Albania until very recently has remained away from the tourist map . But now Albanians want to show themselves to the world and to teach their beauties, both cultural and natural. And it should be done before mass tourism discovers it. This is how the well known Spanish newsletter El Pais describe Albania reccomending spanish tourists to visit this country. The article suggest 12 places to visit in Albania, and one of them, absolutely is Gjirokastra.
Here is what article says about Gjirokastra.
Traveling to the deep south, we find a unique place, in Albania and in the Balkans: Gjirokastra or Argirocastro (silver castle, in Albanian), a town located in a wide idyllic valley and surrounded by villages that hide ancient Byzantine churches. To understand the origin of its name, it is better to see it in the rain, when bright stones of the great fortress, rich in legends and with a gloomy fame for having been used as a prison at various times in its history, shine with reflections almost metallic.
Gjirokastra, about 215 kilometers south of Tirana, is one of the most interesting destinations in the country, with a large castle overlooking the wide Drin Valley and a bazaar that remains the center of local life, despite tourists. But above all the place owes its harmony to the tower-houses of Turkish origin (kulla, in Albanian) that are seen as one approaches the town. Some can be visited and others just admire from the outside. Hundreds of these monumental houses from the Ottoman era make up the historic center crowned by the castle, which during the communist stage was designated a city-museum. It was helped by the fact that it was the hometown of the communist dictator Enver Hoxha (1908-1985), which preserved the place of the clumsy architectural interventions carried out in other areas of the country. Thanks to this, visitors can come into contact with an almost intact fragment of 19th-century Albania.
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