City Center of Pukë
|• Mayor||Gjon Gjonaj (PS)|
|• Municipality||505.53 km2 (195.19 sq mi)|
|Elevation||890 m (2,920 ft)|
|• Municipality density||22/km2 (57/sq mi)|
|• Administrative Unit||3,607|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Pukë (definite Albanian form: Puka) is a town and municipality in northern Albania. It was formed at the 2015 local government reform by the merger of the former municipalities Gjegjan, Pukë, Qelëz, Qerret and Rrapë, that became municipal units. The seat of the municipality is the town Pukë. The total population is 47,000 (2011 census), in a total area of 505.53 km2. The population of the former municipality at the 2011 census was 47,500. The local football club is called KS Tërbuni Pukë.
At 838 metres above sea level, the town is one of the highest in elevation in Albania and a well-known ski area. It is 150 km from Albania's capital, Tirana.
In the 20th century, Pukë was expanded as a military base and a centre of Catholic education. The distinguished Albanian poet Migjeni worked there from 1936 to 1937. The school where he worked as a teacher is a tourist attraction. The town is surrounded by a 400-hectare (1.5 sq mi) massif covered with pine trees. Since the end of the communist era, there has been a spread of disease in the pines caused by pine processionary moths, whose nests are conspicuous.
The settlement is inhabited by the tribe of Puka, itself one of the "seven tribes of Puka" (Albanian: shtatë bajrakët e Pukës). According to tradition, collected by Hyacinthe Hecquard in the mid-19th century, the settlement of Puka had been founded by a Paolo Zenta, who according to Marin Barletius was a relative of Lekë Dukagjini.
The hotel standing in the town square has been upgraded and now boasts a microbrewery producing Puka Beer, which is a lager in draught form.
- Altin Lala - Former captain of Albania national football team and Hannover 96
- Kristjan Sokoli - NFL player
- West Cenaj - footballer
- Xhovalin Delia - Painter
- Fabio Gjonikaj - footballer
- Taulant Marku - footballer
- Sebino Plaku - footballer
- Flavio Prendi - footballer
- Shtjefën Gjeçovi - Catholic priest, folklorist and the collector and writer of Kanuni i Lekë Dukagjinit/Kanun (Albania)
- Ndoc Mark Gega - Patriot
- Tani Berisha - Singer
- Dava Gjergji - Folk singer
- Vitore Matoshi - Folk singer
- Anjeza Ndoj - Folk singer
- Kristina Marku - Folk singer
- Arben Frroku - Politician
- Mark Frroku - Politician
- Halit Furriku- Albanian Ambassador in Russia
- Millosh Gjergj Nikolla - Teacher, poet and writer
- Ndue Shyti - Folk musician
- Elsie, Robert (2015). The Tribes of Albania: History, Society and Culture. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1-78453-401-1.
- Through The Embers of Chaos ISBN 0-7195-6232-5 (2002), Dervla Murphy
The author refers to processionary disease in Pukë on a cycle trip through Albania, including a stay in the town, described on page 213
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