Did you know? - Albania
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Did you know?

Interesting facts about Albania

Mother Teresa, whose given name was Agnesë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, was an ethnic Albanian. Mother Teresa’s work has inspired commemorations throughout Albania, including the name of Albania’s international airport: the Tirana Mother Theresa International Airport.

Goxhe Angnes Bojaxhiu known as Mother Teresa of Calcutta , Albanian origin catholic nun

The main legacy of the Albanian national hero, Gjergj Kastrioti (George Castriota) Skanderbeg, was to stop the expansion of the Ottoman Empire in Western Europe. His contribution is commemorated in monuments, statues, and squares named after him in Rome , Vienna , Budapest , Paris , London , Geneva , Michigan , Skopje, Pristina,  Spezzano , Piana degli Albanesi near Palermo and all Calabry region , and Brussels.

Statue of Skanderbeg in Tirana , Albania

The second largest Roman Amphitheater in the Balkans is located in Albania’s port city of Durrës. Built in the 2nd century AD, the theater could hold 20,000 spectators, about one-sixth of the population of Durrës currently.

Did you know that the first Emperor of the Roman Empire, Augustus, studied in Apollonia, near the city of Fier, in the year 44 BC?

Temple of Apollonia, largest ancient city in Albania – Fier

The Albanian language is a stand-alone branch of the Indo-European language family and is now spoken by close to eight million people around the world. In addition to a large diaspora, over 80,000 Arbëresh speak Albanian in southern Italy.

Two of the seven “purple codices” (the Purple Codex of Berat is a historic manuscript to early biblical literature) written from the sixth to the eighteenth centuries are preserved in the UNESCO city of Berat in Albania. The two Albanian codices are very important for the global community and the development of ancient biblical, liturgical and hagiographical literature.

Purple Saint Codex of Berat

Onufri or Onuphrios from Shpati near Elbasan is famous as the most important icon painter of 16th century in Albania. Even though he painted biblical and ecclesiastic motives according to the Byzantine canon, he had the merit to free himself from the strict patterns. In his works, he depicted Albanian landscapes, towns, peasants, shepherds and especially knights.

Birth of Jesus

The Karavasta Lagoon is one of the largest lagoons in the Mediterranean Sea and is home to the Dalmatian Pelican, as well as over 250 bird, mammal, and amphibian species. Five percent of the world’s Dalmatian Pelican population is found in this lagoon.

Did you know that the origins of iso-polyphony, one of the world’s most ancient acapella singing traditions, can be traced to the Illyrians, the ancestors of modern Albanians? The term “iso” refers to the droning tone, which accompanies the iso-polyphonic singing and is related to the “ison” of Byzantine church music, where the drone group accompanies the song. This unique musical tradition was recognized by UNESCO in 2005 when it was added to the list of “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.”

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