Lezha, tourist city, which enriches the unique historical and cultural heritage, with the economy growing and innovative and competitive business, fast urban development environmentally sustainable, a city with dynamic communities, that inspires creativity, progress and provides advanced knowledge and welfare for all.
Lezha, a city with sustainable tourism based on its rich cultural heritage, historical and archaeological sites, where visitors rejoice natural beauty and qualitative touristic offer.
Sectoral development strategy of Culture 2011-2015
Lezha city speaks of a rich history: monuments, religious objects, coins, archaeological findings, written documents, great figures and events and the rich cultural heritage, folklore, ethnographic clothing etc..., are evidence of the city's 2400 years. This is the wealth of generations and represents our obligation towards the future and the past to keep and send them and the values they carry to the future.
Lezha city name is mentioned by Greek and Latin historians and also in Venetian and ottoman chronicles. It would take importance in the XV century. During this period Lezha would be called as the "diplomatic capital of" Arbëria. But the beginning of human history in Lezha inspirits since prehistoric times, the age of bronze and copper. The City and the surroundings preserve some unique values such as: Acropolis, the ancient city, places of worship like churches and mosques, medieval castle, graffiti plates, stamps and coins etc....
However it should be noted that these rare monuments, murals or other assets, many of them suffer from the devastating effects of natural phenomena, but also from the harmful interference of actions of people. It should be noted also that despite the efforts or desires, the past 20 years, funding for the care, restoration and maintenance were often scarce or absent. For this reason, some of them as the castle, the ancient wall, ethnographic wealth prominent relic of clothing, alms of old musical instruments collected, in many cases due to forgetfulness, also are missing and injured. However, this phase has been associated only with the financial side, a degradation of the damage of the archaeological museum values has come often because of lack of institutional authority from central institutions as Institute of Cultural Monuments or the Ministry of Culture institutions or any other responsible institution which have led to loss of control over the territories of Lezha.
However the city in recent years, in cooperation with foreign partners, has been at the center of attention of specialists in this field. In Lezha have exercised their activity for several years, three expeditions, German, French and Austrian, which have brought to us some worthy scientific, new discoveries, have taken care of those fragments that due to lack of vision were endangered or damaged monuments or continued to sleep in the ground without being detected, providing over them some well organized intervention.
One of our aims at the strategic level for the period to come is the definition of a new vision, of a new philosophy that naturally intermingles the experience with the most modern standards in the region or wider. Even in Lezha, the wealth that we own, must not be considered simply relics or single monuments, but also as resources and great opportunities for the development of the historic and cultural tourism, as part of the economic development of the city.
In this aspect, some of our visions deal with:
Objectives and reforms for the period 2007-2013:
- Uncover and preservation of this inheritance as a living part of the wealth inherited by our ancestors.
- The growth of the national feeling and preservation of the national and territorial identity.
- Evidence and digital cataloguing of this wealth and the organized conservation of the rich testimony of the antique Lezha.
- awareness rising of persons, institutions and all actors that have responsibilities in this area and the local governors to involve all the creative forces, intellectuals and all best specialists in Lezha to compile programs and realize projects for the harmonizing of works in long terms for a gradual and sustainable development.
- compilation of institutional regulations in the city and the coordination with other actors and factors, for help and collaboration that allows the associations, property owners and foundations to care about buildings, properties and monuments near them, their restorations without structural and architectural damage, including objects under guard or ethnographic wealth, relics, objects of folkloric value etc., of which Lezha and the region are quite rich.
- One of the strategies for cultural developments is the advancing with the legal certification of the museal area and the administered monuments, for which in collaboration with the central legal institutions, we are responsible for their protection. We are speaking here about the better organization of the work for the scientific and documentary completion, giving to each of them and every single object with the respective technical passports, which get included in the archives of the city. Naturally this process will be followed parallel with the administrative, organisative and legal measures, taken by the Municipality, with orders and legal rules for their protection, seeing them inter correlated with each other, so any such documentation will serve to prepare in time projects about the uncovering of the antique city, restoration of visible properties and other works that lead in the discovery of that rich history that is conserved inside the city of Lezha and its surroundings.
With these historical and archeological inheritances, the city of Lezha is one of the cities that attracts many visitors, domestic or strangers. So, one of the main objectives remains the presentation of the city as such.
In this framework it is needed a better and more complete infrastructure, modern segnaletic, more publicity from the respective institutions like the Directory of culture in the Municipality, the Museum, the Bibliotheca, etc., who must aim not only for an elite public, but also the public in general. One of the main directions will be the publications of some serious materials in this area, so the citizens or visitors can take more information about our cultural, material and spiritual richness making them an active part in the qualitative changes needed.
To the Municipality, their administrations, as well as their specialized subordinate institutions are required to assess higher the movable heritage which has unique values in the areas of Lezha. Part of it is stored and inventoried, a portion of the funds of religious books are preserved in the public library. But there are also valuable objects owned by the families. What is required is:
- Identify, verify and maintain the identity of these objects, care of museum standards is increased to scientific standards in the treatment of these assets, as well as creating conditions for exposure and dissemination of this movable asset for the tourist market and to meet the this condition, Lezha intends to build the new historical museum and
- Rebuilding the former ethnographic museum, this was one of the best and unique museums of great value. This would create more favorable conditions for the education of the population with this inheritance values, especially for the new generations at the educational system and will increase the use of museum space for social activities.
Lezha is populated by different ethnographic groups coming from different regions of northern Albania present a value larger than a linguistic wealth, clothes etc. with the wealth of customary, beliefs superstitions and rites, which relate not only with antiquity, but also with a variety of religious beliefs rites, which continue to be preserved to this day, which is an indispensable asset to be brought in its variety but also in terms of new developments.
- And in this respect, recognition, collection of documentation of these values would be a condition for maintaining their escort in the future memory.
- Without forgetting the skills and various crafts where Lezha is presented with a wide range of works come from experience over the centuries. This presented through the works of carving the wood, the stone, weaving of straw and textiles which are at risk of modern life.
- Renewal and return of these traditions, remains one of our priorities for the coming years so impacting for good the Lezha cultural tourism area.