Principality of Albania (medieval)

Principality of Albania
Princedom of Albania before Karl Thopia conquest of Durres
Status Principality
Capital Durrës
Common languages Albanian
Religion Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church
Government Principality
Karl Thopia
Balša II
Karl Thopia
Gjergj Thopia
Historical era Medieval
 Venetian conquest
ISO 3166 code AL
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of Albania (medieval)
Republic of Venice

Principality of Albania (1368–1392) was an Albanian principality formed after the disestablishment of Kingdom of Albania, by Karl Thopia. The principality changed hands between the Thopia dynasty and the Balšić dynasty, until 1392, when Durrës was annexed by the Republic of Venice.



In 1358, Karlo rose against the rule of the Anjou and could drive them out up to Durrës from Epirus and Albania. It prevailed from 1358 to 1368 over far parts of central Albania and called themselves Princeps Albaniae.

Since 1362, Karlo sought himself to set Durrës, which was in the possession of the Duchess Johanna of Anjou, also into the possession of the city. The first, certainly still unsuccessful siege lasted from April 1362 until May 1363. Then, Thopia had to withdraw his troops, who were weakened by an epidemic disease. Only in 1367 could Karlo conquer Durrës, who had attained in the meantime the tacit agreement of the Venetians for his project and make important port his residence.

Karlo gained control of Durrës in 1368, which was where the Angevins held out due to their Kingdom becoming smaller in size. This event caused the Kingdom of Albania to end.

Balša II made a fourth attempt to conquer Durrës, an important commercial and strategetic center, which was ruled by rival, Karl Thopia. In 1382, Balša II began a war and seized Durrës. In 1385, the defeated Karl Thopia, appealed to Murad I for support against his rivals, the House of Balšić of the Principality of Zeta. This was the equivalent of inviting the Ottoman Empire into Albania in order to help him defeat his rivals of the Balšić family.

This attempt caused an Ottoman force, led by Hayreddin Pasha, to quickly march into Albania along the Via Egnatia. The Ottoman force routed the Balšas by inflicting heavy defeats on Balša II's forces. Balša II himself was killed in a big battle on Saurian Field (Serbian: Saurijsko Polje) near Lushnje (Battle of Savra) in 1385, ending the Balša family's rule over Durrës. In 1392 the Princedom of Albania fell under the Republic of Venice.

See also


  • Albanian Academy of Science. History of Albanian People. ISBN 99927-1-623-1
  • Stefanaq Pollo Histoire de l'Albanie des origines à nos jours. Roanne: Horvath. 1974. ISBN 2-7171-0025-3
  • Tajar Zavalani: Histori e Shqipnis. Tiranë: Phoenix. 1998. ISBN 99927-607-0-2
  • Georges Castellan: Histoire de l’Albanie et des Albanais. Crozon: Armeline. 2002. ISBN 2-910878-20-1

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