Tepelena General Info
Tepelena district is located in the region of Derveni, in the southern Albania. It is crossed from on Vjosa River, in north-east is the mountain of Shëndëllia, facing Kurveleshi Mountains, area while on the south is situated the mountain of Goliku, and Mezhgorani Gorge, which divides as a knife the Mountains Lunxhëri-Shëndëlli-Bureto from Trebeshinë-Dhëmbel-Nemërçkë. Two rivers, Vjosa, one of the largest of Albania, and Drinos create a spectacular landscape. At the foot of the Vasjar and Miricë village flows the river of Luftinja. On its western side lie the sources of coal. This region includes the towns: Tepelenë Memaliaj, and villages: Mezhgoran, Dragon, Beçisht, Dames, Kallëmp, Kashisht, Bylysh, Memaliaj Village, Vasjar, Miricë of Luzat.
Relief and climate
Prevails in the district of Tepelena is a mountainous-hilly relief. The average height is 732 meters over sea. The highest point is at the peak of Këndrevica 2122 meters, while the lowest, 105 meters is in the valley of Vjosa. The lithological character of Tepelena is mostly represented by limestone, which once displayed compact massive slab of time. In the latter, are developed wells, caves and other karst forms on the ground with a special interest in tourism and tourist speleologist study. Tepelena has a Mediterranean climate. The average annual temperature is 15.3 degrees centigrade, while the average annual precipitation is 1,426 mm.
This city has a special historic and very impressive, only his name, has three variants: the first: the origin of this name connects with the Turkish word "Tepedelen”wich means kokëshpues. The second version explains the word "the Lena’s Tepe" which means "the hill of Lena" The third and most convincing version is that which explains the name of the Illyrian word "Antibylyne" which means facing the Bylyns. Later this word evolves and takes its name Tepelenë. The settlement relates to a castle town, which is mounted on a strategic point in the intersection of roads that cross the river valley and Drinos Vjosa. In 1889, the town was taken from Ali Pasha, who rebuil the city and castle, which turned into a second residence for Pasha.
Culture and ethnography
The Tepelena’s culture is impressing as it is part of the province of Toskëria that includes all lands in the right side of the river valley and the province of Laberia and Vjosa. These provinces have traditions, customs and general rites, but have and distinctive features from each other., Which we find dialect language, rites of weddings, funeral ceremonies etc. Folk costumes, mostly in Tepelena are special because men use pants and kilts, doublets, meanwhile the women, use long shirts without collar vest, etc. Another special feature is that for popular used clothing ornaments with gold embroidery. Rare beauties of this town has woven the Englishman Lord Byron, who created verses in his famous poem "Childe Harold,. It was knit praise generosity and courage of these people.
Tepelena is probably one of the richest countries in Albania in terms of monuments of nature. They relate to natural heritage, which consist of natural value offered to society. Furthermore, its nature reserves also special value items, rare, that maintained and protected by law, are defined as "special heritage”, national or global. Some of these monuments in the district of Tepelena are:
Woodland Park of Cold Water, which lies a few miles away from Tepelena, on the national roadside Tepelene-Gjirokastër. The forest is perennial and the majority of it consists of old plane-trees, and other trees as well. The forest includes several hectares and is protected by state law as a rare natural monument. The particularity consists in its numerous sources of water.
The Willow’s forest with an area of about 4 ha, located almost close to the city of Tepelena. From the locals is called "the Tepelena’s Drilon. This forest has an extraordinary beauty and consists mainly of the plane tree, willow, etc.. This forest is still virgin.
The Canyons of Nivica. Situated near the village, several kilometers in length, width 10-20 m, depth 80-100 m. Are formed by the karsti of Nivica stream and limestone of Crete. On its slopes are numerous caves. It is an attractive area for the passioned of extreme sports, and it has potential natural and and tourist values. Can be visited to the rural road-Progonat-Gusmar Tepelene.