Vlorë-Vlora County

Qarku VloreThe County of Vlorë (Albanian: Qarku i Vlorës) is one of the 12 counties of Albania. It consists of the districts Delvinë, Sarandë and Vlorë and its capital is Vlorë. As of January 1, 2010 the population of the Vlore District was estimated to be 211,773. Vlorë’s western and southern edges are the shorelines of the Strait of Otranto, which separates it from the island of Corfu. The County forms the integral part of the Albanian Riviera. In the far southeast it has a small border with Greece. Its population includes a Greek minority. Domestically, it borders the following counties Fier County to the north and Gjirokastër County to the east.

Names

The modern name for Vlorë is the Albanian form Vlorë or Vlora, pronounced [ˈvlɔɾə], while in the Gheg Albanian dialect it is known as Vlonë. Vlorë was created in antiquity as a Greek colony in the territory of Illyria. Its first name, still used today in Greece, is Aulón (Greek: Αυλών), which means valley and may have been a reinterpretation of a pre-Greek name. In early 20th century, Vlorë was referred to in English as Avlona or by the Italian name Valona. During the Ottoman era, the Turkish name Avlonya was also used.

History

In antiquity the region was inhabited by the Greek tribe of the Chaonians. The Ancient Greeks developed the town of Sarandë which they referred to as Onchesmos (or Anchiasmos) Onchesmos flourished as the port of the Chaonian capital of Phoenice (modern-day Finiq). Further north another Chaonian settlement was founded, Himarë, while the Corinthians found the colony of Aulon at the bay of Vlorë. Additional ancient settlements in the region included Thronium, Amantia, Oricum.

In the Middle Ages, the region was part of the Byzantine Empire, while during the Slavic invasion there is evidence the Byzantine rule was maintained in the area.

In 1204 the region became part of the Despotate of Epirus but returned to the Byzantine Empire. In 1335 Albanian tribes descended south and were in possession of the area between Berat and the bay of Vlore, while in 1345 after the Serbian invasion an independent principality was formed in Vlorë.

In the middle of the 14th century the aristocratic Delvina family ruled Delvinë and in 1354, Mehmet Ali Pasha Delvina was testified as the owner of the castle and the city.

Geography

Vlorë County is located in the south of Albania and forms the Albanian Riviera. The southeastern part of the county borders Greece. The county has a total area of 2,706 km2 (1,044.8 sq mi). The three main cities are Vlorë, Sarandë and Delvinë.

Administrative divisions

District Capital District
Population (2010)
Area (km²) Municipalities
Delvinë District Delvinë 10,810 348 Delvinë, Finiq, Mesopotam, Vergo
Sarandë District Sarandë 35,201 749 Aliko, Dhivër, Konispol, Ksamil, Livadhja, Lukovë, Markat, Sarandë, Xarrë
Vlorë District Vlorë 147,411 1,609 Armen, Brataj, Himarë, Horë-Vranisht, Kotë, Novoselë, Orikum, Qendër, Selenicë, Sevaster, Shushicë, Vllahinë, Vlorë
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