Shkodra, City : Interesting facts, Information & Tourist Attractions

Shkodra, City : Interesting facts, Information & Tourist Attractions

18th May 2023 0 By Aparna Patel

Welcome to our blog post on Shkodra, a city bursting with history, captivating facts, and an array of tourist attractions. Nestled in northwestern Albania, Shkodra offers a unique blend of ancient heritage, natural beauty, and cultural treasures.

Join us as we delve into the intriguing facts, share valuable information, and unveil the top tourist attractions that make Shkodra a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an enriching experience.

From the legendary Rozafa Castle to the mesmerizing Lake Skadar, and from the Marubi National Museum of Photography to the vibrant Pedonale Shkodra, we’ll guide you through the wonders of this captivating city. So, fasten your seatbelts and embark on a virtual journey with us to discover the allure of Shkodra!

Interesting & lesser known facts about Shkodra, City

Here are some interesting and lesser-known facts about Shkodra:

  1. Historical significance: Shkodra is one of the oldest and most historic cities in Albania, with evidence of human habitation dating back to the Bronze Age. It has been an important center for various civilizations throughout history, including the Illyrians, Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, and Ottomans.
  2. Rozafa Castle: One of the most prominent landmarks in Shkodra is Rozafa Castle, situated on a hill overlooking the city. According to legend, when the castle was being built, the three brothers who were constructing it were unable to make the walls stand during the day. An old woman suggested that a human sacrifice would ensure the success of the construction, and it was decided that the first person to arrive the next morning with food would be sacrificed. Sadly, it was one of the brothers’ wives, Rozafa, who arrived with food, and she willingly sacrificed herself by being walled into the castle’s foundations.
  3. Lake Skadar: Shkodra is located near Lake Skadar, which is the largest lake in Southern Europe. The lake is shared between Albania and Montenegro and is known for its stunning natural beauty, diverse wildlife, and numerous bird species.
  4. Marubi National Museum of Photography: Shkodra is home to the Marubi National Museum of Photography, which houses an extensive collection of photographs spanning more than 150 years. The collection includes images from the Marubi family, who were pioneers of photography in Albania.
  5. Birthplace of prominent figures: Shkodra has been the birthplace of several notable figures in Albanian history. The renowned 20th-century writer and poet Migjeni (real name Millosh Gjergj Nikolla) was born in Shkodra, as well as the prominent Albanian painter Kolë Idromeno.
  6. Historical architecture: The city features a blend of architectural styles influenced by its diverse history. Notable examples include the Orthodox Cathedral of Shkodra, the Lead Mosque (one of the oldest mosques in Albania), and the Venice Art Mask Factory, which produces traditional Venetian carnival masks.
  7. Center of Albanian Catholicism: Shkodra has been a center of Albanian Catholicism and is home to the Cathedral of Shkodra, also known as the Cathedral of St. Stephen. The cathedral is the largest Catholic church in Albania and is a significant religious and cultural symbol for the country’s Catholic community.
  8. Cultural festivals: Shkodra hosts various cultural festivals throughout the year. The Lake Fest, held annually in July, celebrates the natural and cultural heritage of the region and features music concerts, exhibitions, traditional food, and sporting events.
  9. Shkodra Codex: The Shkodra Codex, also known as the Missal of Gjon Buzuku, is an important manuscript written in the Gheg dialect of Albanian. It was discovered in Shkodra and is considered the oldest known printed book in the Albanian language, dating back to 1555.
  10. The “City of Bicycles”: Shkodra is often referred to as the “City of Bicycles” due to its extensive bicycle infrastructure and a large number of residents who use bicycles as their primary mode of transportation. The city has implemented initiatives to promote cycling and has dedicated bike lanes and bike-sharing programs.

These are just a few interesting facts about Shkodra, a city with a rich historical and cultural heritage that continues to attract visitors from around the world.

History & information about Shkodra, City | What is Shkodra, City known for

Shkodra, also spelled Shkodër, is a city located in northwestern Albania, near the border with Montenegro. It is situated on the southeastern shore of Lake Skadar, which is shared by both countries. With a population of approximately 77,000 residents, it is the fifth-largest city in Albania.


Shkodra has a rich and diverse history dating back thousands of years. The area has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, and it has witnessed the rise and fall of various civilizations. The Illyrians were one of the earliest known groups to settle in the region. In the 3rd century BCE, Shkodra became the capital of the Illyrian kingdom of the Ardiaei.

During the Roman period, the city was known as Scodra and served as an important trading and military center. It was part of the Roman province of Illyricum and experienced significant urban development.

In the medieval era, Shkodra was ruled by various powers, including the Byzantines, Venetians, and Serbian Kingdom. The city came under Ottoman rule in the late 14th century and remained under Ottoman control for several centuries. The Ottomans heavily fortified Shkodra due to its strategic location. It became a regional administrative center and an important trading hub.

In the 19th century, Shkodra played a crucial role in the Albanian National Awakening, a movement for national identity and independence. The city was a center of resistance against the Ottoman Empire and witnessed several uprisings and revolts. Shkodra became a symbol of Albanian national consciousness and cultural heritage.

During World War I, Shkodra was a key battleground between the Austro-Hungarian forces and the Kingdom of Montenegro. It experienced heavy damage during the conflict.

Following World War II, Shkodra became part of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania under communist rule. It underwent urban and industrial development, with the establishment of new factories and infrastructure.

Information and Landmarks:

Shkodra is known for its rich cultural heritage and historical landmarks.

  1. Rozafa Castle: Situated on a hill overlooking the city and Lake Skadar, Rozafa Castle is a significant historical site. It dates back to the Illyrian period and has been rebuilt and modified by various civilizations over time. The castle offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding landscape.
  2. Marubi National Museum of Photography: This museum houses a vast collection of photographs dating back to the 19th century. It displays the works of the Marubi family, who were pioneers of photography in Albania, providing insights into the country’s history, culture, and people.
  3. Orthodox Cathedral of Shkodra: The largest Catholic church in Albania, the Orthodox Cathedral is a prominent religious and cultural symbol. It was constructed in the early 20th century and showcases beautiful architectural details.
  4. Lead Mosque: This historical mosque, dating back to the 18th century, is one of the oldest mosques in Albania. It features Ottoman architectural elements and serves as an important religious site for the local Muslim community.
  5. Historical neighborhoods: Shkodra boasts charming neighborhoods with traditional architecture and narrow streets. The Gjuhadol neighborhood, for example, has preserved its Ottoman-era architecture, giving visitors a glimpse into the city’s past.
  6. Festivals: Shkodra hosts various cultural and music festivals throughout the year, attracting both locals and tourists. The Lake Fest, mentioned earlier, is one of the most popular events, celebrating the region’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.
  7. Pedestrian Street: The city center features a lively pedestrian street lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants.

Best Tourist Attractions in Shkodra city

Shkodra offers a range of tourist attractions that showcase its rich history, natural beauty, and cultural heritage. Here are some of the best tourist attractions in Shkodra city:
  1. Rozafa Castle: Visit the historic Rozafa Castle, perched on a hill overlooking the city and Lake Skadar. Explore the fortress walls, towers, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area.
  2. Marubi National Museum of Photography: Discover the captivating collection of photographs spanning over a century at this museum. Learn about the history of photography in Albania and admire the works of the Marubi family.
  3. Shkodra Historical Museum: Immerse yourself in the history and culture of Shkodra at this museum. It showcases artifacts, archaeological finds, and exhibits that depict the city’s past.
  4. Venice Art Mask Factory: Visit this unique workshop where traditional Venetian carnival masks are crafted. Witness the intricate process of mask-making and purchase a beautiful souvenir.
  5. Lead Mosque: Explore the Lead Mosque, one of the oldest mosques in Albania, featuring stunning Ottoman architecture and intricate designs. Admire the peaceful atmosphere and learn about the Islamic heritage of Shkodra.
  6. Catholic Cathedral of Shkodra: Pay a visit to the impressive Catholic Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of St. Stephen. Admire the beautiful architecture and religious artworks inside this significant place of worship.
  7. Shiroka Castle: Take a short trip outside the city to visit Shiroka Castle, a medieval fortress situated on a hilltop. Enjoy the scenic views and explore the remains of the castle, which provides insights into Shkodra’s past.
  8. Lake Skadar: Experience the natural beauty of Lake Skadar, which stretches across the border between Albania and Montenegro. Take a boat tour, go birdwatching, or simply relax by the lakeside.
  9. Pedonale Shkodra: Stroll along Pedonale Shkodra, the city’s vibrant pedestrian street lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants. Enjoy the lively atmosphere, sample local cuisine, and shop for souvenirs.
  10. Mes Bridge: Visit the historic Mes Bridge, an Ottoman-era stone bridge spanning the Kir River. It’s a picturesque spot where you can enjoy a leisurely walk and capture scenic photos.
  11. Marubi Film Studios: Explore the Marubi Film Studios, which were established in the early 20th century. Learn about Albania’s film industry and its rich cinematic history.
  12. Migjeni Theater: Catch a performance at Migjeni Theater, a cultural hub for theater and performing arts in Shkodra. Experience local productions and witness the vibrant arts scene of the city.

These attractions offer a diverse range of experiences, from historical sites and museums to natural landscapes and cultural landmarks, allowing visitors to explore the essence of Shkodra.