At Adventures in Preservation, we are excited about Gjirokastra. The City of Stone, as it’s known, is chock full of history, architecture, and culture.
When we were first contacted about working there, I had never heard of it, and I’d never been to Albania. People from my days at CARE had worked in Pristina and Kosovo, but Gjirokastra was completely new to me. When I started doing a bit of background research and learning about the city, I was amazed to find such a gem. Any traveler heading there will too!
Photographs tell the story best. The Fotopedia Heritage app, a compendium of stunning photographs of World Heritage Sites, contains eleven gorgeous photos of Gjirokastra. There’s also a video story board by AlbaniaRepublic that puts the city in its landscape context.
Another way to experience the city is via literature. Try reading Chronicle in Stone – the story of prize-winning author Ismail Kadare’s boyhood in Gjirokastra in the early 1940s.
The kullë houses which characterize the city each contain approximately three million stones. Chris Hassler recently posted a series of videos showing renovation work. They offer insight into how these massive buildings are constructed.
AiP has been working to help the people of Gjirokastra preserve their architectural heritage since 2008. If what you’ve seen here has inspired you to go see the city in person, join us at the Skenduli House project beginning in May 2012.