The renovated Tirana International Hotel
On February 8th, 1920, the provisional government formed at the Congress of Lushje moved to Tirana, and at this point Tirana became the capital of the country. This played an important role for the development of the town. At this time it had 17,000 inhabitants, and new quarters were added to the town. The people of Tirana and its surroundings, in 1919 opposed Esat Pasha Toptani, considered a traitor to Albanian national interests, in 1922 Ahmet Zogu's efforts to gain power, and helped the uprisers of Dibra led by Isuf Elezi enter the town. In the years 1920-1924 the people of Tirana fought against the attacks of the Serbian army, and the forces of Zogu at the Shkalla e Tujanit (Step of Tujan). The people of Tirana demonstrated when on March 20th, 1924, Zog's agents killed Avni Rustemi, a distinguished Albanian patriot, leader of the "Bashkimi" national and democratic association.
The Sahat Kulla (Clock Tower) and Ethem Bey's Mosque
Skenderbeg's monument in Tirana
Before World War II, Tirana had one power plant, two printing presses, several wood processing plants using outdated techniques, and several soap factories. Today Tirana is the largest industrial center of Albania. During the 1980's, Tirana produced one fifth of the total industrial product, one third of the total mechanics industry product, 30 percent of the total coal production, and a half of the total textile production of Albania. Many industries, such as the building materials, textile, food, mechanical products, and electrical products, are based in Tirana.
Government buildings: the People's Assembly, the Ministries, the executive, the High Court, are in Tirana. The city has around 45 elementary schools (compared to 19 before World War II), the same number of secondary schools (compared to 6 before World War II), and in 1957 the University of Tirana was established, from which in 1991 emerged the Polytechnic University of Tirana. Other educational institutions include: the Academy of Arts, the Agricultural University, the Military Academy, the Institute of Physical Education "Vojo Kushi", and the Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The look of the city has changed since the end of World War II, in accordance with urbanization plans made during the years 1952-1956. Old city quarters with no architectural value were demolished (such as the Tabak and Terzinje quarters, the old bazar in 1959, the eastern side of the Barrikada street, etc.), to make way for new quarters (such as the number 6, 7, and 9), new blocks (such as the "Vasil Shanto" and "Ali Demi"), and older ones were rebuilt. During the 1960s, the center was improved, with the new Cultural Palace and the Theater of Opera and Ballet (1966), Skenderbeg's monument (1968), Hotel Tirana (1979), and the Museum of National History (1981). The hills on the southeastern part of the city around the artificial lake were afforested, thus opening the new Park, which is connected with the Botanical Garden and the Zoo. On the southwestern part of the city is the Student City, which houses the students of the University of Tirana. The city has several hotels, the main ones include Dajti, Tirana, Arb‘ria, Arbana, Peza, and Drini.