Historic Building and Museum in Tirana
Due to the success of Bunk’Art, on the outskirts of Tirana, the government decided to open another former top-secret nuclear bunker as a museum.
The bunker, which was code-named ‘Objekti Shtylla’ the ‘Pillar’, in order to keep its construction undetected, is a 1,000-square-meter bunker with reinforced concrete walls up to 2,4 meters thick. It was built between 1981 and 1986 to shelter select police and staff from the ministry of the interior in case of a nuclear attack. This structure was held as a “great accomplishment” by the Communist regime, which shows their focus on the protection and isolation of the country from ‘imperial powers’. It was one of the last installments of Enver Hoxha’s paranoid ‘bunker project’ which saw the creation of more than 700,000 bunkers across the country.
The museum shows tourists how the Communist-era police prosecuted enemies of the government. It is thought that some 100,000 Albanians were persecuted between 1945 and 1991. Twenty four rooms in the museum list the names of 6,027 people who were executed during the Communist regime, the 34,000 imprisoned and the more than 50,000 sent to isolated camps.
While this may not sound particularly interesting, the whole thing was put together very well and makes for a fascinating journey behind the police lines. Be advised that some of the shows are dark and deeply disturbing and are not suitable for children – there are signs indicating which rooms are not safe for children.