Tirana County

Tirana County (Albanian: Qarku Tiranë), officially known as the County of Tirana (Albanian: Qarku i Tiranës), is a county in the Central Region of the Republic of Albania. It is the tenth largest by area and the most populous of the twelve counties, with more than 895,000 people within an area of 1,652 km2 (638 sq mi). The county borders on the Adriatic Sea to the west, the counties of Durrës to the northwest, Dibër to the northeast, Elbasan to the east and Fier to the southwest. It is divided into five municipalities, Tirana, Kamëz, Kavajë, Rrogozhinë and Vorë, with all of whom incorporate twenty-nine administrative units.

County of Tirana

Qarku i Tiranës
Stema e Qarkut Tiranë.svg
Seal
Map of the Republic of Albania with Tirana highlighted
Map of the Republic of Albania with Tirana highlighted
Coordinates: 41°15′N 19°45′E / 41.250°N 19.750°E / 41.250; 19.750
CountryAlbania
RegionCentral Albania
Municipalities
Units29
CapitalTirana
Government
 • TypeCouncil
 • ChairmanAldrin Dalipi (PS)
Area
 • Total1,652 km2 (638 sq mi)
Area rank10th
Population
 (2020)
 • Total906,166
 • Rank1st
 • Density550/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
NUTS CodeAL022
HDI (2018)0.818
very high · 1st
Websiteqarkutirane.gov.al

Geographically, the county extends from the high and rugged Skanderbeg Mountains in the east to the flat shores of the Albanian Adriatic Sea Coast along the Mediterranean Sea. Due to its location and the close proximity to the Adriatic Sea, its climate is particularly influenced by a Mediterranean climate with four distinct seasons. Two of the country's fourteen National Parks are located in the county, with Dajti in the center and Divjakë-Karavasta in the southwest.

The area has been populated since Paleolithic times dating back 10,000 to 30,000 years ago. As argued by various archaeologists, Tirana and its suburbs are filled with Illyrian toponyms as its precincts are some of the earliest regions in Albania to be inhabited. Tirana was founded as a city in 1614 although the area has been continuously inhabited since antiquity.

HistoryEdit

Pre-Albanian IndependenceEdit

The region, which presently corresponds to the territory of the county of Tirana, has been continuously inhabited since the Paleolithic some 10,000 to 30,000 years ago, as suggested by evidence from tools excavated near Mount Dajt's quarry and within the Cave of Pëllumbas. As argued by various archaeologists, Tirana and its suburbs are filled with Illyrian toponyms, as its precincts are some of the earliest inhabited regions in Albania.[1] The Illyrians called the settlement Tërana.[citation needed]

The oldest discovery in downtown Tirana was a Roman house, later transformed into an aisleless church with a mosaic-floor, dating to the 3rd century A.D., with other remains found near a medieval temple at Shengjin Fountain in the eastern suburbs. A castle possibly called Tirkan or Theranda, whose remnants are found along Murat Toptani Street, was built by Emperor Justinian in 520 A.D. and restored by Ahmed Pasha Toptani in the 18th century.[1] The area had no special importance in Illyrian and classical times. In 1510, Marin Barleti, an Albanian Catholic priest and scholar, in the biography of the Albanian national hero Skanderbeg referred to this area as a small village.[2]

GeographyEdit

Defined in an area of 1,652 km2 (638 sq mi), the county of Tirana is located in the Central Region of the Republic of Albania and bordered by the Adriatic Sea to the west, the counties of Durrës to the northwest, Dibër to the northeast, Elbasan to the east and Fier to the southwest. The county lies between latitudes 41° and 18° N, and longitudes 19° and 56° E. The highest point is Mali me Gropa at 1,828 m (5,997 ft) above the Adriatic, though the lowest point is the Adriatic Sea at 0 m (0 ft).[3]

The county of Tirana extends from the shorelines of the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the mountains of the Skanderbeg Mountains system in the east.[3] The flat plain of the Albanian Adriatic Sea Coast in the west contains the Myzeqe Plain. To the east lie the hilly, mountainous region of the Skanderbeg Mountains separating the Western Lowlands from the Central Mountain Range. Three rivers traverse the county, including the Erzen River, the Ishëm River and the Shkumbin River along the border with Elbasan County.

Panorama of Tirana viewed from Mount Dajt in the Dajti National Park.

ClimateEdit

The Adriatic Sea and Skanderbeg Mountains have a particular influence to the climate of the county, though it has a Mediterranean climate with four distinct seasons. Summers are generally warm and dry, while winters are relatively cool and mild, and rarely very cold.[4] The highest temperature of 41.5 °C (106.7 °F) was recorded in the city of Tirana, thouth the lowest temperature of −34.7 °C (−30.5 °F) was recorded in the village of Bixë.[4]

Protected areasEdit

The Ministry of Tourism and Environment administers a number of natural sites and protected areas in Tirana County.[5] In conjunction with numerous national natural sites and areas, the National Agency of Protected Areas also manages the Dajti National Park, Divjakë-Karavasta National Park and the Mali me Gropa-Bizë-Martanesh Protected Landscape.

DemographyEdit

Population growth of Tirana County in selected periods
Year 2001 2002 2006 2010 2014 2018 2020
Pop.596,704617,550683,927747,169816,222883,996906,166
±% p.a.—    +3.49%+2.59%+2.24%+2.23%+2.01%+1.25%
Source: [6]

Tirana County is the most populous and densely populated county of the Republic of Albania, with an increasing number of population.[7][8] Its center of population is located across the Plain of Tirana, in the metropolitan area of Tirana. The Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) estimated the county's population in 2019 at 895,160, constituting to more than 31% of Albania's population.[9]

Tirana County has experienced a generally high rate of population increase since the late twentieth century in part due to the fall of communism.[3] Internal migration has been a significant factor in its population growth, especially from Berat, Dibër and Kukës.[3] Nonetheless, the most densely populated areas are positioned in the flat western half, and the region around the relatively small corridor of the city of Tirana, thus the lowest densities are located in the mountainous eastern half.

As of the 2011 Census, in terms of ethnicity, Tirana County was 84.1% Albanian, 0.35% Greek, 0.32% Romani, 0.11% Aromanian, 0.11% Egyptian, 0.07% Macedonian and 0.01% Montenegrin.[10] By language, 99.40% spoke Albanian as a first language. Other spoken languages were Greek (0.12%), Romani (0.12%), Turkish (0.06%), Macedonian (0.05%), Italian (0.03%) and Aromanian (0.02%).[10] By religion, there were 466,760 (62.29%) Muslims, 39,745 (5.30%) Roman Catholics, 37,890 (5.06%) Eastern Orthodox, 19,909 (2.66%) Bektashis, 1,783 (0.24%) Evangelists, 797 (0.11%) other Christians, 29,579 (3.95%) believers without denomination and 270 (0.04%) of other religions.[10] Nonetheless, 20,558 people (2.74%) were irreligious while 113,844 (15.19%) did not declared their religion.

SettlementsEdit

Tirana County is overwhelmingly urban, with more than 70% of its population concentrated in cities, towns, and suburbs.[3] There are five incorporated municipalities (bashkia) and 29 administrative units (njësi administrative) in the county.[11] The majority of its population lives in the capital city of Tirana. As of the 2011 Census, the population of the unit stands at 418,495 with the adjacent municipality of Tirana having a population of 557,422 simultaneously constituting the largest metropolitan area in Albania.[10] Other units with a population over 10,000 include Kamëz, Kashar, Paskuqan, Farkë, Kavajë, Dajt and Vorë.[10]

The county's largest urban areas by population as of 2011.[10]

Rank Administrative unit Municipality Population Rank Administrative unit Municipality Population
1 Tirana Tirana 418,495 6 Kavajë Kavajë 20,192
2 Kamëz Kamëz 66,841 7 Dajt Tirana 20,139
3 Kashar Tirana 43,353 8 Vorë Vorë 10,901
4 Paskuqan Kamëz 37,349 9 Bërxullë Vorë 9,883
5 Farkë Tirana 22,633 10 Vaqarr Tirana 9,106

EconomyEdit

TransportEdit

Development and maintenance of transportation in Albania are within the functions of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy in Tirana. Other entities, such as the Albanian Aviation Authority (AAC) and Albanian Road Authority (ARRSH), provide the same service for the air and land transportation of the country.

The county of Tirana is served by Nënë Tereza International Airport located in the village of Rinas. It is named in honour of the Albanian Roman Catholic nun and missionary, Mother Teresa, and offers connections to numerous destinations in different countries across Europe, Africa and Asia. The airport carried more than 3.3 million passengers in 2019 and serves as the principal hub for the country's flag carrier, Air Albania.[12]

The county is connected by a well developed system of expressways and motorways. The main west–east corridor is Rruga Shtetërore 2 (SH2), which connects the country's capital Tirana with the country's second largest city Durrës in Durrës County. The north-south corridor is Rruga Shtetërore 3 (SH3), which is currently being transformed into the Autostrada 3 (A3), covering the distance between Tirana and the country's fourth largest city Elbasan in Elbasan County. Rruga Shtetërore 4 (SH4) passes through Kavajë in the west from north to south linking Durrës with Greece. However, after its completion, the Arbër Highway will connect the county with Dibër County and North Macedonia.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Heppner, Harald (1994). Hauptstädte in Südosteuropa: Geschichte, Funktion, nationale Symbolkraft. Wien u.a. Böhlau. pp. 133, 135. ISBN 978-3-205-98255-5.
  2. ^ To know more about the history of Tirana, please consult Tirana ne shekuj: Terona, Theranda, Tirkan, Tirannea, Tirana : monografi, disa artikuj e materiale arkivore kushtuar historisë së Tiranës by Skënder Jasa. (Victoria, 1997)
  3. ^ a b c d e "Koncepti i Zhvillimit Rajonal per Qarkun e Tiranes" (PDF) (in Albanian). Tirana: Qarku Tiranë. November 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  4. ^ a b Noti, Elton; Totoni, Lorena (19 May 2012). "Qarku Tiranë–Guidë 2012" (PDF) (in Albanian). Qarku Tiranë. p. 6. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Databazë e Burimeve Turistike–Qarku Tiranë" (PDF) (in Albanian). Ministria e Turizmit dhe Mjedisit. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 September 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Popullsia në 1 Janar sipas qarqeve dhe gjinisë 2001 - 2020" (in Albanian). Instituti i Statistikës (INSTAT). Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  7. ^ "Censusi i popullsisë dhe banesave/ Population and Housing Census 2011" (PDF) (in Albanian). Instituti i Statistikës (INSTAT). p. 133. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 July 2020. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  8. ^ Dhuli, Elsa. "Vjetari Statistikor Rajonal, 2019" (PDF) (in Albanian). Instituti i Statistikës (INSTAT). p. 25. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 July 2020. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  9. ^ "Popullsia e Shqipërisë (1 Janar 2019)" (PDF) (in Albanian). Instituti i Statistikës (INSTAT). p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 July 2020. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  10. ^ a b c d e f "Censusi i popullsisë dhe banesave/ Population and Housing Census–Tiranë (2011)" (PDF) (in Albanian). Instituti i Statistikës (INSTAT). pp. 39–40. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 August 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  11. ^ "Ligj Nr. 115/2014 për ndarjen Administrativoterritoriale të Njësive të Qeverisjes Vendore në Republikën e Shqiperisë" (PDF) (in Albanian). Tirana: Fletorja Zyrtare E Republikës Së Shqipërisë. 1 September 2014. pp. 89–114. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 October 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  12. ^ "Statistikat e transportit" (PDF) (in Albanian). Instituti i Statistikës (INSTAT). 27 January 2019. p. 2. Retrieved 21 July 2020.