Discover Balkan - Lezha

47 kilometers south of Shkodra the city of Lezha is to be found. Another of Albania’s ancient cities, it was first mentioned in historical documents by the name Lissus. In 1398, after the construction of its castle, the city was under direct control of the feudal family of Lekë Dukagjini, but was eventually conquered by soldiers from Venice. One of the most important historical events for Lezha, and indeed for all of Albania, was the famed "Assembly of Lezha" on March 2nd, 1444 where under the leadership of national hero Skanderbeg the Albanian princedoms united against the Ottomans. The Memorial Grave of Skanderbeg is here, the ex-Cathedral of Shën Kolli, where he was buried in 1468. The Castle of Lezha, another Illyrian monument, sits on a hilltop overlooking the city below. Inside the castle, ruins of an Ottoman mosque, a Roman Arch, and an Illyrian Tower all rest together for the ages. Only a few minutes from the city there is the sandy beach of Shëngjini at the foot of Mount Renci. The sunny beach community of Shëngjini boasts a long and colorful history, known as both "Cesarean" and "Nympheum" in past centuries. It was here that the Roman general Marcus Aurelius embarked with his fleet in order to chase Pompey, during the civil war he and Julius Cesarius engaged in. The mouth of the Drini River is located nearby, providing an amazing Ecosystem becoming more and more of a key attraction for international Ecco-tourism.
Also in the neighborhood is the Kune-Vain National Park. With approximately 70 species of birds, 22 species of reptiles, 6 species of amphibians, and 13 species of mammals, it is a wide and diverse protected habitat. One of the most pleasant surprises is the sandy island of Kune, which turns into a peninsula depending on the water level. With 227 different kinds of plants growing on the island, Kune’s dense vegetation provides nesting grounds for many birds, and consequently, many bird-watchers.