TIRANA: The city of Mercedes and colorful facades
Tirana is the capital and largest city of Albania and as well the heart of Albania's cultural, economic and governmental activity. According to official estimates, there are about 420 thousand inhabitants in Tirana. Established in 1614 Tirane became the capital of Albania in 1920.
Tirana was founded in 1614 by Ottoman general Sulejman Pasha, who built a mosque, a bakery and a Turkish bath. He named the city Tehran, in honor of his military victory at Tehran in Persia (now Iran). However, there are early means of a castle in Dajti mountain, named Tirkan, in the sixth century, in the writings of a Byzantine historian.
The small town was chosen for the temporary capital of Albania (as a compromise between the South and North Albania) by the provisional government in January 1920. In November 1944, the communist government of Enver Hoxha was established in Tirana after the liberation from German occupation.
The urban population, which was estimated to be only 12 thousand in 1910 increased to 30 thousand in 1930 and even 60 thousand in 1945. despite years of foreign occupation and war. During the 1950s, Albania has experienced a period of exceptional industrial growth, with an increase in population to 137 thousand in 1960. In the late 1990s, Tirana experienced the fastest population influx, because Albanians from the north of the country in large numbers migrated to the capital in the hope of a better life.
In 2004, Edi Rama, the mayor of Tirana, won the award for the best mayor of the world. Many agree that this contributed to his vision of Tirana as a clear project to change the city's facade, to one's taste perhaps even gaudy and clashing colors, but apparently well received by foreign media and the inhabitants of the Albanian capital city.
The reason of these drastic changes were drab which prevailed in Tirana until Rama's arrival, because the city during Enver Hoxha was extremely rusty, and all the buildings in the city have lost their facades, which has affected the general mood in the city.
Despite problems Tirana has a visible progress. The construction of the first real tourist attraction, as one of the longest cable car in Europe, which it can reach the second highest peak in the vicinity of Tirana, started. The cable car was made but there is still a shortage of quality supporting facilities. Another attraction is the rotating restaurant on top of the highest building. Unfortunately, potential and existing attractions still not valorized.