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Tirana

Tirana

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{{Use dmy dates|date=June 2011}} '''Tirana''' {{IPAc-en|audio=en-us-Tirana.ogg|t|ɨ|ˈ|r|ɑː|n|ə}} ({{lang-sq|Tiranë'', ''Tirana'' or ''Tirona}}) is the capital and the largest city of [[Albania]]. Modern Tirana was founded as an [[Ottoman Empire|Ottoman]] town in 1614 by [[Sulejman Bargjini]], a local ruler from [[Mullet, Albania|Mullet]], although the area has been continuously inhabited since antiquity.
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{{Use dmy dates|date=June 2011}} '''Tirana''' {{IPAc-en|audio=en-us-Tirana.ogg|t|ɨ|ˈ|r|ɑː|n|ə}} ({{lang-sq|Tiranë'', ''Tirana'' or ''Tirona}}) is the capital and the largest city of [[Albania]]. Modern Tirana was founded as an [[Ottoman Empire|Ottoman]] town in 1614 by [[Sulejman Bargjini]], a local ruler from [[Mullet, Albania|Mullet]], although the area has been continuously inhabited since antiquity. Tirana became Albania's capital city in 1920 and has a population of over 600,000. The city is home to many universities and is the center of the political, economical, and cultural life of the country. ==Geography== [[File:Tirana SPOT 1040.jpg|thumb|200px|left|Tirana by Spot Satellite]] The Municipality of Tirana is located at (41.33°N, 19.82°E) in [[Tirana District]], [[Tirana County]] on the river [[Ishëm (river)|Ishëm]], about {{convert|32|km|mi|sp=us}} inland. Tirana's average altitude is {{convert|110|m|ft|sp=us}} [[Above mean sea level|above sea level]] and its highest point measures {{convert|1828|m|2|abbr=on}} at Mali me Gropa. The city is mostly surrounded by hills, with [[Mount Dajti|Dajti Mountain]] on the East and a slight valley opening on the North-West overlooking the [[Adriatic Sea]] in the distance. The [[Tiranë (river)|Tiranë]] river also runs through the city, whereas the [[Lanë]] river is a brook. The city borders the surrounding municipalities of Paskuqan, Dajt, Farkë, Vaqarr, Kashar, and Kamëz. It also contains a total of four artificial lakes: the ''Tirana Artificial Lake'' around which was built the [[Tirana Park on the Artificial Lake|Big Park]], the ''Kodër-Kamëz Lake'', ''Farka Lake'', and ''Tufina Lake''. Tirana is on the same parallel as [[Naples]], [[Madrid]] and [[Istanbul]], and on the same [[Meridian (geography)|meridian]] as [[Budapest]] and [[Kraków]]. === Antiquity === The area occupied by Tirana has been populated since [[Paleolithic]] times dating back 10,000 to 30,000 years ago as suggested by evidence from tools found near [[Mount Dajt]]'s quarry and in Pellumba Cave. As argued by various archaeologists, Tirana and its suburbs are filled with [[Illyrians|Illyrian]] toponyms as its precincts are some of the earliest regions in Albania to be inhabited. Various remains provide evidence for continuous human activity through history. The oldest discovery was a mosaic, dating back to the 3-rd century A.D., with several other remains found near a medieval temple at Shengjin Fountain. A castle, possibly called ''Tirkan'' or ''Theranda'', was built by Emperor [[Justinian I|Justinian]] in 520 AD and restored by Ahmed Pasha Toptani in the 18th century. The area had no special importance in [[Illyria]]n and [[Classical antiquity|classical]] times. In 1510, [[Marin Barleti]], an Albanian Catholic priest and scholar, in the biography of the Albanian national hero [[Skanderbeg]], ''Historia de vita et gestis Scanderbegi Epirotarum principis'' (''The story of life and deeds of Skanderbeg, the prince of Epirotes''), referred to this area as a small village. === Ottoman rule and World War I=== [[File:Bazar Tirana (ca. 1900)2.jpg|thumb|left|Tirana Bazaar at the turn of the 20th century]] [[File:Lambertz AL1916 09-1-.jpg|thumb|right|Tirana in 1916]] Records from the first land registrations under the [[Ottoman Empire|Ottomans]] in 1431–32 show that Tirana consisted of 60 inhabited areas, with nearly 2,028 houses and 7,300 inhabitants. In 1614, [[Sulejman Bargjini]], a local ruler established the Ottoman town with a mosque, a commercial centre, and a [[hammam]] (Turkish sauna). The town was located along [[camel train|caravan]] routes and grew rapidly in importance until the early 19th century. During this period, the [[Et'hem Bey Mosque]] built by Molla Bey of [[Petrela]], began to be constructed. It employed the best [[artisans]] in the country and was completed in 1821 by Molla's son, who was also Sulejman Bargjini's grandnephew. In 1800, the first newcomers arrived in the [[Human settlement|settlement]], the so-called ''ortodoksit''. They were [[Vlachs]] from villages near [[Korçë]] and [[Pogradec]] who settled around modern day [[Tirana Park on the Artificial Lake|Park on the Artificial Lake]]. They started to be known as the ''llacifac'' and were the first Christians to arrive after the creation of the town. After Serb reprisals in the [[Debar]] region, thousands of locals fled to Tirana. In 1807, Tirana became the center of the Sub-Prefecture of Krujë-Tirana. After 1816, Tirana languished under the control of the ''Toptani'' family of [[Krujë]]. Later, Tirana became a Sub-Prefecture of the newly created [[Vilayet of Shkodër]] and Sanjak of Durrës. In 1889, the [[Albanian language]] started to be taught in Tirana's schools, while the patriotic club Bashkimi was founded in 1908. On 28 November 1912, the national flag was raised in agreement with [[Ismail Qemali]]. During the [[Balkan Wars]], the town was temporarily occupied by the Serbian army, and it took part in uprising of the villages led by [[Haxhi Qamili]]. In 1917, the first city outline was compiled by Austro-Hungarian architects. === Capital city === [[File:ALB 20070720 img 1455.jpg|thumb|left|Building featuring Italian architecture now used as the [[Ministry of Defence (Albania)|Ministry of Defence]]]] [[File:Tirana Skanderbeg Square.jpg|thumb|right|The complex of the ministries seen from Skanderbeg Square]] On 8 February 1920, the [[Congress of Lushnjë]] proclaimed Tirana as the temporary capital of Albania which had acquired independence in 1912. The city retained that status permanently on 31 December 1925. The first regulatory city plan was compiled in 1923 by Austrian architects. The center of Tirana was the project of Florestano de Fausto and Armando Brasini, well known architects of the [[Benito Mussolini]] period in Italy. Brasini laid the basis for the modern-day arrangement of the ministerial buildings in the city centre. The plan underwent revisions by Albanian architect Eshref Frashëri, Italian architect Castellani, and Austrian architects Weiss and Kohler. The rectangular parallel road system of Tirana e Re district took shape while the Northern portion of the main Boulevard was opened. On the political sphere, Tirana experienced tumultuous events such as intermittent attacks from the army of the [[Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes]] and forces of [[Zogu]] on the Shkalla e Tujanit (Step of Tujan). In 1924, Tirana was at the center of a coup d'état led by [[Fan S. Noli]]. Since 1925, when they were banned in [[Turkey]], the [[Bektashi]]s, an order of [[dervishes]] who take their name from [[Haji Bektash]], a [[Sufi]] saint of the 13th and 14th centuries, made Tirana their primary settlement. Modern Albanian parliamentary building served as a club of officers. It was there that in September 1928, [[Zog of Albania]] was crowned King Zog I, King of the Albanians. === Monarchy and WW2 === [[File:Skeda-Ahmet-Zogu.jpg|thumb|right|Construction in central Tirana was part of the cooperation package between [[King Zog]] and Fascist Italy.]] [[File:07Tirana Universität02.jpg|thumb|left|Mother Teresa Square features typical Fascist architecture]] The period is characterized by the execution of [[architectural]] projects, clashes between military occupying forces and local resistance, and the coming to power of the communists. The city served as a venue for the signing of the Pact of Tirana between Fascist [[Italy]] and Albania. The northern portion of modern ''Dëshmorët e Kombit'' (National [[Martyr]]s) Boulevard finished in 1930 and was named Zog I Boulevard. The ministerial complex, [[boulevard]] axis, Royal Palace (Palace of the Brigades), former municipal building, and the [[Bank of Albania|National Bank]] were under construction. The latter is the work of Italian [[architect]] Vittorio Ballio Morpurgo. In 1939, Tirana was captured by Fascist forces appointing a [[puppet government]]. In the meantime, Italian architect Gherardo Bosio was asked to elaborate on previous plans and introduce a new project in the area of present day Mother Teresa Square. Once the southern portion of the main boulevard and surrounding buildings were finished, they were renamed with Fascist names. During a visit in Tirana, a failed assassination attempt was carried towards [[Victor Emmanuel III of Italy]] by a local resistance activist. In November 1941, [[Enver Hoxha]] founded the [[Communist Party of Albania]]. The town soon became the center of the Albanian communists who mobilized locals against Italian fascists and later Nazi Germans, while spreading ideological [[propaganda]]. The town was liberated on 17 November 1944 after a [[Albanian_Resistance_of_World_War_II|fierce battle between the Communists and German forces]]. The [[Nazis]] eventually withdrew and the communists seized power. === Communism === [[File:Brosen tirana hoxha mausol.jpg|thumb|left|[[Pyramid Building]]]] [[File:Tirana Square 1988.jpg|thumb|Skanderbeg Square in 1988.]] The city experienced a considerable decline in architecture and [[living standards]] as massive socialist-styled [[apartment]] complexes, and [[factories] began to be built, while Skanderbeg Square was redesigned with a number of buildings being demolished. Tirana's former Old Bazaar and the [[Orthodox]] Cathedral were razed to the ground for the erection of the Soviet-styled [[Palace of Culture]]. The Italian-built municipal building was [[detonated]] and the [[National Historical Museum (Albania)|National Historical Museum]] was constructed instead, while the structure housing the [[Parliament of Albania]] during the monarchy was turned into a children's theater. Additionally, the northern portion of the main [[boulevard]] was renamed [[Joseph Stalin|Stalin]] Boulevard and a [[statue]] erected in the city square. As private car ownership was banned, [[mass transport]] consisted mainly of bicycles, trucks, and buses. After Hoxha's death, a museum in the form of a pyramid was constructed in his memory by the government. Prior and after the procclamation of Albania's self isolationist policy, a number of high-profile figures such as former Soviet President [[Nikita Khrushchev]], former Premier of the People's Republic of China, [[Zhou Enlai]] and lately former Minister for Foreign Matters of the [[German Democratic Republic]], Oskar Fischer paid visits to the city. In 1985, Tirana served as the ceremonial venue of Enver Hoxha's funeral. A few years later, [[Mother Teresa]] became the first religious figure to visit the country following Albania's long declared [[atheist]] stance. She laid respect to her parents resting at a local cemetery. Starting at Student City and ending at Skanderbeg Square with the toppling of Enver Hoxha's statue, the city saw [[Fall_of_communism_in_Albania|significant demonstrations]] by [[University of Tirana]] students demanding political freedoms. === Transition === [[File:Fusha e Tiranës 2008.jpg|thumb|left|Northern portion of Tirana Plain]] [[File:Lana River before cleanup.JPG|thumb|right|Illegal structures on Lana River banks]] [[File:Developmentintirana.jpg|thumb|right|Chaotic development in Tirana]] The period is often described negatively in terms of [[urban]] development. Buildings started to be erected without central planning and public areas were usurped in various forms. Informal districts formed around the city as internal [[migrants]] gathered from around the country. During this period Tirana was transformed from a centrally [[planned economy]] into a [[market economy]]. Private car ownership was reinstated and [[businesses]] were re-established mainly as [[kiosks]] and some multistory buildings. However poor city [[lighting]], and road quality became major problems. Enver Hoxha's museum (Pyramid) was dismantled in 1991 and renamed in honor of persecuted activist Pjeter Arbnori. All buildings and apartments were denationalized, second-hand buses introduced, while modern water, telephone, and electrical systems built during 1992–1996 which form the backbone of modern Tirana. On the political aspect, the city witnessed a number of historical events. Some important Western personalities visited the capital such as former U.S. Secretary of State [[James Baker]] and [[Pope John Paul II]]. The former visit came amidst an historical setting after the fall of communism as hundreds of thousands were chanting in Skanderbeg Square Baker's famous saying of "Freedom works!". [[Pope John Paul II]] became the first leading religious figure to visit Tirana after Mother Teresa's visit few years ago. During the Balkans turmoil in the mid 1990s, the city experienced dramatic events such as the unfolding of the [[1997 unrest in Albania]], and a failed [[coup d'etat]] on 14 September 1998. === Rebirth === [[File:Boulevard, Tirana.JPG|thumb|left|Rehabilitation of the area around Lana River]] [[File:Tirana roofs.jpg|thumb|right|Traditional houses are threatened by the construction of apartment buildings.]] In 2000, former Tirana mayor [[Edi Rama]] undertook a radical campaign of demolishing illegal buildings around the city centre and on Lana River banks. It included the transformation of the area to its pre-1990 state. In addition, Rama led the initiative to paint the façades of Tirana's buildings in bright colours, although much of their interiors continue to degrade. Some critics allege that apartment buildings continue to be built on the places of traditional houses by firms with shady links to local officials. Public transport was privatized and newer second hand [[buses]] were introduced, municipal services expanded, and a richer [[calendar]] of events introduced. Road [[infrastructure]] improved as main roads underwent reconstruction including the Ring Road (Unaza) and the main boulevard. Additionally, common areas between apartment buildings were brought back to normality after decades of neglect, while existing [[parks]], city [[Town square|square]]s, and sports recreational areas were renovated giving Tirana a more European look. However, some park areas are being used for the construction of skyscrapers. Rama has been accused by critics of corruption while issuing building permits, but he has dismissed the claims as baseless. Decreasing urban space and traffic congestion have become major problems while a general urban chaos is observed in Tirana. In 2007, U.S. President [[George W. Bush]] visited Tirana by marking the first time that a high ranking American official visits Albania and an unprecedented security presence in and around the capital. The [[2008 Gërdec explosions]] were especially felt in the capital as windows were shattered and citizens shaken. In 21 January 2011, [[2011 Albanian opposition demonstrations|Albanian police clashed with opposition supporters]] in front of the Government building with cars being set on fire, and where 3 persons were killed, and 150 wounded. Although much has been achieved, critics argue that there lacks a clear vision on Tirana's future. Loss of public space due to illegal and chaotic construction, unpaved roads in suburban areas, degradation of Tirana's Artificial Lake, rehabilitation of Skanderbeg Square, ever present smog, the construction of a central bus station, and public parking lots are some pressing issues still remaining to be solved. Some proposed future plans include the continuation of illegal buildings' legalization process, construction of the southwestern portion of the Big Ring Road, a [[tram]] system, and the rehabilitation of the Tirana Train Station area. == Climate == Tirana has a [[Mediterranean climate]], with hot and moderately dry summers, and cool and wet winters. {{Weather box |location = Tirana |metric first = yes |single line = yes |Jan record high C = 19 |Feb record high C = 22 |Mar record high C = 26 |Apr record high C = 28 |May record high C = 33 |Jun record high C = 37 |Jul record high C = 38 |Aug record high C = 40 |Sep record high C = 35 |Oct record high C = 31 |Nov record high C = 25 |Dec record high C = 22 |year record high C = 40 |Jan high C = 12 |Feb high C = 12 |Mar high C = 15 |Apr high C = 18 |May high C = 23 |Jun high C = 28 |Jul high C = 31 |Aug high C = 31 |Sep high C = 27 |Oct high C = 23 |Nov high C = 17 |Dec high C = 14 |Jan low C = 2 |Feb low C = 2 |Mar low C = 5 |Apr low C = 8 |May low C = 12 |Jun low C = 16 |Jul low C = 17 |Aug low C = 17 |Sep low C = 14 |Oct low C = 10 |Nov low C = 8 |Dec low C = 5 |Jan record low C = -8 |Feb record low C = -8 |Mar record low C = -4 |Apr record low C = -1 |May record low C = 3 |Jun record low C = 6 |Jul record low C = 11 |Aug record low C = 10 |Sep record low C = 5 |Oct record low C = 1 |Nov record low C = -3 |Dec record low C = -7 |year record low C = -8 |Jan precipitation mm = 135 |Feb precipitation mm = 152 |Mar precipitation mm = 128 |Apr precipitation mm = 117 |May precipitation mm = 122 |Jun precipitation mm = 86 |Jul precipitation mm = 32 |Aug precipitation mm = 32 |Sep precipitation mm = 60 |Oct precipitation mm = 105 |Nov precipitation mm = 211 |Dec precipitation mm = 173 |Jan rain days= 13 |Feb rain days= 13 |Mar rain days= 14 |Apr rain days= 13 |May rain days= 12 |Jun rain days= 7 |Jul rain days= 5 |Aug rain days= 4 |Sep rain days= 6 |Oct rain days= 9 |Nov rain days= 16 |Dec rain days= 16 |source 1 = [http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/city_guides/results.shtml?tt=TT003310 BBC Weather Service:Tirana] |date=August 2010 }} == Demographics == {{wide image|Tirana Albania pano 2004-07-14.jpg|1000px|Panoramic view of Tirana from [[Mount Dajt]] in 2004.}} As of 2008, the urban population was officially estimated at 618,431. In 1703, Tirana had about 4,000 inhabitants and by 1820 the number tripled to 12,000. The first census conducted a few years after becoming capital showed a total population of 10,845. During the 1950s, Tirana experienced rapid industrial growth and the population increased to about 137,000. After the end of [[Party of Labour of Albania|communist rule]] in 1991, Tirana experienced its fastest population growth when people from rural areas moved to the capital for better economic opportunities. In 1990, Tirana had 250,000 inhabitants, but the large-scale influx increased the population to well over 600,000. {{Demography |1703=4,000 |1820=12,000 |1923=10,845 |1937=35,000 |1955=108,200 |1985=200,000 |2001=610,000 |2008=618,431 |2009=650,837 |source= {{ref label|a|a}} }} {{note|a|a}} Population figures are given inside city limits at that time. == Health == The largest hospital in Tirana is called [[Mother Theresa Hospital]] (''Qëndra Spitalore Universitare Nënë Tereza''), which is associated with [[University of Tirana]], Faculty of Medicine. The Hospital is a 1,456-bed facility that offers comprehensive inpatient tertiary care to over 12,000 patients annually. The hospital is currently undergoing major changes in infrastructure and equipment. Recently, a number of private hospitals have been opened. ===Institutions and events=== [[File:Taiwan Center, Rinia Park Tirana.jpg|thumb|[[Taiwan|Taivani]], one of Tirana's most popular restaurants seen from the Sky Tower's revolving restaurant]] [[File:Tirana-pomnik.JPG|thumb|left|Skanderbeg Square with Et'hem Bey Mosque and Clock Tower on the far left, and Skanderbeg Monument on the right]] [[File:Dajti Ekspress.jpg|thumb|Dajti Mountain overlooking Tirana seen from the Dajti Express Cable Car]] [[File:Pics (44).jpg|thumb|left|Tanners' Ottoman Bridge]] [[File:2010May Tirana HungerStrike.jpg|thumb|left|Deshmoret e Kombit Boulevard]] [[File:Petrela Castle, Tirana.jpg|thumb|Petrela Castle near Tirana]] [[File:Muzeu.JPG|thumb|National History Museum]] [[File:ALB_20070713_img_1258.jpg|thumb|left|Polytechnic University of Tirana]] The main cultural institutions of Tirana are the [[National Theater of Albania|National Theater]], the [[National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania]], and the [[National Gallery of Figurative Arts of Albania|National Arts Gallery]] (''Galeria Kombëtare e Arteve''). Performances of renown world composers are regularly performed by the Symphonic Orchestra of the [[Albanian Radio and Television]]. The city serves as a regular venue for the Tirana Biennale, Tirana [[Jazz]] Festival, [[Summer Festival, Albania|Summer Day]], White Night on 28 November, Rally Albania, [[Netet e Klipit Shqiptar]], and Tirana Fashion Week. Recently, Tirana has been redesigning its identity to a more Mediterranean city full of cafes and a vibrant nightlife. ===Sights=== {{see also|Tourism in Albania}} Tirana is trying to improve its tourism potential by reconstructing important landmarks. The town is home to the following historical sites: * [[Tirana Castle]] (''Kalaja e Tiranës''), the historical core of the capital around Murat Toptani Street * [[Clock Tower of Tirana]] (''Kulla e Sahatit'') and the nearby Museum of Clock Towers of Albania (''Muzeu i Oreve'') * [[Et'hem Bey Mosque]] (''Xhamia e Tiranës'') * [[Tabak Bridge]] (''Ura e Tabakëve'') * [[National Historical Museum (Albania)|National Historic Museum]] * [[Skanderbeg Square]] as a monumental ensemble * [[Dëshmorët e Kombit Boulevard]], a panoramic avenue built by the Italians * [[Ish-Blloku|Blloku]], the nightlife area of the capital * [[Mount Dajt|Dajti Mountain]], overlooking the city and accessible via cable car * [[Prezë Castle]] (''Kalaja e Prezës'') * [[Petrelë Castle]] (''Kalaja e Petrelës'') * [[Tirana Mosaic]] * [[Kapllan Pasha's Grave]] (''Varri i Kapllan Pashës'') * Shengjin Fountain Church (''Kisha e Kroit të Shëngjinit'') * [[Tirana Park on the Artificial Lake|Big Park]] on the Artificial Lake * Bektashi Temples and Global Centre * Sali Shijaku Traditional House Tirana is home to 5 well-preserved traditional houses (museum-houses), 56 cultural [[monuments]], 8 public [[library|libraries]], and the [[National Library of Albania]] (''Biblioteka Kombëtare''). == Education == {{See also|Education in Albania}} Tirana is home to a significant young population. As such it is host to many academic institutions such as the [[University of Tirana]], [[Polytechnic University of Tirana]], [[Agricultural University of Tirana]], [[Academy of Physical and Sports Education Vojo Kushi|Academy of Physical Education and Sports]], [[Academy of Music and Arts of Albania]], the [[Academy of Sciences of Albania]], and the [[Skanderbeg Military University]], national and international academic research institutions, as well as NGOs. [["English Base" Tirana|English Base]] is the best English Language school in Tirana. In recent years, Tirana has seen the creation of a vast number of private academic institutions, including: [[Albanian University (U.F.O - Universitas.Fabrefacta Optime)]], [[Epoka University]], [[University of New York, Tirana]], [[European University of Tirana]], [[Luarasi University]], [[Marubi film school|Academy of Film and Multimedia "Marubi"]], etc. == Districts and Planning == [[File:Tirana Minibashkitë.svg|thumb|[[Municipal Units of Tirana]]]] [[File:Tirana View from Sky Tower 1.JPG|thumb|left|[[Blloku]], Tirana's nightlife area.]] {{Main|Administrative divisions of Tirana}} {{See also|List of Tirana's neighborhoods}} The Municipality of Tirana is divided into 11 smaller administrative units referred to as ''Njësi Bashkiake'' (Municipal Units). These are made up of their own mayor and council, and sometimes are known as ''Mini-Bashki'' (Mini-Municipality). In 2000, the centre of Tirana from the central campus of [[Tirana University]] up to [[Skanderbeg Square]] was declared the place of Cultural Assembly, and given special claims to state protection. The historical core of the capital lies around Murat Toptani Street, while the most prominent city district has become Blloku. Once a secluded and heavily guarded Politbureau residential area, it has turned into the most influential district of Tirana where the young and fashionable fill the numerous clubs and cafes. During the evening hours, the area turns into a giant promenade where some of the most beautiful youth can be seen. Tirana's influential elite resides in the village of Selita in Tirana's outskirts. The area is famous for its astonishing villa architecture. Until recently the city lacked a proper address system. In 2010, the municipality undertook a campaign to installing street name and entrance number signs, with every apartment entrance being physically stamped. ===Recent urban planning=== Half a dozen urban plans for Tirana prepared by various consultants over the last 20 years have included proposals on how to guide development. In 1995, Regional Consulting, a Vienna-based urban planning firm funded by the [[Austrian government]] prepared a master plan for Tirana. In 1995, a Land Management Task Force composed of Albanian urban planners, PADCO (a US-based consulting firm), GHK (UK-based consulting firm), and the Graduate School of Design of [[Harvard University]] prepared a preliminary structural plan for the Tirana metropolitan area. The plan was updated by PADCO in 2002 into a Strategic Plan for Greater Tirana, which covered the metropolitan area. In 2002, two German consultants, [[GTZ]] GmbH (German Technical Cooperation), and IOER (Institute of Ecological and Regional Development) compiled a development study for the Tirana-Durrës region. Two other detailed site plans for the city center were prepared in 2003 and 2010 by French Architecture Studio, and Belgian architectural firm 51N4E respectively. In 2007, a larger strategic plan for this region followed up made by two UK-based firms, Landell Mills Development Consultants and Buro Happold. Most of these proposals did not go through the established approval procedures and have unclear legal status. The preparation of a new master plan for Tirana was under way for almost a decade (2002–2011). Two interim reports prepared by Urbaplan - a Swiss consultant, and CoPlan - an Albanian urban planning institute were released in 2007 and 2008 respectively. However, the plan was turned down by the National Planning Council of Albania (KRRTRSH). In the meantime, the Municipality announced in 2011 that a new regulatory plan would be prepared within 2012. == Economy == [[File:TIRANA STOCK EXCHANGE LOGO.jpg|thumb|right|210px|Tirana Stock Exchange]] Tirana is Albania's major industrial centre. It has experienced rapid growth and established many new industries since the 1920s. The principal industries include agricultural products and machinery, textiles, [[Pharmacology|pharmaceuticals]], metal products, and lately services. Tirana began to develop in the beginning of the 16th century, when a bazaar was established, and its craftsmen manufactured silk and cotton fabrics, leather, ceramics and iron, silver, and gold artifacts. Sited in a fertile plain, the Tirana area exported 2,600 barrels of [[olive oil]] and 14,000 packages of tobacco to [[Venice]] by 1769. In 1901, it had 140,000 olive trees, 400 oil mills, and 700 shops. The [[TID tower]], an 85 meters business tower is being constructed in the city by redefining architecture in Albania. Tirana has a number of malls, such as [[City Park]] at 3 km². == Environment == [[File:Streets in Tirana 010.jpg|right|thumb|Kavaja Street]] [[File:Streets in Tirana 018.jpg|right|thumb|A typical street scene in Tirana]] The city suffers from problems related to [[overpopulation]], such as [[waste management]], lack of [[running water]] and [[electricity]], and high levels of [[air pollution]] and [[noise pollution]]. Air pollution has worsened as the number of cars has increased by several orders of magnitude to over 300,000. These are mostly older, [[Diesel engine|diesel]] cars that pollute much more than newer models elsewhere in Europe. Additionally, most of the [[fuel]] used in Albania contains larger amounts of [[sulfur]] and [[lead]] than in the [[European Union]]. Another source of pollution are PM10 and PM2.5 [[particulates|inhaled particulate matter]] and [[NO2]] gases. Untreated [[solid waste]] is an additional problem present in the city and outskirts. In recent years, there has been complaints of excessive [[noise pollution]]. The problems are exacerbated by aging infrastructure. Despite the problems, Tirana has also experienced a very rapid growth in the construction of new buildings and expanding road infrastructure. The Big Park at the Tirana Artificial Lake has some effect on absorbing CO2 emissions. Recently, over 2000 trees have been planted around many sidewalks throughout the city. == Media == Tirana is the media hub of [[Albania]]. The city is home to the headquarters of the Albanian Radio and Television ([[RTSH]]), and national [[Commercial broadcasting|commercial broadcasters]] [[Top Channel]] and [[TV Klan]]. Numerous radio stations operate in the capital, with the most notable being [[Radio Tirana]], commercial Top Albania Radio and [[Plus 2 Radio]]. Tirana is home to the [[publication]] of a vast number of [[Newspaper|dailies]] including [[Shqip (newspaper)|Shqip]], [[Zëri i Popullit]], [[Shekulli]], Gazeta Shqiptare and [[Koha Jonë]]. == Sports == {{See also|KF Tirana|Partizani Tirana|Dinamo Tirana}} Tirana is the major centre for sport in Albania and Tirana's football clubs have won more championships than any other clubs in Albania. Tirana has two stadiums, the [[Qemal Stafa Stadium]], that holds around 20,000 spectators and the [[Selman Stërmasi stadium]] which holds around 12,000 spectators. The Tirana sportive infrastructure is developing fast because of municipality and MTKRS investments. From 2007 Tirana Municipality has built up to 80 sport gardens in most of Tirana neighbourhoods. == Transport == {{See also|Transport in Albania}} Municipal, national and international transport links have developed over recent years as demand has increased. The city serves as the meeting point for national roads SH1, SH2 and SH3. Construction of the outer big ring road started in 2011. The following section is liable to change and is only indicative. {{Use dmy dates|date=June 2011}} '''Tirana''' {{IPAc-en|audio=en-us-Tirana.ogg|t|ɨ|ˈ|r|ɑː|n|ə}} ({{lang-sq|Tiranë'', ''Tirana'' or ''Tirona}}) is the capital and the largest city of [[Albania]]. Modern Tirana was founded as an [[Ottoman Empire|Ottoman]] town in 1614 by [[Sulejman Bargjini]], a local ruler from [[Mullet, Albania|Mullet]], although the area has been continuously inhabited since antiquity. Tirana became Albania's capital city in 1920 and has a population of over 600,000. The city is home to many universities and is the center of the political, economical, and cultural life of the country. ==Geography== [[File:Tirana SPOT 1040.jpg|thumb|200px|left|Tirana by Spot Satellite]] The Municipality of Tirana is located at (41.33°N, 19.82°E) in [[Tirana District]], [[Tirana County]] on the river [[Ishëm (river)|Ishëm]], about {{convert|32|km|mi|sp=us}} inland. Tirana's average altitude is {{convert|110|m|ft|sp=us}} [[Above mean sea level|above sea level]] and its highest point measures {{convert|1828|m|2|abbr=on}} at Mali me Gropa. The city is mostly surrounded by hills, with [[Mount Dajti|Dajti Mountain]] on the East and a slight valley opening on the North-West overlooking the [[Adriatic Sea]] in the distance. The [[Tiranë (river)|Tiranë]] river also runs through the city, whereas the [[Lanë]] river is a brook. The city borders the surrounding municipalities of Paskuqan, Dajt, Farkë, Vaqarr, Kashar, and Kamëz. It also contains a total of four artificial lakes: the ''Tirana Artificial Lake'' around which was built the [[Tirana Park on the Artificial Lake|Big Park]], the ''Kodër-Kamëz Lake'', ''Farka Lake'', and ''Tufina Lake''. Tirana is on the same parallel as [[Naples]], [[Madrid]] and [[Istanbul]], and on the same [[Meridian (geography)|meridian]] as [[Budapest]] and [[Kraków]]. === Antiquity === The area occupied by Tirana has been populated since [[Paleolithic]] times dating back 10,000 to 30,000 years ago as suggested by evidence from tools found near [[Mount Dajt]]'s quarry and in Pellumba Cave. As argued by various archaeologists, Tirana and its suburbs are filled with [[Illyrians|Illyrian]] toponyms as its precincts are some of the earliest regions in Albania to be inhabited. Various remains provide evidence for continuous human activity through history. The oldest discovery was a mosaic, dating back to the 3-rd century A.D., with several other remains found near a medieval temple at Shengjin Fountain. A castle, possibly called ''Tirkan'' or ''Theranda'', was built by Emperor [[Justinian I|Justinian]] in 520 AD and restored by Ahmed Pasha Toptani in the 18th century. The area had no special importance in [[Illyria]]n and [[Classical antiquity|classical]] times. In 1510, [[Marin Barleti]], an Albanian Catholic priest and scholar, in the biography of the Albanian national hero [[Skanderbeg]], ''Historia de vita et gestis Scanderbegi Epirotarum principis'' (''The story of life and deeds of Skanderbeg, the prince of Epirotes''), referred to this area as a small village. === Ottoman rule and World War I=== [[File:Bazar Tirana (ca. 1900)2.jpg|thumb|left|Tirana Bazaar at the turn of the 20th century]] [[File:Lambertz AL1916 09-1-.jpg|thumb|right|Tirana in 1916]] Records from the first land registrations under the [[Ottoman Empire|Ottomans]] in 1431–32 show that Tirana consisted of 60 inhabited areas, with nearly 2,028 houses and 7,300 inhabitants. In 1614, [[Sulejman Bargjini]], a local ruler established the Ottoman town with a mosque, a commercial centre, and a [[hammam]] (Turkish sauna). The town was located along [[camel train|caravan]] routes and grew rapidly in importance until the early 19th century. During this period, the [[Et'hem Bey Mosque]] built by Molla Bey of [[Petrela]], began to be constructed. It employed the best [[artisans]] in the country and was completed in 1821 by Molla's son, who was also Sulejman Bargjini's grandnephew. In 1800, the first newcomers arrived in the [[Human settlement|settlement]], the so-called ''ortodoksit''. They were [[Vlachs]] from villages near [[Korçë]] and [[Pogradec]] who settled around modern day [[Tirana Park on the Artificial Lake|Park on the Artificial Lake]]. They started to be known as the ''llacifac'' and were the first Christians to arrive after the creation of the town. After Serb reprisals in the [[Debar]] region, thousands of locals fled to Tirana. In 1807, Tirana became the center of the Sub-Prefecture of Krujë-Tirana. After 1816, Tirana languished under the control of the ''Toptani'' family of [[Krujë]]. Later, Tirana became a Sub-Prefecture of the newly created [[Vilayet of Shkodër]] and Sanjak of Durrës. In 1889, the [[Albanian language]] started to be taught in Tirana's schools, while the patriotic club Bashkimi was founded in 1908. On 28 November 1912, the national flag was raised in agreement with [[Ismail Qemali]]. During the [[Balkan Wars]], the town was temporarily occupied by the Serbian army, and it took part in uprising of the villages led by [[Haxhi Qamili]]. In 1917, the first city outline was compiled by Austro-Hungarian architects. === Capital city === [[File:ALB 20070720 img 1455.jpg|thumb|left|Building featuring Italian architecture now used as the [[Ministry of Defence (Albania)|Ministry of Defence]]]] [[File:Tirana Skanderbeg Square.jpg|thumb|right|The complex of the ministries seen from Skanderbeg Square]] On 8 February 1920, the [[Congress of Lushnjë]] proclaimed Tirana as the temporary capital of Albania which had acquired independence in 1912. The city retained that status permanently on 31 December 1925. The first regulatory city plan was compiled in 1923 by Austrian architects. The center of Tirana was the project of Florestano de Fausto and Armando Brasini, well known architects of the [[Benito Mussolini]] period in Italy. Brasini laid the basis for the modern-day arrangement of the ministerial buildings in the city centre. The plan underwent revisions by Albanian architect Eshref Frashëri, Italian architect Castellani, and Austrian architects Weiss and Kohler. The rectangular parallel road system of Tirana e Re district took shape while the Northern portion of the main Boulevard was opened. On the political sphere, Tirana experienced tumultuous events such as intermittent attacks from the army of the [[Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes]] and forces of [[Zogu]] on the Shkalla e Tujanit (Step of Tujan). In 1924, Tirana was at the center of a coup d'état led by [[Fan S. Noli]]. Since 1925, when they were banned in [[Turkey]], the [[Bektashi]]s, an order of [[dervishes]] who take their name from [[Haji Bektash]], a [[Sufi]] saint of the 13th and 14th centuries, made Tirana their primary settlement. Modern Albanian parliamentary building served as a club of officers. It was there that in September 1928, [[Zog of Albania]] was crowned King Zog I, King of the Albanians. === Monarchy and WW2 === [[File:Skeda-Ahmet-Zogu.jpg|thumb|right|Construction in central Tirana was part of the cooperation package between [[King Zog]] and Fascist Italy.]] [[File:07Tirana Universität02.jpg|thumb|left|Mother Teresa Square features typical Fascist architecture]] The period is characterized by the execution of [[architectural]] projects, clashes between military occupying forces and local resistance, and the coming to power of the communists. The city served as a venue for the signing of the Pact of Tirana between Fascist [[Italy]] and Albania. The northern portion of modern ''Dëshmorët e Kombit'' (National [[Martyr]]s) Boulevard finished in 1930 and was named Zog I Boulevard. The ministerial complex, [[boulevard]] axis, Royal Palace (Palace of the Brigades), former municipal building, and the [[Bank of Albania|National Bank]] were under construction. The latter is the work of Italian [[architect]] Vittorio Ballio Morpurgo. In 1939, Tirana was captured by Fascist forces appointing a [[puppet government]]. In the meantime, Italian architect Gherardo Bosio was asked to elaborate on previous plans and introduce a new project in the area of present day Mother Teresa Square. Once the southern portion of the main boulevard and surrounding buildings were finished, they were renamed with Fascist names. During a visit in Tirana, a failed assassination attempt was carried towards [[Victor Emmanuel III of Italy]] by a local resistance activist. In November 1941, [[Enver Hoxha]] founded the [[Communist Party of Albania]]. The town soon became the center of the Albanian communists who mobilized locals against Italian fascists and later Nazi Germans, while spreading ideological [[propaganda]]. The town was liberated on 17 November 1944 after a [[Albanian_Resistance_of_World_War_II|fierce battle between the Communists and German forces]]. The [[Nazis]] eventually withdrew and the communists seized power. === Communism === [[File:Brosen tirana hoxha mausol.jpg|thumb|left|[[Pyramid Building]]]] [[File:Tirana Square 1988.jpg|thumb|Skanderbeg Square in 1988.]] The city experienced a considerable decline in architecture and [[living standards]] as massive socialist-styled [[apartment]] complexes, and [[factories] began to be built, while Skanderbeg Square was redesigned with a number of buildings being demolished. Tirana's former Old Bazaar and the [[Orthodox]] Cathedral were razed to the ground for the erection of the Soviet-styled [[Palace of Culture]]. The Italian-built municipal building was [[detonated]] and the [[National Historical Museum (Albania)|National Historical Museum]] was constructed instead, while the structure housing the [[Parliament of Albania]] during the monarchy was turned into a children's theater. Additionally, the northern portion of the main [[boulevard]] was renamed [[Joseph Stalin|Stalin]] Boulevard and a [[statue]] erected in the city square. As private car ownership was banned, [[mass transport]] consisted mainly of bicycles, trucks, and buses. After Hoxha's death, a museum in the form of a pyramid was constructed in his memory by the government. Prior and after the procclamation of Albania's self isolationist policy, a number of high-profile figures such as former Soviet President [[Nikita Khrushchev]], former Premier of the People's Republic of China, [[Zhou Enlai]] and lately former Minister for Foreign Matters of the [[German Democratic Republic]], Oskar Fischer paid visits to the city. In 1985, Tirana served as the ceremonial venue of Enver Hoxha's funeral. A few years later, [[Mother Teresa]] became the first religious figure to visit the country following Albania's long declared [[atheist]] stance. She laid respect to her parents resting at a local cemetery. Starting at Student City and ending at Skanderbeg Square with the toppling of Enver Hoxha's statue, the city saw [[Fall_of_communism_in_Albania|significant demonstrations]] by [[University of Tirana]] students demanding political freedoms. === Transition === [[File:Fusha e Tiranës 2008.jpg|thumb|left|Northern portion of Tirana Plain]] [[File:Lana River before cleanup.JPG|thumb|right|Illegal structures on Lana River banks]] [[File:Developmentintirana.jpg|thumb|right|Chaotic development in Tirana]] The period is often described negatively in terms of [[urban]] development. Buildings started to be erected without central planning and public areas were usurped in various forms. Informal districts formed around the city as internal [[migrants]] gathered from around the country. During this period Tirana was transformed from a centrally [[planned economy]] into a [[market economy]]. Private car ownership was reinstated and [[businesses]] were re-established mainly as [[kiosks]] and some multistory buildings. However poor city [[lighting]], and road quality became major problems. Enver Hoxha's museum (Pyramid) was dismantled in 1991 and renamed in honor of persecuted activist Pjeter Arbnori. All buildings and apartments were denationalized, second-hand buses introduced, while modern water, telephone, and electrical systems built during 1992–1996 which form the backbone of modern Tirana. On the political aspect, the city witnessed a number of historical events. Some important Western personalities visited the capital such as former U.S. Secretary of State [[James Baker]] and [[Pope John Paul II]]. The former visit came amidst an historical setting after the fall of communism as hundreds of thousands were chanting in Skanderbeg Square Baker's famous saying of "Freedom works!". [[Pope John Paul II]] became the first leading religious figure to visit Tirana after Mother Teresa's visit few years ago. During the Balkans turmoil in the mid 1990s, the city experienced dramatic events such as the unfolding of the [[1997 unrest in Albania]], and a failed [[coup d'etat]] on 14 September 1998. === Rebirth === [[File:Boulevard, Tirana.JPG|thumb|left|Rehabilitation of the area around Lana River]] [[File:Tirana roofs.jpg|thumb|right|Traditional houses are threatened by the construction of apartment buildings.]] In 2000, former Tirana mayor [[Edi Rama]] undertook a radical campaign of demolishing illegal buildings around the city centre and on Lana River banks. It included the transformation of the area to its pre-1990 state. In addition, Rama led the initiative to paint the façades of Tirana's buildings in bright colours, although much of their interiors continue to degrade. Some critics allege that apartment buildings continue to be built on the places of traditional houses by firms with shady links to local officials. Public transport was privatized and newer second hand [[buses]] were introduced, municipal services expanded, and a richer [[calendar]] of events introduced. Road [[infrastructure]] improved as main roads underwent reconstruction including the Ring Road (Unaza) and the main boulevard. Additionally, common areas between apartment buildings were brought back to normality after decades of neglect, while existing [[parks]], city [[Town square|square]]s, and sports recreational areas were renovated giving Tirana a more European look. However, some park areas are being used for the construction of skyscrapers. Rama has been accused by critics of corruption while issuing building permits, but he has dismissed the claims as baseless. Decreasing urban space and traffic congestion have become major problems while a general urban chaos is observed in Tirana. In 2007, U.S. President [[George W. Bush]] visited Tirana by marking the first time that a high ranking American official visits Albania and an unprecedented security presence in and around the capital. The [[2008 Gërdec explosions]] were especially felt in the capital as windows were shattered and citizens shaken. In 21 January 2011, [[2011 Albanian opposition demonstrations|Albanian police clashed with opposition supporters]] in front of the Government building with cars being set on fire, and where 3 persons were killed, and 150 wounded. Although much has been achieved, critics argue that there lacks a clear vision on Tirana's future. Loss of public space due to illegal and chaotic construction, unpaved roads in suburban areas, degradation of Tirana's Artificial Lake, rehabilitation of Skanderbeg Square, ever present smog, the construction of a central bus station, and public parking lots are some pressing issues still remaining to be solved. Some proposed future plans include the continuation of illegal buildings' legalization process, construction of the southwestern portion of the Big Ring Road, a [[tram]] system, and the rehabilitation of the Tirana Train Station area. == Climate == Tirana has a [[Mediterranean climate]], with hot and moderately dry summers, and cool and wet winters. {{Weather box |location = Tirana |metric first = yes |single line = yes |Jan record high C = 19 |Feb record high C = 22 |Mar record high C = 26 |Apr record high C = 28 |May record high C = 33 |Jun record high C = 37 |Jul record high C = 38 |Aug record high C = 40 |Sep record high C = 35 |Oct record high C = 31 |Nov record high C = 25 |Dec record high C = 22 |year record high C = 40 |Jan high C = 12 |Feb high C = 12 |Mar high C = 15 |Apr high C = 18 |May high C = 23 |Jun high C = 28 |Jul high C = 31 |Aug high C = 31 |Sep high C = 27 |Oct high C = 23 |Nov high C = 17 |Dec high C = 14 |Jan low C = 2 |Feb low C = 2 |Mar low C = 5 |Apr low C = 8 |May low C = 12 |Jun low C = 16 |Jul low C = 17 |Aug low C = 17 |Sep low C = 14 |Oct low C = 10 |Nov low C = 8 |Dec low C = 5 |Jan record low C = -8 |Feb record low C = -8 |Mar record low C = -4 |Apr record low C = -1 |May record low C = 3 |Jun record low C = 6 |Jul record low C = 11 |Aug record low C = 10 |Sep record low C = 5 |Oct record low C = 1 |Nov record low C = -3 |Dec record low C = -7 |year record low C = -8 |Jan precipitation mm = 135 |Feb precipitation mm = 152 |Mar precipitation mm = 128 |Apr precipitation mm = 117 |May precipitation mm = 122 |Jun precipitation mm = 86 |Jul precipitation mm = 32 |Aug precipitation mm = 32 |Sep precipitation mm = 60 |Oct precipitation mm = 105 |Nov precipitation mm = 211 |Dec precipitation mm = 173 |Jan rain days= 13 |Feb rain days= 13 |Mar rain days= 14 |Apr rain days= 13 |May rain days= 12 |Jun rain days= 7 |Jul rain days= 5 |Aug rain days= 4 |Sep rain days= 6 |Oct rain days= 9 |Nov rain days= 16 |Dec rain days= 16 |source 1 = [http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/city_guides/results.shtml?tt=TT003310 BBC Weather Service:Tirana] |date=August 2010 }} == Demographics == {{wide image|Tirana Albania pano 2004-07-14.jpg|1000px|Panoramic view of Tirana from [[Mount Dajt]] in 2004.}} As of 2008, the urban population was officially estimated at 618,431. In 1703, Tirana had about 4,000 inhabitants and by 1820 the number tripled to 12,000. The first census conducted a few years after becoming capital showed a total population of 10,845. During the 1950s, Tirana experienced rapid industrial growth and the population increased to about 137,000. After the end of [[Party of Labour of Albania|communist rule]] in 1991, Tirana experienced its fastest population growth when people from rural areas moved to the capital for better economic opportunities. In 1990, Tirana had 250,000 inhabitants, but the large-scale influx increased the population to well over 600,000. {{Demography |1703=4,000 |1820=12,000 |1923=10,845 |1937=35,000 |1955=108,200 |1985=200,000 |2001=610,000 |2008=618,431 |2009=650,837 |source= {{ref label|a|a}} }} {{note|a|a}} Population figures are given inside city limits at that time. == Health == The largest hospital in Tirana is called [[Mother Theresa Hospital]] (''Qëndra Spitalore Universitare Nënë Tereza''), which is associated with [[University of Tirana]], Faculty of Medicine. The Hospital is a 1,456-bed facility that offers comprehensive inpatient tertiary care to over 12,000 patients annually. The hospital is currently undergoing major changes in infrastructure and equipment. Recently, a number of private hospitals have been opened. ===Institutions and events=== [[File:Taiwan Center, Rinia Park Tirana.jpg|thumb|[[Taiwan|Taivani]], one of Tirana's most popular restaurants seen from the Sky Tower's revolving restaurant]] [[File:Tirana-pomnik.JPG|thumb|left|Skanderbeg Square with Et'hem Bey Mosque and Clock Tower on the far left, and Skanderbeg Monument on the right]] [[File:Dajti Ekspress.jpg|thumb|Dajti Mountain overlooking Tirana seen from the Dajti Express Cable Car]] [[File:Pics (44).jpg|thumb|left|Tanners' Ottoman Bridge]] [[File:2010May Tirana HungerStrike.jpg|thumb|left|Deshmoret e Kombit Boulevard]] [[File:Petrela Castle, Tirana.jpg|thumb|Petrela Castle near Tirana]] [[File:Muzeu.JPG|thumb|National History Museum]] [[File:ALB_20070713_img_1258.jpg|thumb|left|Polytechnic University of Tirana]] The main cultural institutions of Tirana are the [[National Theater of Albania|National Theater]], the [[National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania]], and the [[National Gallery of Figurative Arts of Albania|National Arts Gallery]] (''Galeria Kombëtare e Arteve''). Performances of renown world composers are regularly performed by the Symphonic Orchestra of the [[Albanian Radio and Television]]. The city serves as a regular venue for the Tirana Biennale, Tirana [[Jazz]] Festival, [[Summer Festival, Albania|Summer Day]], White Night on 28 November, Rally Albania, [[Netet e Klipit Shqiptar]], and Tirana Fashion Week. Recently, Tirana has been redesigning its identity to a more Mediterranean city full of cafes and a vibrant nightlife. ===Sights=== {{see also|Tourism in Albania}} Tirana is trying to improve its tourism potential by reconstructing important landmarks. The town is home to the following historical sites: * [[Tirana Castle]] (''Kalaja e Tiranës''), the historical core of the capital around Murat Toptani Street * [[Clock Tower of Tirana]] (''Kulla e Sahatit'') and the nearby Museum of Clock Towers of Albania (''Muzeu i Oreve'') * [[Et'hem Bey Mosque]] (''Xhamia e Tiranës'') * [[Tabak Bridge]] (''Ura e Tabakëve'') * [[National Historical Museum (Albania)|National Historic Museum]] * [[Skanderbeg Square]] as a monumental ensemble * [[Dëshmorët e Kombit Boulevard]], a panoramic avenue built by the Italians * [[Ish-Blloku|Blloku]], the nightlife area of the capital * [[Mount Dajt|Dajti Mountain]], overlooking the city and accessible via cable car * [[Prezë Castle]] (''Kalaja e Prezës'') * [[Petrelë Castle]] (''Kalaja e Petrelës'') * [[Tirana Mosaic]] * [[Kapllan Pasha's Grave]] (''Varri i Kapllan Pashës'') * Shengjin Fountain Church (''Kisha e Kroit të Shëngjinit'') * [[Tirana Park on the Artificial Lake|Big Park]] on the Artificial Lake * Bektashi Temples and Global Centre * Sali Shijaku Traditional House Tirana is home to 5 well-preserved traditional houses (museum-houses), 56 cultural [[monuments]], 8 public [[library|libraries]], and the [[National Library of Albania]] (''Biblioteka Kombëtare''). == Education == {{See also|Education in Albania}} Tirana is home to a significant young population. As such it is host to many academic institutions such as the [[University of Tirana]], [[Polytechnic University of Tirana]], [[Agricultural University of Tirana]], [[Academy of Physical and Sports Education Vojo Kushi|Academy of Physical Education and Sports]], [[Academy of Music and Arts of Albania]], the [[Academy of Sciences of Albania]], and the [[Skanderbeg Military University]], national and international academic research institutions, as well as NGOs. [["English Base" Tirana|English Base]] is the best English Language school in Tirana. In recent years, Tirana has seen the creation of a vast number of private academic institutions, including: [[Albanian University (U.F.O - Universitas.Fabrefacta Optime)]], [[Epoka University]], [[University of New York, Tirana]], [[European University of Tirana]], [[Luarasi University]], [[Marubi film school|Academy of Film and Multimedia "Marubi"]], etc. == Districts and Planning == [[File:Tirana Minibashkitë.svg|thumb|[[Municipal Units of Tirana]]]] [[File:Tirana View from Sky Tower 1.JPG|thumb|left|[[Blloku]], Tirana's nightlife area.]] {{Main|Administrative divisions of Tirana}} {{See also|List of Tirana's neighborhoods}} The Municipality of Tirana is divided into 11 smaller administrative units referred to as ''Njësi Bashkiake'' (Municipal Units). These are made up of their own mayor and council, and sometimes are known as ''Mini-Bashki'' (Mini-Municipality). In 2000, the centre of Tirana from the central campus of [[Tirana University]] up to [[Skanderbeg Square]] was declared the place of Cultural Assembly, and given special claims to state protection. The historical core of the capital lies around Murat Toptani Street, while the most prominent city district has become Blloku. Once a secluded and heavily guarded Politbureau residential area, it has turned into the most influential district of Tirana where the young and fashionable fill the numerous clubs and cafes. During the evening hours, the area turns into a giant promenade where some of the most beautiful youth can be seen. Tirana's influential elite resides in the village of Selita in Tirana's outskirts. The area is famous for its astonishing villa architecture. Until recently the city lacked a proper address system. In 2010, the municipality undertook a campaign to installing street name and entrance number signs, with every apartment entrance being physically stamped. ===Recent urban planning=== Half a dozen urban plans for Tirana prepared by various consultants over the last 20 years have included proposals on how to guide development. In 1995, Regional Consulting, a Vienna-based urban planning firm funded by the [[Austrian government]] prepared a master plan for Tirana. In 1995, a Land Management Task Force composed of Albanian urban planners, PADCO (a US-based consulting firm), GHK (UK-based consulting firm), and the Graduate School of Design of [[Harvard University]] prepared a preliminary structural plan for the Tirana metropolitan area. The plan was updated by PADCO in 2002 into a Strategic Plan for Greater Tirana, which covered the metropolitan area. In 2002, two German consultants, [[GTZ]] GmbH (German Technical Cooperation), and IOER (Institute of Ecological and Regional Development) compiled a development study for the Tirana-Durrës region. Two other detailed site plans for the city center were prepared in 2003 and 2010 by French Architecture Studio, and Belgian architectural firm 51N4E respectively. In 2007, a larger strategic plan for this region followed up made by two UK-based firms, Landell Mills Development Consultants and Buro Happold. Most of these proposals did not go through the established approval procedures and have unclear legal status. The preparation of a new master plan for Tirana was under way for almost a decade (2002–2011). Two interim reports prepared by Urbaplan - a Swiss consultant, and CoPlan - an Albanian urban planning institute were released in 2007 and 2008 respectively. However, the plan was turned down by the National Planning Council of Albania (KRRTRSH). In the meantime, the Municipality announced in 2011 that a new regulatory plan would be prepared within 2012. == Economy == [[File:TIRANA STOCK EXCHANGE LOGO.jpg|thumb|right|210px|Tirana Stock Exchange]] Tirana is Albania's major industrial centre. It has experienced rapid growth and established many new industries since the 1920s. The principal industries include agricultural products and machinery, textiles, [[Pharmacology|pharmaceuticals]], metal products, and lately services. Tirana began to develop in the beginning of the 16th century, when a bazaar was established, and its craftsmen manufactured silk and cotton fabrics, leather, ceramics and iron, silver, and gold artifacts. Sited in a fertile plain, the Tirana area exported 2,600 barrels of [[olive oil]] and 14,000 packages of tobacco to [[Venice]] by 1769. In 1901, it had 140,000 olive trees, 400 oil mills, and 700 shops. The [[TID tower]], an 85 meters business tower is being constructed in the city by redefining architecture in Albania. Tirana has a number of malls, such as [[City Park]] at 3 km². == Environment == [[File:Streets in Tirana 010.jpg|right|thumb|Kavaja Street]] [[File:Streets in Tirana 018.jpg|right|thumb|A typical street scene in Tirana]] The city suffers from problems related to [[overpopulation]], such as [[waste management]], lack of [[running water]] and [[electricity]], and high levels of [[air pollution]] and [[noise pollution]]. Air pollution has worsened as the number of cars has increased by several orders of magnitude to over 300,000. These are mostly older, [[Diesel engine|diesel]] cars that pollute much more than newer models elsewhere in Europe. Additionally, most of the [[fuel]] used in Albania contains larger amounts of [[sulfur]] and [[lead]] than in the [[European Union]]. Another source of pollution are PM10 and PM2.5 [[particulates|inhaled particulate matter]] and [[NO2]] gases. Untreated [[solid waste]] is an additional problem present in the city and outskirts. In recent years, there has been complaints of excessive [[noise pollution]]. The problems are exacerbated by aging infrastructure. Despite the problems, Tirana has also experienced a very rapid growth in the construction of new buildings and expanding road infrastructure. The Big Park at the Tirana Artificial Lake has some effect on absorbing CO2 emissions. Recently, over 2000 trees have been planted around many sidewalks throughout the city. == Media == Tirana is the media hub of [[Albania]]. The city is home to the headquarters of the Albanian Radio and Television ([[RTSH]]), and national [[Commercial broadcasting|commercial broadcasters]] [[Top Channel]] and [[TV Klan]]. Numerous radio stations operate in the capital, with the most notable being [[Radio Tirana]], commercial Top Albania Radio and [[Plus 2 Radio]]. Tirana is home to the [[publication]] of a vast number of [[Newspaper|dailies]] including [[Shqip (newspaper)|Shqip]], [[Zëri i Popullit]], [[Shekulli]], Gazeta Shqiptare and [[Koha Jonë]]. == Sports == {{See also|KF Tirana|Partizani Tirana|Dinamo Tirana}} Tirana is the major centre for sport in Albania and Tirana's football clubs have won more championships than any other clubs in Albania. Tirana has two stadiums, the [[Qemal Stafa Stadium]], that holds around 20,000 spectators and the [[Selman Stërmasi stadium]] which holds around 12,000 spectators. The Tirana sportive infrastructure is developing fast because of municipality and MTKRS investments. From 2007 Tirana Municipality has built up to 80 sport gardens in most of Tirana neighbourhoods. == Transport == {{See also|Transport in Albania}} Municipal, national and international transport links have developed over recent years as demand has increased. The city serves as the meeting point for national roads SH1, SH2 and SH3. Construction of the outer big ring road started in 2011. The following section is liable to change and is only indicative. {{Use dmy dates|date=June 2011}} '''Tirana''' {{IPAc-en|audio=en-us-Tirana.ogg|t|ɨ|ˈ|r|ɑː|n|ə}} ({{lang-sq|Tiranë'', ''Tirana'' or ''Tirona}}) is the capital and the largest city of [[Albania]]. Modern Tirana was founded as an [[Ottoman Empire|Ottoman]] town in 1614 by [[Sulejman Bargjini]], a local ruler from [[Mullet, Albania|Mullet]], although the area has been continuously inhabited since antiquity. Tirana became Albania's capital city in 1920 and has a population of over 600,000. The city is home to many universities and is the center of the political, economical, and cultural life of the country. ==Geography== [[File:Tirana SPOT 1040.jpg|thumb|200px|left|Tirana by Spot Satellite]] The Municipality of Tirana is located at (41.33°N, 19.82°E) in [[Tirana District]], [[Tirana County]] on the river [[Ishëm (river)|Ishëm]], about {{convert|32|km|mi|sp=us}} inland. Tirana's average altitude is {{convert|110|m|ft|sp=us}} [[Above mean sea level|above sea level]] and its highest point measures {{convert|1828|m|2|abbr=on}} at Mali me Gropa. The city is mostly surrounded by hills, with [[Mount Dajti|Dajti Mountain]] on the East and a slight valley opening on the North-West overlooking the [[Adriatic Sea]] in the distance. The [[Tiranë (river)|Tiranë]] river also runs through the city, whereas the [[Lanë]] river is a brook. The city borders the surrounding municipalities of Paskuqan, Dajt, Farkë, Vaqarr, Kashar, and Kamëz. It also contains a total of four artificial lakes: the ''Tirana Artificial Lake'' around which was built the [[Tirana Park on the Artificial Lake|Big Park]], the ''Kodër-Kamëz Lake'', ''Farka Lake'', and ''Tufina Lake''. Tirana is on the same parallel as [[Naples]], [[Madrid]] and [[Istanbul]], and on the same [[Meridian (geography)|meridian]] as [[Budapest]] and [[Kraków]]. === Antiquity === The area occupied by Tirana has been populated since [[Paleolithic]] times dating back 10,000 to 30,000 years ago as suggested by evidence from tools found near [[Mount Dajt]]'s quarry and in Pellumba Cave. As argued by various archaeologists, Tirana and its suburbs are filled with [[Illyrians|Illyrian]] toponyms as its precincts are some of the earliest regions in Albania to be inhabited. Various remains provide evidence for continuous human activity through history. The oldest discovery was a mosaic, dating back to the 3-rd century A.D., with several other remains found near a medieval temple at Shengjin Fountain. A castle, possibly called ''Tirkan'' or ''Theranda'', was built by Emperor [[Justinian I|Justinian]] in 520 AD and restored by Ahmed Pasha Toptani in the 18th century. The area had no special importance in [[Illyria]]n and [[Classical antiquity|classical]] times. In 1510, [[Marin Barleti]], an Albanian Catholic priest and scholar, in the biography of the Albanian national hero [[Skanderbeg]], ''Historia de vita et gestis Scanderbegi Epirotarum principis'' (''The story of life and deeds of Skanderbeg, the prince of Epirotes''), referred to this area as a small village. === Ottoman rule and World War I=== [[File:Bazar Tirana (ca. 1900)2.jpg|thumb|left|Tirana Bazaar at the turn of the 20th century]] [[File:Lambertz AL1916 09-1-.jpg|thumb|right|Tirana in 1916]] Records from the first land registrations under the [[Ottoman Empire|Ottomans]] in 1431–32 show that Tirana consisted of 60 inhabited areas, with nearly 2,028 houses and 7,300 inhabitants. In 1614, [[Sulejman Bargjini]], a local ruler established the Ottoman town with a mosque, a commercial centre, and a [[hammam]] (Turkish sauna). The town was located along [[camel train|caravan]] routes and grew rapidly in importance until the early 19th century. During this period, the [[Et'hem Bey Mosque]] built by Molla Bey of [[Petrela]], began to be constructed. It employed the best [[artisans]] in the country and was completed in 1821 by Molla's son, who was also Sulejman Bargjini's grandnephew. In 1800, the first newcomers arrived in the [[Human settlement|settlement]], the so-called ''ortodoksit''. They were [[Vlachs]] from villages near [[Korçë]] and [[Pogradec]] who settled around modern day [[Tirana Park on the Artificial Lake|Park on the Artificial Lake]]. They started to be known as the ''llacifac'' and were the first Christians to arrive after the creation of the town. After Serb reprisals in the [[Debar]] region, thousands of locals fled to Tirana. In 1807, Tirana became the center of the Sub-Prefecture of Krujë-Tirana. After 1816, Tirana languished under the control of the ''Toptani'' family of [[Krujë]]. Later, Tirana became a Sub-Prefecture of the newly created [[Vilayet of Shkodër]] and Sanjak of Durrës. In 1889, the [[Albanian language]] started to be taught in Tirana's schools, while the patriotic club Bashkimi was founded in 1908. On 28 November 1912, the national flag was raised in agreement with [[Ismail Qemali]]. During the [[Balkan Wars]], the town was temporarily occupied by the Serbian army, and it took part in uprising of the villages led by [[Haxhi Qamili]]. In 1917, the first city outline was compiled by Austro-Hungarian architects. === Capital city === [[File:ALB 20070720 img 1455.jpg|thumb|left|Building featuring Italian architecture now used as the [[Ministry of Defence (Albania)|Ministry of Defence]]]] [[File:Tirana Skanderbeg Square.jpg|thumb|right|The complex of the ministries seen from Skanderbeg Square]] On 8 February 1920, the [[Congress of Lushnjë]] proclaimed Tirana as the temporary capital of Albania which had acquired independence in 1912. The city retained that status permanently on 31 December 1925. The first regulatory city plan was compiled in 1923 by Austrian architects. The center of Tirana was the project of Florestano de Fausto and Armando Brasini, well known architects of the [[Benito Mussolini]] period in Italy. Brasini laid the basis for the modern-day arrangement of the ministerial buildings in the city centre. The plan underwent revisions by Albanian architect Eshref Frashëri, Italian architect Castellani, and Austrian architects Weiss and Kohler. The rectangular parallel road system of Tirana e Re district took shape while the Northern portion of the main Boulevard was opened. On the political sphere, Tirana experienced tumultuous events such as intermittent attacks from the army of the [[Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes]] and forces of [[Zogu]] on the Shkalla e Tujanit (Step of Tujan). In 1924, Tirana was at the center of a coup d'état led by [[Fan S. Noli]]. Since 1925, when they were banned in [[Turkey]], the [[Bektashi]]s, an order of [[dervishes]] who take their name from [[Haji Bektash]], a [[Sufi]] saint of the 13th and 14th centuries, made Tirana their primary settlement. Modern Albanian parliamentary building served as a club of officers. It was there that in September 1928, [[Zog of Albania]] was crowned King Zog I, King of the Albanians. === Monarchy and WW2 === [[File:Skeda-Ahmet-Zogu.jpg|thumb|right|Construction in central Tirana was part of the cooperation package between [[King Zog]] and Fascist Italy.]] [[File:07Tirana Universität02.jpg|thumb|left|Mother Teresa Square features typical Fascist architecture]] The period is characterized by the execution of [[architectural]] projects, clashes between military occupying forces and local resistance, and the coming to power of the communists. The city served as a venue for the signing of the Pact of Tirana between Fascist [[Italy]] and Albania. The northern portion of modern ''Dëshmorët e Kombit'' (National [[Martyr]]s) Boulevard finished in 1930 and was named Zog I Boulevard. The ministerial complex, [[boulevard]] axis, Royal Palace (Palace of the Brigades), former municipal building, and the [[Bank of Albania|National Bank]] were under construction. The latter is the work of Italian [[architect]] Vittorio Ballio Morpurgo. In 1939, Tirana was captured by Fascist forces appointing a [[puppet government]]. In the meantime, Italian architect Gherardo Bosio was asked to elaborate on previous plans and introduce a new project in the area of present day Mother Teresa Square. Once the southern portion of the main boulevard and surrounding buildings were finished, they were renamed with Fascist names. During a visit in Tirana, a failed assassination attempt was carried towards [[Victor Emmanuel III of Italy]] by a local resistance activist. In November 1941, [[Enver Hoxha]] founded the [[Communist Party of Albania]]. The town soon became the center of the Albanian communists who mobilized locals against Italian fascists and later Nazi Germans, while spreading ideological [[propaganda]]. The town was liberated on 17 November 1944 after a [[Albanian_Resistance_of_World_War_II|fierce battle between the Communists and German forces]]. The [[Nazis]] eventually withdrew and the communists seized power. === Communism === [[File:Brosen tirana hoxha mausol.jpg|thumb|left|[[Pyramid Building]]]] [[File:Tirana Square 1988.jpg|thumb|Skanderbeg Square in 1988.]] The city experienced a considerable decline in architecture and [[living standards]] as massive socialist-styled [[apartment]] complexes, and [[factories] began to be built, while Skanderbeg Square was redesigned with a number of buildings being demolished. Tirana's former Old Bazaar and the [[Orthodox]] Cathedral were razed to the ground for the erection of the Soviet-styled [[Palace of Culture]]. The Italian-built municipal building was [[detonated]] and the [[National Historical Museum (Albania)|National Historical Museum]] was constructed instead, while the structure housing the [[Parliament of Albania]] during the monarchy was turned into a children's theater. Additionally, the northern portion of the main [[boulevard]] was renamed [[Joseph Stalin|Stalin]] Boulevard and a [[statue]] erected in the city square. As private car ownership was banned, [[mass transport]] consisted mainly of bicycles, trucks, and buses. After Hoxha's death, a museum in the form of a pyramid was constructed in his memory by the government. Prior and after the procclamation of Albania's self isolationist policy, a number of high-profile figures such as former Soviet President [[Nikita Khrushchev]], former Premier of the People's Republic of China, [[Zhou Enlai]] and lately former Minister for Foreign Matters of the [[German Democratic Republic]], Oskar Fischer paid visits to the city. In 1985, Tirana served as the ceremonial venue of Enver Hoxha's funeral. A few years later, [[Mother Teresa]] became the first religious figure to visit the country following Albania's long declared [[atheist]] stance. She laid respect to her parents resting at a local cemetery. Starting at Student City and ending at Skanderbeg Square with the toppling of Enver Hoxha's statue, the city saw [[Fall_of_communism_in_Albania|significant demonstrations]] by [[University of Tirana]] students demanding political freedoms. === Transition === [[File:Fusha e Tiranës 2008.jpg|thumb|left|Northern portion of Tirana Plain]] [[File:Lana River before cleanup.JPG|thumb|right|Illegal structures on Lana River banks]] [[File:Developmentintirana.jpg|thumb|right|Chaotic development in Tirana]] The period is often described negatively in terms of [[urban]] development. Buildings started to be erected without central planning and public areas were usurped in various forms. Informal districts formed around the city as internal [[migrants]] gathered from around the country. During this period Tirana was transformed from a centrally [[planned economy]] into a [[market economy]]. Private car ownership was reinstated and [[businesses]] were re-established mainly as [[kiosks]] and some multistory buildings. However poor city [[lighting]], and road quality became major problems. Enver Hoxha's museum (Pyramid) was dismantled in 1991 and renamed in honor of persecuted activist Pjeter Arbnori. All buildings and apartments were denationalized, second-hand buses introduced, while modern water, telephone, and electrical systems built during 1992–1996 which form the backbone of modern Tirana. On the political aspect, the city witnessed a number of historical events. Some important Western personalities visited the capital such as former U.S. Secretary of State [[James Baker]] and [[Pope John Paul II]]. The former visit came amidst an historical setting after the fall of communism as hundreds of thousands were chanting in Skanderbeg Square Baker's famous saying of "Freedom works!". [[Pope John Paul II]] became the first leading religious figure to visit Tirana after Mother Teresa's visit few years ago. During the Balkans turmoil in the mid 1990s, the city experienced dramatic events such as the unfolding of the [[1997 unrest in Albania]], and a failed [[coup d'etat]] on 14 September 1998. === Rebirth === [[File:Boulevard, Tirana.JPG|thumb|left|Rehabilitation of the area around Lana River]] [[File:Tirana roofs.jpg|thumb|right|Traditional houses are threatened by the construction of apartment buildings.]] In 2000, former Tirana mayor [[Edi Rama]] undertook a radical campaign of demolishing illegal buildings around the city centre and on Lana River banks. It included the transformation of the area to its pre-1990 state. In addition, Rama led the initiative to paint the façades of Tirana's buildings in bright colours, although much of their interiors continue to degrade. Some critics allege that apartment buildings continue to be built on the places of traditional houses by firms with shady links to local officials. Public transport was privatized and newer second hand [[buses]] were introduced, municipal services expanded, and a richer [[calendar]] of events introduced. Road [[infrastructure]] improved as main roads underwent reconstruction including the Ring Road (Unaza) and the main boulevard. Additionally, common areas between apartment buildings were brought back to normality after decades of neglect, while existing [[parks]], city [[Town square|square]]s, and sports recreational areas were renovated giving Tirana a more European look. However, some park areas are being used for the construction of skyscrapers. Rama has been accused by critics of corruption while issuing building permits, but he has dismissed the claims as baseless. Decreasing urban space and traffic congestion have become major problems while a general urban chaos is observed in Tirana. In 2007, U.S. President [[George W. Bush]] visited Tirana by marking the first time that a high ranking American official visits Albania and an unprecedented security presence in and around the capital. The [[2008 Gërdec explosions]] were especially felt in the capital as windows were shattered and citizens shaken. In 21 January 2011, [[2011 Albanian opposition demonstrations|Albanian police clashed with opposition supporters]] in front of the Government building with cars being set on fire, and where 3 persons were killed, and 150 wounded. Although much has been achieved, critics argue that there lacks a clear vision on Tirana's future. Loss of public space due to illegal and chaotic construction, unpaved roads in suburban areas, degradation of Tirana's Artificial Lake, rehabilitation of Skanderbeg Square, ever present smog, the construction of a central bus station, and public parking lots are some pressing issues still remaining to be solved. Some proposed future plans include the continuation of illegal buildings' legalization process, construction of the southwestern portion of the Big Ring Road, a [[tram]] system, and the rehabilitation of the Tirana Train Station area. == Climate == Tirana has a [[Mediterranean climate]], with hot and moderately dry summers, and cool and wet winters. {{Weather box |location = Tirana |metric first = yes |single line = yes |Jan record high C = 19 |Feb record high C = 22 |Mar record high C = 26 |Apr record high C = 28 |May record high C = 33 |Jun record high C = 37 |Jul record high C = 38 |Aug record high C = 40 |Sep record high C = 35 |Oct record high C = 31 |Nov record high C = 25 |Dec record high C = 22 |year record high C = 40 |Jan high C = 12 |Feb high C = 12 |Mar high C = 15 |Apr high C = 18 |May high C = 23 |Jun high C = 28 |Jul high C = 31 |Aug high C = 31 |Sep high C = 27 |Oct high C = 23 |Nov high C = 17 |Dec high C = 14 |Jan low C = 2 |Feb low C = 2 |Mar low C = 5 |Apr low C = 8 |May low C = 12 |Jun low C = 16 |Jul low C = 17 |Aug low C = 17 |Sep low C = 14 |Oct low C = 10 |Nov low C = 8 |Dec low C = 5 |Jan record low C = -8 |Feb record low C = -8 |Mar record low C = -4 |Apr record low C = -1 |May record low C = 3 |Jun record low C = 6 |Jul record low C = 11 |Aug record low C = 10 |Sep record low C = 5 |Oct record low C = 1 |Nov record low C = -3 |Dec record low C = -7 |year record low C = -8 |Jan precipitation mm = 135 |Feb precipitation mm = 152 |Mar precipitation mm = 128 |Apr precipitation mm = 117 |May precipitation mm = 122 |Jun precipitation mm = 86 |Jul precipitation mm = 32 |Aug precipitation mm = 32 |Sep precipitation mm = 60 |Oct precipitation mm = 105 |Nov precipitation mm = 211 |Dec precipitation mm = 173 |Jan rain days= 13 |Feb rain days= 13 |Mar rain days= 14 |Apr rain days= 13 |May rain days= 12 |Jun rain days= 7 |Jul rain days= 5 |Aug rain days= 4 |Sep rain days= 6 |Oct rain days= 9 |Nov rain days= 16 |Dec rain days= 16 |source 1 = [http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/city_guides/results.shtml?tt=TT003310 BBC Weather Service:Tirana] |date=August 2010 }} == Demographics == {{wide image|Tirana Albania pano 2004-07-14.jpg|1000px|Panoramic view of Tirana from [[Mount Dajt]] in 2004.}} As of 2008, the urban population was officially estimated at 618,431. In 1703, Tirana had about 4,000 inhabitants and by 1820 the number tripled to 12,000. The first census conducted a few years after becoming capital showed a total population of 10,845. During the 1950s, Tirana experienced rapid industrial growth and the population increased to about 137,000. After the end of [[Party of Labour of Albania|communist rule]] in 1991, Tirana experienced its fastest population growth when people from rural areas moved to the capital for better economic opportunities. In 1990, Tirana had 250,000 inhabitants, but the large-scale influx increased the population to well over 600,000. {{Demography |1703=4,000 |1820=12,000 |1923=10,845 |1937=35,000 |1955=108,200 |1985=200,000 |2001=610,000 |2008=618,431 |2009=650,837 |source= {{ref label|a|a}} }} {{note|a|a}} Population figures are given inside city limits at that time. == Health == The largest hospital in Tirana is called [[Mother Theresa Hospital]] (''Qëndra Spitalore Universitare Nënë Tereza''), which is associated with [[University of Tirana]], Faculty of Medicine. The Hospital is a 1,456-bed facility that offers comprehensive inpatient tertiary care to over 12,000 patients annually. The hospital is currently undergoing major changes in infrastructure and equipment. Recently, a number of private hospitals have been opened. ===Institutions and events=== [[File:Taiwan Center, Rinia Park Tirana.jpg|thumb|[[Taiwan|Taivani]], one of Tirana's most popular restaurants seen from the Sky Tower's revolving restaurant]] [[File:Tirana-pomnik.JPG|thumb|left|Skanderbeg Square with Et'hem Bey Mosque and Clock Tower on the far left, and Skanderbeg Monument on the right]] [[File:Dajti Ekspress.jpg|thumb|Dajti Mountain overlooking Tirana seen from the Dajti Express Cable Car]] [[File:Pics (44).jpg|thumb|left|Tanners' Ottoman Bridge]] [[File:2010May Tirana HungerStrike.jpg|thumb|left|Deshmoret e Kombit Boulevard]] [[File:Petrela Castle, Tirana.jpg|thumb|Petrela Castle near Tirana]] [[File:Muzeu.JPG|thumb|National History Museum]] [[File:ALB_20070713_img_1258.jpg|thumb|left|Polytechnic University of Tirana]] The main cultural institutions of Tirana are the [[National Theater of Albania|National Theater]], the [[National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania]], and the [[National Gallery of Figurative Arts of Albania|National Arts Gallery]] (''Galeria Kombëtare e Arteve''). Performances of renown world composers are regularly performed by the Symphonic Orchestra of the [[Albanian Radio and Television]]. The city serves as a regular venue for the Tirana Biennale, Tirana [[Jazz]] Festival, [[Summer Festival, Albania|Summer Day]], White Night on 28 November, Rally Albania, [[Netet e Klipit Shqiptar]], and Tirana Fashion Week. Recently, Tirana has been redesigning its identity to a more Mediterranean city full of cafes and a vibrant nightlife. ===Sights=== {{see also|Tourism in Albania}} Tirana is trying to improve its tourism potential by reconstructing important landmarks. The town is home to the following historical sites: * [[Tirana Castle]] (''Kalaja e Tiranës''), the historical core of the capital around Murat Toptani Street * [[Clock Tower of Tirana]] (''Kulla e Sahatit'') and the nearby Museum of Clock Towers of Albania (''Muzeu i Oreve'') * [[Et'hem Bey Mosque]] (''Xhamia e Tiranës'') * [[Tabak Bridge]] (''Ura e Tabakëve'') * [[National Historical Museum (Albania)|National Historic Museum]] * [[Skanderbeg Square]] as a monumental ensemble * [[Dëshmorët e Kombit Boulevard]], a panoramic avenue built by the Italians * [[Ish-Blloku|Blloku]], the nightlife area of the capital * [[Mount Dajt|Dajti Mountain]], overlooking the city and accessible via cable car * [[Prezë Castle]] (''Kalaja e Prezës'') * [[Petrelë Castle]] (''Kalaja e Petrelës'') * [[Tirana Mosaic]] * [[Kapllan Pasha's Grave]] (''Varri i Kapllan Pashës'') * Shengjin Fountain Church (''Kisha e Kroit të Shëngjinit'') * [[Tirana Park on the Artificial Lake|Big Park]] on the Artificial Lake * Bektashi Temples and Global Centre * Sali Shijaku Traditional House Tirana is home to 5 well-preserved traditional houses (museum-houses), 56 cultural [[monuments]], 8 public [[library|libraries]], and the [[National Library of Albania]] (''Biblioteka Kombëtare''). == Education == {{See also|Education in Albania}} Tirana is home to a significant young population. As such it is host to many academic institutions such as the [[University of Tirana]], [[Polytechnic University of Tirana]], [[Agricultural University of Tirana]], [[Academy of Physical and Sports Education Vojo Kushi|Academy of Physical Education and Sports]], [[Academy of Music and Arts of Albania]], the [[Academy of Sciences of Albania]], and the [[Skanderbeg Military University]], national and international academic research institutions, as well as NGOs. [["English Base" Tirana|English Base]] is the best English Language school in Tirana. In recent years, Tirana has seen the creation of a vast number of private academic institutions, including: [[Albanian University (U.F.O - Universitas.Fabrefacta Optime)]], [[Epoka University]], [[University of New York, Tirana]], [[European University of Tirana]], [[Luarasi University]], [[Marubi film school|Academy of Film and Multimedia "Marubi"]], etc. == Districts and Planning == [[File:Tirana Minibashkitë.svg|thumb|[[Municipal Units of Tirana]]]] [[File:Tirana View from Sky Tower 1.JPG|thumb|left|[[Blloku]], Tirana's nightlife area.]] {{Main|Administrative divisions of Tirana}} {{See also|List of Tirana's neighborhoods}} The Municipality of Tirana is divided into 11 smaller administrative units referred to as ''Njësi Bashkiake'' (Municipal Units). These are made up of their own mayor and council, and sometimes are known as ''Mini-Bashki'' (Mini-Municipality). In 2000, the centre of Tirana from the central campus of [[Tirana University]] up to [[Skanderbeg Square]] was declared the place of Cultural Assembly, and given special claims to state protection. The historical core of the capital lies around Murat Toptani Street, while the most prominent city district has become Blloku. Once a secluded and heavily guarded Politbureau residential area, it has turned into the most influential district of Tirana where the young and fashionable fill the numerous clubs and cafes. During the evening hours, the area turns into a giant promenade where some of the most beautiful youth can be seen. Tirana's influential elite resides in the village of Selita in Tirana's outskirts. The area is famous for its astonishing villa architecture. Until recently the city lacked a proper address system. In 2010, the municipality undertook a campaign to installing street name and entrance number signs, with every apartment entrance being physically stamped. ===Recent urban planning=== Half a dozen urban plans for Tirana prepared by various consultants over the last 20 years have included proposals on how to guide development. In 1995, Regional Consulting, a Vienna-based urban planning firm funded by the [[Austrian government]] prepared a master plan for Tirana. In 1995, a Land Management Task Force composed of Albanian urban planners, PADCO (a US-based consulting firm), GHK (UK-based consulting firm), and the Graduate School of Design of [[Harvard University]] prepared a preliminary structural plan for the Tirana metropolitan area. The plan was updated by PADCO in 2002 into a Strategic Plan for Greater Tirana, which covered the metropolitan area. In 2002, two German consultants, [[GTZ]] GmbH (German Technical Cooperation), and IOER (Institute of Ecological and Regional Development) compiled a development study for the Tirana-Durrës region. Two other detailed site plans for the city center were prepared in 2003 and 2010 by French Architecture Studio, and Belgian architectural firm 51N4E respectively. In 2007, a larger strategic plan for this region followed up made by two UK-based firms, Landell Mills Development Consultants and Buro Happold. Most of these proposals did not go through the established approval procedures and have unclear legal status. The preparation of a new master plan for Tirana was under way for almost a decade (2002–2011). Two interim reports prepared by Urbaplan - a Swiss consultant, and CoPlan - an Albanian urban planning institute were released in 2007 and 2008 respectively. However, the plan was turned down by the National Planning Council of Albania (KRRTRSH). In the meantime, the Municipality announced in 2011 that a new regulatory plan would be prepared within 2012. == Economy == [[File:TIRANA STOCK EXCHANGE LOGO.jpg|thumb|right|210px|Tirana Stock Exchange]] Tirana is Albania's major industrial centre. It has experienced rapid growth and established many new industries since the 1920s. The principal industries include agricultural products and machinery, textiles, [[Pharmacology|pharmaceuticals]], metal products, and lately services. Tirana began to develop in the beginning of the 16th century, when a bazaar was established, and its craftsmen manufactured silk and cotton fabrics, leather, ceramics and iron, silver, and gold artifacts. Sited in a fertile plain, the Tirana area exported 2,600 barrels of [[olive oil]] and 14,000 packages of tobacco to [[Venice]] by 1769. In 1901, it had 140,000 olive trees, 400 oil mills, and 700 shops. The [[TID tower]], an 85 meters business tower is being constructed in the city by redefining architecture in Albania. Tirana has a number of malls, such as [[City Park]] at 3 km². == Environment == [[File:Streets in Tirana 010.jpg|right|thumb|Kavaja Street]] [[File:Streets in Tirana 018.jpg|right|thumb|A typical street scene in Tirana]] The city suffers from problems related to [[overpopulation]], such as [[waste management]], lack of [[running water]] and [[electricity]], and high levels of [[air pollution]] and [[noise pollution]]. Air pollution has worsened as the number of cars has increased by several orders of magnitude to over 300,000. These are mostly older, [[Diesel engine|diesel]] cars that pollute much more than newer models elsewhere in Europe. Additionally, most of the [[fuel]] used in Albania contains larger amounts of [[sulfur]] and [[lead]] than in the [[European Union]]. Another source of pollution are PM10 and PM2.5 [[particulates|inhaled particulate matter]] and [[NO2]] gases. Untreated [[solid waste]] is an additional problem present in the city and outskirts. In recent years, there has been complaints of excessive [[noise pollution]]. The problems are exacerbated by aging infrastructure. Despite the problems, Tirana has also experienced a very rapid growth in the construction of new buildings and expanding road infrastructure. The Big Park at the Tirana Artificial Lake has some effect on absorbing CO2 emissions. Recently, over 2000 trees have been planted around many sidewalks throughout the city. == Media == Tirana is the media hub of [[Albania]]. The city is home to the headquarters of the Albanian Radio and Television ([[RTSH]]), and national [[Commercial broadcasting|commercial broadcasters]] [[Top Channel]] and [[TV Klan]]. Numerous radio stations operate in the capital, with the most notable being [[Radio Tirana]], commercial Top Albania Radio and [[Plus 2 Radio]]. Tirana is home to the [[publication]] of a vast number of [[Newspaper|dailies]] including [[Shqip (newspaper)|Shqip]], [[Zëri i Popullit]], [[Shekulli]], Gazeta Shqiptare and [[Koha Jonë]]. == Sports == {{See also|KF Tirana|Partizani Tirana|Dinamo Tirana}} Tirana is the major centre for sport in Albania and Tirana's football clubs have won more championships than any other clubs in Albania. Tirana has two stadiums, the [[Qemal Stafa Stadium]], that holds around 20,000 spectators and the [[Selman Stërmasi stadium]] which holds around 12,000 spectators. The Tirana sportive infrastructure is developing fast because of municipality and MTKRS investments. From 2007 Tirana Municipality has built up to 80 sport gardens in most of Tirana neighbourhoods. == Transport == {{See also|Transport in Albania}} Municipal, national and international transport links have developed over recent years as demand has increased. The city serves as the meeting point for national roads SH1, SH2 and SH3. Construction of the outer big ring road started in 2011. The following section is liable to change and is only indicative. === Bus === {{See also|Bus lines in Tirana}} Local transport within Tirana is by bus or taxi. Coach and minibus (''furgon'') services also run, according to demand, to the coast and northern and southern Albania from different locations in Tirana. International coach services connect to Greece, via [[Korçë]] or Kakavije, to [[Kosovo]]{{ref label|status|a|}} via the new [[A1 motorway (Albania)|Durrës-Morine highway]], and to the [[Republic of Macedonia]] via [[Struga]]. === Rail === {{See also|Albanian Railways}} There are regular passenger services to [[Durrës]] and [[Pogradec]], via [[Elbasan]]. The [[Tirana Railway Station]] is north of [[Skanderbeg Square]], alongside the coach terminal at the north end of Boulevard Zogu I. There are no international passenger services, although there is a freight-only railway through [[Shkodër, Albania|Shkodër]] to [[Montenegro]] (though this is currently disused). === Air === [[File:Rinas-Airport-New-Terminal.jpg|thumb|Tirana International Airport]] {{main|Tirana International Airport Mother Theresa}} [[Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza|Tirana International Airport Mother Theresa]] (''Nënë Tereza'' in Albanian), also known as Rinas Airport, was reconstructed in 2007. It is located 15 kilometres northwest of the city, off the road to Durrës. Airlines using Rinas include [[Albanian Airlines]]. Flights run to [[Athens]], London, [[Rimini]], [[Bari]], [[Genoa]], Rome, [[Bologna]], Munich, [[Frankfurt]], [[Istanbul]], Vienna among other places. It is one of the biggest airports in the region. Several foreign airlines also serve Rinas Airport: [[Alitalia]] (from Rome and [[Milan]]), [[British Airways]] (from [[London Gatwick Airport]]), [[Austrian Airlines]] (from Vienna), [[Adria Airways]] ([[Ljubljana]]), [[Jat Airways]] ([[Belgrade]]), [[Lufthansa]] ([[Munich]]), [[Malév Hungarian Airlines|Malev]] ([[Budapest]]), [[Olympic Air]] ([[Athens]]), [[Hemus Air]] ([[Sofia]]) and [[Turkish Airlines]] ([[Istanbul]]). In summer there is a direct charter flight from [[John F. Kennedy International Airport|JFK]], New York. === Sea === Tirana is served by the port of [[Durrës]], that is 36 km distant from the capital. Passenger ferries from Durrës sail to [[Trieste]], [[Ancona]], [[Otranto]], [[Brindisi]], [[Bari]], [[Genoa]] ([[Italy]]), [[Zadar]], [[Dubrovnik]] ([[Croatia]]), [[Koper]] ([[Slovenia]]), [[Bar, Montenegro|Bar]] ([[Montenegro]]), [[Corfu]] ([[Greece]]) and others.[[Kavaja]] is Included in the Tirana County too. ===Bicycle=== [[Bicycles]] can be rented from four stations located at Rinia Park and along Deshmoret e Kombit Boulevard. The system is part of the Ecovolis bicycle sharing program launched in 2011. A full day ride costs 100 leks. Cycling in the streets can be quite dangerous as bike lanes are lacking. However, in recent years, combined bus and bike lanes were built on Tirana's main streets. Bike only lanes are located on existing sidewalks along Skanderbeg Square, Lana River, and on Kavaja Street. ==Mayors== {{Multicol}} {| class="wikitable" |- |[[Zyber Hallulli]] |1913–1914 |- |[[Servet Libohova]] |1915–1916 |- |[[Ismail Ndroqi]] |1917–1922 |- |[[Ali Begeja]] |1922–1923 |- |[[Ali Derhemi]] |1923–1924 |- |[[Xhemal Kondi]] |1924–1925 |- |[[Fuat Toptani]] |1925–1927 |- |[[Izet Dibra]] |1927–1928 |- |[[Rasim Kalakula]] |1928–1930 |- |[[Rexhep Jella]] |1930–1933 |- |[[Abedin Nepravishta]] |1933–1935 |- |[[Qemal Butka]] |1936–1937 |- |[[Abedin Nepravishta]] |1937–1939 |- |[[Qazim Mulleti]] |1939–1940 |- |} {{Multicol-break}} {| class="wikitable" |- |[[Omer Fortuzi]] |1940–1943 |- |[[Halil Meniku]] |1943–1944 |- |[[Llazar Treska]] |1944–1945 |- |[[Ibrahim Sina]] |1947–1949 |- |[[Isuf Keçi]] |1950–1951 |- |[[Sabri Pilkati]] |1951-1951 |- |[[Peço Kagjini]] |1951–1952 |- |[[Sami Gjebero]] |1953–1954 |- |[[Ibrahim Sina]] |1954–1955 |- |[[Sami Gjebero]] |1956–1957 |- |[[Irfan Ceklkupa]] |1957–1958 |- |[[Rifat Dedja]] |1958–1961 |- |[[Sabri Pilkati]] |1961–1962 |- |[[Rifat Dedja]] |1962–1964 |- |} {{Multicol-break}} {| class="wikitable" |- |[[Sabri Pilkati]] |1965–1966 |- |[[Myqerem Fuga]] |1970–1973 |- |[[Ndue Marashi]] |1974–1975 |- |[[Nesip Ibrahimi]] |1976–1983 |- |[[Jashar Mezenxhiu]] |1984–1985 |- |[[Llambi Gegprifti]] |1986–1987 |- |[[Leandro Zoto]] |1987–1988 |- |[[Llambi Gegprifti]] |1989–1990 |- |[[Tomor Malasi]] |1991–1992 |- |[[Sali Kelmendi]] |1992–1996 |- |[[Albert Brojka]] |1996–2000 |- |[[Edi Rama]] |2000-2011 |- |[[Lulzim Basha]] |2011- |- |} {{Multicol-end}} == Notable people == Below are some of the most notable personalities born in Tirana or that spent most of their lives in Tirana: {{div col|3}} *[[Abdi bej Toptani]], signatory of the [[Albanian Declaration of Independence]] *[[Albert Brojka]], former Tirana Mayor *[[Aleksandër Meksi]], former Prime Minister *[[Bamir Topi]], current President of Albania *[[Beqir Balluku]], former member of the [[Politburo of the Party of Labour of Albania|Politburo]] he was accused as organizer of a coup d'état in 1974, and sentenced to death *[[Blendi Nallbani]], football player *[[Breanne Benson]], pornographic actress *[[Eda Zari]], singer *[[Edi Rama]], Mayor of Tiranë *[[Elsa Lila]], singer *[[Erjon Bogdani]], football player *[[Ermonela Jaho]], opera singer *[[Essad Pasha]], politician *[[Fatos Nano]], former Prime Minister of Albania *[[Gjergj Xhuvani]], movie director *[[Igli Tare]], football player *[[Inva Mula]], opera singer *[[Ismail Ndroqi]], mayor of Tiranë *[[Kledi Kadiu]], dancer and actor who lives and works in Italy *[[Leka, Crown Prince of Albania]], heir of King Zog I *[[Masiela Lusha]], actress, poet, and writer *[[Murat bej Toptani]], signatory of the [[Albanian Declaration of Independence]] *[[Pandeli Majko]], twice [[List of Prime Ministers of Albania|Prime Minister of Albania]] *[[Rexhep Meidani]], former President of Albania *[[Saimir Kumbaro]], film director *[[Sali Kelmendi]], former Tirana Mayor *[[Skënder Sallaku]], comic actor *[[Vedat Kokona]], translator *[[Klodiana Shala]], Athlete {{div col end}} ===Honorary citizens=== The following persons are honorary citizens: {{div col|3}} *[[George Soros]] *[[Norman Wisdom]] *[[Wolfgang Schussel]] *[[Ismail Kadare]] *[[Nikita Khrushchev]] *[[Galeazzo Ciano]] *[[Ibrahim Kodra]] *[[Azem Hajdari]] *[[Anton Yugov]] *Haxhi [[Hafiz Sabri Koçi]] [[Grand Mufti]] of [[Albania]]. *[[Archbishop Anastasios of Albania]] *[[Rrok Mirdita]] *Baba [[Reshat Bardhi]] *[[Robert Shvarc]] *[[Dritëro Agolli]] *[[Hysen Kazazi]] *[[Sadik Kaceli]] *[[Hans Peter Furrer]] *[[Mahatir Bin Mohammed]] *[[Shefqet Ndroqi]] *[[Osman Kazazi]] *[[Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah]] *[[Eliza Dushku]] {{div col end}} === Twin towns – sister cities === Tirana is [[town twinning|twinned]] with: {| class="wikitable" |- valign="top" | – '''[[Ankara]]''', Turkey – '''[[Athens]]''', Greece – '''[[Barcelona]]''', Spain – '''[[Beijing]]''' China ''(since 2005)'' – '''[[Brussels]]''', Belgium – '''[[Bucharest]]''', Romania – '''[[Bursa]]''', Turkey || – '''[[Cobourg]]''', Canada – '''[[Florence]]''', Italy – '''[[Genoa]]''', Italy – '''[[Grand Rapids]]''', USA – '''[[Kiev]]''', Ukraine – '''[[Madrid]]''', Spain – '''[[Marseille]]''', France || – '''[[Moscow]]''', Russia – '''[[Paris]]''', France – '''[[Prague]]''', Czech Republic – '''[[Pristina]]''', Kosovo{{ref label|status|a|}} – '''[[Podgorica]]''', Montenegro – '''[[Rome]]''', Italy – '''[[Seoul]]''', South Korea || – '''[[Sofia]]''', Bulgaria – '''[[Stockholm]]''', Sweden – '''[[Turin]]''', Italy – '''[[Ulcinj]]''', Montenegro – '''[[Vilnius]]''', Lithuania – '''[[Zagreb]]''', Croatia – '''[[Zaragoza]]''', Spain |} ==See also== {{satop|Geography|Eurasia|Europe|Southern Europe|Mediterranean|Albania|Tirana}} *[[Mount Dajt]] *[[Skanderbeg Square]] *[[Blloku]] *[[Music of Albania]] *[[Sulejman Pasha]] *''[[Tirana Year Zero]]'' {{clear}} ==Further reading== *[http://rudar.ruc.dk/bitstream/1800/2321/1/Post-socialist%2520city%2520development%2520in%2520Tirana.pdf Abitz, Julie. ''Post-Socialist development in Tirana.'' Roskilde: Roskilde Universitetscenter, 2006.] *Aliaj, Besnik; Lulo, Keida and Genc Myftiu. ''Tirana: the challenge of urban development'', Tirana: Cetis, 2003 ISBN 9992788003 *[http://tiranaworkshop10.pbworks.com/f/besnik%2Baliaj%2Bhistory%2Bhousing%2Balbania%202.pdf Aliaj, Besnik. ''A Short History of Housing and Urban Development Models during 1945-1990'', Tirana 2003.] *[http://alain-bertaud.com/AB_Files/AB_Albania%20Urban%20informal%20Sector%20paper.pdf Bertaud, Alain. ''Urban development in Albania: the success story of the informal sector'', 2006.] *[http://etd.lib.metu.edu.tr/upload/12612184/index.pdf Bleta, Indrit. ''Influences of political regime shifts on the urban scene of a capital city, Case Study: Tirana.'' Turkey, 2010.] *[http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/12806/1/ltcwp31.pdf Felstehausen, Herman. ''Urban growth and land use changes in Tirana, Albania: with cases describing urban land claims.'' University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1999] *Galeteanu, Emira. ''Tirana: the spectacle of the urban theatre''. MA Dissertation. Ottawa: Carleton University, 2006. *[http://eprints.qut.edu.au/45654/1/2011010941_Guaralda_ePrints.pdf Guaralda, Mirko (2009). Urban identity and colour : the case of Tirana, Albania. ''Spectrum e-news'', 2009(Dec), pp. 13-14.] *Jasa, Skënder. ''Tirana në shekuj: Terona, Theranda, Tirkan, Tirannea, Tirana: monografi, disa artikuj e materiale arkivore kushtuar historisë së Tiranës'', Tirana 1997. *[http://library.panteion.gr:8080/dspace/bitstream/123456789/444/1/KERA.pdf Kera, Gentiana. ''Aspects of the urban development of Tirana: 1820-1939'', Seventh International Conference of Urban History. Athens, 2004.] *[http://www.tema.unina.it/index.php/tema/article/download/248/515 Pojani, Dorina (2011). Mobility, Equity and Sustainability Today in Tirana, ''TeMA 4'', no. 2, pp.99-109] *[http://www.tirana.gov.al/?cid=2,62,2419 Tirana Municipality. ''New Regulatory Plan, Architecture and Competitions, and Skanderbeg Square Project''. Tirana, 2009] == External links == {{Commons category}} *[http://www.tirana.gov.al/?cid=2 Municipality of Tirana] {{en icon}} * [[wikitravel:Tirana|Tirana]] on [[Wikitravel]] * [http://www.tirana.inyourpocket.com Tirana on In Your Pocket City Guide] * [http://www.metrolic.com/travel-guides-tirana-151831/ Tirana Travel Guide by Metrolic] * [http://www.matinic.us/albania/furgon.php Minibus Departure Times from and to Tirana] * [http://www.tirana.gov.al/common/images/Harta_3.pdf Official Map of Tirana] PDF * [http://www.blue-albania.com/GeneralInfo1-TIRANA.htm Tirana Heritage Guide] (best viewed with all browers but Internet Explorer) * [http://www.lonelyplanet.com/albania/tirana Tirana on Lonely Planet] * [http://www.zonu.com/Europe/Albania/Tirana/Historical_en.html Historical Maps of Tirana] * [http://www.ruavista.com/jone5.htm Photos of Tirana in Early 90s] * [http://www.peshkupauje.com/2011/02/fotoalbum/ne-prag-te-renies Photos of Tirana in the 80s] * [http://www.flickr.com/photos/grosha1/sets/72157612927885921/with/2507579679/ Photos of Tirana in the 1920s] {{Geographic location |North= [[Paskuqan]] |Center= Tirana |East= [[Dajt]] |South= [[Farkë]] |Southwest= [[Vaqarr]] |West= [[Kashar]] |Northwest= [[Kamëz]] }} {{Tirana}} {{Tirana County}} {{Cities in Albania}} {{List of European capitals by region}} {{Albania topics}} {{Coord|41.326|19.816|type:city|display=title}}