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The most important monument to visit in Shkodra is the Rozafa Castle, which rises from a rocky hill to the west of Shkodra. The waters of three rivers, Buna, Drini and Kiri, surround it. Rozafa is one of the major castles in Albania and the most important tourist attraction in Shkodra. The castle dates back to the Illyrians, when the Latin historian Titus Livius named it “the stronghold of the Labeates,” an Illyrian tribe on the shores of Shkodra Lake. The Illyrian queen, Teuta, used it as a base in the war against Rome.
Rozafa was the castle associated with a famous legend about a woman who was buried in the foundation of the castle, and here it goes:
“Its legend, archeology and history testify to its early existence. The legend is about the initiative of three brothers who set about building the castle. They worked all day, but the walls fell down at night. They met a clever old man who advised them to sacrifice someone so that the walls would stand. The three brothers found it difficult to decide whom to sacrifice. Finally, they decided to sacrifice one of their wives who would bring lunch to them the next day. So they agreed that whichever of their wives was the one to bring them lunch the next day was the one who would be buried in the wall of the castle. They also promised not to tell their wives of this. The two older brothers, however, explained the situation to their wives that night, while the honest youngest brother said nothing.
The next afternoon at lunch time, the brothers waited anxiously to see which wife was carrying the basket of food. It was Rosafa, the wife of the youngest brother. He explained to her what the deal was, that she was to be sacrificed and buried in the wall of the castle so that they could finish building it, and she didn’t protest.

Rozafa, who was predestined to be walled, was worried about her infant son, so she accepted being walled on condition that they must leave her right breast exposed so as to feed her newborn son, her right hand to caress him and her right foot to rock his cradle:

I plead
When you wall me
Leave my right eye exposed
Leave my right hand exposed
Leave my right foot exposed
for the sake of my newborn son
so that when he starts crying
Let me see him with one eye
Let me caress him with one hand
Let me feed him with one breast
Let me rock his cradle with one foot
May the castle breast be walled
May the castle rise strong
May my son be happy



Shkodra Lake is located in northwestern Albania and is the largest lake in the entire Balkan Peninsula, with an area of 368 hectares. The lake is shared between Albania and Montenegro, of which 149 hectares and 57 km of shoreline fall within the Albanian territory.

According to local legend, there was only a small brook fed by a water spring where the lake is today. One evening a young woman who was collecting water at the spring received the news that her husband had just returned home after years of traveling abroad. She jumped up for joy and ran home, forgetting to put back the rocks that blocked the water from running. The water flowed the whole night and the next day the Shkodra Lake was created.

The shores of the lake are quite attractive and varied. Sunbathing, swimming, fishing and boating are the main activities in the Shkodra Lake area. The northern part of the shore is made up of lowlands and marshes, while the southern part, at the foot of the Tarabosh Mountain, is rocky and elevated. There is a popular beach at Shiroka, which receives between 250 and 260 sunny days a year.

On the northern side of the lake lies the well known beach in the Culaj neighborhood of Koplik. Close to Koplik, about 50 meters from the edge of the lake, is the Syri i Sheganit (The Shegan Eye) water spring, with a diameter of 12 meters and clear, icy cold water. This is an attraction of great interest to SCUBA aficionados as diving into the spring is possible for the adventurous. On the southwest side of the lake some small islands can be visited. One is named Beška, featuring two churches and Grmožur, a former fortress and prison.

The lake also represents a very important natural ecosystem. There are about 281 species of birds in the area, which represent 87% of the number of birds found in Albania. 24,000 aquatic birds spend their winter there each year, making it a perfect place for bird watching. About 45 kinds of fish grow in the lake, including carp, eels and bass.




The largest and best preserved bridge from the Ottoman Empire in Albania, Mes Bridge (Ura e Mesit) crosses the Kir River about 6 kilometers North of Shkodër in the village of Mes. Built about 1770, the 108 meter long bridge is not only historic, but stunningly beautiful.

Situated along the ancient trade route between Shkodra and Kosovo, Romans, Venetians, and many other powers used this route to visit highly important route through the Drini Valley.

Beneath the bridge, the incredibly blue waters of the Kiri River wind their way from the mountains to the Buenë. Children swim beneath the bridge in Summer, not a bad way to cool off under the hot Albanian sun.







With almost half a million photographic plates and film negatives collected over 157 years, Fototeka Marubi is today one of the most important national heritage institution that the Ministry of Culture of Albania is attending. Besides Pietro Marubbi’s originals this institution preserves also negatives and photos of some of the most famous Albanian photographs such as Kel and Gegë Marubi (Pietro’s apprentices and successors), Mati Kodheli, Kolë Idromeno, Shan Pici, Kolë Maca, Dedë Jakova, Pjetër Rraboshta, Angjelin Nënshati and many more.










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