Dibër County (Albanian pronunciation: [dibəɽ]; Albanian: Qarku i Dibrës) is one of the 12 counties of the Republic of Albania, spanning a surface area of 2,586 square kilometres (998 sq mi) with the capital in Peshkopi. The county borders on the counties of Durrës, Elbasan, Kukës, Lezhë, Tirana and the country of North Macedonia. It is divided into the four municipalities of Bulqizë, Dibër, Klos and Mat.[3] The municipalities are further subdivided into 290 towns and villages in total.

Dibër County
Qarku i Dibrës (Albanian)
Drin Valley
Drin Valley
Official logo of Dibër County
Coordinates: 41°40′N 20°20′E / 41.667°N 20.333°E / 41.667; 20.333
Country Albania
Subdivisions4 municipalities
 • Council chairmanHajri Laçi (PD)
 • Total2,586 km2 (998 sq mi)
 • Rank6th
 • Total113,683
 • Rank10th
 • Density44/km2 (110/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Dibran (m)
Dibrane (f)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal Code
HDI (2021)0.756
high · 11th of 12
NUTS CodeAL011
WebsiteOfficial Website

Topographically, the county is dominated by mountainous and high terrain, with a great variety of natural features including valleys, canyons, gorges, rivers, glacial lakes and dense forests. Various mountains ranging between 1,500 and 2,700 metres (4,921 and 8,858 ft) meters above sea level run the length of the county from north to south, including the Korab mountains in the east with Mali i Gramës and Korab at an altitude of 2,764 metres (9,068 ft) being the highest mountain in the county and as well as in Albania. The Dejë mountain 2,245 metres (7,365 ft) rises in the center, while in the east the county is dominated by the Lura mountains. The Skanderbeg mountains on the west separates the Central Mountain Range with the Western Lowlands. The county, marked by a significant biological diversity, is water-rich with a dense river network, a rich aquifer system, and significant karst underground watercourses. It is home to the source of the river Mat which rises in Martanesh. Besides the Mat, the Drin river is an important waterway in the region.[4]

The county territory covers four distinct climatic types as of the Köppen climate classification; oceanic, continental, mediterranean and subarctic.[5] Located in the interior of Albania, the climate is mediterranean with continental influences.[6] Mean monthly temperature ranges between −20 °C (−4 °F) (in January) and 25–30 °C (77–86 °F) (in July). Mean annual precipitation ranges between 600 millimetres (24 inches) and 1,000 millimetres (39 inches) depending on geographic region and prevailing climate type.

Dibër is an historically homogeneous county. Its capital and most populous city is Peshkopi. Tourism is one of the most important sectors in the county and has the largest potential to be a source for sustainable income, due to its natural and cultural heritage. Although the county has abundant natural resources like chromium, sulfur and marble. Dibër is predominantly an agriculture county.

History edit

The second Battle of Oranik in 1456 took place in Dibër.

Human activity in the territory of the modern Dibër County can be traced back to the Neolithic.[7]

The region that today corresponds to the county territory was inhabited by the ancient Illyrian tribe of Penestae.[8] They were the first people to leave lasting traces and cultural heritage throughout the region.[9] It is evidenced by the settlements of the Early Bronze Age in Manasdren, the Middle Bronze Age in Çetush, the Late Bronze Age in Pesjakë and several others.[7]

In the Middle Ages, Dibër was part of the Principality of Kastrioti ruled by the royal Kastrioti family with Gjon Kastrioti on the Albanian throne. After the death of Gjon Kastrioti in 1437, the eastern region was annexed by the Ottomans and became seat of the Sanjak of Dibra.[10] The comprising regions were awarded to his son Gjergj Kastriot Skanderbeg, where he survived to conquer back his father’s land and unite all of Albania in 1444. In the 15th century, further during the Albanian wars the region was the frontier between the Ottomans and the League of Lezhë.

In the 19th century, the Congress of Dibër declared the Albanian language as an official language within the Ottoman Empire. After the Balkan Wars and following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the great powers established the borders of the Balkan states at the Conference of London. The Dibër Valley was cut in half. The western part was assigned to Albania, while the eastern part went to the Kingdom of Serbia, today North Macedonia.

Geography edit

Mali i Bardhë, a typical habitat in the landscapes of county.
The glacial Lura Lakes situated in the eastern Lura Mountains.

Dibër is one of 12 counties of Albania, located in the south and southeast of the Northern Region. It lies between latitudes 42° N, and longitudes 20° E. The county area is 2,586 km2 (998 sq mi) and the sixth largest by area in Albania and the second largest in the Northern Region. It is limited to the counties of Kukës to the north and northeast, Lezhë to the northwest, Durrës to the east, Tirana to the southwest, Elbasan to the southeast and North Macedonia to the west.

Much of the Dibër County is dominated by mountainous or high terrain, with a great variety of natural features caused by prehistoric glaciers and varied topography. The county lies about 380 meters up to 2,700 metres above sea level.[11] The main topographic features of the county are the presence of the three major mountain ranges which are the Korab mountains in the east, the Lura mountains in the east and the Skanderbeg mountains in the west, separating the Central Mountain Range with the Western Lowlands.

The most important rivers flowing through Dibër include the Mat and Black Drin. The Mat river has its source in Martanesh. It heads westwards through deep gorges and canyons to Mat and northwest through the towns of Klos and Burrel. The Black Drin flows out from the Ohrid lake and passes through Peshkopi and Maqellara. Rising in Ohrid, the Drin river originates near Kukës at the confluence of the Black Drin and White Drin.

Phytogeographically, the county falls within the Dinaric Mountains mixed forests and Balkan mixed forests terrestrial ecoregions of the Palearctic temperate broadleaf and mixed forest. The forests are composed of diverse species of deciduous and coniferous trees and a great variety of wildflowers. The mountainous area of the county occupies 56.3% of the territory, while the remaining 43.7% by plains and hills.[11] Inside the county, there are two national parks and a nature park, which include the Lurë National Park, Zall-Gjoçaj National Park and the Korab-Koritnik Nature Park. The eastern bound of the county forms a part of the European Green Belt, which serves as a retreat for endangered mammal and plant species.[12][13]

Demography edit

The city of Burrel from the south.

It has a total population of around 113,683 people as of 2021.[1] The population density is 44 inhabitants per square kilometre (110/sq mi). Compared to other counties, Dibër has a very low population density. In addition, the remote mountainous areas are almost unpopulated. The largest cities are Peshkopi, Burrel, Bulqizë and Klos.

Albanian is the official and predominant spoken language in the county with 99.81% native speakers. Minority languages in the county are Italian, Greek, Macedonian, and Serbo-Croatian.[14] Dibër is an historically homogeneous county. The research revealed the following numbers in the county per ethnic group: 124,897 Albanian people (91.13%), 20 Greek people (0.01%), 28 Aromanian people (0.02%), 97 Egyptian people (0.07%), and 19 Macedonian people (0.01%).[15]

Islam is by far the largest religion in the county, forming 81.40% of the total population (111,551 people). There are also some Bektashi Muslims with less 3.84% (5,264 people), 4.36% percent consisting of believers without a denomination (5,970 people) and Christians forming 2.15% of the county's population (Orthodox (0.09%) (123 people), Evangelists (0.01% (16 people) (and Roman Catholics) (2.04%) (2,799 people) .[16]

Economy edit

Dibër County’s economy historically depended on agriculture and sheparding, although the collapse of communism and lack of jobs has led to many Albanians migrating abroad. Dibra is consequently one of the poorer regions of Albania due to its remote and rugged situation, although it is more developed than neighboring Elbasan and Kukës counties which have seen severe economic stagnation. Dibër County is the second least developed county in Albania with only Kukës being less developed. [1]

Gallery edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Population on 1st January by prefecture and sex" (PDF). INSTAT. 7 May 2021. p. 6.
  2. ^ "Diber Curri Postal Code". cz. 20 July 2023. Retrieved 30 January 2023.
  3. ^ "Law nr. 115/2014" (PDF) (in Albanian). p. 6367. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  4. ^ "Strategjia e Territorit Bashkia Dibër" (PDF). km.dldp.al (in Albanian). p. 10.
  5. ^ University of Tirana. "TURIZMI NË RRETHIN E DIBRËS" (PDF). doktoratura.unitir.edu.al (in Albanian). pp. 24–27.
  6. ^ "Strategjia e Territorit Bashkia Dibër" (PDF). km.dldp.al (in Albanian). p. 7.
  7. ^ a b University of Tirana. "TURIZMI NË RRETHIN E DIBRËS" (PDF). doktoratura.unitir.edu.al (in Albanian). p. 65.
  8. ^ Sinani, Rakip (2005). Dibra dhe dibranët në faqet e historisë [Dibër and the Dibrans in the Pages of History] (in Albanian). Tiranë: KTISTALINA-KH. p. 20. ISBN 99943-625-8-5.
  9. ^ "ZONA FUNKSIONALE BURREL- KLOS PROGRAMI DLDP" (PDF). km.dldp.al (in Albanian). p. 3.
  10. ^ History of the Albanian people Archived 2016-08-10 at the Wayback Machine 2002 edition from the Academy of Sciences of Albania Tome I, p. 335
  11. ^ a b University of Tirana. "TURIZMI NË RRETHIN E DIBRËS" (PDF). doktoratura.unitir.edu.al. p. 21.
  12. ^ European Green Belt. "Balkan Green Belt as Ecological Corridor for Wolf, Bear and Lynx". europeangreenbelt.org. Archived from the original on 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  13. ^ European Green Belt. "Brezi i Gjelbër Evropian" (PDF). europeangreenbelt.org (in Albanian). p. 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-10-18. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  14. ^ INSTAT. "Population and Housing Census" (PDF). instat.gov.al (in Albanian). p. 40. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2015-05-25.
  15. ^ INSTAT. "Population and Housing Census" (PDF). instat.gov.al (in Albanian). p. 39. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2015-05-25.
  16. ^ INSTAT. "Population and Housing Census" (PDF). instat.gov.al (in Albanian). p. 39. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2015-05-25.