Gjirokastra: Where the Change Begins

Abandoned monuments lost heritage: A new approach

The story of the Hadëri and Gurgai tower houses is sadly the story of many houses in Gjirokastra. Both these houses located in the historical centre were once monuments of great importance. Through the course of history many changes occurred, resulting in the last inhabitants abandoning the monuments in recent years.

Houses need to be lived in to be healthy. As they sat unmaintained, the roofs began to leak. The roof damage in Gurgai monument resulted in the floors and ceilings being ruined. The many interventions over the years and the ongoing deterioration of the inner structure caused the partial collapse of the western facade wall. The Hadëri monument is facing a full collapse of the roof and partial collapse of the walls. Following a fire in April 2012, the partial collapse of the west facade wall in June 2013 and another partial collapse in January 2014, the government Emergency Committee decided to destroy another part of the western facade, arguing that it posed a danger to passers by.

“Gjirokastra: Where the Change Begins” is the first project to deal with ruined monuments in the historic centre of the city of Gjirokasra. This project aims to stop the destruction of these monuments by consolidating and reinforcing them, while using them to raise awareness about the many monuments that need urgent interventions. With this goal, a series of workshops involving local stakeholders will be organized.

Works conducted: Cleaning of debris; selecting reusable materials; reinforcing stone walls; reinforcing wooden floors; building temporary roof; reinforcing roof structure.

Location :


Project dates :

July 2014

Donor :

Prince Claus Fund

In collaboration with :

Regional Directorate for National Culture – Gjirokastra

Work group:

Lejla Hadzic, Elena Mamani, Anisa Lloja