Why you should visit Kukës
Over a thousand years old, the city of Kukës beautifully combines its urban qualities with the natural ones. For many years, Kukës’ tower-like traditional houses welcomed guests and served them delicious alpine trout and chestnut honey. This hospitable city was nominated for the Nobel Prize for hosting Kosovo refugees during the war in Kosovo. Blessed by the fresh air of the Drin River and the Fierza Lake, Kukës replenished one’s mind and soul. The Valbona National Park, is a gorgeous place full of alpine views, waterfalls, forests, with the Shalë River running through the valley as well as plenty of other wondrous sights. The northern Albanian landscape is one of the most beautiful parts of the country with Valbona and the Accursed Mountains (Bjeshkët e Namuna) representing two of the country’s most visited spots.
The Old and the New City
The ruins of old Kukës, otherwise known as underwater Kukës, are found (you guessed it!) underwater, as it was flooded from Fierza Lake in 1978. However, because of the draughts in 2012, some parts of the old city reappeared and can be viewed to this day. During the same period, the new city of Kukës was under construction. This is the Kukës we know today.
The Underground City
Fewer people may have heard about the underground city. This one was constructed under the foundations of the new city as a shelter from potential attacks during the communist period in Albania. Designed to be a full-fledged city, the underground Kukës was meant to include a hospital, government offices, army quarters and residential areas.
Source: Into Albania