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Tirana founded 400 years ago

Tirana founded 400 years ago
Tirana, February 1, 2014/Balkan Independent News Agency

400 years ago, in 1614, a visionary man founded what was later to become the Albanian metropolis, Tirana. Sulejman Pasha, a man from the village of Mullet, laid the first stones of Tirana, starting with the construction of the mosque, a bakery and a hammam.

“Mujo” quarter and “Pazar” quarter have been the oldest quarters of Tirana. Today they’re located in the area between the current center and Elbasan St, on both sides of Lana river.

After its foundation, Tirana soon became an important urban area. In 1703, Tirana had 4 thousand inhabitants. In 1769, it exported in the markets of Venice 2600 barrels of olive oil and 14.000 piles of tobacco.

Population of Tirana rapidly grew and today it has over 1 million inhabitants.

On the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the foundation of Tirana, “Tirana” association and Municipality of Tirana have agreed to name and to place commemoration monuments in squares and crucial locations of the capital, locations which have hosted year after year the big historical events, which citizens in Tirana feel closely related to. For many years, the capital has not had memorials of such nature.

The chairman of “Tirana” Association, Arben Tafaj says that the foundation stone would be located in the place where this city started its existence, the old Mosque of the city of Tirana and the man who without any doubt has a historical importance by founding this city and these objects of cult, Sulejman Pasha.

Mr. Tafaj has a request for the municipality of Tirana. “We would request to the municipality to displace the monument of Sulejman Pasha and place it where it belongs and not to remain in the location where it was placed 80 years ago”.

Meanwhile, for the old inhabitants of Tirana he has another request: “We would like to have the cooperation of every citizen of Tirana to evoke our history in order to feel proud that we live in this city, but at the same time, to be responsible and take the city forward”.

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Municipality of Tirana has planned a rich agenda for 2014, by highlighting this period in the historical aspect, in the urban development aspect, but also in terms of the evolution of trade, evolution of this community up to the present day.

Head of the Culture Department at the Municipality of Tirana, Mr. Arben Skenderi says that publications for the 400th will be numerous, because these are things which remain. He says that the old maps and current maps of the city will be published. Meanwhile, tours will be organized for the young generation. These tours will be entitled “Let us know the history of the city”. “We will also stimulate the creativity of Tirana high school students, but there will also be fairs and sport activities under the logo ‘400 years of Tirana’”, says Mr. Skenderi.

Three hypotheses about the origin of the name of Tirana

For the first time, the name of Tirana was mentioned in today’s form in 1418 in a document from Venice.

1.“Tirana” is thought to originate from the word “Therenda”, mentioned in the ancient Greek and Latin sources.

2. “Tirana” originates from “Tirkan”. Tirkan has been a castle on the slope of Dajti Mountain. Even to this day, there exist ruins of this ancient castle dating from the start of the first century AD. This is believed to have been the castle that the Byzantine historian, Procopius, (VI century), calls Castle of Tirkan.

3. “Tirana” originates from ancient Greek, “Tyros” which means diary. This version is believed to have remained because the trade of diaries from farmers in surrounding areas used to take place in the field of Tirana. /ibna/

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