A Window on Korçë

Balkans

 Korçë in Albania has been a Muslim town, an Orthodox Christian town, a Communist town; ethnically Aromanian, ethnically Greek, ethnically Albanian: variously under the rule or occupation of Ottomans, Greeks, French, Italians, Communists … and now Albanians. Its history is so complex and diverse that I don’t know where to start. So instead I’ll show you its old bazaar, now become a tourist area of restaurants and cafes; its 15th century mosque, and its Resurrection Orthodox Cathedral, built only in 1995, to replace the one destroyed in the Communist era.

Then we’ll mooch round the old town near where we stayed. This was a prosperous place during the later Ottoman period, but as its residents decamped to safer places, such as the United States during the early years of the twentieth century, the area became neglected. I hope this will change. These attractive houses set along cobbled streets (note the fossils in the cobbles!) are well worth saving.

I’d visit  Korçë again, for its easy charm, its appetising restaurants, its museums. I wish I could take you round the icon museum, The National Museum of Mediaeval Art, but photography was forbidden. Two days wasn’t enough to explore this town.

I think my header photo, from the old town, deserves a place in Ludwig’s Monday Window.