Elbasan is a city in central Albania. It is located on the Shkumbin River in the District of Elbasan and the County of Elbasan. It is one of the largest cities in Albania, with a population of 79,810 . It was called Neokastron (New Castle) in Greek, Novigrad (new city) in Slavic and Terra Nuova in Italian. The modern name may derive either from the IE root *alb (as Albania) or from the Turkish il-basan ("the fortress").
Before the Second World War, Elbasan was a city with a mixture of eastern and medieval buildings, narrow cobbled streets and a large bazaar. There was a clearly defined Christian settlement within the castle walls, a Vlach district on the outskirts of the city and several fine mosques and Islamic buildings. At the time the population was about 15,000 people.