Belsh map

Underneath History of Belsh


On the karstland formation, into the nature’s open view, and populated by 84 naturally formed lakes, stretches all over around a region called the Dumrea Plateau. Even though its nature has drastically changed after WW2, the plateau continues to host the life all around those beautiful lakes. The lakes stand like pearls above the earth of this region located almost in the middle of Albania.

We mostly known the name of the city of Belsh as Dumrea Region. The city is as central and a meeting point for all citizens and visitors that come to the region. Belsh is approximately 40 minutes far from the city of Elbasan, and built on the side-lock of a long hill watching forehead the lake with the same name. Here’s where your journey of exploring the entire region should start from.


In antiquity, even though today we don’t see much from its historical and cultural heritage, Belsh has played a significant role. Namely, hence the Early Bronze Age. The facts are determined by archeological excavations conducted in 1969 and the years after. The archeologists value its geographical location, alongside the interurban line that connects north with south Albania – and in the past known as Via Egnatia – suitable position for economic interactions and urban developments. Hence, the region was the first to develop a proto-urbanizing technology of Illyrian antiquity. Also, the artifacts found in Belsh tell us about the relationship between the people living in the region and Hellenic and Roman settlers. Underneath History of Belsh

Thus, archeological findings in the area discuss the ancient settlements lived centuries ago, the relations with its neighbors and others, and for the genesis of Illyrian proto0-urbanization. However, is believed that most of ancient historical facts are still undiscovered. Its location on-side of the former Via Egnatia makes us speculate around the values that may live quietly under the entire land of the Dumrea Plateau.

Going alongside the years, and before the Second World War, Belsh and the entire Dumrea were dominated by oak forests and dense vegetation populating the area. While, the economic needs in the 50s and afterwards transformed the region into what we see today. Those needs turned Belsh and Dumrea into an area of large agricultural cultivations and livestock breeding.

Historic Periods

The historians tell us, according to archeological findings, that Belsh has experienced many political and cultural developments, hence ancient times of Albanian history passing through significant foreign influences. Among these historical facts, Gradishta of Belsh is mentioned to have played a centric role in cultural and economic development, starting from the Early Bronze Age. Underneath History of Belsh

In the times of Illyrian antiquity, around c. V-I BC, the region had seen significant periods of trading and social developments. The facts shown by the archaeological settlements date back to 1100 – 500 BC. The historic settlements comprise two types: open settlements and fortified ones. Life inside the settlements lasted for approximately 1000 years (from the 12th century BC to the 2nd century AD).

To conclude, the city of Belsh has become a point of reference for the Dumrea region since. It has developed throughout chronological periods as same as the entire Albania. On one side, people in the region were exchanging goods with Dyrrachium (today city of Durrës) and Apollonia, and also, they developed their own style of pottery. On the other side, the region and the life in it couldn’t escape the influence brought from various historical happenings and colonization. All these affected both the economic and cultural aspects of the population. So, chronologically placed: Bronze Age, the First Iron Period (1100 – 500 BC), the Illyrian Civil Period (5th-1st century BC), the Period of Roman Rule, that of the Byzantine Empire, and up to the Ottoman Empire of the XIV – XIX. Coming up to our days, Belsh and Dumrea are becoming once again an important destination for investments and tourism.