Tirana Things to Do

  • Bulevard Zogu i Pare
    Bulevard Zogu i Pare
    by maykal
  • Tirana
    Tirana
    by travelthrough
  • Things to Do
    by Askla

Most Recent Things to Do in Tirana

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    Tirana Mosaic.

    by Askla Written Jun 28, 2014

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    The Tirana Mosaic was discovered only in1972 during some construction work. It is believed that the ground where the mosaic was found stems fom a 1st century villa which should have belonged to a winemaker. The evidence for that is the amphorae found. Two of them are displayed on site. The villa was then converted into a basilica, probably in the 4th or 5th century, and during this time was the mosaic floor laid. Nowadays there is a house built to protect it.
    Unfortunately I hadn't enough time to visit, that will be next time around.

    Opening hours: 08.00 - 17.00, daily.
    Free admission.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

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    The Pyramide.

    by Askla Written Jun 24, 2014

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    The Pyramide was built by Enver Hoxha to be a memorial on him and so it is, but not in the way he had planned. His idée was that he should be buried inside but instead it is just a memorial on stupidity and a total waste of money. It was later an attempt done to make the Pyramide a cultural house but now there is nothing inside. There is of course graffitti and other kinds of damages on it, and nowadays it seems to be used mostly by tourists showing how little they care about other nations cultural heritage whatever one think of the backgrounds.
    The large bell hanging above the walkway outside is called the Bell of Peace. It was cast from used bullet casings from the 1997 uprising. Schoolchildren from northen Albania collected them.

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    Colourful houses.

    by Askla Written Jun 24, 2014

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    Tirana is well known for some of its colourful houses, some of which you will find along Bulevardi Bajram Curri, like for instance opposite the Tanner's Bridge.
    After the elections in 2000 Tirana got a new mayor, Edi Rama, who was also an artist. He began a restoration project around the Skanderbeg Square, a project which was then extended to other areas in the city centre.

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    Tanner's Bridge.

    by Askla Written Jun 24, 2014

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    The Tanner's Bridge is a bit special. Where it now stands it seems a bit out of place since there is no water flowing beneath. But there once was, until the 1930s when the river Lane was diverted from its original course. The bridge was built in the 18th century and was for a long time used by the peasants from the territories east of Tirana to get their livestock to the butchers in town. In Albanian the name of the bridge is Ura e Tabakeve, the word "tabak" meaning both butcher and tanner.

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    • Historical Travel

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    Statue of the unknown partisan.

    by Askla Written Jun 24, 2014

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    The statue of the unknown partisan stands in a little square at the crossing of Rruga Ludovik Shllaku (which is the street running between the Cultural House and the Etehm Bey Mosque) and Rruga e Barrikadave.

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    The Ethem Bey Mosque.

    by Askla Written Jun 24, 2014

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    The building of Ethem Bey Mosque started in 1794 and was completed in 1821. It is considered one of the most beautiful mosques in Albania, at least when it comes to the newer ones.
    I did not go inside because there were so many people waiting outside and around that I assumed there must be some special occasion starting soon.
    Behind the mosque one can see the Clock Tower built in 1822. After an extension in 1928 it is now 35 m high.

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    • Historical Travel

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    The Cultural House.

    by Askla Written Jun 24, 2014

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    The Cultural House sits along the north-eastern part of Skanderbeg Square. It now houses the Opera and the National Library. There is an outdoor café during the summer months, with a nice view over the square with its Skanderbeg statue, and the mural on the wall of the Historical Museum.

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    The Historical Museum.

    by Askla Written Jun 24, 2014

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    The National Historical Museum sits north of Skanderbeg Square. It is well known for its grand mural above the entrance. It was opened in 1981. There are three floors with the most interesting objects, from Illryan times or older, all through the centuries up the 1990s with all the troubles that were that time.The latter part was very arresting with lots of pictures and objects from the shootings. To take full advantage of all the exhibitions one should allow 2 or 3 hours. There are well kept toilets on the ground floor close to the entrance.
    The mural above the entrance depicts Albanians through the history. From left it starts with the Illyrians and other tribes, from the 4th century B.O.T or even older. The man in a black suite represents the intellectuals who managed to negociate a liberation from the Ottomans. The persons in the middle are workers taking to the arms when needed. On the right side we see the partisans.

    Opening hours: Tuesday - Saturday 10.00 - 17.00, Sunday 09.00 - 14.00, closed Monday.
    Entrance fee 200 Leke.
    Taking photos is not permitted.

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    Skanderbeg Square.

    by Askla Written Jun 24, 2014

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    Skanderbeg Square, the pulsating heart of Tirana. Here will you find the Historical Museum, the Cultural House, Ethem Bey Mosque, the Clock Tower, ministerial buildings, it's a hub for the traffic, you find the main post office as well as the stop for the airaport shuttle close by, and the shopping streets spread out from here.
    In the middle of the square stands a statue of the man who has given his name to it - Gjiergj Kastrioti, or Skanderbeg, himself. To keep it short, Skanderbeg was the man to gather all the internally fighting clans under one man's leadership to make them stronger and able to fight the Ottomans. This took part on 2 March, 1444 in a place called Lezha. They managed to withstand the Ottoman attacks until 1478. At that time Skenderbeg had been dead for ten years. His family's emblem was a double-headed black eagle on red background which has later become the emblem of Albania.

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    Enver Hoxha's villa

    by travelthrough Written Aug 19, 2013
    Tirana

    This 60s-style villa is the place where Enver Hoxha lived when he was in Tirana. The building itself is not far from the main boulevard and the secluded Presidential Palace, but it cannot be visited. A security was patroling when I was there.

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    National Historical Museum - Albania's Story

    by Orchid Written May 15, 2013

    Albania always fascinated me. From the nations stamps, labelled 'Shqipëria', to it's time as a bastion of Chinese style socialism in Europe it seemed to set itself apart and
    In the 70's beards were banned, and bearded male westerners reportedly were required to shave (but a goatee and sideburns were acceptable!). Then of course there are the ubiquitous concrete bunkers...

    But i did not know anything about the country or it's history - so a visit to the National History Museum was well worth the time. Entry in 2006 was 300 leki. It is of course, the building with the massive 'The Albanians' mosaic on its facade. Not easy to miss.

    The exhibition is sequential, and illustrates the history of the region from the bronze and stone ages, through the Hellenic, Roman and Ottoman periods, largely through artifacts, though their is some commentary in English.

    There is of course, much focus on the Skenderbeg rebellion, and its aftermath, and also of an earlier Albanian republic, the Arbanon or Albanon, and its diaspora.

    Recent history dwells on various independence movements of the 19th Century, which finally independence in 1912 only to fall victim to Great Power intrigue in WWI, but to triumph again with nationhood in the 1920s. The modern history is told increasingly via photographs. The fall to fascism under King Zog is documented, as are the hard times of WWII. The museum celebrates the heroism of the partisans and communists, highlighting their part in the victory over Nazism, and how they too, under Enver Hoxha, fell to evil.

    The last part of the museum tells of the final fall of communism in 1992, 7 years after Hoxha's death.

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    • Museum Visits

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    The Dictator's Home

    by Orchid Written Apr 22, 2013

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    Dictator's modest abode

    In the bustling bar, cafe and restaurant hubbub that is modern day Blloku, its hard to imaging that this was once a closed precinct, home to the senior officials of the Hoxha regime. lurking behind an unkempt garden is the home of the man who ruled Albania for nearly 40 years,

    In keeping with the low rent nature of his communist dictatorship, Enver Hoxha former home is modest by the standards of despots. It would not look out of place in a 70s housing estate in any city, as the home of a wealthy person of modest taste.

    It is now a government residence and not open to the public

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

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    The Bell of Peace

    by ValbyDK Written Feb 28, 2013

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    The Bell of Peace

    There is a kind of bell-monument in front of the Pyramid... It is called the Bell of Peace and was erected in 1999 by Albanian schoolchildren as a memorial to peace. The bell is made of metal from fired bullet casings...

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    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

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    The Pyramid

    by ValbyDK Updated Feb 28, 2013

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    The Pyramid

    The Pyramid, located in the centre of Tirana, opened in 1988 as a museum and mausoleum for Dictator Enver Hoxha. It was designed by his daughter and son-in-law, and is said to be the most expensive building ever erected in Albania... After Hoxha, the Pyramid was used as a cultural and conference centre, and also housed a disco (called the Mummy...) for a period. When I visited Tirana, the remarkable building was being heavily renovated to house a theatre, but now it seems like the theatre-plans are dropped and the Pyramid might be demolished in the future...

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    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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    National Historic Museum

    by ValbyDK Updated Feb 28, 2013

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    National Historic Museum
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    The National Historic Museum is located at the Skanderbeg Square, in a very impressive building with an even more impressive mosaic of the history of Albania above the entrance... I visited the museum to learn more about the years when Albania was a closed country, but the area with the exhibitions from the years during the regime of Hoxha was closed for restoration! Instead I took a stroll through the various sections of the museum; prehistory, the Middle Ages, the National Revival, and more… There were many interesting items on display, especially the complete doorway of the church of St. Gjon Vladimi and the many religious icons were remarkable IMO... The entrance hall was the only place I was allowed to take photos, here was a very interesting - but temporary - exhibition of the life of Mother Theresa...

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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