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Tropojë (definite Albanian form: Tropoja), officially Tropojë-Fshat, is a municipality in Kukës County, northern Albania, near the border with Kosovo.[a] The population at the 2011 census was 4,117. The non-navigable Valbonë River flows through the municipality.
Tropojë was founded by the Berisha tribe and was the center of the commercial trade from the east (Kosovo Vilayet) to the west (Scutari Vilayet) in order to get imported products from the Adriatic Sea. One of the principal trade commodities was salt, which was exchanged for agricultural products. Having this geographical importance, Tropojë was the center of the former highlands of the famous and old city of Đakovica. Tropojë e Vjetër is also the name of a pass, which goes through the mountains, where the people from all over this region go during the summer to relax and to have access in the green fields with their cattle. In modern times, these highlands attract tourists, especially those from Europe and Israel.
The population of the commune is officially listed at 5,606 inhabitants;[when?] however, this figure includes many inhabitants who have emigrated from the area but still keep their original registration. A large number of Tropojans have moved to Tirana and are employed by state institutions, while still retaining their registration in Tropojë. The city of Kamëz is a popular location for many emigrants from the commune. The locals belong to the Ghegs, an ethnographic group of Albanians living in the northern parts.
Within Albania, the Tropojë district has had a long reputation as one of the wildest and most conservative regions in Albania, virtually out of control of every government in Tirana, whether royalist, communist, or republican.
- The Government of Canada currently advises against non-essential travel to the district of Tropojë and the city of Bajram Curri, where police assistance and protection is limited.
- The Government of Australia advises travelers to reconsider travel to the north-east region including the cities of Bajram Curri and Tropojë because of the risk of criminal violence and unexploded ordnance along the Albania-Kosovo border.
- The UK government has also issued a similar warning to travelers advising against all travel to the north east border areas (the districts of Kukes, Has, and Tropojë) between Albania and Kosovo because of the risk of unexploded ordnance placed during the Kosovo War (1998–99) and the poor condition of the roads.
The British newspaper The Guardian reported in May 1999 that in Bajram Curri, the family arsenal often takes up a whole room and typically includes anti-tank mines, hand grenades, and rocket launchers. In 1999, chaos and lawlessness led every foreign aid team except the OSCE to pull out of Tropojë in November.
Tropojë has many agricultural products and is famous for its chestnuts, apples, nuts, grapes, and especially blueberries.
Large reserves of platinum, rhodium, ruthenium, palladium, iridium, and osmium have been discovered in Tropojë. Albanian, Italian, and Chinese engineers, working for Albanian Minerals and Bytyci ShPK in Tropojë, suggest the area may have more than 500 million tons of chrome ore and more than two billion tons of olivine in which platinum is 5-7 grams present per ton. This gigantic body of ore is one of the largest in the world.
According to official statistics from the commune of Tropojë, only 23% of the communes 266 km2 have been registered.
In popular culture
- Tropojë is also famous for being mentioned in the 2008 film Taken, starring Liam Neeson, in which members of the Albanian Mafia come from the town. The municipality is also mentioned in the film's sequel Taken 2.
- Sali Berisha, Prime Minister of Albania.
- Zhaneta Byberi, Miss Universe Albania 2014
- Erjon Dollapi, professional Rugby League player.
- Skënder Gega, international footballer and coach.
- Gëzim Nika, traditional music singer.
- Soni Malaj, singer.
|a.||^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. Kosovo's independence has been recognised by 108 out of 193 United Nations member states.
- Central Elections Committee (see: Rrethi Tropojë)
- 2011 census results
- Albania Travel Advice and Advisories | Government of Canada
- Travel Advice for Albania - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
- Julian Borger. "Bajram Curri". Guardian.co.uk.
- "Don't loot aid, Albanians are told". Guardian.co.uk.