What to Visit in Korça
Korçë is a city in southeastern Albania. It is the sixth largest city in Albania. It stands on a plateau some 850 meters above sea level in the heart of the Morava Mountains. These places to visit in Korça will immerse you into the history, culture, and fun of this beautiful region.
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National Museum of Medieval Art
The National Museum of Medieval Art is a great resource for understanding the history of Korçë. The museum is located on Fan Noli Boulevard in the southeastern section of the city. It originally opened on April 24, 1980 and was reconstructed on October 4, 2016.
The museum has over 7,000 art and cultural items; icons, stone, wooden, metal and textile works all represent various moments in Albania’s development. In the principal hall there are many works from both well-known and anonymous artists from the 13th-14th century. Most notably, you can view the works of Onufri, Onufër Qiprioti, Teacher Kostandini, Jeromak Shpataraku, David Selenica, and the Zografi Brothers.
National Museum of Education
The National Museum of Education, otherwise known as Mësonjëtorja, is set up in the building where the first Albanian school was opened. It contains the history of Albanian writings and publications, such as the first Albanian alphabet written by Naum Veqilharxhi and the second Albanian alphabet written by Kostandin Kristoforidhi. Prominent men contributed to the opening of the school, and pictures of them can be seen throughout the museum.
The museum offers interesting material for visitors, such as photographic portraits of the founders, contributors, directors and its pupils throughout the years. In addition to these, find books and texts used by its pupils as well as objects used by Albanian patriots and linguists who were part of the school history. You can also find the office of the Director of Mësonjëtorj. The office is in a separate pavilion complete with the “Libri i Vizitorëve” (English: Visitors Book) where visitors and tourists can leave their notes on their impressions of the museum.
Themistokli Gërmenji Park
This lovely park near the center of town is dedicated to local hero Themistokli Germenji. It includes a City Band and a Children’s Library, all gifted to the city by the philanthropist Thoma Turtulli. Themistokli Germenji is famous for being part of the movement for the democratic liberation of Albania.
House Museum of Painter Vangjush Mio
The House Museum of Painter Vangjush Mio has become a center of artistic expression. As a testament to this, various groups hold artistic cultural activities there. Check out their schedule to attend lyric concerts, painting and photographic exhibitions, among others.
This cultural monument contains about 40 oil paintings of calm nature landscapes, as well as many drawings that are outstanding for their unique style.
Vangjush Mio is an Albanian landscape artist with international recognition for his works “The Winter in Korça,” “Aspects from Drenova,” ” Boboshtica,” and ” Vithkuqi.” In 1920 he opened an exhibition in Tirana, becoming the first Albanian painter to do so. His success continued in 1942 when he went on to open a second exhibition in Bari.
The Field of Tears
Years ago, this park was a small field located at the edge of the city, marking the beginning of the road leading to Greece, Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria and America. Today the park preserves the memory of emigration from Korça. It was here that women would wait, between candles and tears, to reunite with their husbands returning from abroad. During the 19th century, this small grassy area became a shrine for emigrants from Korça.
The Youth Park, with an area of 9 acres, is the largest urban park in the city. The park is perfect for a walk under the generous shade of rows of linden and chestnut trees. You can even enjoy the stone sculpture garden that the park has to offer. Recent reconstruction has made this space one of the most popular places in the city. New fountains, public squares, a boulevard and the creation of an open amphitheater have revitalized the artistic life in the city. It has helped to attract around 50,000 tourists a year.
The Old Bazaar
You can’t visit Korça without checking out the Old Bazaar. Buildings constructed in the classic Korça style characterize the Bazaar. The Bazaar, separated by narrow cobbled streets, never fails to attract the attention of visitors. In the past centuries, the bazaar has functioned as a market for trade not just within Albania, but also internationally with Turkey, Greece, Trieste and Venice. Nearby you can find old, traditional inns; including the Old Elbasan and Old Monastery Inn, which serve to host travelers visiting the market from outside the city. The market reached its peak during the late 19th and early 20th centuries with more than 1,000 stores. With so many shops, the bazaar was, and remains, like a city within a city. Throughout its history, the bazaar has been burnt down and rebuilt three times.
Many call Korca the City of Serenades, the City of Love, the City of Art, the City of the First Albanian School, the Beer City, or the Little Parish, among others. Once you visit Korça, you’ll want to come back again and again.