How Edith Durham describes Tirana in the early 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 for imported agricultural and Italian machinery to teach 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 overgrowing. 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 magnificent, 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.

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