city, southeastern Albania. It began as a feudal estate in the 13th century, and in 1484 the local lord, Koja Mirahor Ilyas Bey, a Muslim convert active in the Ottoman siege of Constantinople (1453), returned to the site and built the mosque that bears his name. In the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries Korce was a centre of commerce and trade. The first school to use the Albanian language opened there in 1887; its building is now a museum of education. Occupied by the Greeks in 1912, Korce was awarded to Albania in 1920 by the International Boundary Commission, following a four-year French occupation. Enver Hoxha, the Albanian communist leader, attended and later taught at the lycee (public secondary school) that the French founded there in 1916. Used as a military base by the Italians for operations against Greece during World War II, the city was occupied by the Greeks in 1940-41 and then by the Germans. Korce was restored to Albania in 1944.
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