Albanian History in Brief
As a geographical and cultural entity, and as a nation, Albania has often been enigmatic and somewhat misunderstood. In the eighteenth century, English historian Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) described it as "a land within sight of Italy and less known than the interior of America."
These tours are designed in the context of the history of Albania or of the Albanians, and will use a compilation of historical facts from the eleventh to the twenty-first century, which will lead to a better understanding of the history and development of Albania and its people.
The historical tours provided on this website bring together information focusing not only on the emergence of the Albanians as people, i.e. early references to them, but also subsequent information providing a broader view of the history and geography of Albania, and, in particular, of the life of the Albanians over the centuries. These included reports of travelers and chroniclers, many of whom offer fascinating, first-hand glimpses of what they experienced during their travels in the country.
Past and Present provides a goldmine of cross-country historical vacations. Albania has a long history that is full with important dates and places of the world history. Did you know that: The Greek Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens started in Durres in Albania? The most decisive battles in the Roman civil war Between Cesar and Pompeus where fought in Albania, and Octavian was studding in the well known academy of Apollonia in Albania. When Cesar was killed, he returned to Rome to start his fight that brought him to be the first Roman Emperor under the name of Augustus.
During the Byzantine period Albania was a very important area of art, as testifies the very fine architecture and frescos of the churches. The most important icon painting school were created in Albania. During the Ottoman period, Albania fought and protected all the Europe from the Islamic invasion. The local prince Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg was proclaimed "Athleta Christi" (Latin: "Champion of Christ", title granted to men who have led military campaigns to defend Christianity) by Popes Callixtus III, Pius II, Paul II, and Nicholas V. Albania gained independence, just before the First World War. A communist nation until the early 1990s, in Albania happened the very first incident that will start the cold war, The Corfu Straits Incident. Albania also served as a haven for Kosovo refugees, during the conflict with Yugoslavia in 1999.