Morava Mountains over Korce
Korce (alb. Korçë or Korça) is the largest city of south eastern part of Albania. It is situated at the foot of Morava Mountain on a plateau 800 m above sea level, near the border with Greece. It has a population of around 62,900 people (2008 estimate), making it the seventh largest city in Albania. Korce is said to be the cleanest town in Albania. It has old buildings in various states of repair surrounding the Cathedral which was built in 1992. Quaint cobblestown streets run between and behind the main streets.
Korce became an important trading and handicraft centre in the 18th century due to the development of trade with neighboring regions. It has been an important religious center for Orthodox Christians and Muslims for centuries. During the Ottoman period it became one of the centres of the growing Albanian identity. The first school teaching in the Albanian language was established there in 1887, followed by Albania's first school for girls in 1891.
It snows every winter in Korce which makes it an ideal town for winter sports. As a centre of culture and trade it has charming villas with beautiful gardens testament to this past. The town has a rich mixture of religious monuments, with beautiful orthodox churches mainly found, in the little town of Voskopoja half an hour drive from Korca, as well as Islamic ones the most important being the Mosque of Iliaz Bej Mirahorit build in 1469, one of the oldest in Albania.
In Korce neighbourhood many prehistoric settlements and cemeteries have been discovered, such as Maliq, Kamnik, Podgori, Ten, Trajan etc.: the finds are on display in the Prehistoric Museum. Korça makes a natural starting-point for excursions to Voskopoja, Dardha, Vithkuq, Balkan Prespa Park and other places, as well as for ramblers who wish to visit Lake Ohrid.
What to see
Christ Revive Cathedral
National Museum of Medieval Art - it covers a period from the 5th to the 19th century and you can see there works by Albania's most famous painters of the Middle ages, as well as beautiful works by anonymous goldsmiths, silversmiths, woodcarvers and armourers.
Gallery "Guri Madhi"
The "Bratko" Museum: Antiquaries and collections from far east
National Education Museum
Archaeological Museum: Occupies the rooms of two traditional 19th-century houses. Approximately
Mosque of Iliaz Bej Mirahorit
Orthodox Cathedral - Christ Revive Cathedral
Voskopoja - village 13 km west from Korce. It was an important centre that remains to this day as an abundant storehouse of art works.
Balkan Prespa Park - 25 km north-east from Korce. Area of two freshwater lakes shared by Greece, Albania, and the Republic of Macedonia. With an abundance of rare fauna and flora, the area was declared a Transnational Park in 2000.
Dardha - unforgettable mountain spot, 20 km south-east from Korce, at 1,350 m above sea level. There is snow during the three months of winter, the air is crystalline, and the water of the village’s many natural fountains is pure and cold.
Vithkuq - mountain village, 25 km south-west from Korce.
Korce Area in Photos