Geography of Albania
Albania is a small country in Southern and Southeastern Europe strategically positioned on the Adriatic and Ionian Sea inside the Mediterranean Sea, with a coastline of about 476 km. It is bounded by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, North Macedonia to the east and Greece to the southeast and south. Most of Albania rises into mountains and hills, tending to run the length of the country from north to south, as for instance the Albanian Alps in the north, the Sharr Mountains in the northeast, the Skanderbeg Mountains in the center, the Korab Mountains in the east, the Pindus Mountains in the southeast, the Ceraunian Mountains in the southwest. Plains and plateaus extend in the west along the Albanian Ionian Sea Coast. Few of the largest and oldest bodies of freshwater of Europe occur in Albania; the second largest lake of Southern Europe, the Lake of Shkodër, is located in the northwest surrounded by the Albanian Alps and the Adriatic Sea. One of the oldest continuously existing lakes in the world, the Lake of Ohrid, straddles in the southeast, while the highest tectonic lakes of the Balkan Peninsula, the Large and Small Lake of Prespa are well hidden among high mountains in the southeast.
Rivers originate in loops towards the west into the sea. They are encompassed by the drainage basins of the Adriatic and Black Sea; the longest river in the country, measured from its mouth to its source, is the Drin that starts at the confluence of its two headwaters, the Black and White Drin, though notable is the Vjosë, one of the last intact large river systems in Europe. For a small country, Albania is characterised for its biological diversity and abundance of contrasting ecosystems and habitats, defined in an area of 28,748 square kilometres; this great diversity derives from Albania's geographic location on the Mediterranean Sea, with typical climatic conditions, varied topography, as well as the wealth of terrestrial and marine ecosystems providing a variety of habitats, each with its own typical flora and fauna. There are 799 Albanian protected areas covering a surface of 5,216.96 square kilometres. These include 2 strict nature reserves, 14 national parks, 1 marine park, 8 archaeological parks, 750 natural monuments, 22 habitat/species management areas, 5 protected landscapes, 4 protected landscapes, 4 managed resources areas and 4 ramsar wetlands.
The national parks covers a surface area of 210,668.48 hectares or 13.65% of the overall territory. A total surface area of 28.748 square kilometres, the country is located in the southeastern part of the Adriatic and the northeastern part of the Ionian Sea, both located within the Mediterranean Sea. It has a length of borders of about 1,094 kilometres, 657 kilometres of which are taken by terrestrial borders, 316 kilometres of shore borders, 48 kilometres river borders and 73 kilometres of lake borders. Inland water surface is 1,350 square kilometres, composed by natural lakes 325 square kilometres, coastal lagoons 130 square kilometres, artificial lakes 174 square kilometres and rivers 721 kilometres; the countries of Montenegro and Kosovo border the country in the northeast, respectively. A significant portion of this border connects high points and follows mountain ridges through the inaccessible Albanian Alps; the eastern border is shared with North Macedonia. This border is located at the tripoint between Albania and North Macedonia passing through the Sharr and Korab Mountains and continues until it reaches Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa.
The southern and southeastern border with Greece is 282 kilometres long. The border is located at the tripoint border between Albania, North Macedonia, Greece running across the Large and Small Lake Prespa until it reaches the Ionian Sea at the Strait of Corfu; the most important feature of Albania is its relief, with numerous successive mountain ranges and its average altitude, more than 700 metres above sea level. Much of the mountains lie to the north and south of the western lowlands in the northern and southern mountain ranges; the Albanian Alps extend over 90 kilometres through the north of Albania, covering an area of 2,000 square kilometers. These mountains are no wider than 40 kilometers, they are fragmented and inaccessible. It holds the Maja Jezercë, the highest point of the Dinarides and the second highest point of Albania; the Korab Mountains dominate the east of the country and expand 40 kilometres along the eastern border of the country, where peaks can reach 2,500 metres. The mountains offer the country's highest peak at Mount Korab, fragmented by many deep structural depressions.
Another distinguishing feature is the evidence of the last ice age in form of glacial lakes at low altitudes. One of the most remarkable features about the south of Albania is the presence of the Ceraunian Mountains that cut across the landscape for nearly 100 kilometres. Thousand meter high mountains fall vertically into the Mediterranean Sea forming at least the first barrier to communication between the sea and the country's southern inland; the country streams characterized by a high flow rate. They belong to the drainage basins of the Adriatic and Black Sea, they rise in the mountainous eastern half of the country and have their mouths in the west along the coasts. They are fed from snowmelt of the snowcapped mountains or from the abundant precipitation that falls at higher elevations. E
Shkëlzen is a mountain in Albania with a height of 2,404 metres. It is rocky and located near the border with Kosovo, north of Tropojë, it belongs to the Prokletije. Shkëlzen shares its name with a village, just south of the mountain
Air pollution occurs when harmful or excessive quantities of substances including gases and biological molecules are introduced into Earth's atmosphere. It may cause diseases and death to humans. Both human activity and natural processes can generate air pollution. Indoor air pollution and poor urban air quality are listed as two of the world's worst toxic pollution problems in the 2008 Blacksmith Institute World's Worst Polluted Places report. According to the 2014 World Health Organization report, air pollution in 2012 caused the deaths of around 7 million people worldwide, an estimate echoed by one from the International Energy Agency. An air pollutant is a material in the air that can have adverse effects on the ecosystem; the substance can be liquid droplets, or gases. A pollutant can be of man-made. Pollutants are classified as secondary. Primary pollutants are produced by processes such as ash from a volcanic eruption. Other examples include carbon monoxide gas from motor vehicle exhausts or sulphur dioxide released from the factories.
Secondary pollutants are not emitted directly. Rather, they form in the air when primary pollutants interact. Ground level ozone is a prominent example of secondary pollutants; some pollutants may be both primary and secondary: they are both emitted directly and formed from other primary pollutants. Substances emitted into the atmosphere by human activity include: Carbon dioxide – Because of its role as a greenhouse gas it has been described as "the leading pollutant" and "the worst climate pollution". Carbon dioxide is a natural component of the atmosphere, essential for plant life and given off by the human respiratory system; this question of terminology has practical effects, for example as determining whether the U. S. Clean Air Act is deemed to regulate CO2 emissions. CO2 forms about 410 parts per million of earth's atmosphere, compared to about 280 ppm in pre-industrial times, billions of metric tons of CO2 are emitted annually by burning of fossil fuels. CO2 increase in earth's atmosphere has been accelerating.
Sulfur oxides – sulphur dioxide, a chemical compound with the formula SO2. SO2 is produced in various industrial processes. Coal and petroleum contain sulphur compounds, their combustion generates sulphur dioxide. Further oxidation of SO2 in the presence of a catalyst such as NO2, forms H2SO4, thus acid rain; this is one of the causes for concern over the environmental impact of the use of these fuels as power sources. Nitrogen oxides – Nitrogen oxides nitrogen dioxide, are expelled from high temperature combustion, are produced during thunderstorms by electric discharge, they can be seen as a plume downwind of cities. Nitrogen dioxide is a chemical compound with the formula NO2, it is one of several nitrogen oxides. One of the most prominent air pollutants, this reddish-brown toxic gas has a characteristic sharp, biting odor. Carbon monoxide – CO is a colorless, toxic yet non-irritating gas, it is a product of combustion of fuel such as natural coal or wood. Vehicular exhaust contributes to the majority of carbon monoxide let into our atmosphere.
It creates a smog type formation in the air, linked to many lung diseases and disruptions to the natural environment and animals. In 2013, more than half of the carbon monoxide emitted into our atmosphere was from vehicle traffic and burning one gallon of gas will emit over 20 pounds of carbon monoxide into the air. Volatile organic compounds – VOCs are a well-known outdoor air pollutant, they are categorized as either non-methane. Methane is an efficient greenhouse gas which contributes to enhanced global warming. Other hydrocarbon VOCs are significant greenhouse gases because of their role in creating ozone and prolonging the life of methane in the atmosphere; this effect varies depending on local air quality. The aromatic NMVOCs benzene and xylene are suspected carcinogens and may lead to leukemia with prolonged exposure. 1,3-butadiene is another dangerous compound associated with industrial use. Particulate matter / particles, alternatively referred to as particulate matter, atmospheric particulate matter, or fine particles, are tiny particles of solid or liquid suspended in a gas.
In contrast, aerosol refers to gas. Some particulates occur originating from volcanoes, dust storms and grassland fires, living vegetation, sea spray. Human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels in vehicles, power plants and various industrial processes generate significant amounts of aerosols. Averaged worldwide, anthropogenic aerosols—those made by human activities—currently account for 10 percent of our atmosphere. Increased levels of fine particles in the air are linked to health hazards such as heart disease, altered lung function and lung cancer. Particulates are related to respiratory infections and can be harmful to those suffering from conditions like asthma. Persistent free radicals connected to airborne fine particles are linked to cardiopulmonary disease. Toxic metals, such as lead and mercury their compounds. Chlorofluorocarbons – harmful to the ozone layer; these are gases which are released from air conditioners, aerosol sprays, etc. On release into the air, CFCs rise to the stratosphere.
Here they come in contact with other gases and
Mali i Gramës
Mali i Gramës is a mountain in the Albanian part of the Korab mountain range. Mali i Gramës reaches a height of 2,345 metres high. Around the mountain are many lakes including the largest lake on Mount Korab which shares the name'Gramë', it around one and a half kilometres west of Mount Korab itself, to which it is connected to the main part of the mountain by a long ridge. Gramë refers to the peak itself, but the entire southwestern spur of the Korab range, about eight kilometres long. In the north, the Gramë stream flows through a deep canyon to a terrace. To the east of this is Lake Gramë. There are several gypsum deposits in the region around Gramë. Natural monuments in the region include the Karst i Malit të Bardhë, the Selenium deposit at Pasqyrat e Gramës, the cirque at Bjeshka e Zonjave. On the north side of the mountain, the Malli i Gramës falls away into a sheer cliff; the main access from the villages in the southwest to the seasonal pasture northeast of the mountain runs over the summit.
Cerjan on the south side and Zimur in the southwest are the highest villages on the mountain, at around 1300 metres above sea level. In the southwest, around seven kilometres away at an altitude of around 650 metres, where it is flatter, is the capital of the region, Peshkopi. Central Mountain Range Korab-Koritnik Nature Park Korab and Mount Korab Geography of Albania Mountains of Albania
Tirana is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Albania. Tirana is located in the center of Albania and is enclosed by mountains and hills, with Dajt on the east and a slight valley on the northwest overlooking the Adriatic Sea in the distance. Due to its location within the Plain of Tirana and the close proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, the city is influenced by a Mediterranean seasonal climate, it is with 2,544 hours of sun per year. Tirana flourished as a city in 1614 but the region that today corresponds to the city's territory has been continuously inhabited since the Iron Age; the city's territory had no importance within Illyria. Indeed, it was annexed by Rome and became an integral part of the Roman Empire following the Illyrian Wars; the heritage of that period represented by the Mosaics of Tirana. In the 5th and 6th centuries, a Paleochristian basilica was built around this site. After the Roman Empire split into East and West in the 4th century, its successor the Byzantine Empire took control over most of Albania, built the Petrelë Castle in the reign of Justinian I.
The city was unimportant until the 20th century, when the Congress of Lushnjë proclaimed it as Albania's capital, after the Albanian Declaration of Independence in 1912. Tirana is the most important economic, financial and trade center in Albania due to its significant location in the center of the country and its modern air, maritime and road transportation, it is the seat of power of the Government of Albania, with the official residences of the President and Prime Minister of Albania, the Parliament of Albania. The discovery of the Pellumbas Cave near Tirana shows that ancient human culture was present in Albania as early as the Paleolithic era. Nonetheless, the oldest discovery within the urban area of Tirana was a Roman house, transformed into an aisleless church with a mosaic floor, dating to the 3rd century, with other remains found near a medieval temple at Shengjin Fountain in the eastern suburbs. A castle called Tirkan, whose remnants are found along Murat Toptani Street, was built by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I and restored by Ahmed Pasha Toptani in the 18th century.
The area had no special importance in classical times. Tirana is mentioned in Venetian documents in 1418, one year after the Ottoman conquest of the area: "...the resident Pjeter, son of late Domenik from the village of Tirana...". Records of the first land registrations under the Ottomans in 1431–32 show that Tirana consisted of 60 inhabited areas, with nearly 2,028 houses and 7,300 inhabitants. In 1510, Marin Barleti, an Albanian Catholic priest and scholar, in the biography of the Albanian national hero Skanderbeg, Historia de vita et gestis Scanderbegi Epirotarum principis, referred to this area as a small village, distinguishing between "Little Tirana" and "Great Tirana", it is mentioned in 1572 as Borgo di Tirana. According to Hahn, the settlement had started to develop as a bazaar and included several watermills before 1614, when Sulejman Bargjini, a local ruler, built the Old Mosque, a small commercial centre, a hammam; this is confirmed by oral sources, which state that there were two earlier mosques 300-400 m from the Old Mosque, towards today's Ali Demi Street.
The Mosque of Reç and the Mosque of Mujo were positioned on the left side of the Lana river and were older than the Old Mosque. The Et'hem Bey Mosque, built by Molla Bey of Petrela, was constructed, it employed the best artisans in the country and was completed in 1821 by Molla's son Etëhem, Sulejman Bargjini's great-nephew. In 1800, the first newcomers arrived in the so-called ortodoksit, they were Vlachs from villages near Korçë and Pogradec, who settled around modern day Tirana Park on the Artificial Lake. They started to be known as the llacifac and were the first Christians to arrive after the creation of the town. After Serb reprisals in the Debar region, thousands of locals fled to Tirana. In 1807, Tirana became the center of the Subprefecture of Krujë-Tirana. After 1816, Tirana languished under the control of the Toptani family of Krujë. Tirana became a sub-prefecture of the newly created Vilayet of Shkodër and the Sanjak of Durrës. In 1889, the Albanian language started to be taught in Tirana's schools, the patriotic club Bashkimi was founded in 1908.
On 28 November 1912, the national flag was raised in agreement with President Ismail Qemali. During the Balkan Wars, the city was temporarily occupied by the Serbian army and it took part in uprising of the villages led by Haxhi Qamili. In August 1916, the first city map was compiled by the specialists of the Austro-Hungarian army. On 8 February 1920, the Congress of Lushnjë proclaimed Tirana as the temporary capital of Albania, which had gained independence in 1912; the city acquired that status permanently on 31 December 1925. In 1923, the first regulatory city plan was compiled by Austrian architects; the centre of Tirana was the project of Florestano Di Fausto and Armando Brasini, well-known architects of the Mussolini period in Italy. Brasini laid the basis for the modern-day arrangement of the ministerial buildings in the city centre; the plan underwent revisions by Albanian architect Eshref Frashëri, Italian architect Castellani and Austrian architects Weiss and Kohler. The modern Albanian parliament building served as an officers' club.
It was there that, in September 1928, Zog of Albania was crowned King Zog King of the Albanians. Tirana was the venue for the signing of the P
Dajti Castle is a 1.12 hectares archaeological site in Albania, comprising the ruins of a Roman fortification and several dwellings. It belongs to late antiquity having been built over Illyrian foundations, it lies at 1,200 metres altitude on top of west-side of Mount Dajti, close to Tirana. It was discovered in 1963 and was inscribed in the list of the Cultural Monuments of Albania. In 2008 a three-year restoration project began, aiming to conduct further archaeological searching and surveys and to improve the nearby infrastructure for visitors and tourists. According to the archaeological material and the analysis carried on site, the castle of Dajti is thought to date back to the late antiquity in the 6th century. Procopius of Caesarea in his panegyric work Buildings of Justinian writes that the East Roman Emperor Justinian I "...built 32 castles and reconstructed 26 others in Epirus Nova, in order to protect it from the Slavic attacks". He mentioned the castle Tirkan, the probable origin of Albania capital's name Tirana, dating back to 1st century BC and lying on Dajti's mountainside, which might be Tujani Castle, on a much lower altitude than Dajti castle.
The castle was discovered in 1963 by archaeologist Neritan Ceka. Soon afterwards it was declared a Culture Monument of 1st category on January 15, 1963, by the Rectorate of the State University. Dajti castle is located within Dajti National Park at an average altitude of 1,200 metres above sea level; the ruins of the castle and of the dwellings beside it lie on the top of a hill formation with a saddle like form on the western side of Mount Dajti. It is 25 km by road from Tirana city center, or it can be reached through a 4.2 km long cable-car route and travelling by car or feet from the cable car terminal for 2,500 metres. At the end there is the climbing of the sloppy part within the forest; the castle overlooks the whole western Albania and offers an impressive panorama, since it has a high relative altitude of 1,100 m from Tirana and its plain. The port city of Durrës and the Adriatic sea can be seen. From this strategic position a wide range of territory from northwest to south could be observed.
From the walls' analysis, two main construction phases can be ascertained. The first phase, a typical dry stone method, is realized with large quadrangular stone blocks, bound together without any mortar, suggesting of an earlier Illyrian castle; the other phase of the walls is done through unworked smaller stones bound with mortar and belongs to the Roman period. The archaeological site has an overall area of 11,200 square metres; the castle's walls that follow the sloppy terrain have a triangular shape, with a perimeter of 550 metres. The northern wall is 150 metres, the eastern is 190 metres, whereas the southern wall of the castle is 210 metres long. A transverse wall divides the northern part of the fortification, thus creating a small acropolis like structure; the width of the walls is 2.3 metres. The main architectural elements of the fortification are its towers, located in each of the vertices of the triangle; the southern tower of circular shape has an outer diameter of 1.15 m wide walls.
A small 0.85 m wide entrance leads towards it. The most important findings on the site were several coins of the Byzantine emperor Tiberius II Constantine. Interesting is an 18 cm iron tool in the form of a knife. Inside the castle and on the flat terraces several ceramic fragments were found, they were of an pure clay, well-baked but without any paint. The found ceramics were parts of typical Roman roof tiles and fewer pottery objects and everyday vessels; the most distinctive ceramic is a tile fragment with figures stamped on it, resembling the Illyrian decorative motifs. Slag from the process of ore smelting has been found, suggesting that the locals were familiar with this process. Mount Dajt is rich in bauxite and still today there is a bauxite mine near the site. A vessel with flutings and the remains of a profiled loom are evidences of the introduced Roman culture in the site. Forty-five years after its discovery and inscription in the Albanian Culture Monuments list, in 2008 the Culture Monuments Institute’s archaeologists Spiro Nika and Suela Xhyheri prepared a restoration project for Dajti castle.
The project was approved and started the implementation phase under the coordinator, Prof. Dr Skënder Muçaj, from the Institute of Archaeology; the Institute of Culture Monuments, Regional Directory of Culture Monuments, the Institute of Archaeology, Dajti commune and Dajti National Park were cooperators within this project. Tirana Dajti National Park Roman military engineering
Maja e Kollatës
Maja e Kollatës is the mountain peak in the Bjeshkët e Namuna range in northern Albania. Maja e Kollatës reaches a height of 2,556 m and is the highest among the four main peaks of the Kolata massif; the second and third highest are Zla Kolata and Dobra Kolata on the border to Montenegro just northwest of the main peak