Aug 5, 2007

Museum-City of Gjirokastra

The Gjirokastra, is a historic town, in the Drinos river valley of Southern Albania. A 13th Century citadel is the focal point of the town. This citadel is now a Museum of Armaments, with a collection of old cannons and guns. This town is a rare example of well-preserved Ottoman town or town built by large farmers.

The town contains 17th century tower houses or Kule. A typical kule has a tall basement, a first floor for the cold seasen and a second floor for the warm season. Interiors of Kule is decorated with detailed, floral patterns. The town also has a 17th century Bazar, where embroidery, silk and cheese were traded. Gjirokastra also has a mosque and two churces, built in 18th century. UNESCO announced this town as a World Heritage Site in 2005.

Justification for Inscription as World Heritage Site, by UNESCO:

Criterion (iii): The old city of Gjirokastra is an exceptional testimony to a long-lasting, and almost disappeared society and life-style, influenced by the culture and tradition of Islam in the Ottoman period.

Criterion (iv): The historic town of Gjirokastra is a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town, built by farmers of large estates, around the 13th-century citadel. The architecture is characterized by the construction of a type of tower house (Turkish ‘kule’), of which Gjirokastra represents a series of outstanding examples.
Source: UNESCO

Getting There and Getting Away:
Gjirokastra Town is on the main bus route from Tirana to Kakavija and Saranda. Most buses stop on the main highway below Gjirokastra. Some buses also departs from Cajupi Hotel below the citadel.


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