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MIMICA said:
I'm sorry to say that this city doesn't really appeal to me much, my favorite city in Albania is Tirana.:yes:
Gjirokastra is a small town in the south
Famous albanian writer Ismail Kadare comes from here
Kadare is considered one of the greatest writers of european literature in the 20th century , an absolute GENIOUS


Gjirokastra has some old buildings and is famous for having streets with old bricks , (they have no asphalt)
The castle in this town is also very old but you are right , Gjirokastra doesnt offer much
 

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I think Gjirokastra is absolutely beautiful. I am from gjirokastra, we have an old and a communist built part. We badly need money though since the buildings are collapsing. The atmosphere in the old town is amazing, maybe because it is old, not fixed, it has a huge castle, it's always rainy, and guess what? No tourists or MC Donalds, it is the real thing people.
I do not view Enver Hoxha in a positive light and neither do most Albanians. We think he isolated us for no reason from the rest of the world, and wasted billions of dollars in building bunkers when they could have been spent in hospitals, schools and other stuff. On one hand we were digging tunnels in mountains and on the other hand there were food shortages. Also, a huge number of the population suffered because of bad biographies. I dislike capitalism but what those people created in Albania wasn't... nice. Then, also Albania was isolated and poorer than today, thus those billions wasted had a much greater effect than one might think.
 

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Maksym said:
Is Enver Hoxha still popular in Albania? Is he viewed in a positive or negative perspective?
Enver Hoxha was a dictator.
He was of course very patriotic and nationalistic but he stabbed his closest friends in the back.He was a sneaky dictator who ruined our country because he isolated it from the World.
Everyone hates him , there are very few who admire him.
Acctually , no one really likes to discuss about Hoxha nowdays.
I have to say that he was a stuburn and egoistic dictator.

Deffinitely viewed in a negative perspective.

 

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Football Rules said:
Enver Hoxha was a dictator.
He was of course very patriotic and nationalistic but he stabbed his closest friends in the back.He was a sneaky dictator who ruined our country because he isolated it from the World.
Everyone hates him , there are very few who admire him.
Acctually , no one really likes to discuss about Hoxha nowdays.
I have to say that he was a stuburn and egoistic dictator.

Deffinitely viewed in a negative perspective.

Interesting. I just knew a few Albanians in Canada who liked him, so that is why I asked.
 

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Gjirokastra- The absolute fall of a once great City!

Unfortunatelly like many other cities in Albania, this town is facing rapid deterioration and soon death of the ancient quarters. The old town is build in the face of the mountain. While this was a great strategic descission in the 15th century when the town originated, now is proving to be one of the main reasons for its rapid decline in popularity. The incline and narrow streets make it almost impossible for motroized transportation, hence all the businesses, government offices, industry and with it all the population is moving to the more "easily accessed" New-ish quarters.

The death of the castle.
The castle of Gjirokastra has its foundations in the late 13 early 14th century. It is build in a hilltop and is composed of 5 towers. It was of paramount strategic importance and one of the most modern of its time. It hosts water reservoirs, subteranean tunnels, fortifications of different levels, and an entire city within its walls with churches, public baths, housing and horse and animal sheds. It was completed by Ali pashe tepelena and has seen renovations continusely.
If the current conditions do not change, this masterpiece of the Albanian heretage is due to fall within 5-10 years. As you can see the following pictures, the trees at its foundations have been cut, this has caused the earth to move down and expose the foundations of the castle. As you can aslo see in the pics, this has caused the walls to start cracking, and without immediate intervention, soon it will all collapse.


Clock tower on the left hand side.

Cracks on the Northern tower.

Lack of root support and erosion has exposed the foundations of the castle. The tunnel runs underneeth this castle and links the two sides of the town that this castle devides.

North-western tower and in the top center you can see the communist jail, used to house political prisoners.

Towers 4 and 5 on the western side, erossion has caused the deterioration of the fortifications on top.



Additional pics


Yellow building on the centre is the local high school. The ugly scafolding is the failed attempt to build a local library.

A more monstuos side of the town. Commie blocks and other crap of the sort.




Most houses have a traditional southern architecture. Notice the roofsare made of a stone from a quarry that no longer exists, this has hindered very much the attempts to repair any of these roofs. It is impossible to replace only a few at a time with simmilar shingles.



As the picture shows, the old quarter is facing death. Little maintenace and deserting of all businesses has turned it into a ghost town.


This square used to house the statue of our Dictator, it was a beutiful work in marble which took almost 2 years for the artist to complete. As everything else to do with the dictator it was destroyed by angry mobs. real shame if you ask me.


This is why motorized transportation is almost imposible. This is the other side of the tunnel that links western side of the town with the eastern side.
 

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Gjirokastra (also known as Argyrocastro) is archeologically one of the most wonderful cities in Albania, and together with Berat, they are part of the UNESCO World Heritage. The status was recently granted to the city and will help in its preserving the charachteristic architecture.

Regarding the figure of Enver Hoxha, he is not viewed as negatively as you think. A lot of people got dissapointed from the current politicians and unfortunately recall his figure as a positive one. The harsh transition period created the necessary conditions for the revitalising of communism. There is a growing number of "modern communist" youth, especially noted in the mega parties organized by the "Mjaft" movement (popularly known as "Mjaft Fest"). Mjaft itself contributed to this movement as they caracterize themselves a left ideology movement.
 

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ahh gjirokastra is like a museum but much bigger , beautiful and to enver hoxha he was powerful but i remember when no one was allowed in albania and anybody that came in was a spy.sarajka also check out berat the town of a thousand windows.
 

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Is a pitty that Gjirokastra is in such condition nowdays. Gjirokastra is the most original place in Albania and must be (have been) protected.

My grandfather (mother side) was from there (Babameto family). My father was born in the nearby village of Jargucat (just before WWII) when his father was serving as mayer (kryetar komune), and he also did his military service nearby.

A cousin of mine, a painter specialised in graphicas and iconography was in love with the city and it is represented in many of his works.

I never been there though, except once, on the way to Saranda.
 

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Football Rules said:
The most original place in Albania? :runaway:
Gjirokastra is a small city with little importance.
South has Vlora , Saranda, Korca and Fier who are way more important than Gjirokastra.
Vlora, Saranda, Korca and Fier ARE economically more important then Gjirokastra, but no way are they more important culturally and architecturally.

Gjirokastra is a city like no other and must be under UNESCO and Albanian Goverment protectorat.

Is Albanian tradition and herritage fading away, we're talking about, and not who builds more flashy resturants and bars.
 

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Football Rules said:
The most original place in Albania? :runaway:
Gjirokastra is a small city with little importance.
South has Vlora , Saranda, Korca and Fier who are way more important than Gjirokastra.

Not the place to debate about it but just a few points.
Economy:- Kakavie customs, part of Gjirokastra county and a customs point managed by the Gjirokastra district office, is the largest in revenue and in traffic in Albania.
Gjirokastra is also home of the South Albania Chamber of Comemrce, which regulates and oversees the Economic Developement of Southern Albania.

Politics: -Gjorkastra houses the Greek consulate, various organizations, it is also one of the major stops of all the election campains. PBDNJ is also based in Gjirokastra.

Education:- Gjirokastra has on of the oldest Universities in Albania, and one that hosts specific courses, not found anywhere else. Gjirokstra is also one of the first town to open an Albanian school.


There are also a variety of other conditions such as geogrphy, or history that make Gjirokastra unique. While someone might not consider it important, is is by all means unlike any other town in Albania, and in most cases in a class of its own.
 

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r2t said:
Not the place to debate about it but just a few points.
Economy:- Kakavie customs, part of Gjirokastra county and a customs point managed by the Gjirokastra district office, is the largest in revenue and in traffic in Albania.
Gjirokastra is also home of the South Albania Chamber of Comemrce, which regulates and oversees the Economic Developement of Southern Albania.
Good point. Also part of the Dalmatien will go through Gjirokastra.

Politics: -Gjorkastra houses the Greek consulate, various organizations, it is also one of the major stops of all the election campains. PBDNJ is also based in Gjirokastra.
Because it is considered by the Greeks as Greek land. PBDNJ is not of any importance to Albania as it is also the home of Greek ultranationalists. It has continously caused destabilisation in the south. Last elections in Himara are a proof. Gjirokastra is less hot-blooded then Vlora is, so PBDNJ can have all the fun they want there without fearing some hundreds of albanian guys getting there to teach them to how to respect our flag. While Gjirokastra used to have a very important meaning to Albanian history and preserved a special place in the hearts of Albanians who loved their land, the place is more and more becoming a modern "greek colony". Not trying to start a debate with the Greeks here because I am pretty sure their scanner will get this. I am not angry with them, I am angry with Albanians. Greeks are doing their job, we are selling our souls.

Education:- Gjirokastra has on of the oldest Universities in Albania, and one that hosts specific courses, not found anywhere else. Gjirokstra is also one of the first town to open an Albanian school.
So, does a student from Gjirokastra prefer to study there better then in Tirana?


There are also a variety of other conditions such as geogrphy, or history that make Gjirokastra unique. While someone might not consider it important, is is by all means unlike any other town in Albania, and in most cases in a class of its own.
Far from being unique in terms of economy, other cities are at least as important as GJ is: Shkodra, Kukes, Korca, Vlora, Durres, Dibra, Pogradec etc. have a lot of economical potential because they are cities that serve as a jump to the neighbouring countries. I would love to see tourism flourish in GJ. I would definitely spend a week every year there. I think it would be very relaxing.
 

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AltinD, is your relative the one who has the paintings of Gjirokastra all over Google. Just wandering, they look nice.
Also, take it nice on all the anti-PBDNJ propaganda in here. First of all, if you talk about Gjirokastra the way you do, you have also talked about how Nano is Greek, then you are just giving excuses to them to claim Gjirokastra. I do not understand where you come up with Gjirokastra being a Greek colony. Look at the music of the region, look at the architecture, look at the souvenir shops in Gjirokastra, look at the people, look at how many speak Greek in the city, there is nothing enforcing your opinion. Also, consider the number of albanian politicians and artists that have their origins from this city: Aleksader Meksi, Nano, Hoxha, Fino, Kadare, Gjebrea to name a few. And what's that about a couple hundred of Albanians showing them how to respect our flag? A very pacifist stance indeed. By the way, the consulate is there because Gjirokastra is the city Albanians mostly use to get to Greece and because of Dropulli. It is not there to be viewed as a threat.
By the way, PBDNJ is a party about human rights and if you just label them as the tool of Greek nationalists then they might as well become that. It is not like we have waited with open arms for a party advocating human rights.
As for the education thing, one prefers the University of Tirana, however Gjirokastra is the smallest city in Albania having a university. It is also the center of many cultural events including the Albanian folk festival. Also, arguing about whether saranda, Gjirokstara, Dibra, or Shkodra is more inmportant, well it is kind of...
 
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