This picture shows Lord Byron in the “Portrait of a Nobleman in the dress of an Albanian.” He had insisted on wearing it, considering Albania’s white, gold and red national dress to be “the most magnificent in the world.’
The man once described as “mad, bad, and dangerous to know” visited Albania in 1809 and used it as the setting for “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage.”
He fell immediately and passionately for Albania’s splendid costumes, fierce warriors, its people’s qualities of action and honesty and of course, the beautiful women.
In appreciation of Albania’s delights he wrote:
Land of Albania, where Iskander rose,
Theme of the young, and beacon of the wise,
And he his namesake whose oft-baffled foes
Shrunk from his deeds of chivalrous emprise;
Land of Albania! let me bend mine eyes
On thee, thou rugged nurse of savage men!
The Cross descends, thy minarets arise,
And the pale crescent sparkles in the glen,
Through many a cypress grove within each city’s ken.
At Tepelene, Southern Albania the Byron Stone commemorates him: