Albanian Gjirokastër is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Albania whose origin stems from the construction of the castle of Gjirokastra, built in IV century AD. The city was named Argyrokastro.
The museum city is part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 2005 described as a unique example of a well-preserved Ottoman town. Gjirokastër and Berat were among the few Albanian cities which did not undergo in the 1960s and 1970s modernizing building programs and therefore both gained the status of the ‘’museum town’’ and were listed by UNESCO. Gjirokastër was built on the eastern side of “Mali i Gjerë” 300 metres above sea level.
Gjirokastër is famous for the biggest Castle of Albania: Gjirokastër Fortress, where the Gjirokastër National Folklore Festival is held every five years and where you can visit the museum of weapons, house where Albanian communist dictator Xozha was born, author Ismali Kadare and of course for its unique architecture.
In Gjirokastër you immediately notice the frequent use of stone. Many old houses in Gjirokastër have roofs covered with flat dressed stones. The streets are made of cobblestone.
While in Gjirokastër you cannot miss the Etnograhic Museum which is located in the house where the former Albanian communist dictator Enver Hoxha was born. It is located in the Palorto quarter. The original house was destroyed by fire and it was reconstructed during 1964-1966 as a replica of the traditional house of Gjirokastër from the 19th century, and not as the house of Hoxha. It presents traditional lifestyle of the town, is decorated with cultural artifacts, folk costumes, etc.
You can also visit the house of Zekati family in Palorto, three-floor building with two twin towers and wooden carved ceilings and other traditional buildings such as Angonati House, Babaramo house, Skendulaj house , Eqrem Cabej House under restoration, Kikino House.
Gjirokastër is home to Muslim and Orthodox Albanians as well as to Greek community, which together with Sarandë is regarded as the center of the Greek community in Albania.
- How to plan your holidays?
We were supported professionally by a young tourist organization: Travelling Albania which specializes in Albania and can support you as well in North Macedonia.
2. How to get there: There is an international airport in Tirana.
Rent a Car: There are many companies renting a car. We rented ours by Tisa Tours& Rent a Car, highly professional and experienced company offering tailored solutions.
They can also take care of arranging the Macedonian green car card for you if you want to combine visiting Albania and North Macedonia.
General info about Albania
Republic of Albania is located in Southeast Europe at the Adriatic and Ionian Sea within the Meditterranean Sea. It borders with Montenegro to the northwest,Kosovo to the northeast,North Macedonia to the east, Greece to the south and has a maritime border with Greece and Italy to the west.
Its area covers 28,748 km and population equals 2,876,591 ( 2017). The capital city is Tirana.
Albania is a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic. Official language is Albanian. Recognised minority languages are Aromanian, Greek, Macedonian. Currency is Lek (ALL)
Sources: https://travellingalbania.com/nl/, local leaflets, Wikipedia, Albania.al, intoalbania.com
Photos: Communications-Unlimited.nl. © Copyright www.communications-unlimited.nl, 2019. All rights reserved