History in Albania
The area of today's Albania has been populated since prehistoric times. In antiquity, much of it was settled by the ancient Illyrians, possible ancestors of Albanians.
The lands comprising modern-day Albania were occupied by the Romans in 165 BC and incorporated into the empire as part of the province of Illyricum.
When the Roman Empire divided into east and west in 395, the territories of modern Albania became part of the Byzantine Empire.
Albania remained under Byzantine rule until the fourteenth century AD when the Ottoman Turks began to make incursions into the Empire. The Ottomans captured Constantinople in 1453 and by 1460 most former Byzantine territories were in the hands of the Turks.
The Albanians' resistance to the Turks in the mid-15th century won them acclaim all over Europe. Albania became a symbol of resistance to the Ottoman Turks but suffered an almost continuous state of warfare.
The country did not enjoy independence until the twentieth century. After five hundred years of Ottoman domination, an independent Albania was proclaimed on the 28 November 1912. The country adopted a republican form of government in 1920. Starting in 1928, the new King Zog began to cede Albania's sovereignty to Italy, and in 1939 the Italians invaded the country.
Albania was one of the first countries occupied by the Axis Powers in World War II. As Hitler began his aggressions, the Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini decided to occupy Albania as a means to compete with Hitler's territorial gains.
Albania allied with the USSR, and then broke with the USSR in 1960 over de-Stalinization. A strong political alliance with China followed.
Albania's former Communists were routed in elections March 1992, amid economic collapse and social unrest.
Back to Albania travel insurance