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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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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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