What strikes the visitors most in Gjirokastra are its typical and characteristic houses which resemble little fortresses, clustered one above the other. Their exterior combines roughness with the beauty of windows, small rooms and light pillars supporting the roofs prtotruding from the walls.
Gjirokastra´s population is around 40,000 and one of the biggest cities of southern Albania. The name Gjirokastra comes from Illyrian Argyres Tribe which inhabited these parts of Europe.
Gjirokastra is a home of traditional Albanian folk festival, usually on fall every four.The National Folklore Festival has its beginnings in year 1968, when it was organized for the first time in Gjirokastra. Since then, it is held once in four years, and it has become the symbol of the Albanian national folklore. This Festival is the amphitheater of the best offered by the Albanian tradition, music vibes and instruments, folk art and costumes. Happening to be a visitor during the days of the Festival, the ambiance and the sensations one gets, is like walking in and interacting with the ancient folklore, or having at a grip or glance what it would take to travel all over Albania and see with your own eyes.
About 1100 Albanian singers and dancers from Albania, Kosova (three groups), Maqedonia (one group), Montenegro (one group), Italia (one group), Germania (one group), Switland (one group) and USA (one group) were together in the Castle from September 29 to October 5, 2004.
Source: The Albanian Institute of Tourism & Environmental Developments