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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

SHKODRA THE LAND OF GENESIS, CRADLE OF CULTURE

Albanian Travel Magazine - We Make You Dream Holidays
 BY IRHAN JUBICA ON WEDNESDAY, 10 OCTOBER 2012. 
SHKODRA CRADLE OF CULTURE
Shkodra is perhaps the spinal cord for Albania, the contribution of this city is as genuin and irreplaceable  in the Albanian world,ancient and modern history in sport and culture, in the idealism ofcivilization. Shkodra is unique city in Albania for its geographical position: lying between the three rivers (Kir, Drini, Buna) and itslake, the city is also just a few miles from the Adriatic Sea, and thus, a few hours away from the heart of the  Albanian Alps,Theth. With an average height of 10-12m above sea level, thebody of Shkodra lays up on soft hills of green, clearing the lungs of the city
Shkodra the land of genesisGeography and climate; Shkodra lies in wide area in northwestern Albania. The city is surrounded by the waters ofrivers and a lake. As for the hills, they surround the city from the east and south. The most famous is Rozafa Castle  in the southwest. Shkodra climate is Mediterranean plains, with wavings of marine and continental nature. Winter is mild and humid, summers hot and dry.
Population,people; The population of the city of Shkodra is homogeneous. Considering natural growth after the 2003 census, the city can have over 115,000 inhabitants actually. Administratively, Shkodra was the center of the prefecture (county), which includes the districts of Puke and Anime Great. Shkodra district administers two municipalities and 16 municipalities. People in Shkodra are very communicable, humorous and more benign. Although the city takes part in one of the poorest areas of Albania, Shkodra are generous, hospitable and big spending, so that the overall impression is that Shkodra are given to  indulge. They do not show signs of racism, xenophobia, religious or political intolerance, whether long the city policy has not changed color. Shkodra inhabitants are sometimes indifferent to each other, but become fast in solidarity with foreigners, whenever necessary.
Shkodra the land of genesis
Transport and costs; Shkodra has around 120 km of internal roads. The town itself is located about 99 km from Tirana,related to Kosovo through the street of KukesThe city is connected to the inner rail and the international by Hani Hotit Station - 35 km. City linked is with the Port of Durres road, 131 km, with the port of Shengjin - 55 km and the airport - 95 km.
Origin and history; SΚΟΔRΙΝΩΝ (Latin Scodra) can be interpreted as Drin go (go Drino). Another variant is that of theTurks, who were surprised of  the battles of local fighters, thought Shkodra were descendants of Alexander the Great(Skender, according to them) and called the town name or Işkenderiyye İşkodra. However, the area around the site wherethey put the city has been inhabited since prehistoric times, for they have found traces of the middle Paleolithic, and thatthe excavations have revealed Neolithic lifestyle that comes up constantly in our day. These archaeological finds are preserved in the Museum of the City.
Culture and heritage; Shkodra  civilization has preceded the Albanian civilization by being in line with world one.  Thebrightest minds from this city have written language and history, have extended knowledge of recent arts, so that the most common definition for Shkodra's "cradle of culture. " In Shkodra start of the first books written, songs sung before,to be played the first dramas, to be the first pictures, movies appear first, first played football,  First, ... genesis. Shkodrais genesis. Currently, Shkodra has many monuments and institutions of culture, education and religion, according to the season. Antiquity to the medieval period are: Castle Rozafa, the wall surrounding the ancient city (the Roman period), the Museum of the castle, the Church of St. Stephen and the Church of Our Lady of Shkodra, Lead Mosque, Clock Inglizit,Middle Bridge While in the new part of town are these cult objects of religious institutions, some revamped after 90 years: Mosque Abu Beker, Perashit Mosque. Cathedral of Shkodra, Franciscan Church, Orthodox Church, Madrasas "sees Shame",  Interdeocesian Albanian Franciscan College, South, former college saverian, Gymnasium "Father Peter Meshkalla" Albanian Institute Katekistik etc.. Among the educational and cultural institutions are: University Luigj Gurakuqi "established in 1957, the Library" Marin Barleti "unique Foto Marubi, Migjeni Theatre, Museum of City, etc.. Shkodra has also stadium Borici Loro ", the second-largest in thecountry.
To visit; The city of Shkodra thanks values ​​bears, but thanks alignment between an extraordinary natural diversity, is visited by tourists all over the year  and offers varied tourism, from the cultural, historical, coastal, lake, river andmountain and the adventure, which by Velipoja in the Adriatic, the Zogaj and Shiroka at the lake shore, Sarda in Vau i Dejes up to Razëm, Shkrel, Bog of Theth in Vermosh, through the Highland of many other points. Castle Rozafa 200leke. Rozafa Castle is the oldest historical monument. Builds on strategic hill, at the meeting of the rivers Drin andBuna in the south and with free view on Shkodra Lake in the northwest, to control the area from the sea to the west andeast, over the depth of the Balkan country. Legend says that the castle was built by three brothers: that it stood, theywere forced to mure alive the wife of the younger brother, who declined to be sacrificed, asking tleave her right breast outside in order to feed the baby and the hand to caress him and dangle the cradle. Archaeological excavations indicate that the castle is one of the earliest settlements of Shkodra basin, inhabited around 4000 years ago. In 80 years, the castle has become a total restoration. Within the ancient walls is a museum dedicated to history and legend of the castle. To the main gate to get to by car, through a partially paved road and partly cobbled.
In and out of  Shkodra; Shkodra lake. This area, for tourism worthy blue, green and it is strong tourist potential, butnowadays, there is no adequate infrastructure to be attended. However tourists can make shtëtitje adventure in theseareas, be sure it will taste wonderful panorama.
Shiroka dhe Zogaj . Along the lake,lay Zogaj and  Shiroka,  where small restaurants  welcome many visitors daily,under the menu dishes rich in fish known lake, carp. Along the shore of Lake Shkodra Taverna also awaits you, verycharming restaurant, which offers rich cuisine of the lake. Velipoja. In the SW of the city of Shkodra, 29 km away, liesthe beautiful beach Velipoja 14 km length of 300 width, which creates numerous opportunities for tourist use. Thiscoast is a gem of Albanian nature, which intertwine as rounded sea, river, beach, forest, lagoon . Velipoja reserve. Marshes, vegetation and birds constitute one of the rare values ​​in Albania. It kept quiet, able spontaneous, natural.Razma. At the foot of the mountain Veleçikut, about 41 km from the city of Shkodra, is one of the most beautiful andhealthy climate of the Alps, Razma. Here, amid the pines, meadows, alpine pastures and mountain landscapes, isbuilding a housing complex of alpine type. The road, the necessary network of trade and restaurants are good level Thethi. In NE of the city of Shkodra, about 80 km away, in the heart of the Alps, is the picturesque village of  Theth. Lake Koman. If you wish to make an unforgettable walk through valleys, canyons and unusual landscapes, navigate tothe Koman Lake, located 30 km from the city. Koman village located nearby, where was discovered a  cemetery of the  6-8 century, which relates to the culture of early Albanian society. Kelmendi. It is a natural area quite large, rugged, with high diversity geomorphologic and biological. Beech and coniferous forests are among the most beautiful of our country.  Cemi river passes through Kelmendi,it is among the most beautiful rivers in the country. His trout are famous. Sarda. 15 km away from the city of Shkodra is Sarda island, which still preserves traces of a medieval civilization and offers excellent opportunities to develop tourism strolling. What is left of civilization, is the entrance of a giant Roman-style palace and the ruins of a church.
Excavations; During the First World War, namely in the years 1916-1918, and Shober Prashniker Austrian archaeologists undertook the first archaeological excavations in Apolonia. Their mission was organized by the Vienna Academy of Sciences, which in cooperation with the military command of Austro-Hungary, was aimed at tracing the areas occupied archaeological objects and sending them to Vienna. At Apollonia, Prashnikeri dug at some point the city as the acropolis, flats, necropolis and the surrounding wall. He collected many items, most of which took in the monastery of Apolonia and surrounding churches. Prashnikeri  published the results of excavations and studies in his book: "Muzaka and Mallakastra" which was published in Vienna in 1920. With the creation of the Albanian state inApollonia started the "era" of proper archaeological excavation. In the years 1924-1939 worked here the French mission,which is funded by the Academy of Fine Arts and French Society of Archaeology. The mission was led by archaeologistLeon Rey, who over the years developed 15 excavation campaigns, revealing dust from the oblivion of centuries for the ancient city. Results of the French mission were successful. Thus in 1924 was discovered two Roman houses, while in1925-1929 came to light new porch. In 1930 it was determined the location of the old necropolis in Kryegjate. But thisyear it was revealed the buleterionit buildings, while in 1932 it was discovered the odeon, libraries, part of the city wallsand many important items. Rei published the results of his work in the magazine:''Big'', body French archaeologicalmission. With the objects detected in Apolonia opened on October 8, 1936 in Vlora, the archaeological museum: "Zogu I ". His building served as part of the house that had been the seat of government of Ismail Kamal. This museum wasrobbed by the Italian army in 1939, when Albania was invaded by them. But this year the Italian authorities allowed the French archaeological mission working at Apollonia and replaced with an archaeological italian expedition. In 1945 LeonRei tried again Attempt to restore jobs that have left half the Apolonia, but the Communist authorities banned it. Thus, in 1941 resumed excavations under the direction of archaeologist Claudio Sestieri. Their outcome was the discovery of a gymnasium, a part of the perimeter wall and a building near the monastery walls. Further developments led to war, Sestieri to escape from Albania and the archaeological excavations were interrupted for short period. They resumedafter the war but in other conditions. First Albanian archaeologist, who was involved in excavations at Apollonia wasHasan Ceka. He began work in 1930 as a representative of the Albanian Ministry of Education and Culture, near theFrench archaeological mission. After War World II, in 1948, Hasan Ceka resumed in Apolonia the work  which once had left in half with the French. Now he began to work with another Albanian colleague, Skender Anamali. Both together theyworked on the walls surrounding neighborhoods of the city and western terraces, shifted to soils, rediscoveringlandmarks, and to complete excavations conducted earlier. In addition to this work in 1958 Hasan Ceka published the first book on the ancient city called "Apolonia", which contained a historic city, archaeological excavations and a detailed description of the monuments discovered by that time. In Apolonia Hasan Ceka worked for about 40 years, finishing off with Rein excavations and discoveries made ​​several important monuments such as: porch, in 1952, surrounding wall, fountain, in the years 1963-1968 and the wall of the acropolis. In 1957, to Apolonia’s expedition, which was permanent, were added and the archaeologists Islam Selim, Frano Prendi and Aleksandra Mano. Two years (1958-1960) in Apollonia,Albanian archeologists also worked alongside eight Soviet archaeologists, led by Vladimir Borisov Bllavatski and Irida Borisova. Their major help  was in the establishment of the archaeological museum, which was opened in 1958. But during this time were discovered also a part of the eastern wall, the temple of Diana, prytaneoni, D and G apartmentsetc.. The special was that between archaeologists worked Aleksandra Mano, which was the first Albanian women in the profession. The directions of her work in Apollonia were two: necropolis, which was excavated in 1962 and the theater which she discovered in the summer of 1971, along with her ​​husband, archaeologist Burhan Dautaj. Aleksandra Manowas among experts who possess mastery of reading and deciphering the ceramic dies. All her studies about Apolonia,were published in scientific journals "Illyria" and "monuments" was published in 2006 under the title”Apolonia of Illyria. " Together with A. Manon also worked for several years Dautaj Burhan, who discovered the theater and the western road out of the city center. Another archaeologist who worked in Apolonia was Dhimosten Budina. He along withcolleague Frano Prendi developed his work in dwellings of the period of centuries of the second and third. In one of them, in flat, Dhimosten Budina found "House of Achilles", which was called so for the mosaic it had on the floor,consideredas one of the most beautiful detected in Apollonia. In Apollos worked for long period one of the most prominentrepresentatives of today's Albanian Archaeology: Neritan Ceka, who since the young age was engaged inexpeditionsorganized by his father, archaeologist Hasan Ceka. Besides separate studies published in the specializedpress as: magazines Illyria and monuments, he published in 1982 book "Illyria Apolonia. " In it, Neritan Cekasummarizes all the data of studies conducted by history and archeology by that time on Apollonia. In 2004 N. Ceka also published an edition of Apolonia guide who had more the character of tourist guide. Besides archaeologists, architects,ethnographers and historians, in Apollonia worked for long time even restorers: Koco Zheku, Guri Pani, Spiro Koci, Laser Papajani, etc.. ​​With their work was preserved and restored several monuments, which became accessible asmonumental Fontana, temenos wall and gate, porch, the odeon etc. In 1975 was re-estabilished with an excetional job the facade of buleterion, symbol of the city of Apollonia, which really is work of architectural mellow. Meanwhile, after the fall of the communist regime for archeology other conditions were created for development. After numerous attemptsin 1992, was founded by archaeologists Pier Kaban and Neritan Ceka, the Albanian-French archaeological mission, funded by the French Foreign Ministry and the Archaeological Institute of Tirana. He had as an intended to undertake newexcavations in Apollonia and the study of ancient monuments of the city, from the archaic period up to that medieval, and publishing their studies. From the operation of programs Albanian-French mission we can mention: calculating the area of the city, discovering the route that linked the porch with the acropolis, several buildings, which are: a flat, some magazines, tracts walls, a temple, and two  last year busts. Meanwhile, one of the study programs of the Albanian-French mission would be the publication of the Archaeological Atlas of Apollonia, which was a summary of all results of excavations made since the nineteenth century to the present. It was implemented in 2007, in Rome, the authorship of a group of researchers. The French team did a new statigraphical calculation by the issue of the ancient city area of 85 ha.  In 2001 in Aolonia started its operation also the Albanian-German archaeological mission, which as focused on twosectors: the theater and on the roof of the old stoas. In the ancient theater were resumed the excavations where they were interrupted in 1981 by Alexandra Mano and Burhan Dautaj, this time without his collaborator and wife A. Mano,archaeologist Burhan Dautaj focused on northern kaveas and theater orchestra.   
Meanwhile, another group of this mission under the direction of archaeologist Lahi Union, focused on the amphora wall,excavation of which had started since the Leon Rein in the 1930s.
History; Apolonia which lived for 11 centuries between 620 BC and 479 was a city-state that originated as a product of the process of “Great 'Greek colonization''VIII-VI centuries BC, on the shores of Illyria, which were populated by the community of Taulantia tribal. Stefan Bizantini, one of ancient authors say that:''it was the largest city and most important of the 30-to colonies that were established across the Mediterranean with the name of god Apollo'' According toStrabo, the city rose 60 miles (9 km) of coastline and 10 miles (1.5 km) from the river bed Vjosa, on the back of series of hills. The first colonists were to be conducted by 200 Corinthian leader Gylak. Then another group arrived from Corcyrecomers, and Dysponti Kikusi. The city's original name was Gylakea in honor of its founder, and later it was calledApollonia. As time passed here were placed substantial population of Illyrian, which would play an important role in the life of this polis. Apolonia was raised on the backs of two hills with height 101 and 104 m, extending to the field. The citywas built according to architectural plans of Hipodamp, renowned architect of antiquity. It had straight roads, primary and secondary, which intersect with each other by creating small residential blocks. Rugged terrain was regulated by theterraces, while vast network of underground channels served to collect water deficit, which deposited in the cistern andused as water reserves. Need dictated that apolonians to protected from various attacks used to build powerful network of defense walls, which reached length of 4.5 km. Within these walls rose a whole complex of buildings public andprivate character such as: the Acropolis, temples, theaters, agoras, stoat, buleterion, libraries, public buildings and private ones. Over time Apolonia would turn into major and important city, and was rightly called by Cicero, knownpolitician and Roman oratory in 43 BC. In its operated famous characters of history as Glauk of Taulantia, Pirro of Epirus,and Cassander  and Philip of Macedonia, great Pompey, Caesar or Octavian, who spent part of study time here. FromApolonia started the southern branch of the ancient road Via Egnatia, which was the most important artery linking Westwith East. The importance of the city retained until late antiquity when it converted into one of the main centers ofspreadin Christianity. Bishop of Apollonia, Marin, is one of the first 70 bishops appointed by St. Paul himself. While otherbishops as Eukariti and Eusebi partecipated at  the most important concils of the clergy. Earthquakes of the years 234 and 345, displacement and attacks from Vjosa bed of barbarian people, made Apolonia eventually to be abandoned the Vth century.

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