The Promenade in Shkodra captures some of the European aesthetic experience with its decorative and delicate designs, that pave the historic street of this artistically-infused city.
Just a few meters short of 1km in length at 800m long, the Promenade in Shkodra is paved entirely with beautifully-decorated cobblestones. Recently-renovated, this promenade recalls the architecture of ages gone by, when there was arguably a greater appreciation for time and patience when crafting things of lasting beauty. As a result, this picturesque promenade reflects this time, beauty, and quietude of the ones who tread on it.
The Promenade has become one of the most alluring touristic attractions in the country in recent years. Much like in the revered walkways of many old European towns, here the old and the new seamlessly align. Locals and tourists walk along it to the rhythms of music, their constant companion on this bustling avenue. This street has always been one of the city’s most populated, since its construction during the 20thcentury.
The Promenade in Shkodra owes its peculiar beauty to Kolë Idromeno, the most renowned painter from the city, and creative force behind its design. The talented artist painted the town with a Venetian-inspired aesthetic, whilst carefully leaving many of the traditional local elements in place. As a student in Venice in the 20th century, he became fascinated with the glowing, alluring atmosphere of the great Italian city, and decided to bring some of that magic to his home town. Today, the pleasant low-rise buildings, pretty gardens, decorated windowsills, narrow cobblestone alleys, and the glow of the evening lamps combine to inspire an intense sensory experience, and leave an extremely memorable aftertaste.
The promenade connects the city centre with the Museum of History. This road is filled to the brim with street artists, alongside a huge variety art and photography shops and studios. Among them, you’ll see the impressive, newly-renovated Marubi National Museum of Photography, a beautiful symbol of modern architecture which contains the oldest, most extensive collection of Albanian photography in the country. It also includes the first-ever photograph of Albania, taken in 1858 by Pjetër Marubi. In addition to the history of the famed family of photographers, the Marubis, the museum hosts excellent contemporary exhibitions.
The centre of the town forks into two separate boulevards where the traditional old houses from the 1800s beautifully intermingle with the new ones. On the right, the traditional houses line up along the street to create an almost open-air museum, alongside the oldest neighbourhood in town. These Venetian-style, two-story houses create a distinctive atmosphere within this famed northern city, one that is equally Albanian, as it is more universal..
This magical street is truly an artistic journey through space and time. Albania, Venice, modern art and architecture and the old, the music, and the people all intersect at this magnificent point in the north of the country. Walking along it you feel simultaneously everywhere, yet also precisely at this place – here on the Shkodra Promenade!