|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Italian Wikipedia. (September 2010)|
|• Mayor||Salvador Kaçaj|
|• Total||138 km2 (53.4 sq mi)|
|Elevation||0 m (0 ft)|
|• Density||80/km2 (210/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Central European Time (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Shëngjin (Albanian pronunciation: [ʃənˈɟin]; Albanian for St. John, Italian: San Giovanni di Medua) is a coastal town in the Lezha District, northwestern Albania. Located at 41°49′N 19°36′E, Shëngjin has a population of approximately 8,000 citizens. Shëngjin is a growing destination site, well known for its beaches and resort accommodations. Shëngjin is one of many cities within the District of Lezhë and is home to one of Albania's entry ports, Port of Shëngjin.
Shëngjin is a part of the Lezhë District, which has thousands of years of ancient history and unique culture. According to historians, Lezhë is considered as the site of the League of Lezhë where Skanderbeg united the Albanian princes in the fight against the Ottoman Empire. Skanderbeg is recognized as a national hero for his efforts to unite the region against the Turks. Shëngjin’s coastline has always provided a key geographic asset to the area for over a thousand years. In 1924, the Albanian government renamed Shengjin as Wilson, in honor of the American President Woodrow Wilson for backing Albania's independence.
Shëngjin is located approximately 100 meters away from the waters of the Adriatic Sea, and below a mountain side called Rrenci that is approximately 159 meters in height. Shëngjin is also located approximately 60 km from the Tirana Mother Teresa International Airport. Shëngjin's proximity to other cities include:
|City||Distance from Shëngjin||Population|
|Lezhë||7 km (east-southeast)||41,200|
|Laç||23 km (south-southeast)||24,825|
|Shkodër||28 km (north-northwest)||74,876|
|Durrës||55 km (south-southwest)||115,550|
|Tirana||58 km (south-southeast)||421,286|
Other notable features in the region include:
|Region Feature||Distance from Shëngjin|
|Fierza Dam||61 km (northeast)|
|Gjalices Mountain (2537 meters)||77 km (east-northeast)|
|Golemi Korab Mountain (2764 meters)||80 km (east)|
|Djeravica Mountain (2656 meters)||91 km (north-northeast)|
Shëngjn’s economy is focused around two major industries: seaport and tourism. The Port of Shëngjin, or Shëngjin Harbor, is the northern most seaport in Albania and is frequently accessed by cargo and fishing vessels. The Port of Shëngjin provides the area with a strong industrial foundation. Shëngjin has the third largest port in Albania and the Harbor’s access point is located on the northwest part of the city. The port is protected by lengthy rock walls that extend into the sea.
Shëngjin has approximately 3 km of beach front.
Salvador Kaçaj, Shëngjin’s current Mayor, was elected into office in 2011 by the citizens of Shëngjin. Mayor Kaçaj’s background has prepared him well for his new role as acting City representative. Mayor Kaçaj has a legal degree as well as a business degree that he earned by attending University in New York.
During his younger years, Mayor Kaçaj played professional football in Greece, Cyprus, Switzerland, and the United States. For twelve years he played as head of the national football team, representing the colors "Red and Black" in dozens of international matches. He was presented with the title "Master of the sport" and decorated with "Gold Medal". Mayor Kaçaj is now married with four children and since his took office last year, and has been proactive in making Shengjin more hospitable place for business and tourism.
On the Shëngjin Komuna (Municipality) website, Mayor Kaçaj addresses his constituents by saying, “I am proud to declare solemnly that as a servant of my citizens, I will work tirelessly to increase their welfare, making it possible for every penny of taxpayers to use and invest with maximum efficiency and transparency, serving the interests of joint community and civil legal requirements. We have taken this first term and will govern together with citizens to become part of major decision-making throughout the community through debates, discussions, forums, surveys, commissions, etc. which make transparent except decisions relating to its own citizens and Shëngjin all the villagers aware of the Commune and become responsible for their implementation.”
The Komuna Shëngjin is located in the heart of Shëngjin. The Komuna implements national legislation and local ordinances, while trying to promote the general welfare of its citizens. Shëngjin’s Komuna has had the privilege of welcoming national leaders as well as foreign dignitaries to the city. Currently, there are over 40 employees representing a variety of offices within the Komuna.
Shëngjin offers a wide arrange of environmentally friendly activities. To the south of the city is a nature preserves called “Pylli me pisha dhe Lagune Kunes” and “Laguna e Vainit”, which offers a beautiful and undisturbed place to enjoy the natural surroundings of wetlands and seafront. Similarly, just north of city center is “Rana e Hedhun”, which also offers a wonderful experience of rural and undeveloped sand dunes along the coastline.
According to EssentialAlbania.com, “Being an ecological city, Shengjin Albania offers some of the best fishing grounds that ensure that there is a balance between the rate of fishing and the frequent of fishing so that to ensure that there is no too much loss of fish from the sea. They respect the fact that the fish need to breed in order to maintain their population.”
Districts of Lezhë
The District of Lezhë (Albanian: Rrethi i Lezhës) is one of the thirty-six districts of Albania, part of Lezhë County. It has a population of 77,184 (2010 estimate), and an area of 479 km². It is in the north-west of the country, and its capital is Lezhë.
The district consists of the following municipalities (population in 2007 in parentheses):
- Balldren i Ri (9,872)
- Blinisht (5,177)
- Dajç (7,053)
- Kallmet (6,607)
- Kolsh (6,259)
- Lezhë (24,994)
- Shëngjin (10,340)
- Shënkoll (13,523)
- Ungrej (3,154)
- Zejmen (8,752)
- Shëngjin Travel Guide
- Lezha Online News
- Lezha Travel and Tourism
- Shëngjin Municipality Official Website (Albanian)
- Shëngjin Port
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