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Tirana

Tirana (Albanian: Tiranė) is the political capital and largest city (population 520,000) of Albania.

Located on the Ishm River[?], Tirana is Albania's chief industrial and cultural centre. The principal ndustries include agricultural products and machinery, textiles, pharmaceuticals and metal products. Tirana has experienced rapid growth and established many new industries since the 1920s.

The population is predominately Muslim and the mosque of Sulejman Pasha[?] is a significant landmark. Tirana also features a university (founded 1957) and the Albanian Institute of Sciences[?].

Tirana is presently trying to develop a tourist industry, although this effort is hampered by the political instability in the region, owing to military conflicts during the 1990s in Albania and neighboring Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and the Republic of Macedonia.

History

Tirana was founded in 1614 by the Ottoman general Sulejman Pasha, who originally named it "Tehran", as a tribute to his military victory at Tehran in Persia (now Iran). The small town was selected as the capital of Albania by the provisional government established at the Lushjė Congress[?] (January 1920), and in November 1944 the communist government of Enver Hoxha was established there.

The city's population, estimated at only 12,000 in 1910, rose to 30,000 at the 1930 census and 60,000 in 1945 despite the intervening years of foreign occupation and war. During the 1950s Tirana experienced a period of rapid industrial growth, raising the population to 137,000 in 1960. During the late 1980s and early 1990s Tiranė was the focal point of violent demonstrations which ultimately led to the collapse of the communist government.



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