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Elbasan is a city in central Albania. It is the headquarters of a Bashkia and the capital of Qarks Elbasan. The stronghold of the industrial town located north of the river Shkumbin. 146 BC the Romans built the trade route Via Egnatia, which served as a sequel to the Italian Via Appia on the Balkans and established the direct connection between Rome and Byzantium. It commenced with the two port cities Dyrrhachium and Apollonia on the Adriatic and united west of Elbasan at the Riverfront Genusus. There was a Roman trading post, which was called Mansio Scampa.

Elbasan is located in a wide valley, an extension of the coastal plain inland to around 150 m above sea level. A few kilometers east the Shkumbin enters from its rocky valley and enabled here in history-yield agriculture. To the north and south of the city high mountains rise up to 1.000 and 1.800 meters.

Via Egnatia through Albania - from Durres to Quafe Thane

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Via Egnatia through Albania - from Durres to Quafe Thane

From Durres, where you should definitely visit the Archaeological Museum, the Roman Amphitheater and the Byzantine walls (to be followed by separate reports), it is only about 50 km to Pequin to the inner part of Albania.

From Camping Rino in Kalista to Elbasan

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From Camping Rino in Kalista to Elbasan

There was actually rain on Lake Ohrid, one more reason to explore the area. We wanted to continue the pursue of the roman footsteps along the Via Egnatia and took off from Kalista which is just 8 kilometres away from the border station between Macedonia and Albania on the pass at Quafe Thane.

Elbasan - After Romans and Byzantines, Ottomans arrived

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Elbasan - After Romans and Byzantines, Ottomans arrived

Due to the expansion policy of the Ottoman Empire in the 13th and 14th century, the Ottoman Turks also came to Elbasan, no wonder that one finds their marks in today's city architecture.

The ancient Roman Elbasan - once Scampa at Via Egnatia

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The ancient Roman Elbasan - once Scampa at Via Egnatia

The first historically known settlers in the area of Elbasan belonged to the ethnic group of the Illyrians, which in the 2nd century erected first dwellings at the river Shkumbin, at that time called Genusus.

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