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Devoll

   The Devoll region lies in the southeast corner of Albania. Named for the Devoll river which flows westward before joining with the Osumi in central Albania, Devoll shares a border with the Greek prefectures of Florina and Kastoria at the border of Kapshtica.  

   The administrative center of Devoll is the city of Bilisht located in the lower plains of Devoll County at the base of Dry Mountain. The elevation of Bilisht is 930 meters above sea level and covers an area of 400 hectares. The population is approximately 10.000 inhabitants. Bilisht has a healthy Mediterranean climate. The winters are cold, wet and often snowy, whereas, the summers are warm and at times very hot. At the highest southern point of Bilisht, a reservoir lies with a water capacity of 1.5 million m3. The city’s growth and development spreads out over six large neighborhoods. On the eastern side a large water fountain, known as Çezma e Madhe, was erected during the last century between 1914 and 1918, while the cobblestone roads were paved from the well into the center of the city. 

   There are numerous monuments remaining from Illyrian settlement of the Devoll region. Around 3000 years ago, people inhabited Bilisht as verified by the ancient arch from that era. Ruins of an Illyrian castle stand on one of the hills above the city. Following this period, other early dwellers settled Selca near the southern center of present day Bilisht.  Just north of the Devoll River are other vestiges of settlements. By the end of the 19th and the start of the 20th Centuries, Bilisht became an important artisan and trade center.