Albania’s bunker museums cast new light on a dark history

Bunkers from the postwar Hoxha era still litter Albania’s landscape and, in the capital Tirana, are being opened to the public as the country explores its communist past

Spend just a few days in Albania and you’ll get a sense of how the country was suffocated in the iron grip of its communist dictatorship for nearly 50 years.

The land, from gorgeous beaches to remote valleys, is still dotted, 25 years after the collapse of the regime, with tens of thousands of bunkers, concrete testament to the paranoia of Enver Hoxha, who led the country from 1944 until his death in 1985. They were built to withstand invaders who never came and most are still standing. And now that examining the legacy of the communist era is on the political and cultural agenda, some have found a new role.

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