Albanian Canyons: Top 10 Canyons to Traverse in Albania

Among many natural attractions across the country, Albanian canyons provide lots of opportunities for travelers in search of unique adventurers. In this piece, we highlight Albania’s most attractive canyons; raising awareness in favor of the preservation of such formations. 1. Osum Canyon The majestic canyon of Osum River is the largest in the country, rightfully deemed “Albania’s Grand Canyon”. It […]

Ancient Rhizon: A Typical Illyrian City and Royal Residence

The ancient city of Rhizon (corresponding to modern Risan in Montenegro) was located on the northernmost inlet of the modern Gulf of Kotor. This gulf was the one that the Venetians called the “Bocche di Cattaro” and what the Romans called the “Sinus Rhizonicus”. This gulf clearly took the name of the most important city on its shore; that city […]

Albanian Painters: Names of Top Historic Painters You Ought to Know

Works of Albanian painters are often overlooked by critics though many of them deserve special credit. In their work throughout history, Albanian painters have challenged decades of oppression and censorship to deliver the best artworks to their audiences; below are some short bios of Albania’s most resilient and remarkable painters-ranked in no particular order. 1. Kolë Idromeno (1860-1939) Kolë Idromeno […]

Battle of Heraclea: The Romans Find Their Match

The Battle of Heraclea was fought in 280 B.C.E., between the forces commanded by Pyrrhus of Epirus and those of the Roman Republic led by consul Publius Valerius Laevinus. This battle was the first of the three major battles the renowned Epirote general fought against the Romans. It was also the first instance when the Romans encountered war elephants in […]

Cleopatra Eurydice: A Queen in the Midst of Plots and Intrigues

Cleopatra Eurydice was the last of the seven wives of king Philip of Macedon. She was a member of a noble family from the lower/coastal Macedon. Some then and many later believed that Philip’s marriage with Cleopatra threatened Alexander’s royal inheritance.  Cleopatra and her family were relative newcomers to the Argead court. However, her descent was held in high esteem. […]

Petrela: A Fascinating Castle in Tirana County

Petrela Castle is one of the most valuable attractions in Tirana county. It’s an original but small Medieval fortress that rises over a smooth hill range.  Location The castle of Petrela is located southeast of Tirana, over a rocky hill some 400 meters (1,312 feet) above sea level. The road into the castle is straightforward; after traveling from Tirana center […]

Scerdilaidas: The History of a Master and Commander

Scerdilaidas was king of the Illyrian state of the Ardiaei during 218-206 B.C.E. Prior to his accession to the throne, he made a formidable career in the Illyrian military and in the Ardiaean court. Scerdilaidas was likely a brother or cousin of king Agron of the Ardiaei, who ruled during 250 – 231 B.C.E. During Agron’s rule, the Ardiaean state […]

Albanian Caves: Top 10 Caves to Enter in Albania

Among many natural treasures in Albania are also caves, found in many places and in different forms. Albanian caves remain largely unexplored; however, in recent years they have attracted many visitors.  1. The Black Cave of Pëllumbas / Shpella e Zezë e Pëllumbasit The Black Cave of Pëllumbas is 25 kilometers (15 miles) southeast of Tirana, on the left side […]

Teuta: Queen of Illyria Who Challenged the Romans

Teuta was the queen of Ardiaei during the short but intense period 231-228 B.C.E. The Ardiaean state was the most powerful monarchy among the Illyrians. We know nothing about Teuta’s early life. She was born around 260, in an Illyrian royal household. At some point, she married Agron, then king of Ardiaei. The latter’s domain extended from river Narona (current […]

Adea Eurydice: The Teen Queen Who Shook an Empire

Adea Eurydice was born sometime between 338-335 B.C.E., to Amyntas IV, son of Perdiccas III, and Cynane, daughter of Philip II’s wife, Audata. She grew up without a father since, soon after birth, the newly crowned king Alexander III had Amyntas executed. Her mother Cynane, herself of Illyrian origin, dealt carefully with her education. Adea’s lessons, unlike those of other […]