Mary Edith Durham, the famous British anthropologist, visited almost all the cities and centers of Albania in the early 1900s. She wrote all her memories and impressions about our country in the book "The Burden of the Balkans".
Here is how Durham describes Tirana in the 1900s.
Tirana (12000 inhabitants), having a good road to the port, is moving towards prosperity. The bazaar was full of villagers dressed in different costumes from those of Elbasan. Tirana was founded in 1600 by a wealthy bey, who named it after a Turkish conquest (named Tirkan) of Tehran in Persia. Today's Beys of Tirana, the Toptanas, who call themselves the descendants of the old Topias, are very famous, not only for the construction of the road that they did at their own expense, but also imported agricultural and Italian machinery to taught the villagers how to use them.
One of them (Murat Toptani) is interested in patriotism and the people mourn him. The land is well worked and rich, the road is good and trade abroad is growing rapidly. All the houses are built between large gardens, filled with cherries, figs, quinces, plums and almond trees which were mostly watered by canals. It is an extremely clean and very picturesque city. The minarets are especially beautiful, colorful and painted with natural views. It's an artist's paradise, and I'm sorry I couldn't stay more than three days. "
In Tirana there is an elementary/middle school named after Edith Durham.