Kukes  Has   Tropoja

A Brief History of the Kukës Region


The oldest trace of human life in this dates to the Neolithic area.  Subsequent periods saw large-scale population of the region, particularly in the Drin Valley and the basin of Tropoja  and on the plateu of Has.

II.First Century, AD

Since the first century AD,  the Kukes region has attracted the attention of various travelers to places like Valbona (in the Tropoja District), Bruti (Has District) and Polina (Kukës district).  These areas were so famous for their natural beauty that they were recognized by the Roman empire as vacation destinations.

III.The later Middle Ages

Like  much of pre-Independence Albania, the region was divided by and claimed by many different coutries. The Kukës region for over 19 centuries fell prey to Roman, Byzantine, Serbian, Montenegrin, Bulgarian, Turkish and Austro-Hungarian invasions.

A part of the region was claimed or occupied by the Dukagjinis, part belonged to Pultit (Spaneve) and the remainder of the region was at various times claimed by many different peoples or countries.

From the beginnings of the the uprisings against the Tanzimat (from 1840 - 1863) until the declaration of Albanian  independence (1912), the Kukës region highlands were often the center of events leading to Albanian independence.  The inhabitants of the region played a pivotal role in securing independence.

IV."Renaissance” Period  

11 October 1911   The first Albanian school in the Kukës region opened its doors.  As one of the first schools of its kind in the entire North of Albania, it marked the beginning of the expansion of education in the highlands of Kukës.

1912 – 1913 During the Balkan wars following the declaration of Albanian independence in 1912, rebel forces from Luma attacked Serbian forces in Kalis Kala e Dodës, Resk, Bicaj, Kulla e Lumes, Vaspas etc. The fighting ended with the massacre of hundred of Albanians by Serbian forces in Porbreg, Novosej, Nimçe, Topojan, Kalis, Kolosjan etc.

1 March 1922 The  Prefecture of Kosovo (today's region of Kukës) with its center in Krume was established.

12 October 1922 The “Kosova” School opened in Krume, which hosted students from Kosovo, Kukës, Has and Tropoje. In 1973 it was declared an object of particular importance due to its significance in Albanian cultural heritage. This building is now a Monument of Culture.

29 March 1925 One of the main leaders of the 1912 uprising that led to Albanian independence as well as a leader of both the anti-Serb resistance movement from 1912-2921 and the revolution of June, 1924 was killed in the cave of Dragobia, in Tropoje.

1925 The center of the region (Prefecture of Kosova) was transferred from Krume to Kukës.

1939 - 1944 Kukës region (like all of Albania) was under Italian and German fascist occupation.

18 November 1944  Kukës was liberated from foreign occupation.

V.Period after Liberation

1944 - 1990 Kukës, like all of Albania, was controlled in a highly regulated and centralized communist system. The implementation of a communist system saw the collectivization of agriculture, creation of cooperatives, establishment of state-owned enterprise and the nationalization of commercial activity.

March 1962 The decision was made to relocate Kukës due to the development of the site as a potential source of hydroelectric power.

1978 Old Kukës was flooded by what is now called the Fierza lake and construction of Fierza hydropower project began.

1978 The two bridges on Drini I Zi and Drini I Bardhe were inagurated, connecting Kukës to Tirana and Has.

VI.Period of democracy

This period sees the transition of Albania from a centrally planned communist state to a democracy.

December 1990 Anti-communist demonstrations erupt across the country.

5 January 1991 The Democratic Party formed in Kukës.

31 March 1991 The first open and plural elections are held since the fall of the communist party.

27 March 1999 The crisis in Kosovo erupts, with thousands of Kosovars expelled from their country. Kukës Region provides a home to over 100,000 Kosovar refugees during the war with Serbia.

In 2000 Kukës city was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the first city in the world to be nominated for such a prize.

2004 Kukës Airport finished.

June 2009 National Road Inauguration (Durres - Kukes - Morine highway)