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Albania History Timeline

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Albania's Information

Flag of Albania
Land Area 27,398 km2
Water Area 1,350 km2
Total Area 28,748 km2
Population 3,038,594
Population Density 105.70 / km2
Government Type Parliamentary Republic
GDP (PPP) $33.90 Billion
GDP Per Capita $11,900
Currency Lek (ALL)
Largest Cities
  • Tirana (374,801)
  • Durres (122,034)
  • Elbasan (100,903)
  • Vlore (89,546)
  • Shkoder (88,245)
  • Fier-Cifci (60,995)
  • Korce (58,259)
  • Fier (56,297)
  • Berat (46,866)
  • Lushnje (41,469)
  • (1000BC) Illyrians were Indo-European tribesmen who appeared in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula; Albanians derived their name from an Illyrian tribe called the Arber, or Arbereshe, and later Albanoi, who lived near Durres
1100 – 1800
  • (1100-1200) Serbs occupied parts of northern and eastern Albanian inhabited lands
  • (1204) Venice won control over most of Albania; Byzantines regained control of the southern portion, established the Despotate of Epirus
  • (1272) King of Naples occupied Durres; established the Kingdom of Arberia, the first Albanian kingdom since the fall of Illyria
  • (1385) Albanian ruler of Durres invited Ottoman forces to intervene
  • (1443-1468) Gjergj Kastrioti (Skanderbeg) led revolt; began holy war against Ottoman Empire, resulted in brief independence
  • (1468) Skanderbeg died; Turks absorbed Albania into the Ottoman Empire
  • (1478) Christians forced to convert to Islam
  • (1500s-1800s) Two-thirds of Albanians converted to Islam
  • (1822) Albanian leader Ali Pasha of Tepelena assassinated by Ottoman agents for promoting autonomy
  • (1877-1878) Russia defeated the Ottoman Empire; Ottoman influence in Albania weakened
  • (1912) Balkan Wars began; Albania claimed as an independent state
  • (1913) Treaty of Bucharest ended Balkan Wars; Albania recognized as independent state ruled by a constitutional monarchy
  • (1914) German Prince Wilhelm de Wied crowned King of Albania; installed as head of the Albanian state by the International Control Commission; rule ended within six months, with outbreak of World War I
  • (1918) World War I ended; Royal Italian Army occupied most of Albania; Serbian, Greek, and French forces occupied remainder; Italian and Yugoslav powers struggled for dominance over Albania
  • (1919) Serbs attacked Albanian cities; Albanians adopted guerilla warfare
  • (1919) Albania was denied official representation at the Paris Peace Conference; British, French, and Greek negotiators decided to divide Albania among Greece, Italy, and Yugoslavia; decision vetoed by U.S. President Wilson
  • (1920) Albanian leaders met in Lushnje, rejected the partitioning of Albania by the Treaty of Paris; a bicameral parliament created; Albanian government moved to Tirana, capital of Albania
  • (1920) Albania forced Italian troops out, abandoned claims to Albanian territory
  • (1920) Albania admitted to the League of Nations as sovereign and independent state
  • (1921) Yugoslav troops invaded Albania; The League of Nations commission forced Yugoslav withdrawal, reaffirmed Albania's 1913 borders
  • (1921) Popular Party, led by Xhafer Ypi, formed a government with Ahmet Zogu as minister of internal affairs
  • (1922) Ahmet Zogu, a tribal warlord, assumed position of prime minister
  • (1926) Italy and Albania signed the First Treaty of Tirana, guaranteed Zogu's political position and Albania's boundaries
  • (1928) Zogu pressured parliament to dissolve itself; a new constituent assembly declared Albania a kingdom; Zogu became Zog I, "King of the Albanians"
  • (1934) Albania signed trade agreement with Greece and Yugoslavia; Italy suspended economic support; attempted to threaten Albania
  • (1935) Mussolini presented a gift of 3,000,000 gold francs to Albania; other economic aid followed
  • (1937) Italy occupied Albania
  • (1939) Before the start of World War II, Italy invaded Albania; King Zog fled to Greece
  • (1940) Italian army attacked Greece through Albania
  • (1941) Enver Hoxha became head of new Albanian Communist Party
  • (1943) German forces invaded and occupied Albania
  • (1944) Germans withdrew after Communist resistance; Enver Hoxha installed as new leader
  • (1948) Albania broke ties with Yugoslavia; Soviet Union began economic aid to Albania
  • (1950) Britain and U.S. backed landings by right-wing guerillas, who failed to topple communists
    1900s continued
    • (1955) Albania was a founding member of the Warsaw Pact
    • (1960) Albania sided with China in the Sino-Soviet split; Soviet economic support to Albania curtailed; Chinese aid increased
    • (1961) Enver Hoxha broke with Nikita Kruschev over ideological rift; relations severed; Soviet aid to Albania ended; Albania found ally in China
    • (1967) Violent clampdown on religious activity; Albania was declared the world's first atheist state
    • (1968) Albania officially withdrew from Warsaw Pact
    • (1968) Albania condemned the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia
    • (1978) China terminated all economic and military aid to Albania
    • (1985) Hoxha died, succeeded by Ramiz Alia
    • (1989) Communist rule in Eastern Europe collapsed
    • (1990) Independent political parties formed
    • (1990) Albanians granted right to travel abroad; thousands fled through western embassies
    • (1991) First opposition newspaper published
    • (1991) Ramiz Alia re-elected president; new government headed by Vilson Ahmeti
    • (1992) Democratic Party won elections; party leader, Sali Berisha, elected president; Aleksander Meksi prime minister
    • (1993) Fatos Nano and Ramiz Alia convicted and jailed for corruption
    • (1996) Democratic Party general election victory tainted by accusations of fraud
    • (1997) Leka, son of late King Zog, returned from exile in bid to take throne; referendum on restoration of monarchy failed; Leka accused of trying to stir up an armed insurrection; fled back into exile
    • (1998) Azem Hajdari, prominent opposition Democratic Party politician, shot dead; violent street protest; Prime Minister Fatos Nano quit; Pandeli Majko became new prime minister
    • (1999) NATO air strikes against Yugoslav military targets caused mass refugee exodus into Albania
    • (1999) Majko resigned; Iler Meta became Europe's youngest prime minister
    • (2001) Albania and Yugoslavia re-established diplomatic relations broken off during the Kosovo crisis; Meta headed a new coalition government; rift widened between Meta and socialist party chairman, Fatos Nano
    • (2002) Meta resigned as prime minister; Pandell Majko replaced Meta as prime minister
    • (2002) Parliament elected Alfred Moisiu president after Nano and Berisha reached compromise; socialist party ruled to merge the roles of premier and party chairman; Nano elected premier for the fourth time
    • (2003) Albania and EU began Stabilisation and Association Agreement talks
    • (2004) Opposition staged angry demonstrations in Tirana; demanded Nano's resignation; protest against government for failure to improve living standards
    • (2006) Stabilisation and Association Agreement signed with EU
    • (2007) President George W. Bush was first U.S. leader to visit Albania
    • (2007) Parliament elected ruling party chairman Bamir Topi president
    • (2008) Defense Minister Fatmir Mediu resigned over arms depot blasts that killed 16, damaged Tirana airport
    • (2009) Albania officially joined NATO; formally applied for membership with European Union
    • (2009) Sali Berisha's center-right Democratic Party won parliamentary elections by a narrow margin; protests held against alleged vote-rigging in 2009 election
    • (2010) Socialist leader Edi Rama called for a campaign of civil disobedience to continue until government agreed to a partial recount of 2009 election
    • (2010) More than 12,000 people forced to evacuate due to flooding
    • (2010) EU rejected request for Albania's candidate status, eased visa requirements
    • (2011) Anti-government protests took place in cities around Albania, following 18 months of political conflict over alleged electoral fraud, four killed
    • (2011) Parliament stripped Dritan Prifti of immunity from prosecution of corruption allegations
    • (2011) Ilan Meta investigated over deal to build power station
    • (2012) Two political prisoners set themselves on fire in protest when authorities refused to award compensation, one died
    • (2013) Socialist Party won general elections
    • (2013) Edi Rama became prime minister

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