Tirana (/tɪˈrɑːnə/; Albanian: Tiranë; Gheg Albanian: Tirona) is the capital and most populous city of the Republic of Albania. The city is as well the capital of the surrounding county of Tirana, one of 12 constituent counties of the country. By air, it is 499 kilometres (310 miles) north of Athens, 31 kilometres (19 miles) east of Durrës, 153 kilometres (95 miles) southwest of Skopje and 132 kilometres (82 miles) southeast 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.