Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gjirokastër - Albania

As i said a few posts ago, i'm not done yet with the touchnote cards, actually, i've received another one of these cards last monday! Not this one though. This one, sent by Paula, arrived in late august. It shows a few houses in Gjirokastër, Albania.

Gjirokastër is a city in southern Albania with a population of 43,000. Its old town is inscribed on the World Heritage List as "a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town, built by farmers of large estate."

Photo by wikipedia
The city is built on the slope surrounding the citadel, located on a dominating plateau. Although the city's walls were built in the third century and the city itself was first mentioned in the 12th century, the majority of the existing buildings date from 17th and 18th centuries. Typical houses consist of a tall stone block structure which can be up to five stories high. There are external and internal staircases that surround the house. It is thought that such design stems from fortified country houses typical in southern Albania. The lower storey of the building contains a cistern and the stable. The upper storey is composed of a guest room and a family room containing a fireplace. Further upper stories are to accommodate extended families and are connected by internal stairs. Since Gjirokastër's membership to UNESCO, a number of houses have been restored though others continue to degrade.
Many houses in Gjirokastër have a distinctive local style that has earned the city the nickname "City of Stone", because most of the old houses have roofs covered with stones. - in: wikipedia

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