

Elbasan (Albanian: Elbasan or Elbasani) is a city and a municipality in the county of Elbasan, located in central Albania. One of the largest cities in Albania, it is located on the Shkumbin River. There was a new main road constructed in . . . . . . with tunnels that blast through the Albanian mountains, making the journey from Tirana to Elbasan last less than an hour. Buses to Elbasan leave Tirana from the northern side of the Qemal Stafa Stadium, the bus fare is 150 lek. Most large cities of Albania are connected to Elbasan by bus.
The main bus station in Elbasan is located in the main square, just in front of the sports center. The bus that goes to Tirana and returns leaves from 100 meters further down, on the opposite side of the street.


 

UNIQUE CULTURE OF ALBANIA

The Albanian culture is an exotic blend of traditions that have evolved over thousands of years. From the ancient Illyrians and Greeks to the Romans and the Ottomans, the language, music, arts, and cuisine of the Albanian people are a rich and vibrant mix of many civilizations. Once you discover our culture, you are bound to fall in love with this new destination on the Mediterranean.

Hospitality is in our nature. Welcoming guests and ensuring their comfort is a hallmark of Albanian heritage and is epitomized by our very own Nobel Peace Prize recipient: Mother Teresa. The spirit of cooperation and friendship thrives in Albania, and it is not uncommon for guests to be invited to eat and drink with curious locals wishing to learn more about you.

Besa is a concept related to the Albanian code of honor and is an idea that is very important to the Albanian people. In the Kanun (a set of traditional Albanian laws), Besa is described as the highest authority, so essential to personal and familial standing as to be virtually a cult. Besa has been the subject of some stories and novels by Albania’s foremost modern novelist, Ismail Kadare, a Nobel Prize Candidate for Literature and winner of several international prizes. Kadare’s work has been published in over forty countries and translated into more than thirty languages, making Kadare the best ambassador of Albanian literature worldwide.

If we are speaking about the food and drinks of Albania, then we must mention the country’s deliciously-unique cuisine. It has many similarities to Turkish and Greek dishes, but offers a healthier, Mediterranean twist. Come try our wide variety of phyllo dough delicacies, including a melt-in-your-mouth sensation called byrek, or the original sweet treat known regionally as baklava.

Albania also has a long tradition of wine craftsmanship, which is lately being revived to its former glory. While you’re here, taste a sampling of our wine, produced from a rich soil that has been under cultivation since the ancient Greeks and Romans. Regardless of your culinary inclinations, we guarantee that our rich history and culinary traditions have created a menu of mouth-watering specialties for you to try.

Each region of Albania likes to specialize in its own brand of music, thus giving the music aficionado an incentive to explore the entire country in search of each community’s sense of style. For example, UNESCO has classified a type of music from southern Albania, known as Iso Polyphony, to have tremendous cultural value to humankind. Our music has even given rise to a few prominent artists of global acclaim, including opera lyric soprano, Inva Mula, and the distinguished violinist, Tedi Papavrami.

In regards to style, when you arrive in Albania, you will notice that the men take great pride in their appearance and will often don a suit and tie when in public. Even if their errands only involve a short trip to the grocery store, the men will dress to impress.

Depending upon the type of festival or time of year, you might even catch a glimpse of Albanian men in traditional folk attire. The National Folk Festival held in Gjirokastra is a prime example. This special autumn event is held once every four years and attracts artists from around the world.

The women of Albania also share a flair for style, especially at traditional Albanian weddings. At these events, the families of both the bride and groom will gather together in their finest dress and celebrate with great fervor. Weddings are often the ideal opportunity to witness the best of Albanian culture all in one event, and if you’re invited to one, the experience will undoubtedly be extraordinary.

Albanian culture is unique in many ways and we hope you’ll visit us to see it firsthand. We say ‘yes’ by shaking our head from side to side, both men and women greet each other with a kiss on either cheek, and our conversations are loud and passionate in an effort to entice others to join in. Visit Albania and discover why our culture is a new Mediterranean love.

MAP OF ALBANIA

map of Albania

map of Albania

PHOTO GALLERY OF ELBASAN

MAP OF ELBASAN