Albania // Tirana //

Skanderbeg Square

All roads in Tirana lead to Skanderbeg Square, centrepoint of the city and, therefore, the nation as a whole. Marked at its southern end by an equestrian statue of national hero Skanderbeg, who led the ultimately unsuccessful resistance to fifteenth-century Ottoman invasions. The imposing National History Museum sits at the north side of the square and is worth a quick visit, particularly for its coverage of Hoxha’s concentration camps..

Heading clockwise around the square you’ll find the Palace of Culture, which houses the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet. Then comes the pretty Et’hem Bey Mosque, which was closed off during Communist rule; one sunny day in 1991, thousands flocked here to make use of their new-found religious freedom. Right next door is the tall clock tower, which can be climbed for views of the square.

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