Albania may not be that popular compared to other European countries like France or the United Kingdom however there are quite a number of notable cities that is worth your time. Elbasan is considered a major city in the country and it is found past the Shkumbin River which is in the center. The city is small in terms of square meter having an actual size of 498 sq mi. The population is nearly a hundred thousand. Just like other nearby cities, the history of Elbasan goes way back to thousands of years.
There are medieval parts of the city with narrow and cobbled paths; these structures can easily capture your interest. If you love shopping, there is a large bazaar in the center of the city where you can find exotic items. The Castle Walls are the places where you can find old Christian settlements. The outskirt of the city is dotted with mosques. Definitely Elbasan is a place where the major religion collides. During the Roman Empire the city was considered to be Mario Scampa. It was a fortress back then. The place was also a trading post found in the cross roads of routes for trading.
Elbasan is found in the southeast portion of Tirana. If you are planning to visit Lake Ohrid, you would most likely pass through this town. The castles and its surrounding walls were constructed in the Ottoman period. During that time, the town was called El basan which is another name of fortress. Sultan Mohammed the second rebuilt the walls and the castles. Another landmark that was built in the 19th century was the St Mary’s Orthodox Church. You might want to make it a part of your itinerary. Additionally, you can also find Turkish baths that are well preserved; they are found on the outskirts of the city.
You can find quite a number of church structures right in the center of the town. One of them has become a point for religious and cultural center. This is a place where you can study the Albanian language. Another monastery near Elbasan is an old structure which holds the remains of St. Joven Vladimir but this was transferred in Tirana in 1995. It does return to the monastery during the feast of the saint. In order to reach Elbasan, you might want to take a bus or a van from Tirana. There are other attractions in the city which should be part of your itinerary.