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On October 21st in the Central Lobby of Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" was opened an exhibition of old photographs from the Albanian capital - "Hello, My Name is Tirana".

The event was attended by H. E. Ms. Donika Hoxha, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Albania to the Republic of Bulgaria, the Deputy Rector of Alma Mater Assoc. Prof. Georgi Valchev, representatives of the academic community, cultural figures and many students.

At the opening, the ambassador told the guests about the exhibition and about Tirana:

The Albanian Embassy in Sofia in collaboration with the University of Sofia organized the exhibition entitled "Hello, My Name is Tirana". This exhibition reflected Tirana over the years starting from 1920, when it became the capital of Albania. The exhibition brought to the public's eye the beauties and historic sites of the Albanian capital.

Tirana was founded in 1614, but there is evidence of it being a civic centre even earlier. Among the earliest cultural monuments that proves its ancient existence is the mosaic of Tirana, dating back to the 1st century AD. The mosaic is thought to have been the floor of a rural dwelling.

The Castle of Tirana is in Murat Toptani street and this type of the castle was a station on the Egnatia street, where ancient roads crossed with other parts in Albania. Close to the Caslte, in the old historical part of the city, is the "Sarajete Toptanëve", one of the most famous aristoctratic families in Tirana. The sarajet was built in 1537.

Near George Bush street, there is a building, built in 1924, in which, on 1 September, 1928, Ahmet Zogu proclaimed Albania a monarchy and himself King of Albania. Today, the Academy of Sciences of Albania is located there. From the stairs of the building, King Zogu and Queen Geraldine greeted the citizens of Tirana on the day of their marriage on April 27, 1937.

The decision to turn Tirana into the main centre of political and economic development in Albania was thanks to the National Congress of Lushnja in January 1920. After February 11, Tirana become the capital of Albania by the Constitutional Assembly in 1925.

Tirana`s first regulatory plan dates back to 1923. These were the years when the centre of Tirana started to take the shape that has continued up to this day. "Dëshmorët e Kombit" boulevard was built in 1930. In the beginning, it was called "Zogu 1 Boulevard", then in the mid 40s of the last century, it got the name it has today. The 4 km long boulevard is divided in two segments and is the complex of ministries, built in 30s of the last century according to the Italian style. The Municipality`s building maintains the same style as well. The Prime Minister`s Office was designed and built by the Italian architect Gherardo Basio. The same architect designed and built the building, where today are the Rectorate of the University of Tirana, the Polytechnic University and the University of Arts. The square between them is named Mother Teresa Square, the Albanian Saint.

The city of Tirana is complemented by the central square, which is named after the National Hero of Albania, Skanderbeg. Renowned Italian architects, Florestano de Fausto and Armando Brazini, also designed the square. Scanderbeg`s monument, the work of famous Albanian sculptor, Odhise Paskali, was set up in 1968 on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the death of the National Hero. Around the square are the most important cultural and financial institutions: the National Historical Museum, the Opera and Ballet Theatre and the Bank of Albania. The Opera and Ballet Theatre was inaugurated in 1966. The initial project of building the Bank of Albania dates back to 1927. 

On the main landmarks in the centre of Tirana is the Clock Tower, which is 35 meters high. By 1970, the Clock Tower was the tallest building in Tirana. But today, in 2019 there are more higher building than the tower. It should be noted that Tirana has changed a lot over the years and today it can be described as a Western-style metropolitan city.

And then everyone with great interest had a look at the beauties and historic sites of the Albanian capital.

Photos: Embassy of the Republic of Albania and "Diplomatic Spectrum"

Above: H. E. Ms. Donika Hoxha, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Albania to the Republic of Bulgaria and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Georgi Valchev, Deputy Rector of Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" opening the exhibition.