7th BSEC Month of Culture
1-30 November 2023
Architecture-Republic of Albania
Time to explore two historic centres, inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List of cultural sites (2005)!
Situated in southern Albania, and close to each other, Berat and Gjirokastra bear witness to the richness and diversity of urban and architectural heritage of this region. They have been continuously inhabited from ancient times down to the present day.
The Historic Centres of Berat and Gjirokastra are rare architectural examples. They are fortified and remarkably well-preserved, and this is particularly true of their vernacular buildings.
Berat features a castle, locally known as the Kala, most of which was built in the 13th century, although its origins date back to the 4th century BC. It was inhabited by craftsmen and merchants for a long period. Its urban centre reflects a vernacular housing tradition of the Balkans, a tradition adapted to suit the town's lifestyles, with tiered houses on the slopes, which are predominantly horizontal in layout, and make abundant use of the entering daylight.
As for Gjirokastra, it features a series of outstanding two-storey houses which were developed in the 17th century. Gjirokastra was built by major landowners. Around the ancient 13th century citadel, the town has houses with turrets which are characteristic of the Balkan region. Gjirokastra contains several remarkable examples of houses of this type, which date from the 17th and early 19th centuries.
Sources and photographs taken from: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/569
Photograph No 1: Berat © Nikelina Bineri | Nikelina Bineri
Photographs No 2-3: Gjirokastra © Aneta Ribarska | Aneta Ribarska
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