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A Journey Through Time: Exploring Gjirokastra’s Ethnographic Museum and Skenduli House

Ethnographic Museum and Skenduli House, Gjirokaster
Ethnographic Museum and Skenduli House, Gjirokaster
Ethnographic Museum and Skenduli House, Gjirokaster

Gjirokastra is a city in southern Albania that is rich in history and culture. One of its main attractions is the Ethnographic Museum, which offers a glimpse into the region’s traditional way of life. Housed in a 300-year-old Ottoman-era building, the museum features exhibits four floors of numerous household items, folk costumes and cultural artefacts typical of a wealthy Gjirokastra family of merchants or Ottoman administrators living in the 19th Century.

The Ethnographic Museum stands on the site of the home of Enver Hoxha, communist dictator of Albania from 1944 to 1985. The museum building was constructed in 1966 after the original house was destroyed by fire. The reconstruction was designed as a model traditional Gjirokastra house with many classic features known to have been copied from particular houses around the city.


Another must-visit attraction in Gjirokastra is Skenduli House, which is one of the best-preserved examples of Ottoman-era architecture in the city. The house dates back to the 1700s and was home to a wealthy merchant family. Visitors can see the various rooms of the house, including the reception hall, living quarters, and even a hamam (Turkish bath). The house is decorated with traditional Albanian and Ottoman furniture, providing a glimpse into the luxurious lifestyle of the wealthy during this period.


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