|A city in southern Albania with an ancient history, that lies on the hills of Mali i Gj'r' (The Wide Mountain), on the eastern side of the valley of Drinos. Gjirokastra's (pronounced: Gee-roh'-kah'-strah') population is 30,000. |
During the 19th century, Gjirokastra played an important role in the Albanian liberation movement of that period, it was the site of the Assembly of Gjirokastra, which was held in July, 1880. The city developed after World War II, and today is an economic, cultural, and educational center of southern Albania. Its main fields of production are food, clothing, tobacco, and metals. Gjirokastra has the "A. Z. ,ajupi" Cultural Center with a professional theater, gallery of arts, and 23 museums, of which the most distinguished are The National Museum of Arms and the Gjirokastra Museum of the Rilindja (the Albanian National Liberation Movement of the 19th century). Gjirokastra publishes several newspapers, including ones in Greek, since it is home to part of the Greek minority of Albania.
Every five years since the year 1968, Gjirokastra is the site of the National Folk Festival, which brings together folk musicians and dancers from the entire country, and lately from Kosova and the Albanian populated regions of FYR of Macedonia.