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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.