Albania // Tirana //

Boulevard of National Martyrs

Heading south from Skanderbeg Square is the “Boulevard of National Martyrs” (Bulevard Dëshmorët e Kombit and Blloku). The first major sight is the National Art Gallery, which is well worth visiting; the most notable exhibitions are Onufri’s renowned icons, and a collection of Socialist Realist paintings. Continuing south, the pleasant green verges of the Lana are a good place to get a handle on some of Tirana’s famed colourful buildings. South of the river, any road on the right will take you to the Blloku district, while on the left is the distinctive Pyramid. Apparently designed by Hoxha’s daughter (a disputed assertion), it first fuctioned as a museum dedicated to the leader, and then as a conference centre; it’s now defunct, though locals are fond of scaling its walls with a beer in hand. Walking south again, grandiose buildings line the road until you emerge in Mother Teresa Square, home to a passable Archeological Museum.

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