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Shkodra (alb. Shkodër) , the largest city in northern Albania (87,500 inhabitants, 2008 estimate), is located on the east side of Lake Shkodra, in the southern part of the Mbishkodra Plain, between the Drini and Buna rivers. The city is one of the oldest in Albania and is also an important cultural and economic center.

We really enjoyed the Rozafa castle and the Albanian roads, we believe that a road trip through Albanian lands is worth it, in addition to the country, the flag that Rafael likes most in the world is exactly the flag of Albania. The price of food and accommodation are extremely cheap, and worth every penny.

Shkodra has been continuously inhabited since its founding in the 4th century BC. It was the chief city of the Illyrian tribe of Labeats and later, during the reign of King Ghent and Queen Teuta, the main center of the Illyrian state. In the year 168 BC, the city was taken by the Romans and became an important commercial and military route for them.

What to see

Rozafa Castle (Shkodra Fortress) - at the entrance to the city, 3 km south of the city center, located on a rocky hill 133 m high. It is one of the largest and most famous castles in Albania. Rozafa Castle has a fascinating history, which is related to one of the most beautiful Albanian legends. Archaeological excavations have yielded finds from the Bronze Age to the present. Within its massive defensive walls are St. Stephen's Church, several Venetian administrative buildings, a bell tower and some medieval rooms. There is also a small museum and traditional restaurant. Open from 08:00 to 22:00. Admission 200 lek.

Church of Saint Stephen - is in the main court of Rozafa castle. It was built in two phases in the late 13th century and the 14th century, and was later converted into a mosque.

Leaden Mosque - is below Rozafa castle, in a medieval neighborhood, once the old bazaar. It was built in 1773 by Mehmet Pasha Bushati on the model of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, and is covered with lead.

Historical Museum - Ottoman-era building (1815) with archaeological and ethnographic collections.

National Photo Gallery "Marubi" - is located in the city center and is the richest and most important photographic archive in Albania. It contains more than 500,000 negatives, the oldest of which date back to 1858.

Catholic Cathedral (Kisha e Madhe) - one of the largest Catholic cathedrals in the Balkans dedicated to Saint Stephen. After reconstruction in 1991, the capital was inaugurated by Mother Teresa and two years later it was visited by Pope John Paul II. Inside of the cathedral is a copy of the Shrout of Turin. Free access.

Al-Zamil Mosque, New Mosque - two mosques in the city center.

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