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Shkodër (Definite Albanian form: Shkodra;), is a city located on Lake of Shkoder in northwestern Albania in the District of Shkodër, of which it is the capital. It is one of the oldest and most historic towns in Albania, as well as an important cultural and economic centre. Shkodër's estimated population as of 2004 is 90,000; if the surrounding region is included the population is 110,000. As of 2008 the current population is 228,000 including the surrounding region, villages and mountains.The town was known as Scodra (Greek: Σκάρδον)(Latin: Scodra)during the antiquity, and was the capital of the first kingdom of the Illyrian tribe of the Ardiaei, since the middle of the 3rd century BC.[5] The town, was first mentioned during classical times as the site of the Illyrian Labeates, as well as the capital of the kingdom of King Gentius - in which he minted coins - and that of Queen Teuta. In the year 168 BC, the city was captured by the Romans and it became an important trade and military route. The Romans colonized the town. Scodra remained in the province of Illyricum, and later Dalmatia. By it 395 AD, it was part of the Diocese of Dacia, within Praevalitana.Shkodër is an important educational and industrial center. The city produces various mechanical and electrical components, along with textile and food products. Luigj Gurakuqi University of Shkodër is one of the more prestigious learning centers of Albania. The public library of the city contains more than 250,000 books. Several other cultural institutions exist, such as the Cultural Center, the Marubi Photo Archives, the Artists and Writers Association, the "Migjeni" Theater (named after Millosh Gjergj Nikolla), the Gallery of Arts, and the Museum of History. Shkodër is the center of Albanian Catholicism and the most prominent city of Roman Catholics in Albania. Historic cultural architecture includes the Castle of Shkodër, the Turkish Bath, and the Lead Mosque. The Castle of Shkodër became famous during the First Balkan War when it was protected by the Turkish general Hasan Riza Pasha and Esad Pasha. Many festivals take place on an annual basis such as Carnival, Children Festival, Lake Day, and Shkodra Jazz Fest.Shkodër is also famous for its Islamic scholarship. The site of the only institution in Albania which provides high-level education in Arabic and Islamic Studies, having produced well-known Muslim personalities as Shaykh Nasirudin AlbaniCity tunes differ from the rural music of the land, but both enjoy popularity in Shkodra. Northern music is a refined combination of romantic and sophisticated undertones with oriental-sounding scales and a constant interplay of major and minor. It bears a significant affinity with the sevdalinke of Bosnia and the neighboring region of Raska Oblast in Serbia, but differs from them in their extreme forms while maintaining a typically Albanian quality through the exceptional fluidity of rhythm and tempo. Early descriptions of such music groups, which date from the end of the nineteenth century, suggest use of the violin, clarinet, saze, defi, and sometimes Indian-style harmonium and percussion (provided by rattling a stick between two bottles). Today, the accordion and guitar have replaced the more exotic instruments. Among the most important players are Bik Ndoja, Luçije Miloti, Xhevdet Hafizi and Bujar Qamili.