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The capital of Albania is situated 110m above the sea level. Tirana is located within the following geographical barriers: to the west there is the Long Hill (491m), the Dajti Mountain (1612m) and the Priska Mountain (1365m) are both to the east of the city and to the south of it is another small hill, Qafa e Krrabes (933m). Having no access to the sea, the inhabitans of Tirana often spend their summer months in Durrës that is only 40-45 minutes away from the capital and has beautiful sand beaches and pine and palm tree forests.
It is believed that the name Tirana comes from a castle called “Tirkan” that dates back to the 6th century AD and was situated in the area – at present, only its ruins remain. However, the city was not founded until 1614, during the Ottoman occupation. At the time Sulejman Pasha Mulleti, one of the curators of the town, gave the order to build a mosque that was later destroyed during the Second World War.
In 1920 Tirana was named the capital of Albania, instead of the existing capital, Durrës. Its population of 10,000 inhabitants was only half as much as the one of Shkodra and Korça. Today, approximately 500,000 people live in Tirana.