Venetian Albania

Venetian Albania (Italian: Albania Veneta) was the official term for several possessions of the Republic of Venice in the southeastern Adriatic, encompassing coastal territories in modern northern Albania and southern Montenegro. Several major territorial changes occurred during the Venetian rule in those regions, starting from 1392,[1] and lasting until 1797. By the end of the 15th century, the main possessions in northern Albania had been lost to the expansion of the Ottoman Empire. In spite of that, Venetians did not want to renounce their formal claims to the Albanian coast, and the term Venetian Albania was officially kept in use, designating the remaining Venetian possessions in the coastal regions of modern Montenegro, centered around the Bay of Kotor. Those regions remained under Venetian rule until the fall of the Republic in 1797. By the Treaty of Campo Formio, the region was transferred to the Habsburg Monarchy.

Venetian seaside properties in Montenegro 1448
Venetian possessions in northern Albania and southern Montenegro in 1448


Venice used the term "Venetian Albania" for its initial possessions that stretched from the southern borders of the Republic of Ragusa to Durrës in coastal Albania. Generally these possessions extended not more than 20 km (12 miles) inland from the Adriatic Sea. Between the Siege of Shkodra and 1571 the territories in what is today Albania were lost.[2] After 1573 the southern limit moved to the village of Kufin (which means border in Albanian) near Budva, because of the Ottoman conquests of Antivari (Bar), Dulcigno (Ulcinj), Scutari (Shkodër) and Durrës. From then on, the Venetian territory was centered on the Bay of Kotor, and included the towns of Kotor, Risan, Perast, Tivat, Herceg Novi, Budva, and Sutomore.

From 1718 to 1797 the Venetian Republic extended its territory south towards the Republic of Ragusa while maintaining the enclaves of Cattaro (Kotor) and Budua (Budva).[3]


Standard-bearer of Perast (1634).
Cattaro Ragusa von Reilly 1789
Map of the Bay of Kotor (1789).

The Venetians sporadically controlled the small southern Dalmatian villages around the 10th century, but did not permanently assume control until 1420. The Venetians assimilated the Dalmatian language into the Venetian language quickly. The Venetian territories around Kotor lasted from 1420 to 1797 and were called Venetian Albania, a province of the Venetian Republic.[4]

In the early years of the Renaissance the territories under Venetian control included areas from modern coastal Montenegro to northern Albania as far as Durrës: Venice retained this city after a siege by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II in 1466, but it fell to Ottoman forces in 1501.

At that time Venetian Albania was relatively rich, and the area around the city of Kotor enjoyed a huge cultural and artistic development.

When the Ottoman Empire started to conquer the Balkans in the 15th century, the population of Christian Slavs in Dalmatia increased greatly. As a consequence of this, by the end of the 17th century the Romance-speaking population of the historical Venetian Albania was a minority, according to Oscar Randi.[5]

After the French Republic conquered the Venetian Republic, the area of Venetian Albania became part of the Austrian Empire under the Treaty of Campo Formio, and then part of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy under the Peace of Pressburg,[6] and then the French Illyrian Provinces under the Treaty of Schönbrunn. In 1814 it was again included in the Austrian Empire.


  • Cattaro. Four centuries of Venetian domination gave the city the typical Venetian architecture, that contributed to make Kotor a UNESCO world heritage site.[7]
  • Perast. Once part of Venetian Albania, was at its peak in the 18th century, when it had as many as four active shipyards, a standing fleet of around a hundred ships, and 1,643 residents. At that time a number of architecturally significant buildings were constructed in this fortified town. Many ornate baroque palaces and houses were decorated the town of Perast, built in the Venetian style. Citizens of Perast (the population was around 1,600 at the time) enjoyed privileges from the Venetian Republic. They were allowed to trade with large ships and to sell goods without tax on the Venetian market, which created considerable income for the town.
  • Budva. The Venetians ruled the town for nearly 400 years, from 1420 to 1797. Budva, called "Budua" in those centuries, was part of the Venetian Republic region of Albania Veneta and was fortified by powerful Venetian walls against Ottoman conquests. According to the historian Luigi Paulucci in his book "Le Bocche di Cattaro nel 1810" (The Bay of Kotor in 1810), most of the population spoke the Venetian language until the beginning of the 19th century. One of the most renowned theater librettists and composers, Cristoforo Ivanovich, was born in Venetian Budua.
Budua (1900)

Budva, 1900 postcard

Perasto (1900)

Perast, 1900 postcard


Postcard of Old Cattaro, showing typical venetian architecture buildings and the "Clock tower"


According to the Dalmatian historian Luigi Paulucci (in his book Le Bocche di Cattaro nel 1810) the population of Venetian Albania, during the centuries of the Republic of Venice, was mainly Venetian speaking (approximately 66%) in the urban areas (Cattaro, Perasto, Budua, etc) around the "Bocche di Cattaro" (Bay of Kotor).

Venezia Montenegro
Venetian Albania in purple

But in the inland areas more than half of the population was Serbo-Croatian speaking, after the first years of the 18th century. Paulucci wrote that near the border with Albania there were large communities of Albanian-speaking people: Ulcinj was half Albanian, one quarter Venetian and one quarter Slavic-speaking.[8]

After the disappearance of the Venetian Albania, during the nineteenth century (according to the historian Marzio Scaglioni) the wars of independence of Italy from the Austro-Hungarian empire created a situation of harassment against the Italian (or Venetian speaking) communities in the Austrian southern dalmatia. The result was that in 1880 there were in Cattaro, according to the Austrian census, only 930 ethnic Italians (or only 32% of a total population of 2910 people). Furthermore, in the Austrian census of 1910, the Italians were reduced to only 13.6% in that city. Today there are 500 Italian speaking in Montenegro, mainly in the area of Cattaro (Kotor), who constitute the "Comunitá Nazionale Italiana del Montenegro".

Notable people

Many notable people were born in the "Cattaro Bay" (now called Bay of Kotor) during the Venetian rule. Thse included:


  1. ^ Schmitt 2001.
  2. ^ Cecchetti, Bartolomeo. Intorno agli stabilimenti politici della repubblica veneta nell'Albania. pp. 978–983.
  3. ^ A Companion to Venetian History, 1400-1797. BRILL. 11 July 2013. pp. 134–. ISBN 978-90-04-25252-3.
  4. ^ Durant, Will. The Renaissance. p. 121.
  5. ^ Randi, Oscar. Dalmazia etnica, incontri e fusioni. pp. 37–38.
  6. ^ Sumrada, Janez. Napoleon na Jadranu / Napoleon dans l'Adriatique. p. 159.
  7. ^ "Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor". Unesco World Heritage Convention. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
  8. ^ Paulucci, Luigi. Le Bocche di Cattaro nel 1810 Edizioni Italo Svevo. Trieste, 2005.
  9. ^ Bešić, Zarij M. (1970), Istorija Crne Gore / 2. Crna gora u doba oblasnih gospodara. (in Serbian), Titograd: Redakcija za istoriju Crne Gore
  10. ^ Treccani: Paltascichi



  • Bartl, Peter. Le picciole Indie dei Veneziani. Zur Stellung Albaniens in den Handelsbeziehungen zwischen der Balkan- und der Appenninenhalbinsel. In: Münchner Zeitschrift für Balkankunde 4 (1981–1982) 1-10.
  • Bartl, Peter. Der venezianische Türkenkrieg im Jahre 1690 nach den Briefen des päpstlichen Offiziers Guido Bonaventura. In: Südost-Forschungen 26 (1967) 88-101.
  • Cecchetti, Bartolomeo. Intorno agli stabilimenti politici della repubblica veneta nell'Albania. In: Atti del Regio Istituto veneto di scienze, lettere ed arti. Bd. 3, Seria 4, S. 978-998. 1874.
  • De Brodmann, Giuseppe. Memorie politico-economiche della citta e territorio di Trieste, della penisola d’Istria, della Dalmazia fu Veneta, di Ragusi e dell’Albania, ora congiunti all’Austriaco Impero. Venezia 1821.
  • De Castro, Diego. Dalmazia, popolazione e composizione etnica. Cenno storico sul rapporto etnico tra Italiani e Slavi nella Dalmazia. ISPI 1978.
  • Gelcich, Giuseppe. Memorie storiche sulle bocche di Cattaro. Zara 1880.
  • F Hamilton Jackson (2010). The Shores of the Adriatic (Illustrated Edition). Echo Library. pp. 287–. ISBN 9781406867619. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
  • Martin, John Jeffries. Venice Reconsidered. The History and Civilization of an Italian City-State, 1297–1797. Johns Hopkins UP. New York, 2002.
  • Malcolm, Noel. Agents of Empire. Oxord UP. 2015.
  • Norwich, John Julius. A History of Venice. Vintage Books. New York, 1989.
  • Paulucci, Luigi. Le Bocche di Cattaro nel 1810 Edizioni Italo Svevo. Trieste, 2005.
  • Schmitt, Oliver Jens (2001). Das venezianische Albanien (1392-1479). München: Oldenbourg Verlag. ISBN 978-3-486-56569-0.
Albanian–Venetian War

The Albanian–Venetian War of 1447–48 was waged between Venetian and Ottoman forces against the Albanians under George Kastrioti Skanderbeg. The war was the result of a dispute between the Republic and the Dukagjini family over the possession of the Dagnum fortress. Skanderbeg, then ally of the Dukagjini family, moved against several Venetian held towns along the Albanian coastline, in order to pressure the Venetians into restoring Dagnum. In response, the Republic sent a local force to relieve the besieged fortress of Dagnum, and urged the Ottoman Empire to send an expeditionary force into Albania. At that time the Ottomans were already besieging the fortress of Svetigrad, stretching Skanderbeg's efforts thin.

However, the League of Lezhë defeated both the Venetian forces and the Ottoman expedition. The League won over the Venetian forces on 23 July 1448 at the gates of Scutari, and over the Ottomans three weeks later, on 14 August 1448, at the Battle of Oronichea. The Republic was, thereafter, left with few soldiers to defend Venetian Albania. As a result, the League soon signed peace with the Republic of Venice, while continuing the war against the Ottoman Empire. After the Albanian–Venetian War of 1447–1448, Venice did not seriously challenge Skanderbeg or the League, allowing Skanderbeg to focus his campaigns against the Ottoman Empire.

Andrea Venier

Andrea Venier (fl. 15th century) was a 15th-century notable member of the Venier family.

In 1422 he was Venetian chamberlain in Scutari and after some time he was appointed as chief magistrate of Antivari (modern day Bar in Montenegro). In 1441 Venier became a castellan of Scutari in Venetian Albania and by July 1448, during the Albanian-Venetian War (1447-1448), he was the provveditore of Venetian Albania. He played an important role in relations between Skanderbeg and Venetian Republic.In August 1457 Venetians recaptured Dagnum from Dukagjini after fierce battle and significant casualties. Venetian forces led by Venier were supported by Skanderbeg. In 1458, together with Francesco Venier and Malchiore Da Imola, Andrea prepared plans for the reinforcement of the castle in Scutari. The Venetian Senate consulted Venier regarding its politics in Albania.

Antonio Barbaro

Antonio Barbaro (died 1679) was a Venetian general and governor, a member of the patrician Barbaro family of Venice (now Italy). Barbaro lived at a time when Venice had a maritime empire in the Mediterranean. He served in Candia (now Heraklion), Crete during the long-lasting Siege of Candia. He was Captain of the Gulf from 1655–56, and in 1667 he became Provveditore generale di Candia. He also served in the Balkans; from 1670 he became the provveditore generale of Venetian Dalmatia and Venetian Albania. When he died, he left 30 thousand "ducati" for the rebuilding of the church of Santa Maria Zobenigo in Venice.

Architecture of Montenegro

The architecture of Montenegro is a mixture of many influences, from Roman and Venetian to Ottoman and modern times.

Battle of Motta (1412)

The Battle of Motta was fought in late August 1412, when an invading army of Hungarians, Germans and Croats, led by Pippo Spano and Voivode Miklós Marczali attacked the Venetian positions at Motta in Italy and suffered a heavy defeat.

In 1409, during the 20-year Hungarian civil war between King Sigismund and the Neapolitan house of Anjou, the losing contender, Ladislaus of Naples, sold his "rights" on Dalmatia to the Venetian Republic for a meager sum of 100,000 ducats. As Sigismund emerged as the ruler of Hungary, he used this as a pretext to attack Venice.

The victory allowed Venice to affirm its rule in the Western Balkans (Venetian Dalmatia and Venetian Albania) against the plans of Sigismund of Luxembourg, King of Germany, Hungary and Croatia.

Bona family

Bona, or Bunić, is a noble family long established in the city of Dubrovnik.

Durrës Castle

Durrës Castle (Albanian: Kalaja e Durrësit) is the fortified old city of Durrës, Albania. It is enclosed by city walls built in the late 5th century, and repaired and reinforced in the Middle Ages and early modern periods.


The Gliubizza or Giubizza were a Venetian family active in Ulcinj in the second half of the 16th century. Before 1571, the region was part of Venetian Albania, until it was conquered by the Ottomans.

The family may have originated as the Lubici recorded near Scutari in 1417, when the Lubici brothers are mentioned in Podgora. According to an Italian source, the Gliubizza hailed from Budva.Marco Gliubizza (fl. 1555), ser, was a grain merchant in Ulcinj. Andrea Giubizza was the Roman Catholic bishop of Ulcinj from 1558 until his death in 1565.Alessandro Giubizza (fl. 1575–76) from Ulcinj had been employed at the court of Koca Sinan Pasha in Istanbul, then moved to Kotor where he is recorded in 1576. He gave information to the Venetian government in January 1576. Alessandro had been taken captive after the Ottoman capture of Ulcinj, but managed to have himself ransomed. His sister and nephew were released by Sinan Pasha, after which Alessandro stayed in Istanbul and became close with Mehmed Bey, Sinan Pasha's nephew. Alessandro and these came to an agreement that he would be informed of events against Venetian interest in the Kotor and border areas, in return he would buy luxury goods for Mehmed Bey in Venice. Alessandro called Sinan Pasha an Albanian and 'the first cousin of my mother'. Noel Malcolm believes that the family had a close family tie with Sinan Pasha, possibly through the Bruti family.

House of Venier

The Venier were a prominent family in the Republic of Venice who entered the Venetian nobility in the 14th century. Their members include:

Pietro Venier (died 8 May 1372) who was the Governor of Cerigo

Antonio Venier (circa 1330 - 23 November 1400) who was Doge of Venice from October 1382 until his death.

Andrea Venier (fl. 15th century) a provveditore of Venetian Albania

Lorenzo Venier, a Dominican friar, was appointed Archbishop of Zadar, Croatia, on 19 Jan 1428 and was succeeded in 1449. He had previously been in the bishopric of Modon.

Alvise Venier was elected to the lifetime position of Procuratore di San Marco de Citra Canale on 12 Jan. 1444 and replaced 15 Jan. 1452

Michiel Venier was elected to the lifetime position of Procuratore di San Marco de Supra Canale on 2 Jan. 1450 and replaced 2 April 1463

Deodato Venier was a canon at the cathedral of Zadar, now Croatia, and became Abbot of San Crisogono (a Benedictine abbey belonging to the reformed congregation of Santa Giustina), in Zadar, 1459-1488 (according to M. Pelc). He was convicted of a number of crimes but soon absolved of them. He commissioned four liturgical books for the abbey, decorated probably in Venice, that still survive.

Francesco Venier, appointed podestà (city ruler, or minister of justice) of Padua for a term of one year by Doge Christoforo Moro, Venice, 1 Oct. 1470 Francesco Venier, presumably the same person, was elected to the lifetime position of Procuratore di San Marco de Ultra Canale on 27 Dec. 1475 and was replaced 20 Jan. 1486

Antonio Venier was elected to the lifetime position of Procuratore di San Marco de Supra Canale on 13 Jan 1472 and was replaced on 13 Nov. 1474

Benedetto Venier was elected Procuratore di San Marco de Citra Canale on 31 Dec. 1475 and was replaced March 14, 1487.

Bernardo Venier "fu de ser Giacomo" was podestà of Padua in 1476

Antonio Venier fu de ser Dolfin was podestà of Padua in 1485 Antonio Venier, presumably the same person, was elected to the lifetime position of Procuratore di San Marco de Supra Canale 1 March 1489 and replaced 27 March 1492

Marin Venier fu de ser Alvise Procurator was podestà of Padua in 1492 Marin Venier, presumably the same person, was elected to the lifetime position of Procuratore di San Marco de Supra Canale on 23 Dec. 1501 and resigned 20 Jan. 1502

Andrea Venier was elected Procuratore di San Marco de Supra Canale on 28 July 1509 and was replaced on June 17 1513

Marcantonio Venier was elected to the lifetime position of Procuratore di San Marco de Citra Canale on March 17 1554 and replaced April 6 1556

Francesco Venier was Doge of Venice from 1554 to 1556.

Bernardò Venier was elected to the lifetime position of Procuratore di San Marco de Citra Canale on Aug. 9, 1557, and replaced on 23 Oct. 1559

Sebastiano Venier (c. 1496 – March 3, 1578) was Doge of Venice from June 11, 1577 to March 3, 1578. He had been an admiral of the Venetian fleet and was one of the protagonists in the 1571 Battle of Lepanto

Nicolò Venier was elected to the lifetime position of Procuratore di San Marco de Citra Canale on 24 Feb. 1579 and replaced 20 Oct. 1587The Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice is housed in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, and the Croatian town of Vinjerac (once Castel Venier) takes its name from the family.

List of countries by population in 1500

This is a list of countries by population in 1500. Estimate numbers are from the beginning of the year, and exact population figures are for countries that held a census on various dates in that year.

List of things named Venetian

The list of things named Venetian is quite extensive.

Venetian generally means from or related to the Italian city of Venice, or the Veneto region (of which Venice is the capital), or of the Republic of Venice (697–1797), a historical nation in that area. The term may also mean the Venetian language, a Romance language spoken mostly in the Veneto region.

The term Venetian may also mean from or related to the American city of Venice, Florida, in Sarasota County.

There are many concept names that use the term "Venetian" in those general senses, such as Venetian cuisine, Venetian music, Venetian grammar, etc. There are however many concepts where "Venetian" has a special sense that cannot be deduced form the general ones. There are also many people, buildings, and works of art with "Venetian" in their name.

Montenegrin Littoral

The Coastline of Montenegro, also called the Montenegrin Littoral (Montenegrin and Serbian: Црногорско приморје / Crnogorsko primorje), historically the Littoral or the Maritime, is the littoral region in Montenegro which borders the Adriatic Sea. Prior to the Creation of Yugoslavia, the Montenegrin Littoral was not part of the Kingdom of Montenegro, but rather a bordering region of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, latterly part of the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs.

Muzaka family

This article is about Muzaka family, for Gjergji Muzaka see that article.The Muzaka were an Albanian noble family that ruled over the region of Myzeqe (central Albania) in the Late Middle Ages. The Muzaka are also referred to by some authors as a tribe or a clan. The earliest historical document that mention Muzaka family is written in 1090 by the Byzantine historian Anna Komnene. At the end of the 13th and beginning of the 14th century members of the Muzaka family controlled a region between the rivers of Devoll and Vjosë. Some of them were loyal to the Byzantine Empire while some of them allied with Charles of Anjou who gave them (and some other members of Albanian nobility) impressive Byzantine-like titles (such as sebastokrator) in order to subdue them more easily. During a short period, Serbian Emperor Stefan Dušan (r. 1331-1355) occupied Albania including domains of Muzaka family but after Dušan's death they regained their former possessions. After the Battle of Savra in 1385 the territory of Albania came under the Ottoman Empire; they served the Ottomans until 1444 when Theodor Corona Musachi joined Skanderbeg's rebellion. When the Ottomans suppressed Skanderbeg's rebellion and captured the territory of Venetian Albania in the 15th century many members of the Muzaka family retreated to Italy. Those who stayed in Ottoman Albania lost their feudal rights, some converted to Islam and achieved high ranks in the Ottoman military and administrative hierarchy.

Notable members of the family include Gjon Muzaka, Theodor Corona Musachi, Jakub Bey Musachi who was 15th century sanjakbey of the Ottoman Sanjak of Albania and Ahmet Pasha Kurt who was 18th century sanjakbey of the Sanjak of Avlona. The last notable member of Muzaka family who found refugee in Italy died in Naples in 1600.


Pamalioti was a tribe and family that lived between Lake Skadar and the Adriatic Sea, in the region called Zabojane (including Ulcinj), and were vassals to the Serbian Despotate and then the Republic of Venice in Venetian Albania.


The Paštrovići (Serbian Cyrillic: Паштровићи, pronounced [pâʃtrɔʋitɕi], Italian: Pastrouichi, Pastrouicchi) is a historical tribe and region in the Montenegrin Littoral. Paštrovići stretches from the southernmost part of the Bay of Kotor, from the cape of Zavala to Spič. Its historical capital was the island of Sveti Stefan. Paštrovići was a province of Venetian Albania, a Venetian possession on the Adriatic coast, from 1423 until 1797, with interruptions by the Ottoman Empire. It was part of the Kingdom of Dalmatia from 1815 to 1918, then Yugoslavia, then became part of Montenegro only after World War II. It is historically one of two major "maritime tribes", the other being Grbalj.

Stato da Màr

The Stato da Màr or Domini da Mar ("State/Domains of the Sea") was the name given to the Republic of Venice's maritime and overseas possessions, including Istria, Dalmatia, Albania, Negroponte, the Morea (the "Kingdom of the Morea"), the Aegean islands of the Duchy of the Archipelago, and the islands of Crete (the "Kingdom of Candia") and Cyprus. It was one of the three subdivisions of the Republic of Venice's possessions, the other two being the Dogado, i.e. Venice proper, and the Domini di Terraferma in northern Italy.

Stefano Zannowich

Stefano Zannowich (Serbian: Стефан Зановић/Stefan Zanović, (Budva, Venetian Albania, 18 February 1751–Amsterdam, Dutch Republic, 25 May 1786), called Hanibal, was a Montenegrin Serb writer and adventurer. He wrote in Italian, French, Latin and German. He was a pen pal of Gluck, Pietro Metastasio, Voltaire, Jean le Rond d'Alembert, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Catherine the Great, and Frederick William II of Prussia, to whom he dedicated a book of French verses translated from Italian, "L'Alcoran des Princes Destinés au Trone". Giacomo Casanova mentions Stefano Zannovich, who "paid a visit to Vienna under the alias of Prince Castriotto d'Albanie. Under pressure of the authorities, he left at the end of July 1784" for Poland and later for the Netherlands (United Provinces).

Tribes of Montenegro

The tribes of Montenegro (Montenegrin and Serbian: племена Црне Горе / plemena Crne Gore) or Montenegrin tribes (Montenegrin and Serbian: црногорска племена / crnogorska plemena) were historical tribes in the areas of Old Montenegro, Brda, Old Herzegovina and Primorje, and were geopolitical units of the Ottoman Montenegro Vilayet (or Prince-Bishopric of Montenegro, 1697–1852), eastern Sanjak of Herzegovina, parts of the Sanjak of Scutari, and Venetian Albania, territories that in the 20th century were incorporated into Montenegro. Many tribes were united into the Principality of Montenegro (1852–1910). The tribal assembly (zbor) of the Principality of Montenegro initially officially composed of the two communities of Old Montenegro (Crnogorci, "Montenegrins") and Brda (Brđani, "Highlanders"). In anthropological studies these tribes are divided into those of Old Montenegro, Brda, Old Herzegovina, and Primorje, and then into sub-groups (brotherhoods/clans – bratstva, and finally families). Today they richly attest to social anthropology and family history, as they have not been used in official structures since (although some tribal regions overlap contemporary municipality areas). The kinship groups give a sense of shared identity and descent.

Venetian Dalmatia

Venetian Dalmatia (Latin: Dalmatia Veneta) refers to parts of Dalmatia under the rule of the Republic of Venice, mainly from the 16th to the 18th centuries. The first possessions were acquired around 1000, but Venetian Dalmatia was fully consolidated from 1420 and lasted until 1797 when the republic disappeared with Napoleon's conquests.

Adriatic Sea
Ionian Islands
and dependencies
Mainland Greece
Aegean Islands
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