RU  UK  EN
Articles  >  Visit  >  Gjirokastër: “Albanian Rome”

Gjirokastër: “Albanian Rome”

Author: 19.04.2018 | Albania, travel
A function of UNESCO World Heritage Committee is to work in the most careful manner year after year on studying objects that constitute outstanding culture civilizations and are unique in their origins. Under number 569 of an impressive list of the organization city of Gjirokastër, the one from the south of Albania, is located – it is it we are going to study today through the length and breadth.

Mediterranean climate of the Balkan Peninsula with hot summer and cool winter favored rise of the city in twelfth century. Gjirokastër is nowhere near a resort destination however this fact doesn’t prevent it from attracting numerous tourists by textured valley of the Drina River and architecture for connoisseurs of times of the Ottoman Empire. Tosk tribes lived on agriculture and gardening there, Byzantians and Turks established their governments. As a heritage from its chiefs, the city got “Turkish kule” that are preserved there in the abundance that can be found nowhere else. White houses with stone roofs, windows of diverse and quaint shapes hide on medieval streets. They sprouted on rocky terrain like mushrooms and reach out for the peak where majestic fortress perches.

Photo blogspot.com

On the way to the city here and there on the surface of the ground traces of moles’ tunnels can be spotted. Upon a closer look we realize that communist leader of the country Enver Hoxha reminds about himself through bunkers scattered around the country. They mainly appeal to those who love military and historic objects however tourists can do some interesting discoveries, too. Ruler of the country built an entire underground city with living rooms, armament unit and a concert hall. Large-scale preparation to life after nuclear war. One can freely have a snack at the dining room and catch performances in the territory – government openly vocalizes the idea of the space being backstage for artists. One can come across bunkers at fields and on hillsides. They used to be abandoned for a while, later application was found for them as stalls for animals and in times of housing crisis – as full-fledged houses. And you become not at all surprised by Underground, the movie by Emir Kusturica, in which citizens are hiding in a similar understructure from the war that has already been over.

Photo img.ev.mu

Ethnographic museums play a fairly important role – they make us plunge into household of foregone times, reflect past reality in a certain scale. One can try crafts of former times and taste delights from an old stove. The southern city keeps apace and introduces to national outfits and interiors. And everything seems ordinary: rooms and household items. The only thing is that a guide does more than a standard narration – he carries you away with stories to a completely other dimension. Admittedly, there isn’t just this museum that harbors period of the Middle Ages. Local citizens have maintained way of life of times gone by in their modern life. Albanians found preservation of traditions on an official level in holding a folk festival – dance groups and choruses gather from all over the country, effecting rise in number of visitors of the city.

It rose as far back as in 13t century and performed daring defense function. In various periods these or that accessories emerged. Major package was erected in 13th century; modifications began in 15th century after the Turks had taken domain over, final modernization with the Clock Tower and aqueduct coincided with early 19th century. Prison happened to exist there, too – it was arranged for in 1930s-1960s. They also find application for all the artillery by establishing a museum in the premises. Sure enough, shapely fortification is in sight from every spot of the city while the panorama is something you see having climbed up a tower.

Photo invest-in-albania.org

The city is distinctive for entrepreneurial streak – in the large scheme of things, in 17th century, after a period of decay, Gjirokastër returned to prosper and became an important trade spot thank to emergence of an eastern market. Just as reflexes are divided into conditional and unconditional Ottoman principles distinguish residential and commodity areas. Several streets are appropriated for a market – and a residential house becomes a warehouse with a trade counter. According to urban plan of the ruler of those times, Memi Pasha, five streets got united to get a name the New Market. Urban choreography reigns on its counters – with deliberate gestures vendors offer famous white cheese, thin eastern silk and, sure enough, local souvenirs. The Gjirokastër Mosque was located in such a way that some premises could be leased to vendors. This one was the only one that remained beyond prohibition on religion in the times of the chief and constitutes a monument of architecture.

Photo zenithtravelalbania.com

Beauty-river, that paid its attention to Gjirokastër. Albanian’s longest river, it was born in the dance of confluence of the Black Drin and the White Drin; it rushes through exquisite landscapes of North Albanian Alps and splits into two arms: Northern runs into Adriatic Sea and there is Southern that plunges into the Bay of Drin. Navigation never spoiled nature of waters and hydroelectric power stations are futuristic reminders of own benefit. Pride of Albanians went global after the natural landmark’s nomination as one New Wonders of the World.

Main photo albaniatours.al

It will be interesting:
Postcard: Batumi
Young Ukrainian writer Pavel Khomenskyi visited Batumi, the city smothered in greenery and shining bright, the one that local citizens call the city of love. Palm trees, cypresses, magnolias, oleanders, bamboos, laurels, orange trees, thujas and box trees exhale fragrances on every step there; they tempt you to go watch a romantic picture of ships sailing off harbors. And today the author shares with you his postcards from this amazing city, penetrated with murmur of the sea and taste of fragrant wine.
On the Road – Own Way
OUTLOOK cannot imagine life without travelling. However, tickets, schedules, tardiness – all those things can spoil any trip. Therefore it is great to have either at home or in you garage a kind of transport that can allow you to see and to experience something new and forget all the problems.
"All inclusive" and even more: amazing hotel service
Hotels that offer “all inclusive” for dogs. Hotels where adults are being lulled asleep by a fairytale or a unique place where work isn’t held in honor while laziness is encouraged. This is not a dream or a parallel reality – these are stalky hotel services…
Desperate Futurism: Japan. Part 1
OUTLOOK journalist Elena Rasenko came back from Japan and launches a special series of articles devoted to this country. Warning for very sensitive readers: Beware! After reading, you will get a keen desire to break away, buy a ticket and fly to such a marvelous and fascinating Land of the Rising Sun!
Accompaying persons, please leave the train: the most interesting trains on planet
Despite ongoing development of air transport, many people across the Earth still love to travel by train for various reasons. Though the majority of passengers associate trains with a rather slow way to travel compared with airplanes, and are concerned with low comfort which can be still at the level of last century, reading through our selection below, you will definitely consider once again which means of transport you prefer to get to your destination.
Borders cannot make harm: The most famous enclaves of the world
Today OUTLOOK travels along the cities and countries that are considered as the most interesting from the point of view of geography and administrative management. Moreover, they are enclaves as they are located within the territories of other states.
We were there: the USA through the eyes of a Ukrainian
Context manager Bohdan Yanchev undertook a long-term journey to the United States. He spend six months there and not just visited large cities like Miami, New York and Washington but also worked in different positions, made numerous acquaintances with locals and visited places that ordinary tourists know nothing about. Upon his return he told us about his brightest impressions.
We were there: Prague
Prague... It is romantic, decadent, sad and cheerful, sublime and spiritual, reflected in the flapping wings of well-fed seagulls on the Charles Bridge, in the mirror pools of Vltava River... Prague is a very attractive and slightly strange European city. Creative copywriter Masha Goldman once spent several winter days there and told us about Prague charms.
Saint-Louis: first settlement of europeans in Africa
This amazing African country strikes tourists by odd mixture of cultures. There isn’t a thing you cannot see in Senegal! Retro cars of French origin; cows idly walking along the road; horse-drawn carts... Yet, there are more than enough surprises it its historical and cultural capital city of Saint-Louis. Go for a walk in search of attractions, and local herbalists offering specific medical herbs as a cure-all remedy, will immediately surround you.
World ghettos. Bedford: English outback with Italian flavour
Today our story is about one of the most amazing combinations one can imagine, that is Italians and Englishmen, so we expand number of our articles dedicated to the ethnic ghettos of the world. Get ready to follow us to the cold and rainy Bedford, where we will plunge into the warm Mediterranean atmosphere.
Indian village Kodhini: the unraveled mystery of twins
In the world there is an unusual place where the biggest number of twins are born. Although at first glance it looks like a mystical coincidence, statistics makes you believe in miracles. The Indian state of Kerala can boast of a village where unusual things happen. Kodhini is the place with more twins than anywhere else in the world. Actually, there is almost no explanation for this.
Karakol. What is worth to know
Nature and heritage are above and beyond temporary drawbacks in infrastructure and services of Kyrgyzstan, which in terms of tourism is approaching to Georgia and Armenia. Let's consider this through the example of the cosy city of Karakol.
Canberra is the capital of...
Australia flies instinctively into our ears with a loud intro from shell of the Sydney Opera, and only after that we recall that the capital of this country is Canberra. Though the city is often seen as a stopover between Melbourne and Sydney, Canberra is not only considering, but has been already implementing into reality a plan how to win hearts of all tourists.
Normandy through the eyes of Korney Gritciuk. Part 1
For many tourists France is mainly Paris with long queues to the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, as well as neighbouring sights with royal chic, or Mediterranean resorts. But OUTLOOK author while travelling through the country decided to go to the north, to Normandy! Our readers are welcome to read series of travel essays about a journey to the Atlantic Ocean by Kornei Gritsyuk, and the story begins with his impressions from the town of Deauville!
Chan Chan. Peru city from clay
Experienced travelers tell that one could watch the ruins of ancient settlements in the Andes during several months, moving from one region to another. Particularly, the richest one in archaeological complexes of is the western coast of the Southern continent. A long time ago, some of them, such as Machu Picchu, have become popular with tourists, others are just beginning to open their doors to curious people.
In the rhythm of heart. Japanese drums taiko
Its sounds penetrate the heart, stop the flow of thoughts and cause the blood to move in some kind of magical rhythm. It's a roll of thunder. It gives the shivers. It's a secret. Japanese drums in their homeland are elevated to the rank of cult. Without them, not a single official event is possible, their melodies delight the hearing during joy and help to experience sadness.
The travel to whale’s chaps
Even being adults, sometimes we are able to bring to life the children’s fantasies, see the stories from childish dreams, and embody what has seemed to be the fairytale. Have you ever dreamt of being in the whale’s chaps? Just imagine that you were swollen by the giant fish, and you were living there for a long time, looked at it inside, settled down there, swam and dived there?
To the cinema for a city cour
Travelling around the globe lure increasingly every other year and it is so upsetting when all kinds of obstacles arise on the way of undertaking trips. Outlook offers you not to get desperate if you can’t set on a journey. Today we suggest you get inspired with movies in which one city or another “plays” equal part to actors’ ones. We’ll tell you about five films that, alongside having artistic merits, educate as good as habitual tour guides do.
Welcome to Gabon
Once upon the time, Pygmy peoples lived on the west coast of Africa. They did not have any conflicts with anyone. When they were hungry, they went hunting, picked up nuts and bananas. Then the Mpongwé and the Fang tribes came. After them, the Portuguese arrived and named these lands Gabon. They were followed by the French who acquired the land and declared it as their colony. Only in the middle of the past century, when Pygmies were very few, Gabon gained independence from foreigners…
Kangaroo island: Australia garden of Eden
Formidable waves rise up like soldiers on guard, then beat against the rocky coastline, lay down their arms and meekly retreating, crumble into a foam. Wind freely runs over lavender fields and eucalyptus groves hiding sleepy koalas in bushland. Twilight is ready to cover every living creature with a dark bucket, and the bustling nocturnal life spreads its wings. This is not a fictional world of fairy tales but everyday life of Kangaroo Island, a booming destination for wilderness and wildlife fans.
Close
Outlook facebook page