The Memorial to Communist Isolation

a chance to see close-up (and inside) one of Albania's bunkers

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If you hadn’t heard about it in advance you might be bemused to see this random collection of old concrete on a corner of Tirana’s main boulevard. However, the concrete monstrosities here are reminders of even worse monstrosities committed in the name of Communism – in Albania and beyond. There’s a piece of the Berlin wall and some pit props from the prison at Spac which was notorious for its treatment of political prisoners during the regime.

However the biggest draw of this corner is the pillbox ‘bunker’ which will be familiar from the Albanian landscape, whichever way you have travelled into Tirana. This will probably be your best chance to get inside one of the 750 000 bunkers which Enver Hoxha ordered to be built across his country. There were enough to house every member of the population in case of attack, and they were designed to be indestructible, meaning they have been difficult to remove even in the quarter century since the regime fell. This one offers a chance to go inside and imagine yourself defending an increasingly neurotic fatherland, looking out through the pillbox’s slit you can see the world from a beleaguered Communist’s point of view.

At A Glance

Bulevardi Deshmoret e Kombit

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