Other side of Tirana
Tirana Travel Blog› entry 8 of 18 › view all entries
During the communist era almost all religious buildings were destroyed. It was a general policy introduced by Hoxha to remove all signs of religious activity. This policy mean there is hardly any old religious building in all of the country and I only saw one building in Tirana which had survived the communist era - the central mosque on Skanderbeg Square in the centre of town.
There was probably a few other older religious buildings but it is nothing like you will usually see in any major European city. This is the reason the major Catholic Church in the city is almost brand new. The church major feature is a big mosaic of Mother Teresa and in one of the windows glass is a painting of Mother Teresa and John Paul II. The two seem to be the main heroes of the Catholic Church in Albania because of Mother Teresa’s Albania decent.
is one of the many examples of new construction in Tirana another is the many new
apartment buildings all over the city.
This is why there is some alternative settlements around the city - some people have just build themselves a house on a plot of land which did not have a known owner - after the communist period there is actually quite many plots of land which may be owned by somebody but nobody really knows who this somebody is. Therefore people have the opportunity just to build a house of a piece who may belong to somebody else but who do not have the correct documents to prove it. Many of the people living in this kind of settlements are poor people from the mountains who have moved to the city in search of a better life.
Just behind the railway station is an alternative settlement. If you stay in the bus from Kruje till the end of the line it will actually drive in to a side road which goes through some really nice and modern apartment buildings but then at the very last piece of road it pass some sheds which is made by different materials like all blankets, plastic bags and cardboards and whatever other materials they could get their hands on. The people living here seem to be mainly Roma people and the general area is not pleasant looking at all it is dominated by an extreme amount of old trash even for Albanian standards. I guess this is the way people who have not benefitted from the latest development in Albania are living - it is not really the sort of neighborhood you would find in the colorful tourist brochures from the up and coming tourist destination.