"The town made of stone" Top 5 Page for this destination Gjirokaster by njonjo

Gjirokaster Travel Guide: 103 reviews and 213 photos

Gjirokater is situated in south Albania, near the border with Greece (Kakavije-border crossing point). It has been declared a museum city. The town has indeed a unique architecture and everything is made with stone, the walls, the streets, the roofs.
The ruins of an imposant castle look the town from above, offering magnificient views of the town itself, Drinos valley and Lunxheria mountain.

After the fall of the communist regime, in 1990, many habitants of Gjirokaster migrated in Greece and in other countries and today many houses in the old part of the city are abandoned and in a pitiful state. There are ongoing desperate efforts to include Gjirokaster among UNESCO world heritage sites as the only way to raise some funds for the riconstruction of the old quarters of the town. Albania risks to loose for ever a real jewel of architecture.

Gjirokaster is the home town of Enver Hoxha, the communist leader who ruled Albania from 1944 to 1985 and of Ismail Kadare the most famous Albanian writer. Kadare's novel 'Cronichle in stone' (translated 'City of stone' in some languages) is a wonderful novel about Gjirokaster during WWII.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:interesting architecture, castle, great views
  • Cons:no reconstruction of historic houses
  • In a nutshell:A wonderful town in the end of its ages
  • Last visit to Gjirokaster: Dec 2003
  • Intro Updated Mar 27, 2005
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Reviews (7)

Comments (2)

  • loengland's Profile Photo
    Apr 12, 2006 at 1:32 AM

    hi, i haven't finished to look at your pages but the little i have seen just gave me more motivation to visit your country!

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    May 2, 2005 at 1:56 AM

    I visited Gjirokaster in 1988. It was great and I am very sorry that the city has been more of less abandoned. I will build a page with the photos I have got as soon as I can.

njonjo

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