We had reached Tirana and from our parking we went to explore this vibrant city with many traces of its communist past still visible.

Traditional zebra crossing ..
… and the unorthodox version of Tirana
Albanian Orthodox Cathedral of Christ’s Resurrection
When we came past the cathedral late in the evening, the four candles around the clock were gleaming with red light, alternately going on and off. The modern cathedral of Tirana was just opened in 2012. During Communism, a big number of churches and mosques had been destroyed in all parts of Albania. Since 1991 many are getting repaired or rebuilt.
Entrance to the new cathedral
Jesus doesn’t look very happy with his followers
Funny security guard
Italian hits of the 50s @ Skanderbeg place
National Museum of History @ Skanderbeg place
… with the mosaic “The Albanians”
Skanderbeg monument
Colourful ministry building
City bunker – now a museum

Once a top-secret nuclear bunker, it is now a museum in the centre of Tirana, with the aim to show visitors how Communist-era police persecuted the regime’s opponents. The 1,000 m2 bunker with reinforced concrete walls up to 2.4 metres thick was built between 1981 and 1986 to shelter elite police and interior ministry staff in the event of a nuclear attack. The museum now holds photographs and equipment that illustrate the political persecution of Albanians from 1945 until 1991.

This bunker is part of hundreds of bunkers built over the country as fortifications during Enver Hoxha dictatorial regime, since he had feared an imaginary invasion by the “imperialist United States and social-imperialist Soviet Union”.

Entrance into the bunker
Exploring the bunker
Telecommunication device
Chinese radio communication device from the 80s
Comfortable accommodation for the leader
Secretary typing her report
Power generator
Villa of Enver Hoxha 
This simple three-storey villa was the home of Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha in the residential area called Blloku.  During the communist period this part of the city was a restricted area only for the members of the Albanian politburo, ordinary Albanians would not be allowed in.  The Blloku was finally opened to the public in 1991. Since then, it became a very popular area with many restaurants and cafés.
Pyramid built as a museum for Enver Hoxha

In 1988, the pyramid opened as a museum about Enver Hoxha, the long-time leader of Communist Albania, who had died three years earlier. The structure was co-designed by Hoxha’s daughter Pranvera Hoxha, an architect.

After 1991, following the collapse of Communism, the Pyramid ceased its function as a museum and had to serve many different purposes. During the last years it experienced dilapidation and vandalism.

In 2018, it was announced that the Pyramid will be turned into an IT centre for the youth with a focus on computer programming, robotics, and start-ups. The project consists in building staircases on the sides of the pyramid, and glass covered areas for increased natural light. Until today, nothing happened.

Inside the pyramid
Modern architecture – the Maritim Plaza tower
Shopping centre
Traditional costumes
Roasted chestnuts vendor
St. Valentin’s Day was close
Modern cafés and bars are all over the city
Dinner @ Restaurant Salt

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