Shkodër is a city and municipality in northwestern Albania. It is one of the oldest and most historic places in the Balkan peninsula, as well as an important cultural and economic centre. In classical times, Shkodër was known under the name of Scodra and was the capital of the Illyrian Labeates.
During many different epochs it has retained its status as a major city in the wider region, due to its strategic position close to the Adriatic Sea and the Italian port cities, but also with land-routes to other important cities and towns in neighbouring regions.
Its importance is heightened by the Lake Shkodër to the west of the city — the largest lake in Southern Europe — that straddles Albania and Montenegro. With a population of 77.075, it is the largest city in north of the country, while Shkodër County had a population of 215,347 as of 2011.