Today, nearly 2.8 million people call The Republic of Albania home.
In the classical times, the territory was home to tribes such as the Illyrians and Grecians. In fact, Julius Caesar used an Albanian city as a depot for his troops in the 1st century BC. This is because of its location on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. This position also made it a popular trade route for travelers.
The country was conquered by the Albanian Turks in the 15th century. Because of this, the country was cut off from Western culture for more than four centuries. However, it became an independent in 1912 and now has one of the highest literacy rates at 98.7%.
The official language in Albania is Albanian. Two main dialects are recognized; in the North, Tosk, and in the South, Gheg. This divide is by cause of the Shkumbin river. In addition to these, French, Italian, Greek, and English are also spoken. Outside of the country, Albanian is also spoken in Greece, Italy, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Montenegro.
Over half of the population is Muslim, making Islam the largest religion in the nation. However, the Albanian constitution states equality for all religions. In fact, it encourages a scientific or atheistic view of the world. The Constitution in 1976 even called for non-religion, and imposed prison sentences for religious propaganda.
Ethnic groups in Albania
Besides ethnic Albanians, Albania is the home of many different cultures. These include Greeks, Vlach, Romani, Macedonians, Montenegrins, and Egyptians.
Sources and Resources
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Author: Amanda C.