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Destination Details

Tirana, Albania

Originally opening its doors in 1982, the Albanian National Historic Museum is the largest museum in the country. It features a wide range of objects ranging from paleolithic to post-Hoxha modern life. The front facade of the museum is easily recognizable to visitors as it features an enormous and detailed mosaic incorporating the wide spread of Albanian history from Illyrians to partisans. Inside, make sure to view the famous Marble Head of Apollo bust and the Beauty of Durres mosaic as you view the early pre-history and classical history collections. There are also some fine terracotta and bronze works on display, as well as objects from the early Christian period.

The museum also has some exhibits from the early and late middle ages, such as heraldic emblems of Albanian princes, cathedral columns, bas-reliefs, icons by some of the greatest Albanian iconographs, such as Onufri (16th century) and Konstantin Shpataraku (18th century).

In addition, the the best works of 18th and 19th century painters Onufer Qiprioti, Joan Cetiri, Konstandin Jermonaku, Joan Athanasi, Kostandin Shpataraku and Mihail Anagnosti can be found here. Also of interest to the more modern-focused scholars is the hall focusing on the years around the Second World War and the resistance movements, while the museum ends with a harrowing exhibition about Albania's gruesome labor camp system and the thousands of men and women who were swallowed by it.

The museum shop has an extensive book collection as well as a wide variety of fine local handicrafts available for sale. If the weather is pleasant, visitors can enjoy walk in the park outside the museum in the heart of Tirana, as well as visit the famous Gjergi Castrioti Skenderbeg statue in the square nearby.

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