What is Albania interesting by? City of Shkoder. Part 1On travel across Albania ahead of us was waited by Shkoder - one of the most ancient cities of Europe.
the First powerful defensive construction in this area appeared more than in five hundred years yes our era. It happened at the time of blossoming of the Illyrian empire when fortress had to protect the large trade intersection in the place of confluence Drin and Boone. Ever since there is also one of the most beautiful lakes on the Balkans a city of Shkoder, nowadays the settlement of Albania, the fourth on number (about 200 thousand inhabitants) and the most influential Catholic center of the country ashore. Kilometers in two from the city on the southern coast of the Shkodersky lake there is a lonely rock, and on it ancient fortress with the romantic name of Rozaf. We saw this mountain and fortress still after the journey and watched how it all came nearer and came nearer.
There is a legend concerning the name of fortress. Three brothers decided to construct fortress on the mountain, but at them this building was not got on in any way: once you constructed a wall, it collapsed. And then they addressed gods for council as to them to strengthen this wall. Gods answered that it is possible to fasten stones only with the human victim: it is necessary to immure the beautiful young woman at whom the child was born recently in a wall. The younger brother had a beauty Rozaf`s wife who just had a baby. Here it with tears was also immured and so that she could feed the child. In her honor the city fortress Shkoder was also called... But we hope, of course, that it is only a legend, though very beautiful.
Before entry into Shkoder we once again noticed a sign where the word which we could identify as “unleavened wheat cake“ is written. The guide explained that it is about the nearest car wash, them in the country an incalculable set, so many workplaces are opened that unemployment does not threaten here. Albanians so love the cars that they are ready to wash them all day long. There is a question: how many cars are available in Albania? It appears, in the country not and it is bad with personal vehicle fleet, on roads of Albania thousands of the diverse cars run, mainly it is Mercedes to which Albanians feel inexplicable love. However, here not such huge number of autostuff as wrote about it a few years ago colleagues - travelers. Really, there is a lot of Mercedes, but also other brands of cars appeared. Here and we went with Aldor by his BMW, and cars considerably looked younger that speaks about the growing welfare of the Albanian citizens.
We drove in Shkoder, the first high-rise buildings, houses under construction, the mosque, obviously new with one minaret, probably calculated on residents of this residential district seemed. In the distance the new, but already big mosque closing a majestic Christian cross seemed too.
So, several words about Shkoder`s history. The city was founded in the 4th century B.C. by the Illyrian tribe of Labeati. Soon he was captured by Romans, its rapid development turned out to be consequence of what, he turned into the shopping and military center. At the beginning of the 7th century of our era in its vicinities there were settlements of the Slavs who are actively extending on all peninsula. Further the city was included into limits of large Slavic state formation of Dukl, and then Rashk and Zet`s other medieval states. In 1479 after death the city Skanderbega was occupied by Turks and ruined, the most part of the population ran, and remained there was violently an omusulmanena.
The modern history of Shkoder began when according to the solution of the London conference of great powers in May, 1913 the city was a part of the neogenic state of Albania and since then in it and is, apart from several years of occupation in two world wars.
We reached the area with the symbolical name “Demokratii Square“ (interestingly how it was called at communists?) . The beautiful fountain with inevitable sizaryam, a monument to the Albanian soldier - to the liberator, an exit to the temple mosque of Sheikh Zamil of Abdullah of Al built in recent years - Zamilya and the ancient small castle from a gray stone symbolizing infinite link of times - here than was remembered to us this area.
Took a walk in the area and went further, the sun already directed to the horizon, and we did not reach hotel yet, it was necessary to hurry. On the road looked at the building of national drama theater and at a facade of Franciscan church to Ruga - Ndre - Mdzheda. And quite recently, some about twenty years ago, in it basketball matches were still played, at communists in this building there was a basketball hall...
Here we drove up to the central pedestrian street of the city which has the full name “Rruga Kolyo Idromeno“. The car stopped before “brick“, and we went for a corner - it turned out that in this angular building there is the best hotel of Shkoder “Hotel Colosseo“ in which we reserved the room. At once I will tell that the hotel was just remarkable. To go it was not necessary to have supper far, the restaurant was located on the top floor of this four-storeyed building. We accommodated on the balcony coming to a pedestrian street and began to consider vicinities. Below almost deserted street where in each building there were empty shops, small restaurants, cafe, discos lay. We sat on a balcony, ate tasty food for ridiculous money, drank astounding coffee with cold water and were quite happy also that we saw, and it is even more what waits for us ahead.
Absolutely darkened soon, we left to walk down the street which for these half an hour literally changed - the lamps which are favourably highlighting beautiful houses were lit, music from where - that people appeared began to sound, their quantity continuously grew. We passed the street from the end in the end, looked at show-windows, found nothing interesting and went to have a rest. Tomorrow again long busy day, it is necessary to examine Shkodersky fortress and to take a walk in the coast of the Shkodersky lake.