ROHILAS IN EUROPE-VB
September 27-October 14, 2007
We reached Tirana early in the afternoon. The whole city was lit up by bright sunlight. The streets and squares were crowded with people, many on their way home form work, school, or a shopping trip. Some were out with their families.
In the southeastern corner is the equestrian statue of Skendrberg (George Kastrioti). He is Albania’s national hero. He led the Albanian resistance to the Ottoman onslaughts. Starting in 1443, he fought and won 25 battles against them. But finally in 1468, the Ottomans succeeded in overcoming the Albania resistance and conquered the country. They ruled it for about 450 years. Beside the statue are some of the government’s administrative offices.
Just north of the statue is the cupola and minaret of the 18th century Ethem Bey Mosque. Some of the nation’s best artisans were employed to build, when its construction started in 1729. But it was not completed until1821.
Near our hotel, on a large platform, there was a life-size statue of Mother Teresa. Although she was born in Skopje, Macedonia, apparently she is venerated in Tirana also.