Albania is known worldwide for it’s extensive network of bunkers, which were build in 70’s and 80’s. The plan was to built more than 220 thousands of bunkers around all the country, more than 170 thousands were actually build. There are still lots of bunkers around Albania, but most of them are not in use anymore. Some works as cafes on the beach, several world as a museum. The major and largest one is located in the outskirts of Tirana and in 2016 it was open for public as BunkArt.
BunkArt museum shows a lot of spaces inside the 5-store bunker and works also as an exhibition space. Temporary part of it shows the history of Albania of the 20th century, when the country became independent and turned into what is North Korea now. Albania was absolutely isolated from the entire world till late 80’s. Yes, i actually haven’t realized it, but the story is simular in some ways. Thousands of bunkers is mostly the monument for that period of time. Many people think about them as about the wierd fobia of Albanian leader, but the story behind it is very complicated and after learning more about it, i think that there was the reason for it. There was so much interest in the country at that time, so little friends around and such a big history of invasions from Italy and nazis, that their main goal was to protect themselfes in any way.
Definetely Albania got very complicated history, which is important to learn before going to understand what is what and see the reasons why country now is where it is.
Just one example: during last couple of weeks almost everyday i saw people, who looked at me with some surprise or even little frightening, like i’m wierdo or alien. There was no danger in it, but it looks strange as it was very bold reaction. At that time i haven’t realized how closed Albania was for decades, most of the people were afraid of everything and never saw a foreigner. Now i realised, that this reaction was probably part of that aftershock and scars, that are still healing.