Gjirokastra-1

GJIROKASTRA

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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.

Skënduli House

Skender Skenduli, another wealthy land owner, built the Skendulate House (22) in 1823 during Gjirokastra’s greatest period. The house had two courtyards and is unique in having both an internal and external staircase. It used to have 46 chimneys, indicating the wealth of the Skënduli family. The main guest room (oda), in particular, is distinguished […]

The Zekate House

‘The best surviving example of an ottoman tower house in Gjirokastra’ (prof. dr Emin Riza) The fortified tower houses – known as kullë (kullë is Turkish for tower) belonged to wealthy individuals such as administrative officials or merchants. They all follow a basic layout: a secure stone lower storey topped by a wooden gallery where the principal rooms […]

Bektashi Turbe

Situated to the right about 50m inside the main gate you will see a small building tucked into the walls of the castle amidst a lovely garden. It contains the remains of two Bektashi Babas.

The clock Tower

The clock was erected by Ali Pasha of Tepelena in the 19th century. It is a feature of the cities in the period and determining the time of five daily prayers. The tower was restored in 1980s and the current clock was installed in 1990s. The clock though is not working and need a repair.

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