Gjirokastër (known also by several alternative names) is a city in southern Albania with a population of 43,000. Lying in the historical region of Epirus, it is the capital of both the Gjirokastër District and the larger Gjirokastër County. Its old town is inscribed on the World Heritage List as “a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town, built by farmers of large estate.” Gjirokastër is situated in a valley between the Gjerë mountains and the Drino River, at 300 meters above sea level. The city is overlooked by the Gjirokastër Castle where Gjirokaster National Folklore Festival is held every 5 years. Gjirokastër is the birthplace of former Albanian communist leader Enver Hoxha and notable writer Ismail Kadare. It hosts the Eqerem Çabej University.