Sarandë simply Saranda, is a coastal town in Albania. Geographically, it is situated on an open sea gulf of the Ionian Sea in the central Mediterranean, about 14 km east of the northern end of the island of Corfu. Stretching along the Albanian Ionian Sea Coast, Saranda has over 300 sunny days a year; the city is known for its blue deep waters of the Mediterranean. Near Sarandë are the remains of the ancient city of a UNESCO World Heritage site. In recent years, Saranda has seen a steady increase in many of them coming by cruise ship. Visitors are attracted by the natural environment of its archaeological sites. Sarandë has a large Greek population and is considered one of the two centers of the Greek minority in Albania. Saranda is from the name of the Byzantine monastery of the Agioi Saranda, meaning the "Forty Saints", in honor of the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste. Under Ottoman rule, the town in the Turkish language became known as Aya Sarandi and Sarandoz. Owing to Venetian influence in the region, it appeared under its Italian name Santi Quaranta on Western maps.
This usage continued after the establishment of the Principality of Albania, owing to the first Italian occupation of the region. During the Italian occupation of Albania in World War II, Benito Mussolini changed the name to Porto Edda, in honor of his eldest daughter. Following the restoration of Albanian independence, the city employed its Albanian name Saranda. In antiquity the city was known by the name of Onchesmus or Onchesmos, was a port-town of Chaonia in ancient Epirus, opposite the northwestern point of Corcyra, the next port upon the coast to the south of Panormus, it was inhabited by the Greek tribe of the Chaonians. Onchesmos flourished as the port of the Chaonian capital Phoenice, it seems to have been a place of importance in the time of Cicero, one of the ordinary points of departure from Epirus to Italy, as Cicero calls the wind favourable for making that passage an Onchesmites. According to Dionysius of Halicarnassus the real name of the place was the Port of Anchises, named after Anchises, the father of Aeneas.
Saranda under the name of Onchesmos, is held to be the site of Albania's first synagogue, built in the 4th or 5th century. It is thought that it was built by the descendants of Jews who arrived on the southern shores of Albania around 70 CE. Onchesmos' synagogue was supplanted by a church in the 6th century; the city was raided by the Ostrogoths in 551 AD, while during this period it became the target of piratic raids by Gothic ships. In a medieval chronicle of 1191 the settlement appears to be abandoned, while its former name isn't mentioned any more. From that year, the toponym borrows the name of the nearby Orthodox basilica church of Agioi Saranta, erected in the 6th century, ca. 1 km southeast of the modern town. Following the Ottoman administrative reform of 1867, a müdürluk of Sarandë consisting of no other villages was created within the kaza of Delvinë. Sarandë in the late Ottoman period until the Balkan Wars consisted of only a harbour being a simple commercial station without permanent residents or any institutional community organisation.
The creation of the Saranda müdürluk was related to the desires of Ottoman authorities to upgrade the port and reduce the economic dependence of the area on Ioannina and Preveza. In 1878, a Greek rebellion broke out, with revolutionaries taking control of Sarandë and Delvinë; this was suppressed by Ottoman troops. One of the earliest photographs of Saranda dates from 3 March 1913 and shows Greek soldiers in the main street during the course of the Second Balkan War. Saranda was a major centre of the short-lived Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus. Greek troops occupied it during the Balkan Wars; the town was included in the newly formed Albanian state in 17 December 1913 under the terms of the Protocol of Florence. The decision was rejected by the local Greek population, as the Greek army withdrew to the new border, the Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus was established. In May 1914, negotiations were started in Sarandë between representative of the provisional government of Northern Epirus and that of Albania which continued in nearby Corfu and ended up with the recognition of the Northern Epirote autonomy inside the newly established Albanian state.
It was occupied by Italy between 1916 and 1920 as part of the Italian Protectorate on southern Albania. Throughout 1926-1939 of the interwar period, Italy financed extensive improvements to the harbour at Sarandë. A small Romanian concession was established in 1934. Sarandë was again occupied by Italian forces in 1939 and was a strategic port during the Italian invasion of Greece. During this occupation, it was called "Porto Edda" in honor of the eldest daughter of Benito Mussolini. During the Greco-Italian War, the city came under the control of the advancing Greek forces, on 6 December 1940; the capture of this strategic port further accelerated the Greek penetration to the north. As a result of the German invasion in Greece in April 1941, the town returned to Italian control. On 9 October 1944 the town was captured by a group of British commandos under Brigadier Tom Churchill and local partisans of LANÇ under Islam Radovicka; the involvement of the British troops was considered problematic by LANÇ as they considered that the
Lukovë is a village and a former municipality in the Vlorë County, southern Albania. At the 2015 local government reform it became a subdivision of the municipality Himarë; the population at the 2011 census was 2,916. During the Ottoman period Lukovë together with nearby Piqeras and Nivicë was part of the Himara area and enjoyed special semi-autonomous status inside this community; the municipal unit consists of the following settlements: Lukovë, the municipal seat is inhabited by a majority Orthodox Albanian population alongside minorities of Muslim Albanians and Greeks. Borsh, Fterrë and Sasaj are populated by Muslim Albanians. Piqeras is inhabited by an Orthodox Albanian majority with a minority of 100 Muslim Albanians and 50 Greeks. Çorraj is a mixed village inhabited by Albanian Muslims. Shën Vasil is inhabited by a majority Orthodox Albanian population and with a minority of Muslim Albanians and Greeks. Nivicë is inhabited by a minority of Greeks. Qazim Pali is a new village established during the communist period and is populated by Muslim Albanians alongside minorities of Orthodox Albanians and Greeks.
In a demographic investigation by Leonidas Kallivretakis in the late 20th century, the population of Lukovë commune and all its villages, 54% were Albanian Christians, 40% were Albanian Muslims and 6% were Greek Christians. Nafiz Bezhani, jurist and writer. Dimitrios Doulis, minister of military affairs of the Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus, from Nivice. Muzafer Korkuti and Vice President of the Academy of Sciences of Albania Vasil Laçi, Albanian patriot who attempted to kill in 1941 Victor Emmanuel III King of Italy and Shefqet Bej Vërlaci Prime Minister of Albania Jakup Mato, head of Centre of Art Studies of the Academy of Sciences of Albania. Niphon Kausokalybites and saint of the Eastern Orthodox Church Kakome Beaches
Finiq is a predominantly Greek-inhabited settlement, considered town or village, municipality in Vlorë County, in southern Albania located 8 km from the Ionian Sea and 20 km north of the Greek border. It was formed at the 2015 local government reform by the merger of the former municipalities Aliko, Dhivër, Finiq and Mesopotam, that became municipal units; the seat of the municipality is the village Dermish. The total population is 11,862, in a total area of 441.20 km2. The population of the former municipality at the 2011 census was 1,333, however according to the civil offices was 6,780; the 2015 Albanian civil registry recorded a much higher municipal population of 39,055. The municipal unit of Finiq comprises the villages Finiq, Buronjë, Çlirim, Karahaxhë and Bregas. Finiq and all the villages of the municipality are inhabited by ethnic Greeks, except the village of Çlirim, mixed. In antiquity, Phoenice was the political center of the Epirot Greek tribe of the Chaonians. Early Byzantine architecture is evident in the settlement in particurlar that of the three aisled basilica type.
According to the Chronicle of Gjirokaster the first years of Ottoman rule were peaceful but after the Fall of Constantinople Finiki was destroyed by the Muslims. At the end of the 16th century Finiki witnessed a drastic population increase and became one of the largest settlements in the area with 359 households. At 1870 a secondary Greek language school was operating in Finiq. Phoenice Chaonians Konstantinos. Giakoumis. "The monasteries of Jorgucat and Vanishte in Dropull and of Spelaio in Lunxheri as monuments and institutions during the Ottoman period in Albania". University of Birmingham. Retrieved 20 May 2018. Https://web.archive.org/web/20081028140625/http://www.phoinike.com/
Mesopotam is a village and a former municipality in the Vlorë County, in Albania. At the 2015 local government reform it became a subdivision of the municipality Finiq; the population at the 2011 census was 2,786. The municipal unit consists of the villages: Mesopotam Kardhikaq Pecë Muzinë Dhrovjan Krongj Bistricë Velahovë Livinë Brajlat Sirakat Kostar Fitore Krane ArdhasovëThe municipal unit borders Delvinë to the north, Aliko to the south, Dhivër to the east, Finiq and Aliko to the west; the name comes from Greek, meaning "between rivers". Most settlements of the commune are inhabited by the Greek community; the villages of Muzinë and Pecë are inhabited by an Orthodox Albanian population, Bistricë has a mixed population and Kardhikaq is a mixed village inhabited by Greeks and Aromanians. The Mesopotam village is known for its 13th century Orthodox Church dedicated to St. Nicholas, declared "Protected Monument" from the government; the "Blue Eye" water spring nearby is a well-known touristic destination.
Constantine Mesopotamites, Byzantine official. Tourism in Albania Bistricë river List of Religious Cultural Monuments of Albania
Ksamil is a village and a former municipality in the riviera of Southern Albania, part of Butrint National Park. At the 2015 local government reform it became a subdivision of the municipality Sarandë; the population at the 2011 census was 2,994. The municipal unit consists of the villages Manastir; the proper coastal village, built in 1966, is located south of the city of Sarandë off the road to Butrint. Ksamil is one of the most frequented coastal resorts by both foreign tourists. Ksamil Beach and Albania's Ionian Coast further north was included in the Guardian's 20 of the best bargain beach holidays for 2013; the main attractions are the nearby Ksamil Islands. The mainland beach is clean. During communism, the area became well known for the production of olive oil and tangerines. In 2010, national authorities demolished over 200 illegal structures that violated the town's master plan and the integrity of Butrint National Park; some remains from the demolished buildings. According to official estimates the population of Ksamil numbers 9,215.
The number of the members of the Greek minority is estimated at 4,207. Tourism in Albania Albanian Riviera Geography of Albania List of islands of Albania Visit Ksamil European Best Destinations Ksamil Lonely Planet Ksamil Photos of Ksamil
Delvinë is a town and a municipality in Vlorë County, southern Albania, 16 kilometres northeast of Saranda. It was formed at the 2015 local government reform by the merger of the former municipalities Delvinë and Vergo, that became municipal units; the seat of the municipality is the town Delvinë. The total population is 7,598, in a total area of 182.90 square kilometres. The population of the former municipality at the 2011 census was 5,754; the town is built on a mountain slope. It has a mosque, a Catholic church, a Protestant church, an Orthodox church. Nearby are the remainders of a medieval castle. To the south west of the city is the site of ancient Phoenice, declared an Archaeological Park in 2005. There is little local employment apart from that provided by the State, Delvinë benefits little from the tourist boom in Saranda; the town has a mixed population of Greeks. According to the Human Rights Watch, Greeks constituted 50% of the town's population in 1989, but this fell to 25% in 1999.
In antiquity the region was inhabited by the Greek tribe of the Chaonians. In the Middle Ages, Delvinë was part of the Despotate of Epirus. After defeat of Slavic tribes in 616 when they unsuccessfully besieged Thessaloniki, one of the tribes migrated to Epirus; until the 14th century this region in Epirus was referred to as Vanegetia, from the name of this Slavic tribe. Similar toponyms like Viyanite or Viyantije survived until the 16th century when they were replaced with the name Delvinë; the separate Sanjak of Delvina was established in the middle of 16th century, due to the need to secure Ottoman control in the region towards potential Venetian infiltration from nearby Butrinto and to control the rebellious zone of Himara. The county town was Delvinë, yet during the 18th century the local Pasha moved the seat of the sanjak from Delvinë to Gjirokastër; the official name did not change however, as it was referred to as the Sanjak of Gjirokastër. In an ecclesiastical entry of 1635, the Codex of the church of Delvinë written in the Greek language noted that Muslims had increased and dwelt in quarters inhabited by Orthodox Christians, had confiscated their churches and converted them into mosques, thereby forcing the non-Islamized Christians to move to other quarters of the town.
The Turkish traveler Evliya Çelebi visited Delvinë around 1670 and gave some information about the city in his travel book. He reported that in the Middle Ages Delvinë was in the hands of the Spanish and the Venetians. In his own time, Ajaz Mehmet Pasha - a native Albanian - governed the Sanjak-bey of Delvinë; the sanjak covered 155 timars. There was a Turkish garrison, whose command on the castle was from Delvinë. According to the description of Çelebi, the small fortress had a good cisterne, an ammunition depot and a small mosque. In the city there were about 100 brick-built houses; these stood far apart and nearly every house had a tower. He noted. There was three Medreses and about 80 stores, as well as an open market place. Çelebi observed that during this time, all the inhabitants of Delvinë spoke the Albanian language while having no knowledge of the Greek language. In an ecclesiastical entry of 1730, the Codex of the church of Delvinë noted that some of the Christian Greek clergy had linguistic difficulties in administrating to their congregation, as there were Christian villagers living within the region of Delvinë who were Albanian speaking.
The local diaspora in Venice as part of the Venetian Greek community's Brotherhood of Saint Nicholas financially supported various initiatives for the expansion of Greek education in 18th century. Thus, in two instances in 1713 and 1749, Spyros Stratis and Spyridon Rizos notable members of the local diaspora in Venice, financially supported the expansion of the local Greek education system, as well as donating vast sums of money to local Orthodox monasteries and churches. In 1878 a Greek rebellion broke out, with a unit of 700 revolutionaries Epirotes, taking control of Sarandë and Delvinë. However, it was suppressed by the Ottoman troops. In the early 20th century a çetë consisting of 200 activists of the Albanian National Awakening was formed in Delvinë. During the Balkan Wars and the subsequent Ottoman defeat, the Greek Army entered the city at March 3, 1913. In June 1914 the town hosted the constituent assembly of the representatives of Northern Epirus that discussed and approved the Protocol of Corfu, on July 26, 1914.
Delvino became part of the short-lived Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus. Until the Second World War, a small Jewish community existed in Delvinë, it consisted of Jews from Spain who had come to Delvinë when under Ottoman rule and had close connections to the large Jewish community in Ioannina. After the war, nearly all the Jews emigrated to Israel; the first school in Delvina, a Greek language school, was founded at 1537, when the town was still under Venetian control, was maintained by bequests from wealthy local families. Moreover, at 1875 a Greek female school was founded. Delvinë is twinned with: Sarandë, Albania Ecumenical Patriarch Serapheim II of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Themistoklis Bamichas, ethnic Greek politician and representative of Northern Epirus at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 Avni bej Delvina, bej of the city, was one of the signatories of the Albanian Declaration of Independence Sulejman Delvina, fifth Prime Minister of Albania Sabri Godo and politician Limoz Dizdari, composer Laert Vasili and director Themistoklis Bamichas.
"Codex of the Church o
Horë-Vranisht is a village and a former municipality in the Vlorë County, southwestern Albania. At the 2015 local government reform it became a subdivision of the municipality Himarë; the population at the 2011 census was 2,080. The municipal unit consists of the villages Vranisht, Kuç, Bolenë, Kallarat and Tërbaç; the village was documented for the first time as Vranisht in 1274, as one of the dominions of the Kingdom of Albania. It is mentioned in the Ottoman documents of 1431-32 as Ivraniste, with the actual form Vranisht in 1759, it was known as Korvaleş and was the nahiya centre in the Korvaleş kaza in Ergiri sanjak of Yanya Vilayet before 1912). During World War II Vranisht was part of the battlefield of the battle of Gjorm, where Albanian resistance units defeated and routed the troops of the Kingdom of Italy. According to the Ottoman defter of the 1430s there were sixteen houses at Vranisht at that time. In the 19th century the population had grown to 1600 people living in Vranisht. During the 1990s the population of Vranisht was lowered due to emigration.
During the late middle ages local names of the Albanians of Vranisht have been documented. The most common names documented are: Dedëgjoni, Dedëgjini, Nikhila, Lëmpali, Gjelkuca, Gjondreu, Gjikëbitri and Gjingjoni. Gjon Kondi Beqir Mete Shkurtaj Sali Murat Hasanaj Sali Hallkokondi Hysen Çino Mumin Selami Meçan Qejvani Zejnel Çelo Shakohoxhaj Xhemil Veli Duka Vasfi Duka Teki Azbi Tartari