Facts About Tirana Tirana ( ( listen) — Albanian pronunciation: [ti??ana]; Albanian: Tiranë; Gheg Albanian: Tirona) is the capital and most populous city of the Republic of Albania. The city is also the capital of the surrounding county of Tirana, one of 12 constituent counties of the country. By air, it is 501 kilometres (311 miles) north of Athens, 613 kilometres (381 miles) southeast of Rome, 153 kilometres (95 miles) southwest of Skopje and 131 kilometres (81 miles) south of Podgorica.
Tirana was founded as a city in 1614, but the region that today corresponds to the city territory has been continuously inhabited since the Bronze Age. As most of Albania, the area was populated by several Illyrian tribes, but had no importance within Illyria. Indeed, it was annexed by Rome and became an integral part of the Roman Empire following the Illyrian Wars. The heritage of that period is still evident and represented by the Mosaics of Tirana. Further later in the 5th and 6th century, a Paleo Christian basilica was built around this site.
When the Roman Empire divided into east and west, its successor the Byzantine Empire took control and included the construction of the Petrelë Castle, under the reign of Justinian I. Until the 20th century, the city did not attain much significance, when the Congress of Lushnjë proclaimed it as the country's capital, after the country's declaration of independence in 1912.
Geographically, Tirana is located in the center of the country surrounded by mountains and hills, with Dajt on the east and a slight valley opening on the northwest, overlooking the Adriatic Sea in the distance. Due to its location within the Tirana plain and the close proximity to the Adriatic Sea, the city is influenced by a mediterranean seasonal climate. It is the 3rd wettest and 8th sunniest city in Europe, with 2,544 hours of sun per year.
Being a primate city, Tirana is considered the economic and cultural hub of Albania, due to its significant location and importance in finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade, education, service, research and healthcare. All of the country's largest companies, media and scientific institutions have their headquarters in the city. Tirana is also the seat of power of the Government of Albania, the residences for work of the President and Prime Minister of Albania.