Shkodra makes the largest city in the northern Albania and one of the ancient in the Balkans. This part of Albania is considered as a cultural heritage since the city is well known for famous artists, musicians, painters, singers, photographers and poets. These people made possible to turn Shkodra into an exquisite art space and loved by all albanians. Without doubt, Shkodra is one of the most historic towns in Albania. Some walls date from the 1st millenium BCE. Before World War II, this city was the main Catholic centre in Albania. Despite being occupied for a very long time, Shkodra made sure to preserve its own traditions and culture. Even now, walking down at Pedonalja or Kole Idromeno street, which makes the old center of the city, you can spot the classic Shkodra mixed with the modern one.
The main touristic attraction in Shkodra is Rozafa Castle. This one offers a magnificient view of Shkodra from the top and like every other castle in Albania, even this one has an interesting legend. Rozafa, was the bride of the youngest of three brothers that were trying to built up the castle. The three brothers worked day by day but everything that they built crumbled and crashed during the night. Then, the brothers talked with a wise men who told them that in order for the castle to stand and not crumble, one of the brides should be entombed within the walls. That suggestion was very hard for them but they spoke with each other and decided that whoever bride would come to bring the meal the next day would be sacrificed. The two older brothers broke the promise by telling their wives and so it was Rozafa who came the next day. When the brothers told her the story, she mourned about her baby and husband but she decided that she would do it requesting that one of her breasts, one foot and arm to be left exposed in order to feed and to take care of her son whenever he needed. According to this legend, the white coloured water is the milk coming from Rozafa's breast.
Inside the castle, there is a museum, in which you can learn more about the history, art and culture by watching different objects. And also, go to the highest point, you don't want to miss that view!
Picture © Credits to kulbabka
Furthermore, if you want to learn more about albanian history in an artistic way,you should go for a visit at Marubi National Museum of Photography, in which you will have the chance to see some rare collections of photos during the years.
Another thing that you can do once you are in Shkodra is going to Shkodra's Lake. You can take a swim ,even though I wouldn't suggest it in this time of the year and you can enjoy some of the best meals of albanian culinary .
Also if you are a fan of theater and art spaces, pay yourself a visit to Migjeni Theater. You can attend some good shows and concerts depending on the season. By the way, Migjeni is one of the most famous albanian writers and a national pride.
Shkodra is a city that offers magic and beauty even in the smallest corners.
Have a great visit!
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