Shkodr is a city located on Lake Shkodr in northwestern Albania in the District of Shkodr, of which it is the capital. It is one of the oldest and most historic towns in Albania, as well as an important cultural and economic centre. Shkodr's estimated population as of 2004 is 91,000; if the surrounding region is included the population is 119,000. As of 2008 the current population is 210,000 including the surrounding region.
Shkodr was founded around the 4th century BC. This was the site of the Illyrian tribe Labeates as well as the capital of the kingdom of King Gentius and that of Queen Teuta. In the year 168 BC, the city was taken by the Romans and it became an important trade and military route.
Shkodr is an important educational and industrial center. The city produces various mechanical and electrical components, as well textile and food products. Shkodr is also the site of the Pedagogical Institute and of the Luigj Gurakuqi University of Shkodr. The main library of the city contains more than 250,000 books. Other cultural institutions are the Cultural Center, the Artists and Writers Association, the "Migjeni" Theater, the Gallery of Arts, and the Museum of History. Skoder is the center of Albanian Catholicism and the most prominent city of Sunni Islam in Albania. The city has the cathedral and mosque of the country. Other noteworthy cultural elements include the Castle of Shkodr, the Turkish Bath, the Lead Mosque.
Today the city and the area around it is blessed with numerous and different natural and cultural objects. The most attractive quarters with such peculiarities are Serresh and Gjuhadol, but the most important objects is the castle of Rozafa. The history of the castle starts since the Illyrian times. A very interesting legend explains its history. The main theme of the legend has to do with keeping of promise. Rozafa the bride of the youngest of three brothers was walled up in order that the walls of the castle do not fall down by the night. The water passing through the stones at the main entrance are connected in the folk fantasy with the water going out from the bossom of Rozafa, which she left out during the time she was walled up in order to feed her little baby.
The very characteristic appearance of the city is formed by the old houses and the narrow streets formed by tall stone walls. After World War II, Shkodr was rebuilt with wider streets and new residential buildings. These were built in several new quarters. Shkodra is also the home of the biggest and liveliest stadium in Albania : Loro-Borii Stadium