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Albania during Communism

Mar. 5th, 2007

01:52 am - Factory in Kavaje

Mar. 4th, 2007

10:02 pm - Albanian Industry

Like all communist regimes, the Albanians up until 1991 prominently featured photos of industrial sites in their magazines, newspapers, and even postcards. This postcard is of an industrial area in the city of Korce. It was used by an ordinary citizen as a New Year's greeting card in 1979, with the handwritten text: "Gezuore Vitim e Ri 1980." (Happy New Year 1980).

I'll be adding several other similar images. Albanian born Arian sent me an email asking if I had any such pictures. He has a blog about Albanian design at http://tirana-idc.blogspot.com

Feb. 23rd, 2007

08:09 pm - Berat

a postcard I found in Albania. I don't know who painted it, but I think it is pre-1991.

Feb. 21st, 2007

07:57 pm - Road to Kruja

The road to Kruja is a long curving route through beautiful woods. In the distance, the town and the fortress.

Feb. 11th, 2007

02:18 am - Another view of Kruja

This is from the cafe of the Kruja Turizm hotel.

Feb. 7th, 2007

10:29 pm - Kruja

About an hour north of Tirana is the old town of Kruja. It is beautifully situated high up on the side of a mountain, and on clear days, the Adriatic can be seen. The national hero of Albania - Skenderbeg, had a fortress here and defended the country against the invading Turks. The ruins can be seen in the distance, and next to it is the impressive Skenderbeg Museum. The museum was designed by Enver Hoxha's daughter, Pranvera.

Jan. 24th, 2007

10:22 pm - Tirana University area and Blloku

(source: Tirana, 1990 photoalbum)

This view is the southern part of central Tirana, looking north toward Skenderbeg Square. The tower in the distance is the Tirana International Hotel. In the forground, the distinctive main university building is seen from the back. To its right are the Archaeology Museum and the Palace of Congresses. A bit further north, the pyramid shaped building is the former Enver Hoxha museum. On the left side of the photo is the Blloku area, which had the villas and apartment houses of high Party officials. Actually the villas of both Hoxha and Mehmet Shehu can be seen. The Central Committee building is the block amidst on the trees inthe center of the photo, just down that street (closed to all but VIPs) was the ostentatious villa of Mehmet Shehu (second in command who committed suicide, or some say -- was murdered in 1981). A bit further on, the squarish wing of Enver's compound can be seen. Now these buildings are surrounded by skyscrapers.

Jan. 23rd, 2007

10:59 pm - Pogradec

Aerial view of the town of Pogradec on Lake Ohrid. Postcard dates from the 1960s, probably.

Jan. 22nd, 2007

09:45 am - Tirana Government Buildings

This is the southern part of the main boulevard of Tirana. In the distance is the University building. In the foreground are various government buildings, constructed in the 1930s. Even today with the heavy traffic, the trees along this street are beautiful and a walk here is a nice antidote to some of the more overwhelming parts of urban Tirana. This is a postcard from the late 1950s.

Jan. 20th, 2007

01:02 pm - Kinkaleri

(source: "Human Rights in the People's Socialist Republic of Albania" vy Minnesota Lawyers International Human Rights Committee, 1990)

More or less the same view as the painting in the last entry, but taken during the late 1980s. The photographer is unknown, but this kind of photo from Albania was very rare. A large crowd of people are waiting in line to get into a fruit and vegetable store. Next to it, is a store marked "Kinkaleri", a kind of mini-variety shop.

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