Vlorë (vlôˈrə) [key] or Valona vəlōˈnə, city (1989 pop. 71,662), capital of Vlorë dist., SW Albania, on Vlorë Bay of the Adriatic Sea. Vlorë is a major seaport and a commercial center. Its industries produce olive oil, cement, and alcohol. A commercial fishing fleet and a canning industry are based at Vlorë. Petroleum, natural gas, bitumen, and salt deposits are found nearby. The Kuçovë oil field near Berat is linked to Vlorë by pipeline. Vlorë Bay, strategically located at the mouth of the Adriatic Sea, has long been the site of military installations. In the 5th cent. Vlorë became an episcopal see. The city was prominent in the struggle (11th–12th cent.) between the Normans of Sicily and the Byzantines. It passed to Serbia in 1345 and to the Ottoman Empire in 1464; it was held by the Turks until 1912, when Albanian independence was proclaimed there. Vlorë was occupied by the Italians from 1914 to 1920 and from 1939 to 1944; it was bombed during World War II. It is also known as Vlonë, Vlona, and Vlora.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.