Tirana is the cultural, political and economic center of the centrally organized state Albania and is the seat of several institutions, organizations and parties. So there are the parliament and the country's government. The oldest finds in the urban area of Tirana are from the Roman period: walls and a mosaic of a Roman Villa converted to a church in the 2nd or 3rd century. In the 6th century, the Roman Emperor Justinian I built a fortress, whose walls are still visible in the city center.
Tirana was first mentioned in Venetian documents in the present name form in the years 1372 and 1418. For the first time in 1431/32 the Ottomans did a registry of soils and residents. Consequently, there were 60 villages with around 1000 houses and 7300 residents in this region. The Mullet originating local landowners Sulejman Pasha Bargjini built the Sylejman Pasha Mosque, a caravanserai (Han), a bakery and a hammam at its present location in 1614, and because of that deemed to be the city founder of Tirana.
Some time ago, we had already published an article on the fortress of Kruja; now, within the part wise guided camper trip through Albania, Greece and Macedonia, we have got further impressions, which we gladly publish in another article, especially since the fortress of Kruja is such an historical sanctuary for the Albanian nation.
After the visit of the Skanderbeg Museum which is inside the fortress of Kruja, a tour of the castle grounds and the local buildings should follow, in spite of the threatening dark sky, which was part wise looking like strong rain could appear, but we were lucky.
Whenever the name of Albania falls in talks, two theses emerge, which we can not share without contradiction, because of our experiences during the travels through the country: "mafia structures in politics and economy" and "everywhere bunkers".
After the really interesting cave exploration in a side valley next to the road from Tirana to Elbasan, we finally wanted to visit the Petrela castle on the hilltop south of the river Erzen, about 500 meters above sea level.
Tirana, the capital of Albania, lies on the west side of Mount Dajti on the transition from the coastal plain to a hilly landscape in central Albania. To the coast of the Adriatic Sea at the port town of Durrës it is only about 30 km of air line.
Already at the beginning of our search for a secure and easy going camper route to the south, which is intended to show all-seasons camping sites or camper stops along Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece along the coast, we had found Hotel Baron in Tirana as a way to explore the capital Albania during a short stay before the traveler continues the way to the South (even for long term stay).
During our visit to the Skanderbeg Museum, the desire for more information about this fighter for independence and freedom as a ruler of the past had grown, surely affected by all the mythologies that still surrounds his personality.
After our visit to Durres we were driven to mountain town Kruja by passing Tirana where today a living museum reminds Albanian freedom fighter Skanderbeg and which increasingly ensures tourist interest from abroad.