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Photographer's Note

Gjirokaster - view of the new part of the city

Gjirokaster is a city in southern Albania, situated in a valley between the Gjerë mountains and the Drino, at 300 metres above sea level. Its old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site described as "a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town, built by farmers of large estate". The city is overlooked by Gjirokastër Fortress, where the Gjirokastër National Folklore Festival is held every five years. It is the birthplace of former Albanian communist leader Enver Hoxha and notable writer Ismail Kadare.

The city appears in the historical record dating back in 1336 by its Greek name, Αργυρόκαστρο - Argyrokastro, as part of the Byzantine Empire. It became part of the Orthodox Christian doecese of Dryinoupolis and Argyrokastro after the destruction of nearby Adrianoupolis.

Along Muslim and Orthodox Albanians, the city is also home to a substantial Greek minority. The city together with Sarandë, is considered one of the centers of the Greek community in Albania, and there is a consulate of Greece.

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Additional Photos by Piotr Fagasiewicz (PiotrF) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 5040 W: 2 N: 9285] (44434)
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