Mirdita is a region in northern Albania, which was once inhabited by the Illyrian tribe with the same name. A country filled with tradition and history, this is the next place in the vast list of Albanian cities that the most recent show on Euronews Albania ‘Udhetaret/Travellers’ is planning to visit and showcase for everyone wanting to learn more about this extraordinary country in the western Balkans.
Let’s focus on Mirdita. For all fans of alpine climate and mountain air combined with architecture, tradition and history, Mirdita is a place that you should definitely not miss out on. These are 5 increasingly interesting attractions you absolutely need to visit during your stay in Mirdita.
Even though Mirdita’s center nowadays is the city of Rreshen, once upon a time it used to be Oroshi and for many good reasons. This area is filled with objects of cultural heritage, religious sites and natural monuments like the famous Mountains of Orosh.
Orosh is also well-known because of its notable families like the Markagjonaj family. Kapedan Marka Gjoni and his son Gjon Markagjoni are renowned fighters of the resistance against the Ottoman invaders and later on against the communist dictatorship. Abbot Preng Doçi also comes from Orosh and Prenk Bibë Doda (Foreign Minister in 1914). Apart from their historical contributions, these respected families have also left behind their many towers and legends.
The archeologic monuments of Mirdita belong mainly to the early Middle Ages in Albania, which were also known as the “Period of the Arber”, even though there are grave sites and many different objects in this region that show of the presence of an Illyrian settlement since the Bronze Age, around 2000 BC.
Some of the main attractions of Northern Albania and especially in Mirdita, are these Stone Towers. These tall, proud buildings have now turned into an emblem characterizing and perfectly representing our northern architecture. These towers, which give you the impression of castles have existed here for hundreds of years and many of them are still functional to this day or have been turned to guesthouses and museums. The north of Albania, which has been a gateway for constant attacks by foreign invaders has turned into an example of resistance during the entire course of the history of our nation and these houses or fortresses are a living symbol that is frozen in time of this sacrifice lasting hundreds of years.
Prison of Spaç
The infamous and notorious camp built during the communist regime by the dictator, Enver Hoxha, couldn’t be left out of this list. A high-security political prison, it was ordered to be constructed in the village of Spaç in Mirdita, in 1968. Hundreds of citizens served their time in this prison included many, who lived to talk about it like the famous analyst Fatos Lubonja and the architect and critic, Maks Velo.
A visit in this prison makes for a disturbing but realistic experience that at least for one single moment, allows you to meditate about another dimension of human nature and our own history, which should never be erased from our collective memories.
Mountains of Orosh
For everyone that loves nature and can’t go without the long walks and the hikes, Mirdita can certainly offer a wide variety of trails and hundreds of hectares of wild nature.
The destination we are suggesting first is the Mountain of Orosh, which was declared a protected site back in 1996. Covering a surface area of around 4.691 hectares made up of meadows, water creeks and alpine pastures, this area is also known to have been a key site of the anti-Ottoman resistance.
The Bride’s Stone
And lastly, the other attraction we definitely suggest you to marvel at is this mountain with the unique name, the Bride’s Stone, rising at an altitude of 1.987 meters above sea level. However, the hike is said to be very difficult and dangerous so for the time being we suggest you enjoy its history and the view from the meadows close by.
Apart from its picturesque look, this mountain immediately draws your attention by its very distinctive name. And even though there are numerous legends about what happened to the young bride that died in this mountain, we’ll leave it up to you to find out about your very special version of the legend and truth behind the Bride’s Stone. during your next trip to Mirdita