Tirana - Francesco Cassino
Tirana - Francesco Cassino

Albania. The bunkers of Tirana, capital of a nation once ready for war anytime

Tirana is known for its colorful architecture, a unique mix of ottoman and fascist and socialst brutalism.

During the nazi-fascist World War II occupation, Tirana became the craddle of the resistance and after the capital of the new communist state founded by former partizan leader Enver Hoxha. During the Cold War the paranoid regime built around 750.000 bunkers throughout the territory.

The fear of an invasion that never took place prompted the government to appeal to the patriotism of the population. In the event of an attack, everyone would have done their part, defending their homeland like a real civilian militia. Everybody was ready to go to war. Bunkers can be seen all around Albania: in the countryside, in the mountains, in the beaches and around cities.

Many have been remodeled and repurposed after the collapse of the socialist state in 1991. Some have become clubs, bars, extravagant rental houses or squats and shelters for abandoned animals.
We definitely recommend you to pay a visit to Albania, buy some rakia – the national spirit – and get drunk in some bunker waging war to common sense.

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