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Korça coat of arms
Korça (Albania)
Paris plan pointer b jms.svg

Coordinates: 40 ° 37 '  N , 20 ° 47'  E

Basic data
Qark : Korça
Municipality : Korça
Height : 890  m above sea level A.
Area : 805.99 km²
Bashkia residents : 75,994 (2011)
Population density (Bashkia): 94 inhabitants / km²
Telephone code : (+355) 82
Postal code : 7001-7004
Politics and administration (as of 2019 )
Mayor : Sotiraq Filo ( PS )
Website :
Culture and history
City foundation : Mid 15th century
City Festival : 10th of April
View over Korça from the new observation tower on Shën Gjergji Boulevard towards the Resurrection Cathedral (2016)

View over Korça from the new observation tower on Shën Gjergji Boulevard towards the Resurrection Cathedral (2016)

Korça ( Albanian  also  Korçë ; Greek Κορυτσά Korytsá ; Aromanian Curceaua ; Turkish Görice ) is a city in southeast Albania with around 51,000 inhabitants (as of 2011). It is the seat of the Qark of the same name .

Korça is considered the birthplace of Albanian literature and is often referred to as the "cradle of Albanian culture". The city architecture with its Ottoman and French influences, the wide, tree-lined boulevards and the lush parks as well as the city markets, monuments, mosques and churches ( Byzantine to Ottoman times) make Korça a special rarity in Albania.


Korça is located on a fertile plateau, which is named after the city itself, at an altitude of 850 to 930  m . The city center by the Orthodox Cathedral is at 875  m . The city of around 4.5 square kilometers lies at the foot of a mountain range that rises to almost 1,800  m . In all other directions there are fertile land that is used for agriculture.


Korça is located in the Mediterranean climate zone with a clear continental influence. In summer it is pleasantly warm with a maximum of 26 ° C, whereas winters are quite cold with an average of −3 ° C to +4 ° C in January.

Population city

Development of the population
since 1850
year Residents
1850 10,000
1918 23,243
1979 52,800
1989 63,623
2001 55,130
2007 86,176 *
2011 51,152 *
*The values ​​cannot be directly compared,
as different offices have used different
data and different
counting methods.

In 2010 Korça had about 51,000 inhabitants. While the rural surroundings of Korça are predominantly inhabited by Sunni Muslims and Bektaschis , Orthodox Christians are well represented in the city itself . In the middle of the 19th century, around 90 percent of the 10,000 inhabitants were Christians. Also in 1918 Korça had the highest percentage of Orthodox population of all Albanian cities: 17,779 Orthodox Albanians and 5,464 Muslims were counted. Korça is the seat of an Orthodox bishop. The cathedral , built in 1992–1995, is dedicated to the Resurrection of Christ (Alb. Ringjallja e Krishtit ). It is considered to be the largest church in Albania.

In addition to Albanians , Macedonians , Aromanians and Roma are minorities . Aromanians were among the oldest settlers in the city. Many also moved here at the end of the 18th century from the mountain town of Voskopoja (Aromanian Moscopole ), about 20 kilometers to the west .

local community

In the summer of 2015, Korça was merged with the other municipalities in the south and west of Korça County . Since then, mountain areas in the west and south of the Korça plain have also belonged to the city. The new municipality has 75,994 inhabitants (as of 2011).

Former parishes of the Bashkia Korça
Surname Population (2011) Community type
Korça 000000000051152.000000000051,152 Bashkia
Drenova 000000000005581.00000000005,581 Komuna
Lekas 000000000000392.0000000000392 Komuna
Mollaj 000000000003438.00000000003,438 Komuna
Qendër Korça 000000000009022.00000000009,022 Komuna
Vithkuq 000000000001519.00000000001,519 Komuna
Voskop 000000000003832.00000000003,832 Komuna
Voskopoja 000000000001058.00000000001,058 Komuna


The area around today's city is one of the early settlement centers in Southeast Europe , where copper has been mined since the Bronze Age . Iron Age barrows and ramparts of the Illyrians have been excavated in several places in the vicinity .

middle Ages

The city itself is relatively young. A settlement was first mentioned around 1280, around the same time as the neighboring Voskopoja . At the time of Sultan Murad I (1359-1389), the Ottoman troops penetrated the area around Korça for the first time. In 1440 the original settlement is said to have been destroyed by the Ottomans .

The Mësonjëtorja , opened in 1887, was the first Albanian school to teach Muslim and Christian boys together. Today it houses the Museum of Education.
Class photo from 1899 from the Mësonjëtorja

Ottoman time

The city was re-established after the middle of the 15th century. The Ottoman Sultan Murad II (1421-1451) gave Ilyaz Bej Mirahori , a deserving member of his Janissary corps , an area around Korça. Born as Iljaz Hoxha in the village of Panarit , he was abducted as a slave to the court of Edirne . With the titles Bey and Mirahor , he returned to his homeland and re-founded the city. The construction of the Mirahor Mosque that he initiated is a symbol of the founding of the city .

A flourishing trade center developed, the importance of which grew especially after the decline of Voskopojas towards the end of the 18th century. Since 1723 there were Greek schools in Korça. In the years 1769 and 1789 there were punitive actions by the Turks against the Orthodox residents of Voskopojas, who saw that the construction of the church had not been observed. Houses were set on fire. Most of the inhabitants fled to Korça. In 1783 the city came under the rule of Tepedelenli Ali Pascha .

Albanian national movement in the 19th century and World War I

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Korça became an important center of the Albanian national movement . The first elementary school in the country ( Mësonjëtorja ) was opened here in 1887 , in which Muslim and Christian boys were taught together for the first time in Albanian . The building was established in 1968 as a museum for education. The first Albanian girls' school opened its doors in Korça in 1891.

The Ottoman Empire was in crisis at the beginning of the 20th century. In addition to acts of violence by robber gangs and government troops, Albanian freedom fighters began to fight for freedom from 1906 onwards. In 1907 the Greek bishop of Korça was murdered. At the beginning of the First Balkan War in 1912, the historical region of Epirus and the city were occupied by Greece. Conditions similar to civil war prevailed, which drove many residents to emigrate. Much of the Albanian community in the United States is from Korça. Conversely, in the years before World War I , the city was the destination of Protestant missionaries from the United States who were able to establish a small church here.

First World War and the interwar period

After Albanian independence in 1912, Greece claimed Korça and the region for itself and moved its troops into the city in March 1913. In December 1913, the great powers set the international borders of Albania and Korça came to Albania. A few months later the Greeks withdrew under pressure from the great powers. An independent regional government was formed in Korça. From October 1914 to the summer of 1916 there was again a Greek occupation. During the First World War, neutral Albania was occupied by the various warring powers; In Korça, a French protectorate replaced the Greek occupation from 1916 to 1918. A French military cemetery on the outskirts bears witness to this. The French troops were stationed here to stabilize the Salonika front against Austrians and Germans . The French had Alcibiades Diamandi and others proclaim their own republic , which was reunited with Albania in 1920. Greece wanted to annex Korça again at that time, but was unsuccessful with this endeavor. During the tense economic situation under King Zogu , the city's population decreased from 25,600 in 1923 to 21,220 in 1938.

Second World War to this day

The period of the Second World War began in 1939 with the occupation of Albania by Italian troops, who were repulsed in the south of the country after a short time by the invasion of Greek troops. Korça was again occupied by the Greek for the last time from November 1940 to April 1941. In 1943 the Italian occupation was replaced by the German Wehrmacht . In September 1944, Albanian partisans liberated Korça.

In the 1990s, Korça again experienced a significant decline in population when many residents moved abroad or to other regions of Albania. Only now is the city experiencing immigration again.


Cultural institutions

Korça has a diverse cultural life. Here, for centuries, Albanian, Greek, Central European, Turkish and French cultural elements have merged and allowed a culture to be produced that was extraordinary for Albania. The main cultural institutions include the Andon Zako Çajupi Theater , the Vangjush Mio Cultural Center and the Tefta Tashko-Koço Library . The last two host a variety of activities annually and make the city a magnet for artists from all over the country and beyond. Among other things, some self-made sculptures by various young artists were set up in the city park through these activities.

The main museums in the city include:

  • The National Museum of Medieval Albanian Art : Located east of the cathedral in a former church, it has a large collection of icons, architectural fragments and other religious art. The focus of the exhibition is the 16th century with works by Onufri and his son Nikolla .
  • The Archaeological Museum : A little south of the cathedral in a building from the beginning of the 19th century exhibits from the surrounding areas from prehistoric to Hellenic epochs are on display.


Korça is known for its light music, which stands out through serenades . These songs, accompanied by the lute and violin, are similar to those of Rembetiko in neighboring Greece. However, the Albanian elements are crucial. Famous interpreters of these serenades are Eli Fara , Cilo Qorri , Demka & Hajro , Nure Novruz-Lulushi and Tefta Tashko-Koço .


In 1992 the Fan S. Noli University was founded with the subjects of agricultural science , education and economics . A nursing school is affiliated . Today, selected natural sciences and humanities subjects are also taught. In 2015 around 7,000 students were trained.

With the Tefta Tashko Koço high school , Korça owns one of the most famous art schools in the country. Above all, it offers special musical training.


The local football club KF Skënderbeu Korça plays in the top league . In the years 2011 to 2016, the club won the championship and is currently the dominant soccer club in Albania.


In the " Old Bazaar " district (alb. Pazari i Vjetër )
Typical alley in the center

The center of business life is the Bulevardi Republika , laid out around 1900 with linden trees and wide sidewalks , at the northern end of which there is an observation tower and at the opposite end is the Resurrection Cathedral . At that time the city was a major national trade center. The close contact to Central Europe and the influence of the emigrants who have returned from North America can still be seen in the cityscape today, because many wealthy townspeople built houses in the Wilhelminian style, as they were especially common in Germany and Austria . Rich merchants from Korça were regularly represented at the trade fairs in Leipzig and Vienna . On the side streets, also laid out as avenues, and in the district south of the cathedral, numerous of these multi-storey houses and villas set back from the street by front gardens have been preserved. There are classicist designs ( capitals , fascia ) and even Art Nouveau details . As long as they are still inhabited, they are relatively the best preserved buildings in the city.

On the western edge of the center is the Mirahor Mosque , donated by Ilyas Bey in 1484 (other date 1496), according to the inscription. It is the earliest surviving example of a single-dome mosque in Albania. The outer walls of the square main room are carefully proportioned by window openings and profiles. A minaret is built in the southwest. The vestibule, vaulted by three domes, was recently open. It is visually impaired by the newly added glazing. The clock tower was rebuilt next door .

Also to the west and further north is the Ottoman quarter " Old Bazaar " (alb. Pazari i Vjetër ), which was once separated from the rest of the residential buildings . Partly still paved alleys are laid out outside the rectangle. The two- to three-story houses had shops and workshops on the ground floor, and apartments above. Of the 16 caravanserais (Persian / Turkish han, "house") that were once handed down to us , which served as accommodation for caravans and as marketplaces, two still exist. One of these is barely recognizable due to modern conversions into a shopping mall. The Han i Elbasanite from the 18th century has been preserved in a poor condition . The building is surrounded by a pentagonal courtyard with a fountain. This served as a stand for horses and as a market. The ground floor served as a storage room. Above is a wooden gallery with access to the chambers. The latter can still be used as accommodation to a limited extent.


At the end of the 19th century, wool, felt and carpets were the main products. In the 1920s there were small factories for knitwear, flour, soap, cigarettes, a printing press and a sawmill. In 1926 lignite mining was started near Mborje.

During the communist rule, the city became an industrial center. A coal-fired power station was built to utilize the nearby lignite deposits, textile and carpet production was industrialized, a copper processing plant and a nationwide brewery were also built.

With the collapse of communism in 1990, heavy industry almost came to a standstill because of outdated production techniques and the city's peripheral location within Albania. Extensive urban districts in the north with fallow industrial areas are evidence of this.

Birra Korça, brewed in the city, is known nationwide .


Korça is on the SH3 national road , which connects the capital Tirana with the Greek border at Kapshtica and further with Florina and Kastoria in the neighboring country. The border crossing is 35 kilometers to the east. Korça is connected to Përmet in southern Albania via the SH75 . There are also connections to Ohrid in North Macedonia (via Pogradec ), to Resen in Macedonia (via Pustec ) and a bad road through the Devoll Valley to Gramsh . Local roads lead to the larger villages of Voskopoja , Dardha and Vithkuq .

Tourist attractions in the area

As the tourist center of Southeast Albania, Korça offers some cultural and natural attractions in its vicinity. The Drenova National Park is located near the village of the same name around ten kilometers south of the city. The approximately 1380 hectare forest area offers many sources of drinking water and a significant population of brown bears. A little further away in the mountains is at 1300  m above sea level. A. the village of Dardha , which still has a lot of historical building fabric. Albania's only ski lift is also located here .

The village of Voskopoja is located 20 kilometers west of Korça. It used to be a supra-regionally important trading town as well as the economic and cultural center of the region until this function was lost to Korça in the 17th and 18th centuries. Several Orthodox churches and other old houses still bear witness to the size of that time.

About 25 kilometers southwest of the city is the mountain village of Vithkuq , where formerly important trading establishments, cultural institutions, Orthodox churches and monasteries from the late 18th century are located.

The Prespa National Park is the fourth largest in Albania and is located 25 kilometers northeast of Korça. The 27,750 hectare area includes the Great Prespa Lake and the Little Prespa Lake with their catchment area. The lakes are an important habitat and breeding area for threatened bird species. The region can be reached from Korça via the Zvezda Pass .

Politics and administration

Korça city arms

Korça is the seat of the Qark of the same name and earlier also of the district of the same name and the Bashkia . Sotiraq Filo ( PS ) has been the mayor since November 2013 .

The city council ( Albanian  Këshilli Bashkiak ) consists of 41 members. Seventeen belong to the Socialist Party , eight belong to the Socialist Movement for Integration , eleven belong to the Democratic Party and five belong to a different minor party.

In addition to the embassy in the country's capital, Greece also has a small consulate in Korça.

Twin cities

Korça maintains a city partnership with five cities in Europe (Alb. Binjakëzim , to German about "twinning"):



  • The Museum of Albanian Medieval Art Korça. Tirana 1987 (guide).
  • Pirro Thomo: Korça. Urbanistika dhe arkitektura. Tirana 1988.
  • Muin Çami: Shqiptarët dhe francezët në Korçe (1916–1920). Tirana 1999.

Web links

Commons : Korça  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Ines Nurja: Censusi i popullsisë dhe banesave / Population and Housing Census - Korçë 2011 . Results Kryesore / Main Results. Ed .: INSTAT . Pjesa / Part 1. Adel Print, Tirana 2013 ( instat.gov.al [PDF; accessed April 14, 2019]).
  2. Get to know Korça. In: Visit-korca.com. Retrieved August 19, 2012 .
  3. Informacione të përgjithshme (General information). In: Official website of the Bashkia Korça. Retrieved September 15, 2013 (Albanian).
  4. Development of the population between 1979, 1989, 2001 and 2010. Accessed on September 9, 2011 .
  5. Qyteti. In: Bashkia Korça. Retrieved September 9, 2011 (Albanian).
  6. Stavro Skendi: The Albanian national awakening, 1878-1912 . Princeton University Press, 1967, pp. 17 ( online ).
  7. Fatos Baxhaku (ed.): Korça - Çelësi turistik . Botim i Çelësi, Tirana 2008, ISBN 978-99956-677-3-3 .
  8. ^ The History of Fan S. Noli University. (No longer available online.) In: Universiteti “Fan S. Noli”. Archived from the original on December 8, 2015 ; accessed on December 1, 2015 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.unkorce.edu.al
  9. Sotiraq Filo, new mayor of Korca. In: Albeu.com. November 4, 2013, accessed February 16, 2014 .
  10. Rezultati i fundit. Central Electoral Commission, accessed on November 1, 2015 (Albanian).
  11. ^ Diplomatic Missions to the Republic of Albania. (PDF) In: Ministria e Punëve të Jashtme. 2015, accessed on September 9, 2011 (English, page 45).
  12. Binjakëzimet e Korçës. Korça Municipality, accessed September 9, 2011 (Albanian).
  13. Comune di Verona - Grandi Eventi - Gemellaggi e Patti d'Amicizia . Retrieved April 24, 2018.