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Albania during Communism

Nov. 1st, 2009

09:50 pm - Tirana 1970

source: Ylli numbers 2 and 12, 1970




Nov. 4th, 2008

12:17 am - Tirana city center from the air



Not the clearest photo, but the original was very small. It's an aerial view of Tirana's center, primarily the east side, looking west toward Skenderbeg Square. This was the primary shopping area of communist Tirana, with MAPO state stores in the three apartment buildings in the right/center of the photo, and other state-owned shops (there were no other kind) along the street running up and down in the center of the photo. The cirle at the bottom is now a market area, but collective farm markets were not allowed in Albania until the last few years of communist rule. In those years, the area had artisan workshops. The photo is from Ylli (The Star), December 1988.

Jul. 22nd, 2008

10:24 pm - Home Sweet Home



Inside an apartment from the communist years, from the book "Poem for the Albanian Woman" (with a heavy dose of propaganda in the introduction by Ismael Kadare's wife, Elena Kadare). It was published in 1972. Most of the photos were by Petrit Kumi.

Jul. 14th, 2008

05:20 pm - MAPO stores in Tirana



The main MAPO stores were in the ground levels of these Enver-era skyscrapers. MAPO was the state-owned chain of shops during the Communist years. It was an acronym for Magazin Popullore (People's Store). If anyone has close-up photos or interior views of these MAPO stores, please email me at alphistia@yahoo.com. Falemniderit.

Jul. 13th, 2008

12:44 am - Tirana from the Air





Two aerial views of Tirana from the communist era - the western residential area in color from 1961 (from Ylli August 1961) and again but in black and white in 1970 (from New Albania magazine in 1970)



An aerial view from New Albania magazine in 1970 of central Tirana - this was before the construction of the History Museum.

May. 7th, 2007

07:24 pm - Activist


Socialist Realism painting "Aksionisti" by Sali Shijaku.

Mar. 27th, 2007

03:44 pm - Tirana Mosque



Skenderbeg Square has the Ethem Bey mosque at its southern end. Even during the terrible years after 1967 when Hoxha banned religion completely, this mosque wasn't desecrated. It was open as a museum. Now it is both a monument and used again for prayer.

Mar. 9th, 2007

12:10 am - Gjirokaster at night

Mar. 6th, 2007

09:52 pm - Ammonia and nitrate production plant



I'm not sure where this factory was located. The photo comes from the book "Te Njohim Industrine Tone Kimike", by E. Shehu and R. Dhimitri, published in Albania in 1979. Like nearly all books published in Albania before 1991, the required quotation from Enver Hoxha appears on the first page of text. The rest of the book is a technical manual of some kind, with a few color photos such as the one above.

Mar. 5th, 2007

01:52 am - Factory in Kavaje

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