Gjirokastra-1

GJIROKASTRA

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Girokastra-2

UNESCO CITY OF GJIROKASTER

UNIQUE ARCHITECTURE

1 , 3 OR 7 DAYS GJIROKASTRA EXPE TOURS

Gjirokastra-3

OLD BAZAR TOURS

Gjirokastra

“It was a strange city, and seemed to have been cast up in the valley one winter’s night like some prehistoric creature that was now clawing its way up the mountainside. Everything in the city was old and made of stone, from the streets and fountains to the roofs of the sprawling age-old houses covered with grey slates like gigantic scales...”

From Chronicle of Stone, by Ismail Kadare, born in Gjirokastra, 1936
  • Pre-Ottoman history

    The early history of Gjirokastra is relatively unknown. Due to the proximity of the Hellenistic settlement of Antigonea (near Jermë) and the Roman city of Hadrianopolis (close to the village of Sofratika) it has been frequently assumed that the medieval fortress represents the first occupation of the site.

  • The Ottoman period

    As the Ottoman Empire expanded into Europe in the late 14th century, Gjirokastra fell under their dominion and its lords were for a period of time vassals of the Sultans. It is believed that by 1420 Gjirokastra and the entire Drino Valley became part of the Ottoman Empire.

  • Between the wars

    During King Zog’s reign (1928-1939), Gjirokastra established itself as one of the most important cultural and economic centers in the country, although it was also known for the large prison constructed in the castle during Zog’s reign.

  • The communism in Gjirokastra

    Gjirokastra was declared a Museum City by the communist regime in 1961 in an effort to conserve the unique cultural heritage of the town. As well as more specialist craftsmen, a large conscripted workforce – consisting mainly of young people, known as Volunteer Youth Brigades – was assembled to maintain the old town.

Things to do or to see in Gjirokaster.

The American Airplane

A U.S. military training plane was forced to land near Tirana in 1957 having technical problems. The pilot was returned to the US a short time later, but the plane, which the communists maintained was a spy plane, was brought to the castle as a trophy of the Cold War.

The Bazaar of Gjirokastra

Until the mid 20th century Gjirokastra was an important market centre for agricultural products from the region, leatherworking and woodworking. The combination of administrative positions and vast feudal land holdings provided the basis for the wealth of the town. By the 1580s the town had more than 400 dwellings, and in the 17th century Memi […]

The castle is open all year round (April to September 09:00 to 19:00, October to March 09:00 to 17:00 ) with an admission price of 200 Lek. The castle has been the nucleus of Gjirokastra, with most of its population living within its walls until the Old Bazaar Quarter (Pazar i Vjetër) developed outside its […]

The ethnographic museum

The ethnographic museum is situated in the Palorto Quarter, which is the best preserved district in the old town of Gjirokastra. The Ethnographic Museum stands on the site of the home of Enver Hoxha, communist dictator of Albania from 1944 to 1985. The museum building was constructed in 1966 after the original house was destroyed […]

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