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

Coordinates: 42 ° 4 ′  N , 19 ° 31 ′  E

Basic data
Qark : Shkodra
Municipality : Shkodra
Height : 15  m above sea level A.
Area : 872.71 km²
Residential place : 112,276 (2011)
Bashkia residents : 135,612 (2011)
Population density (Bashkia): 155 inhabitants / km²
Telephone code : (+355) 022
Postal code : 4001-4007
Politics and administration (as of 2015 )
Mayoress : Voltana Ademi ( PD )
Website :
Culture and history
City foundation : 4th century BC Chr.
City Festival : February 11th
View of Shkodra with the Albanian Alps in the background (2013)

View of Shkodra with the Albanian Alps in the background (2013)

Shkodra ( Albanian  also  Shkodër ) is a city in northern Albania . It lies between Lake Skadar and the Kir , Drin and Buna rivers .

The 2400 year old city has always been the regional administrative center. Today Shkodra is the seat of the Bashkia (municipality) and the capital of the Qark Shkodra . The city has 142,513 inhabitants (as of 2011) and is the fifth largest city in the country.

Shkodra is traditionally the cultural center of Northern Albania. Many Shkodran personalities from culture, politics and society were also of national importance in the past. We owe them, for example, the first photographs that were taken in Albania or artistic works that have shaped the Albanian national consciousness to the present day. It is not for nothing that the city was one of the cultural centers of Albania until a century ago, where the Albanian national movement Rilindja (rebirth) also had many followers and supporters. That is why the cultural and historical heritage of Shkodra is considered to be one of the most important not only in Albania itself, but in all areas inhabited by Albanians, including in neighboring countries.

By 2015 was an independent municipality Shkodra ( bashkia ) , then with the other communities of the district of Shkodra was merged.


Mentioned in Latin as Scodra for the first time in antiquity , all languages ​​have adopted this originally Illyrian name in the course of history . In Albanian , the city is called Shkodra (definite form) or Shkodër (indefinite form). In Serbo-Croatian it is called Skadar (Скадар), in Turkish İşkodra and in Italian Scutari , from which the previously used term in German Skutari is derived.


Aerial view of Shkodra with Lake Skadar and Tarabosh in the foreground and Drin on the right


Ancient Shkodra was mainly on the hill Rozafa ; sandwiched on three sides by the rivers Kir in the east, Drin in the south and Buna in the west. Only to the north does a wide plain opens up along Lake Skadar , which is bordered in the east by the foothills of the Albanian Alps and where modern Shkodra is located today. On the other side of the river to the south, the plain extends to the Adriatic coast near Lezha . The location of the city of Shkodra was in the past - but still today - of great strategic importance, because all trade routes had to pass through the bottleneck at Shkodra from the west in order to reach central or southern Albania. This special position has often helped the city to prosper in its history or made it the subject of conflicts between rival powers.

Today's urban area of ​​Shkodra is bounded by the marshes of Lake Skadar in the west, by the three rivers in the southwest and by the Kir with its rather wide river bed in the east. In the north, the plain opens up between the lake and the mountains. The two villages Shiroka and Zogaj (Shkodra) on the shore of the lake below the Tarabosh ( 593  m above sea level ) also belong to the city. The border with Montenegro is 34 kilometers away by road.

The area of ​​the municipality of Shkodra was divided into the following municipalities until 2015:

Former parishes
Surname Residents Community type
Shkodra 000000000112276.0000000000112.276 Bashkia
Ana e Malit 000000000005859.00000000005,859 Komuna
Bërdica 000000000009172.00000000009,172 Komuna
Dajç 000000000003885.00000000003,885 Komuna
Guri i Zi 000000000009586.00000000009,586 Komuna
Postriba 000000000007069.00000000007,069 Komuna
teacher's desk 000000000001529.00000000001,529 Komuna
Rrethinate 000000000021199.000000000021.199 Komuna
Shala 000000000001804.00000000001,804 Komuna
Shosh 000000000000304.0000000000304 Komuna
Velipoja 000000000005031.00000000005,031 Komuna


The abundance of water in the region between Shkodra and Lezha has always been a blessing and a plague for the people. The fertile soil brought high yields to agriculture and animal husbandry, but the unpredictability of the rivers coming from the northern mountains, especially the Drins, still regularly leads to floods, which in turn destroy the yields.


Shkodra has a Mediterranean climate with continental influence. The summers are often dry and hot, the winters rich in precipitation and relatively mild. The wettest month is November with an average of 230 mm and 16 rainy days. The wettest month is July with 42 mm. The average maximum temperature of 31 ° C is reached in July and August, the minimum in January is 0 ° C.

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Shkodra
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 8.6 9.5 13.6 18.3 22.9 27.3 30.5 31.3 26.7 21.0 15.2 11.1 O 19.7
Min. Temperature (° C) 1.6 1.4 5.0 9.1 12.9 16.8 18.9 19.0 15.7 10.9 8.2 4.3 O 10.4
Precipitation ( mm ) 216 173 149 101 114 58 30th 44 128 262 241 227 Σ 1,743
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


First settlement and Illyrians

The fortress hill Rozafa was settled in ancient times.

The earliest traces of human settlement date from the 2nd millennium BC. They were found south of today's city near Tepe and can be classified in the Bronze Age .

At the time of its first mention in the 4th century BC. BC Scodra was the seat of the Illyrian tribe of the Ardieans , who ruled over an area between the present-day states of Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. Numerous artifacts and inscriptions in the city ​​fortress Rozafa bear witness to this time. According to the Ardiäern also Illyrian tribe who took Labeaten the place and was far more powerful than their predecessors. Queen Teuta , King Agron and King Genthios were among the most famous personalities of the Labeates and had many silver coins minted, which mostly show their names in Greek or their portraits.


The Labeatic kingdom had long been a thorn in the side of the Romans ; they began in 229 BC BC for the first time with the dispatch of a Roman army to Illyria . The First Illyrian War began, and before Scodra, Queen Teuta's Illyrian armies were defeated by the Romans. The Labeatic Kingdom fell apart and the dynasty only ruled over the city. 168 BC It was also conquered by the Romans and the then King Genthios interned in Iguvium in Italy . From the 1st century, Scodra was part of the Roman province of Dalmatia . In the course of the administrative reform of Emperor Diocletian , it became the capital of the newly created province of Praevalitana at the end of the 3rd century . With the spread of Christianity , the Archdiocese of Scodra was founded in the 4th century and placed under the newly created Archdiocese of Iustiniana Prima by Emperor Justinian in 535 - Scodra was therefore downgraded to the diocese.

In the second half of the 6th century, the ancient city of Scodra was conquered by invading Slavs .

middle Ages

In 1040 Shkodra was conquered by the principality of Zeta . From 1360 the noble family of Balšić (Albanian Balsha ) ruled over Zeta and made Shkodra their capital. Zeta, which has belonged to the Serbian Empire since 1185 , unsuccessfully defended the city from the Ottomans in 1393 , who occupied it for a short time.

In 1396 the Republic of Venice took power in Shkodra, which now became part of the Venetian Albania . In 1403 there was a revolt of the Shkodrans against the Venetian rule. During the rule of the Lion Republic, the city flourished into a rich trading city.

Ottoman time

The bridge of Mes is an important structure from the Ottoman period (built in the 18th century).

In 1479 Shkodra was conquered by the Ottomans after a long siege of Rozafa Castle , and Shkodra became the capital of the Vilayets of the same name . It took a long time, however, for the city to recover from the destruction and depopulation resulting from the Turkish conquest and to become a major trading center that benefited from exchanges between the Ottoman Empire and the rest of Europe. In 1614 a French traveler described Shkodra as a small town with barely 300 houses. The Turkish traveler Evliya Çelebi, on the other hand, describes it about 50 years later as a flourishing trading city with 1,800 houses (which corresponds to about 9,000 inhabitants, a little more than Berlin had at that time) - up to this time Rozafa Castle had also served as a residential area. By the end of the 16th century, almost all of the city's residents converted to Islam .

1757, the local feudal lord said Mehmet Bey Bushati for Pasha of Shkodra region. He ran political affairs almost independently and thus gained more autonomy from the Sublime Porte. The paschalik of Shkodra only reached its heyday with his son Kara Mahmut , who extended the borders of his sphere of influence to Kosovo and Berat . In 1785 he attacked neighboring Montenegro and was able to conquer the pirate bastion Ulcinj , whose fleet he set on fire. The west of Europe quickly became aware of him and Kara Mahmut asked the Habsburgs for weapons and money in order to fight the Ottoman Empire. The latter quickly sent their troops to Shkodra for reconquest, in November 1787. But after three months of siege of the fortress Rozafa , the Ottomans had to surrender to the superior soldiers Kara Mahmut. In 1796 he made another attempt to attack Montenegro, but this time he was defeated and was even beheaded. After his death, his youngest brother, Ibrahim Pasha, succeeded him. However, he was always an opponent of his brother's policies and was always loyal to the Sultan. He administered the paschalik of Shkodra until his death in 1810.

Time of the national movement "Rilindja"

In 1860 Jesuits founded a seminary and in 1870 a theological grammar school of the Franciscan order was set up with the help of Austria-Hungary . The Austrians aimed to increase their influence in Catholic northern Albania. However, the priests and pastors who worked and worked in Shkodra did not have a good reputation among the local population. They were accused of deriving only their own advantages from the trade relations with Austria-Hungary and of betraying the local small traders. The Muslim Shkodrans - and the Albanians in general - were more than suspicious of the dual monarchy. In order to minimize the Austrian influence in Shkodra as much as possible, Italian schools were also opened in the city.

As the only significant city in Albania that was not significantly influenced by other cultures, it was an important place of the Rilindja , the Albanian national movement , at the turn of the century .

20th century

Roman Catholic procession (around 1939/40)

In the turmoil of the Balkan Wars of 1912/13, Montenegrins and Serbs claimed the city for their states (there were minorities of Serbs and Montenegrins in the region, but these have largely been assimilated or emigrated).

After the assassination of the Ottoman commander Hasan Riza Pasha , the Montenegrin army occupied Shkodra for some time. Under pressure from the major European powers, it had to withdraw again in 1914, and Shkodra was assigned to Albania , which had just become independent . During the First World War from 1916 to 1918, the city was under Austrian occupation. After the war, the French followed, handing Shkodra over to the young state of Albania in 1920.

Until the upswing of the new capital Tirana in the 1930s , Shkodra was the most important city in the country (at times in competition with the port city of Durrës ). More than 40,000 people lived here in the 19th century. The many Catholic residents had strong ties to Italy and Austria , which was conducive to development. Catholic monks opened various schools. In 1879 a newspaper was published here for the first time in Albania and in 1901 important meetings of the Albanian national movement Rilindja (rebirth) took place.

Shkodra was the last city in Albania to be evacuated by the occupying forces of the German Wehrmacht in November 1944 .

In 1990 the city was a center of the uprising against the communist dictatorship . Four people were killed in demonstrations. The Catholic priest Simon Jubani celebrated the first service after over 30 years of religious prohibition in the so-called old Catholic cemetery of the city and thus heralded the end of this provision.


Population development

The population of Shkodra is likely to have increased a little since 1991 - the year the communist government was overthrown. In 2007, 112,783 residents were registered with the registry office (Gjendja civile), of which 49.9 percent were men and 50.1 percent women.

Population development in Shkodra 2007-2013
Year of counting population Growth rate
since last count
2007 112,783 -
2008 113,350 +1.4%
2009 113,824 +1.4%
2010 114,624 +1.7%
2011 114,150 −0.4%
2012 113.151 −0.8%
2013 112.276 −0.7%


In Shkodra, a north-west Gag dialect of Albanian is spoken.

Ethnic minorities

The largest ethnic minority are the Roma , followed by a smaller number of Serbs and Montenegrins . However, exact figures are not available.


Shkodra is the historical center of the Catholic Church of Albania and the seat of the Bishop of the Archdiocese of Shkodra-Pult . Many Muslims and Orthodox live in the city .


The Demokracia Square in the center with a fountain instead of the statue 5 Heronjtë e Vigut and the Migjeni Theater in the background

The Rozafa castle ruins are located on a hill steeply above the Buna between the Buna and Drin rivers . Their origins go back to the pre-Roman times of the Illyrians . The castle has determined the fate of the city until modern times. Its location made it possible to control important traffic routes on the river and on land, and later the bridges, and provided security for thousands of years. With the exception of the fortification wall, most of the castle's buildings have been destroyed. It was still used militarily until the defeat of the Turkish troops in 1913. For centuries the bazaar district of Shkodra lay on a narrow strip of shore at the northern foot of the castle hill . Here is also the Buna Bridge and a landing stage for ships coming up the Buna and crossing the lake.

From around 1770, the city center began to be relocated from the bazaar around two kilometers east to the plain on the lakeshore, so that the city soon had two completely separate parts. A third quarter lay southeast of the castle hill on the bank of the Kir. After the earthquakes of 1815 and 1837, however, the course of the Drin changed, which previously did not flow into the Buna, but directly into the sea, and the tobacco district was subsequently regularly flooded. The lead mosque , the most important building in what is now a very rural area, was already unused after the First World War. The importance of the bazaar area also decreased after the Second World War at the latest, so that nothing of the historical substance could be seen in the 1980s.

Today's cityscape is still characterized by desolate blocks of flats from communist times, wide streets, but also winding alleys with high courtyard walls. Recently, some new high-rise buildings and places of worship have been built in the center. A central street with historic, urban houses was restored and converted into a pedestrian zone. A new shopping arcade was built at the location of the old bazaar area. The no-man's-land between the castle and today's city has gradually been overbuilt with new service and commercial businesses since the end of the 1990s. A few kilometers to the northeast is the Ottoman bridge Ura e Mesit from the 18th century.


In 1957, Shkodra University was opened as a Pedagogical College . Today it has six faculties.
One of the five Austrian schools abroad is located in Shkodra, the
Austrian School Shkodra Peter Mahringer .


Pjetër Marubi was the first photographer in Albania. The Marubi studio was the most famous in the country.

The northern Albanian center has lost much of its old glory. During socialism , Shkodra was still an important industrial city. Since the collapse of the socialist regime, the city has suffered from a relatively poor economic situation, which is getting better and better.

The cityscape has changed considerably in recent years due to the strong influx of people from the surrounding villages. However, it was built with no criterion and no long-term plan. Many old houses in the old town had to give way to the new high-rise buildings. For a few years there has been a building zone plan that is more or less adhered to. Is planned z. B. the traffic calming of the city center, there is to be a pedestrian zone.

In and around Shkodra, Albanian customary law has been revived since the early 1990s . Without knowing this exactly, many believe that they have to commit blood revenge. Hundreds of families in the region can no longer leave their homes because they are threatened with blood revenge. Independent organizations and private individuals are now engaged in the reconciliation of the warring parties. Thanks to this mediation, the situation has relaxed noticeably in recent years. Between 2004 and 2006, only one or two blood revenge murders were recorded in Shkodra Qark each year.

During the Albanian national movement Rilindja , Shkodra was the center of the political and cultural movement in northern Albania and Montenegro in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Shkodra is the center of the Catholics of Albania , who live primarily in the north. The city is the seat of an archdiocese and houses a theological seminar of the Jesuit order . The Stephan Cathedral had been converted to a gym during the communist regime. Traditionally there are also some Orthodox and many Muslims for whom places of worship such as the Orthodox Cathedral , the Ebu-Bekr Mosque and the Parruca Mosque were rebuilt.


The Migjeni Theater is one of the most famous in Albania and was named after Migjeni , an important Albanian poet and prose writer. The theater building is located in the city center near the Sheshi Demokracia.


KS Vllaznia Shkodra is one of the most successful clubs in the country: Vllaznia has been champion nine times and is on the list of record champions of the Albanian Championship , after the three capital clubs KF Tirana , KS Dinamo Tirana and FK Partizani . Vllaznia had won the cup six times. Vllaznia plays their home games at the Loro Boriçi Stadium .

The Klubi Sportiv Vllaznia and the Shoqëria Sportive Vllaznia are also active in many other sports.


Every year from March 1st to 4th the Carnival of Shkodra takes place, which is an old tradition.


Building of the Prefecture


The mayor of the Bashkia of Shkodra (alb. Kryetari i Bashkisë) takes on executive functions together with his "cabinet" and is elected directly with the city council every four years. The mayor's seat is in the town hall on "13 Dhjetori" street. Voltana Ademi ( PD ) has been the mayor of the municipality since 2015 . She replaced Lorenc Luka ( PD ) , who had been in office since 2007 .

The Mayors of Shkodra
person from to person from to
Musa Juka 1916 1924 Loro Suma 1943 1943
Muhamet Gjyrezi 1924 1925 Zef Gjeta 1943 1944
Mehmet Shpuza 1925 1928 Dhimitër Bojaxhiu 1944 1945
Rustem Ymeri 1928 1928 none 1945 1992
Izet Dibra 1928 1930 Filip Guraziu 1992 1996
Zenel Prodani 1930 1931 Bahri Boriçi 1996 2000
Rustem Ymeri 1931 1933 Ormir Rusi 2000 2003
Zenel Prodani 1933 1937 Artan Haxhi 2003 2007
Ndoc Çoba 1937 1939 Lorenc Luka 2007 2015
Mark Kakarriqi 1939 1942 Voltana Ademi 2015 today
Zef Shiroka 1942 1943

legislative branch

in percent
Gains and losses
compared to 2009
 % p
± 0.0

The city council ( Albanian  Këshilli bashkiak ) has been composed as follows since 2015:

Political party coalition Number of council seats
Democratic Party of Albania APPD 21st
Socialist movement for integration ASHE 10
Socialist Party of Albania ASHE 09
Albanian Republican Party APPD 02
Liberal Right Thought Party APPD 01
Agricultural and Environment Party of Albania APPD 01
Christian Democratic Party of Albania ASHE 01
National Democratic Front Party APPD 01
New democratic wind ASHE 01
Party of clock of Albania APPD 01
Moderate Socialist Party ASHE 01
Party law and justice ASHE 01
Social Democratic Party of Albania without coalition 01
23 27 
A total of 51 seats


Shkodra is the seat of a district court (alb. Gjykata e Rrethit Gjyqësor). The Shkodra Court of Appeal (alb. Gjykata e Apelit) and the public prosecutor's office are also located there.

City arms

The coat of arms of Shkodra was created by the noble family of the Balsha .

Town twinning

Shkodra is twinned with 5 cities in 3 countries.

Transport infrastructure

Rail transport

The Hekurudha Shqiptare operates a direct rail link from Shkodra to Durrës, which runs once a day. The railway line to Podgorica is only used for freight transport.

Public transport

Local transport in Shkodra is handled exclusively by public bus routes. There are lines from Bahçallek to Fermentim, from the "Former Agency" to Shiroka, from the train station to Kiras and a ring line.


Marin Barleti (1450–1512 / 13), one of the earliest humanists and the only important historian in Albania during the Renaissance, comes from Shkodra . Pashko Vasa (1825-1892) was an important figure in the Albanian struggle for independence. His poem O moj Shqypni is a classic in Albanian literature. The artist Kolë Idromeno (1860–1932) was one of the first photographers and cinematographers in Albania and an outstanding painter. His oil painting Motra Tone (Sister Tona) is known as the "Albanian Mona Lisa". In the field of photography, the Marubi brothers also did pioneering work in Albania in the 19th and 20th centuries . Migjeni (1911–1938), who is one of the most important Albanian poets and prose writers, also comes from Shkodra .


  • Marinus Barletius : De obsidione Scodrensi. Bernardinus de Vitalibus, Venice 1504.
  • Јаша Томић : Рат у Албанији и око Скадра 1912. и 1913. године. sn, Нови Сад 1913, (The war in Albania and for Scutari).
  • Carlo Villavicenzo: In the beleaguered Scutari. According to the records of the Scutarian Jesuits. Publishing house of the Congregational Journal, Vienna 1913.
  • Hortense von Zambaur: The Siege of Scutari (October 10, 1912 to April 22, 1913). A diary. Stilke, Berlin 1914.
  • Lulëzim Lajçi: Shkodra në shekullin XV. Instituti Albanologjik i Prishtinës, Pristina 1997.
  • Skënder Luzati: Buildings and architecture in Shkodra: the splendor and decline of a northern Albanian metropolis. In: Werner Daum (ed.): Albania between cross and half moon. Pinguin-Verlag, Innsbruck 1998, ISBN 3-7016-2461-5 , pp. 242-256.
  • Lucia Nadin (ed.): Statuti di Scutari. Della prima metà del secolo XIV con le addizioni fino al 1469 (= Corpus statutario delle Venezie. 15). Viella, Rome 2002, ISBN 88-8334-042-6 .

Web links

Commons : Shkodra  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Ines Nurja: Censusi i popullsisë dhe banesave / Population and Housing Census - Shkodër 2011 . Results Kryesore / Main Results. Ed .: Instituti i Statistics . Pjesa / Part 1. Adel Print, Tirana 2013, p. 84 ( [PDF; 1.6 MB ]).
  2. Weather report and climate for Shkodra. In: Retrieved October 14, 2013 .
  3. Historia dhe të dhëna gjeografike. In: Bashkia Shkodra. Retrieved December 14, 2015 (Albanian).
  4. ^ Nexhat Ibrahimi: Islami në Trojet Iliro-Shqiptare gjatë Shekujve . MDI, Pristina 2000.
  5. Miranda Vickers: Shqiptarët - Një histori modern . Bota Shqiptare, 2008, ISBN 978-99956-11-68-2 , Pashallëqet e Mëdha të Shkodrës dhe Janinës , p. 38–39 (English: The Albanians - A Modern History . Translated by Xhevdet Shehu).
  6. Miranda Vickers: Shqiptarët . Një histori modern. Bota Shqiptare, 2008, ISBN 978-99956-11-68-2 , 1.5 Shfaqja e lëvizjes kulturore shqiptare , p. 51 (English: The Albanians - A Modern History . Translated by Xhevdet Shehu).
  7. Miranda Vickers: Shqiptarët . Një histori modern. Bota Shqiptare, 2008, ISBN 978-99956-11-68-2 , Traktati i Shën Stefanit dhe themelimi i Lidhjes së Prizrenit , p. 53 (English: The Albanians - A Modern History . Translated by Xhevdet Shehu).
  9. Cay Lienau, Günter Prinzing: Albania - Contributions to Geography and History , Verlag Dr. Cay Lienau, Münster 1986, ISBN 3-9801245-0-9
  10. Klementin Mile / Albanian Institute for International Studies: Gjakmarrja: Mes Kanunit dhe Shtetit , Tirana 2007 - based on information from the police of Qark Shkodra