official_name = Gjirokastër
image_caption = Gjirokastër, as seen from the Citadel
mapsize = Gjiro1.jpg
dot_x = |dot_y =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = ALB
subdivision_type1 = County
subdivision_type2 = District
population_as_of = 2003
population_total = 34000
Central European Time
utc_offset = +1
utc_offset_DST = +2
elevation_m = 300
blank_name =Car Plates
footnotes = Gjirokastër or Gjirokastra (Albanian IPA2|ɟɪɾokaˈstəɾ; _ru. Ljurocastru; _el. Αργυρόκαστρο, "Argyrókastro"), is a
cityin southern Albaniaat coord|40|04|N|20|08|E|type:city(30,000)_region:AL|display=inline,title with a populationof around 34,000. Lying in the historical region of Epirus, it is also the capital of both the Gjirokastër Districtand the larger Gjirokastër County. Its old town is inscribed on the World Heritage Listas "a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town, built by farmers of large estate." Located in the south of the country, at 300 meters above sea level, Gjirokastër is situated in a valley between the Gjerë mountainsand the Drino River. The city is overlooked by a large castle(Kalaja e Gjirokastres) which dates back to Pre-Christiantimes.
The majority of Gjirokastrans are ethnic
Albanians, with minorities of Greeks, Vlachs and Roma [ [http://www.gjirokastra.org/about_gjirokastra.html About Gjirokastra, gjirokastra.org] ] Gjirokastër is considered the center of the Greek community in Albania ["Given its large Greek-speaking population, the city of Gjirokastra (in Greek, Agyrocastro)","The concentration of ethnic Greeks inand around centres of Hellenism such as Saranda and Gjirokastra",http://www.da.mod.uk/colleges/csrc/document-listings/balkan/G97 Defense Academy of the United Kingdom] [ [http://mondediplo.com/maps/albanianmdv1999 Le Monde diplomatique - English edition - The Albanians, a scattered people ] ] .
: Αργυρόπολις) or "Argyrokastron" ("Silver Castle", Greek: Αργυρόκαστρον).
The city was part of the
Byzantine Despotate of Epirusin the 14th century before passing to the Ottoman Empirein 1417. It was captured in 1811 by the Albanian-born Ali Pasha, who carved out his own semi-autonomous fiefdom in the southwestern Balkans. In the late 19th century, when the city was the capital of the sandjakof Ergiri in the Yanya vilayet, it became a centre of resistance to Turkish rule. The Assembly of Gjirokastër, a key event in the history of the Albanian liberation movement, was held there in 1880.
First Balkan Warof 1912–1913, the city was claimed by Greecedue to its large Greek population in the area of Dropullsouth of the cityFact|date=September 2008. It was held on three separate occasions by the Greek Army. However, it was awarded to Albania under the terms of the Treaty of London of 1913 and the Protocol of Florence of 17 December 1913 awarded Gjirokastër to Albania. [Dimitri Pentzopoulos, "The Balkan Exchange of Minorities and Its Impact on Greece", p. 28. C. Hurst & Co, 2002. ISBN 1850656746] . The Greek military returned in October-November 1914, during the First World War, and again captured Gjirokastër and the southern Albanian city of Korçë. In April 1916 the territory was annexed to Greece. The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 restored the pre-war "status quo", essentially upholding the border line decided in the 1913 Protocol of Florence, and the city was again returned to Albanian control. [Vassilis Nitsiakos, Constantinos Mantzos, "Negotiating Culture: Political Uses of Polyphonic Folk Songs in Greece and Albania", p. 197 in "Greece and the Balkans: Identities, Perceptions and Cultural Encounters", ed. Demetres Tziovas. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd, 2003. ISBN 0754609987]
In April 1939, Gjirokastër was occupied by
Italyand was annexed to that country along with much of the rest of Albania. During the Second World War, the Greek Army entered the city, because of its advance during the Greek-Italian conflicts in the area and stayed for a brief six months period, until capitulating to the Germans and returning the city to Italian command. After Italy's capitulation Germanyinvaded and took control in September 1943, but the city returned to Albanian control in 1944.
Communistregime developed the city as an industrial and commercial centre. It was elevated to the status of a "museum town", birthplace of the dictator Enver Hoxha, who had been born there in 1908. His house was converted into a museum which became a focal point of Hoxha's cult of personality.
Gjirokastër suffered severe economic problems following the end of communist rule in 1991. It was particularly badly affected by the 1997 collapse of a massive
pyramid schemewhich destabilised the entire Albanian economy. The city became the focus of a rebellion against the government of Sali Berishaand violent anti-government protests took place which eventually forced Berisha's resignation. On December 16 1997, Hoxha's house was blown up by unknown (but presumably anti-communist) attackers.
Infobox World Heritage Site
WHS = Historic Centres of Berat and Gjirokastra (well-preserved southern Albanian towns bearing outstanding testimony to the Ottoman period in the Balkans)
State Party = ALB
Type = Cultural
Criteria = iii, iv
ID = 569
Region = Europe and North America
Year = 2005
Session = 29th
Extension = 2008
Link = http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/569
Gjirokastër is principally a commercial centre with some industries, notably the production of foodstuffs, leather, and textiles.
Culture and places of interest
The city is remarkable for its great natural beauty, as well as his harmonious intercultural mix of Albanian, Byzantine and Ottoman heritage and tradition, which is obvious on the many historical buildings and sites. Many houses in Gjirokastër have a distinctive local style that has earned the city the nickname "Town of the Stones", because most of the old houses have roofs covered with stones. Due to Gjirokastër's importance to the Communist regime, its city centre was spared at least some of the thoughtless redevelopment that afflicted other cities in Albania, but its designation as a "museum town" unfortunately did not translate into maintaining the old town. Consequently, many of its historic buildings have become dilapidated, a problem that is only slowly being resolved.
The Citadel dominates the town and overlooks the strategically important route along the river valley. It is open to visitors and contains a military museum featuring captured artillery and memorabilia of the Communist resistance against German occupation, as well as a captured United States Air Force plane to commemorate the Communist regime's struggle against the "imperialist" powers. The citadel dates back to the 18th century and its construction was ordered by Gjin Bue Shpata, a local tribal leader. Additions were built during the 19th and 20th centuries by Ali Pasha Tepelene and the Government of
King Zog. Today it possesses five towers and houses a clock tower, a church, water fountains, horse stables, and many more amenities. The northern part of the castle was eventually turned into a prison by Zog's government and housed political prisoners during the communist regime.
Gjirokastër also features an old
bazaarwhich was originally built in the 17th century, but which had to be rebuilt in the 19th century after it burned down. There are more than 200 homes preserved as "cultural monuments" in Gjirokastër today, and it is also the site of the National Albanian Folk Festivalheld every four years (most recently in 2005).
When the town was first proposed for inscription on the World Heritage List in 1988,
ICOMOSexperts were nonplussed by a number of modern constructions which detracted from the old town's appearance. The historic core of Gjirokastër was finally inscribed in 2005, 15 years after its original nomination.
The first Albanian school of Gjirokastër was Drita School opened in 1908.
Eqerem Çabej University of Gjirokastrais the highest education school.
Villages Of Gjirokastër
Labova e Kryqit
Labova e Zhapes
Labova e Kryqit
Alexandros Vasileiou[http://www.kenef.phil.uoi.gr/en/dynamic/bookfull.php?Book_ID=29915&contents=] (1760-1818), merchant and philosopher
Eqrem Çabej, ethnologist
Nelson Çabej, [Çabej, Nelson: Autoktonia e shqiptarëve në studimet gjermane, page 176] molecular biologist
Andon Zako Çajupi, writer
Adil Çarçani, former Prime Minister, freedom fighter against Italian occupation
Enver Hoxha, First Secretary of the Albanian Party of Labor
Koto Hoxhi, [http://www.mcclear.net/teaching_in_albania.htm ] teacher and participant in developing the first alphabet of Albanian
Ismail Kadare, writer, Nobel Prizecandidate
Viktor Kalemi, Fact|date=September 2008 translator and former Ambassador
Saim Kokona, cinematographer
Musine Kokalari, author
Vasil Marka, Fact|date=September 2008 chemist
Omer Nishani, anti-fascist theorist and freedom fighter
Baba Rexheb, Bektashi religious leader
Avni Rustemi, Member of the first democratic parliament of Albania
Zihni Sako, Fact|date=September 2008 writer and liberty advocate
Çerçiz Topulli, Fact|date=September 2008 Albanian resistance fighter
Haki Toska,Fact|date=September 2008 1912 independence fighter
Asim Zeneli, Fact|date=September 2008 WWII freedom fighter
Fatos Nano, former Socialist Party Leader, former Prime Minister of Albania
Bashkim Ahmeti, Fact|date=September 2008 artist
Andreas Lolis, Fact|date=September 2008 sculptor
Ermir Asllani,Fact|date=September 2008 fisik teacher,tourist specialist
List of cities in Albania
History of Albania
Geography of Albania
* [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9036947 "Gjirokastër." Encyclopædia Britannica,2006]
* [http://columbia.thefreedictionary.com/Gjirokast%EBr "Gjirokastër or Gjinokastër." The Columbia Encyclopedia (2004)]
* [http://hotelkalemi.tripod.com/index_files/Page322.htm Photo Gallery of Gjirokastër from Hotel Kalemi]
* [http://www.shqiperia.com/foto/galeria/gjirokastra?&page=1 Photos of Gjirokastër]
* [http://www.edwebproject.org/balkans/gjirokastra.html Photo gallery] by
* [http://www.GjirokastraOnline.com Gjirokastra Online] by
Klodian Lula & SIFE UGJ
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Gjirokastër — Gjirokastra (Albanian), Argirocastro (Italian), Aryirókastro Αργυρόκαστρο (Greek), Ergiri (Turkish) … Names of cities in different languages
Gjirokaster — Gjirokastra DEC … Deutsch Wikipedia
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Gjirokastër — ▪ Albania Gheg dialect Gjinokastër , Greek Argyrókastron , Italian Argirocastro town, southern Albania. Lying southeast of the Adriatic port of Vlorë, Gjirokastër overlooks the Drin River valley from the eastern slope of the long ridge… … Universalium
Gjirokastër — Gjirokạstër [ tər], griechisch Argyrọkastron, Hauptstadt des gleichnamigen Bezirks in Südalbanien, am Westrand des beckenartig erweiterten Dhrinotales, 24 900 Einwohner (mit griechischer Minderheit). Burg von Ali Pascha (mit Waffenmuseum). … … Universal-Lexikon
Gjirokastër — Sp Girokãsteris Ap Gjirokastër L Albanija … Pasaulio vietovardžiai. Internetinė duomenų bazė
Gjirokaster — Admin ASC 1 Code Orig. name Gjirokastër Country and Admin Code AL.45 AL … World countries Adminstrative division ASC I-II
Gjirokastër — noun A city in southern Albania … Wiktionary
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Gjirokaster — Original name in latin Gjirokastr Name in other language Agirocastro, Arghirocastru, Arghyrocastro, Argirocastro, Argirokastro, Argyrokastro, Argyrokastron, Aryirokastro, Aryirokastron, Ergheni, Ergiri, GJirokastra, Ghinokastre, Girokasteris,… … Cities with a population over 1000 database