JUNE 2010
Approval of the Graduate School of Social Sciences
Prof. Dr. Meliha Altunışık
I certify that this thesis satisfies all the requireents as a thesis for the de!ree of Master
of Arts
Assoc. Prof. Dr. G"ven Arif Sar!ın
#ead of Departent
$his is to certify that %e have read this thesis and that in our opinion it is fully
adequate& in scope and quality& as a thesis for the de!ree of Master of Arts
Assoc. Prof. Dr. 'el!in $uran()*kaya
Examining Committee Members
Assoc. Prof. Dr. +lvan Altan(+r!ut ,M+$-& A#. ________________
Assoc. Prof. Dr. 'el!in $uran()*kaya ,M+$-& A#. ________________
Assoc. Prof. Dr. /. 01n1 'ilsel ,M+$-& A20#. ________________
I hereby declare that all information in this document has been obtained
and presented in accordance with academic rules and ethical conduct. I also
declare that, as required by these rules and conduct, I have fully cited and
referenced all material and results that are not original to this work.
Name, Last name: Indrit Bleta
Bleta, Indrit
MA, Graduate Program in Architectural History
Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. r. Belgin !uran "#$aya
%une &'(', ()& pages
*n the eve of the t+entieth century, the dismem,ering of old empires ,rought
the formation of many ne+ nation states, therefore of emerging ne+ capitals.
Becoming independent in (-(&, Al,ania chose its definitive capital, !irana, in (-&'.
Since then, the city has ,een a sho+case of planning and architectural interventions for
various regimes that have come in po+er, and its centre +as and still is seen as a
possi,ility to sho+ the political ideals of each. !he aim of this study is to e.amine ho+
this important part of the city +as produced, used and transformed in a timespan
starting from (-&' until the fall of the People/s Socialist 0epu,lic in (--(. !he spatial
analysis of the city/s centre and the description of the relations ,et+een the main actors
of these processes +ill help us understand the underlying goals for +hich these
representative spaces +ere designed. *n the other hand, comparing its ur,an elements
+ith those of several coetaneous capitals +ill locate !irana among the important
planning e.amples of the time.
1ey+ords: 2apital city, Al,ania, !irana, architecture and politics, totalitarian regime.
Bleta, Indrit
34$se$ 5isans, Mimarl6$ !arihi Program6
!e# 37neticisi: o8. r. Belgin !uran "#$aya
Ha#iran &'(', ()& sayfa
3irminci y4#y6l6n ,a96, es$i imparatorlu$lar6n par8alanmas6ndan 86$an ,ir8o$
yeni ulus devletin olu9umunu, dolay6s6yla yeni ,a9$entlerin ortaya 86$t6:6n6 g7rd4.
Ba:6ms6#l6:6n6 (-(&/de $a#anan Arnavutlu$, ,a9$entini (-&' y6l6nda resmi olara$
!iran/a ta96d6. * g4nden ,eri 9ehir, ve 7#elli$le onun mer$e#i, her re;im de:i9i$li:inde,
i$tidar taraf6ndan yap6lan planlama ve mimari m4dahalelerle siyasi ideolo;ilerin ,ir g48
g7stergesi haline gelmi9tir. Bu 8al69man6n amac6, (-&'<de ,a9layan ve (--(<de Sosyalist
Hal$ 2umhuriyeti re;imin 87$494yle ,iten #aman aral6:6nda $entin ,u 7nemli $6sm6n6n
nas6l 4retildi:ini, $ullan6ld6:6n6 ve de:i9tirildi:ini, inceleme$ olaca$t6r. =ehir mer$e#inin
me$>nsal anali#i ve ,u s4recin ,a9 a$t7rlerinin aras6nda$i ili9$ileri ortaya 86$arma$, ,u
temsiliyet alanlar6n6n tasar6m6n6n alt6nda$i hedefleri anlamaya yard6m edece$tir. "te
yandan, $entsel 7:elerini d7nemin ,elli ,a9$entlerinin 7:eleriyle $ar96la9t6rma$ !iran<6n
#aman6n 7nde planlama 7rne$leri aras6nda$i $onumunu ortaya 86$araca$t6r.
Anahtar 1elimeler: Ba9$ent, Arnavutlu$, !iran, mimarl6$ ve politi$a, totaliter re;im.
...e ti sentivo ancora, sapore della vita...
Because this thesis is the finalisation of an exhausting period of stressful
moments but also days of joy, I am therefore indebted to many persons who have
contributed and supported me throughout all these times.
The first thanks go to the members of the committee, whose contribution,
critiques and most of all patience during the last months of the thesis I greatly
appreciate. I would like to express my sincere gratitude especially to my supervisor
ssoc. !rof. "r. Belgin Turan #$kaya who never stopped encouraging, guiding and
believing in me during all this research period. lso, many thanks go to all the
academic staff of the "epartment of rchitecture with whom I had the pleasure to
work, for their support and the constructive period I had during these studies. Being at
the origin of all this long process, my gratitude goes to %. &lhan 'esme$ for his
friendly teachings and support since the early days at the basic design studio. I must
also thank %. (iya Tanal) for believing in me and encouraging me from the beginning
of these studies.
%any thanks go to Besnik liaj, !avllo *uarasi, and the employees of the
!lanning Institute whose help during the research phase in Tirana has been decisive on
procuring archival material.
Bu +al),man)n a,amalar)nda her ,ekilde yan)mda bulunan, yard)m)n), deste-ini
ve anlay),)n) esirgemeyen ./$ey %imarl)k0taki herkese ne kadar te,ekk/r etsem a$
olaca-)n) biliyorum. 1ine de butun kalbimle te,ekk/r ederim 2 her ,ey i+in
%y deepest thanks go to 3abia 4. 4avdar for her continous support,
encouraging words and helping me in the hardest moments of this thesis. I am also
grateful to 5anem rslan and 5elcan 6$un for their valuable support and efforts during
stressful times, 7em8s8, 9mre, &sben, 'lodi, 3oland, 3u,en, 5elda, and all of my friends
whose presence and friendship have been indispensable throughout these years.
particular regard goes to Besnik: 6;<
=uk di se nga duhet t8ia nis p>r t> falenderuar familjen time. %e gjith>
vHshtirHsitH ?H $anH ndeshur g;atH g;ithH $Htyre viteve, m,Hshtet;a ?H mH $anH dhHnH nH
8do pi$Hpam;e $a ?enH dhe m,etet e pamatH, pHr tH cilHn u ;am mirHn;ohHs nga #emra.
Gga#Hllimet e hidhHrimet, hesht;a, mera$u e mallHng;imet, m,Hshtet;a e de,atet, edhe
emocionet e hare;a e HerHs, tH g;itha $anH ?enH pHr mua n;H forcH pa tH cilHn nu$ do tH
$isha arritur deri $Htu.
!he tender sound of leaves under a spring ,ree#e or a lightning in clear s$y, I
than$ Asl6 for all that she is in my life B Sa mali me ,orHF
"A....................................................................................................................................... v
!AB5E *J 2*G!EG!S.............................................................................................i.
5IS! *J JIGD0ES.........................................................................................................i
5IS! *J ABB0EKIA!I*GS AG A20*G3MS...............................................i.
(. IG!0*D2!I*G.............................................................................................(
&. 2*G!EMP*0A03 EKE5*PMEG!S AG HIS!*0I2A5
&.(.!he capital as focus of political po+er......................................................L
&.&.Al,anian national a+a$ening since the mid (-th century....................&(
&.).!imeMline of events leading to the proclamation of !irana as capital
). !HE M*GA02H3 AG I*05 IA0 II PE0I*..........................))
).(.!he first plan of the city.............................................................................))
).&.!he approach of the monarchy and the foreign planners....................OL
).).!he occupation and its effects on the city/s layout................................P)
I2!A!*0SHIP *J !HE P0*5E!A0IA! ..........................................LQ
O.(.Dr,anisation as a large scale pro;ect.........................................................N'
O.&.Ma$ing !irana a capital for the people....................................................NN
O.).!he unseen actors of the ur,an scene.....................................................-N
P. 2*G25DSI*G...............................................................................................('O
Jig (.(: Geophysical map of Al,ania, sho+ing the location of !irana.............................................P
SSource: http:TTen.+i$ipedia.orgT+i$iTJile:Al,aniaUmapMen.svgV
Jig (.&: Political map of Europe sho+ing the location of Al,ania....................................................P
SSource: http:TTen.+i$ipedia.orgT+i$iTJile:EuropeMAl,ania.svgV
Jig &.(.(: Pro Helsingfors masterMplan for Helsin$i, ,y Eliel Saarinen and Bertel %ung, (-(Q.. .('
SSource: 1ol,e, 5aura. WHelsin$i: from provincial to national centre.X, NQ.V
Jig &.(.&: Perspective dra+ing of 1uningasavenue S1ing<s AvenueV, from the Pro Helsingfors
plan, (-(Q.........................................................................................................................................('
SSource: Sonne, Iolfgang. Representing the state: capital city planning in the early twentieth century,
Jig &.(.): Helsin$i 2entrum plan model ,y Alvar Aalto, (-LO........................................................('
SSource: 1ol,e, 5aura. WHelsin$i: from provincial to national centre.X, Q)V
Jig &.(.O: Preliminary general plan of 2an,erra ,y Ialter Burley Griffin, (-()M(O....................(O
SSource: Sonne, Iolfgang. Representing the state: capital city planning in the early twentieth century,
Jig &.(.P: Perspective dra+ing of the government district ,y Ialter Burley Griffin, (-(&........(O
SSource: Sonne, Iolfgang. Representing the state: capital city planning in the early twentieth century,
Jig &.(.L: 5and +ith Iar Memorial in 2an,erra, (-PO............................................................(O
SSource: Sonne, Iolfgang. Representing the state: capital city planning in the early twentieth century,
Jig &.(.N: Plan of 2arl 2hristoph 57rcher for An$ara, (-&O............................................................(L
SSource: http:TT+++.mimdap.orgT+TYpZ&&'LLV
Jig &.(.Q: Hermann %ansen/s plan for An$ara, (-)&..........................................................................(L
SSource: An$ara !arihi 1ent Mer$e#i B (, &''P, &)V
Jig &.(.-: Scheme of the centre of An$ara today...............................................................................(L
SSource: Kale, 5a+rence %. Architecture, power, and national identity. &nd ed., ((NV
Jig &.(.(': elhi, the Kiceroy/s House and the Secretariats, (-)(..................................................&'
SSource: Sonne, Iolfgang. Representing the state: capital city planning in the early twentieth century,
Jig &.(.((: Plan of Ge+ elhi ,y Ed+in 5andseer 5utyens, (-(&................................................&'
SSource: %oardar, Souro . WGe+ elhi: Imperial capital to capital of the +orld/s largest
democracy.X, (QNV
Jig &.(.(&: 1ing/s Iay, no+ the ,oulevard serves for cele,rations on 0epu,lic ay.................&'
SSource: http:TT+++.indem,assy.u#TV
Jig &.&.(: Map of four Al,anian inha,ited vilayets of *ttoman Empire.........................................&P
SSource: http:TTen.+i$ipedia.orgT+i$iTJile:Bal$ansUatU(-'P.;pgV
Jig &.&.&: 2over of the first edition of WSh?ipHria M C/$a ?enH, 8/HshtH e 8/do tH ,Hhet/...............&P
SSource: Personal archiveV
Jig &.).(: Prince Iilhelm J. Heinrich of Iied..................................................................................)'
SSource: http:TTen.+i$ipedia.orgT+i$iTJile:IilhelmPrinceAl,ania.;pgV
Jig &.).&: !he outer +all of the remains of !optani castle...............................................................)'
SSource: 2astiglioni, Bruno. W!irana M Appunti sulla capitale dell/Al,ania all/al,a del nuovo
regime.X, (&V
Jig &.).): Aerial vie+ of the first nucleus of !irana...........................................................................)'
SSource: Tirana ne kar!"ina #$ri ne %iin &''., O'V
Jig &.).O: Painting of Ed+ard 5ear sho+ing the centre of !irana in (QP'....................................)'
SSource: 5ear, Ed+ard. (ournals o) a landscape painter in Al*ania, +c,, ('NV
Jig ).(.(: !he earliest technical document of !irana/s ur,an development..................................)O
SSource: igital Archive of the Municipality of !iranaV
Jig ).(.&: !he situation of the city in (-&(. Plan ,y S$Hnder JrashHri...........................................)O
SSource: igital Archive of the Municipality of !iranaV
Jig ).(.): Aerial vie+ of the *ld Ba#aar..............................................................................................)Q
SSource: Giusti, Maria Adriana. -".ania / ar01i$2ra $ 0i34 5678 9 56':., (QV
Jig ).(.O: !he old ,uilding of the Parliament of Al,ania, no+ used as a children/s theatre.......)Q
SSource: http:TTvargmal.orgTfotoar$ivTinde..phpYnZ)-)V
Jig ).(.P: Kie+ of the *ld Ba#aar, Et/hem Bey Mos?ue and the 2loc$ !o+er............................)Q
SSource: Tirana ne kar!"ina #$ri ne %iin &''., )NV
Jig ).(.L: Kie+ of the future S$Hnder,e; S?uare................................................................................O'
SSource: Tirana ne kar!"ina #$ri ne %iin &''., LNV
Jig ).(.N: Plan of the first version of the pro;ect presented ,y Armando Brasini, (-&L.............O'
SSource:Miho, 1o8o. ;h<ip=ria: v=shtri> ur*anisti?, @A@BC@ADD. (OOV
Jig ).(.Q: Perspective dra+ing of the fanMshaped city centre ,y Armando Brasini, (-&L............O'
SSource:Giusti, Maria Adriana. -".ania / ar01i$2ra $ 0i34 5678 9 56':., (-V
Jig ).(.-: Perspective dra+ing of the northMsouth ,oulevard ,y Armando Brasini, (-&L..........O(
SSource: Alia;, Besni$, 1eida 5ulo, and Genc Myftiu, eds. Eirana, the challenge o) ur*an
develop>ent. )(V
Jig ).(.(': Perspective dra+ing of the Presidential Palace...............................................................O(
SSource: Alia;, Besni$, 1eida 5ulo, and Genc Myftiu, eds. Eirana, the challenge o) ur*an
develop>ent. )(V
Jig ).(.((: Perspective dra+ing of the entrance to the s?uare of the ministries, (-&L................O(
SSource: Alia;, Besni$, 1eida 5ulo, and Genc Myftiu, eds. Eirana, the challenge o) ur*an
develop>ent. )(V
Jig ).(.(&: Part of the plan for the centre of !irana ,y JrashHri, 2astellani and Ieiss, (-&L....OO
SSource: Alia;, Besni$, 1eida 5ulo, and Genc Myftiu, eds. Eirana, the challenge o) ur*an
develop>ent. )&V
Jig ).(.(): etail of the plan for the centre of !irana ,y Jlorestano di Jausto...........................OO
SSource: igital Archive of the Municipality of !iranaV
Jig ).(.(O: Perspective dra+ing of the S$Hnder,e; S?uare ,y Jlorestano di Jausto, (-&LM)(....OO
SSource: Miano, Giuseppe. WJlorestano di Jausto M from 0hodes to 5i,ya.X, P-V
Jig ).(.(P: Proposal for the fa8ade of the ministries ,y Jlorestano di Jausto, (-&LM)(..............OP
SSource: Giusti, Maria Adriana. -".ania / ar01i$2ra $ 0i34 5678 9 56':., &(V
Jig ).(.(L: Ja8ade detail for the ministerial ,uildings ,y Jlorestano di Jausto. (-&LM)(............OP
SSource: Giusti, Maria Adriana. -".ania / ar01i$2ra $ 0i34 5678 9 56':., &)V
Jig ).&.(: General plan for the city of !irana ,y 17hler, (-&-........................................................OQ
SSource: Alia;, Besni$, 1eida 5ulo, and Genc Myftiu, eds. Eirana, the challenge o) ur*an
develop>ent. ))V
Jig ).&.&: etail of the (-&- plan ,y 17hler.......................................................................................OQ
SSource: Alia;, Besni$, 1eida 5ulo, and Genc Myftiu, eds. Eirana, the challenge o) ur*an
develop>ent. ))V
Jig ).&.): !he ne+ly opened Boulevard Aog. (-)'...........................................................................OQ
SSource: http:TTvargmal.orgTfotoar$ivTinde..phpYnZ)N&V
Jig ).&.O: !he ,uilding of Gational Ban$ of Al,ania ,y Kittorio Ballio Morpurgo, (-)Q...........P&
SSource: 0oselli, Alessandro. Ftaly and Al*ania: )inancial relations in the Gascist period., coverV
Jig ).&.P: Inner ,ac$ court of the Gational Ban$ ,uilding...............................................................P&
SSource: W!he Building of !he Ban$ of Al,ania.XV
Jig ).&.L: Main hall of the Gational Ban$ ,uilding............................................................................P&
SSource: W!he Building of !he Ban$ of Al,ania.XV
Jig ).&.N: Perspective dra+ing of the ,uilding of 2ircolo Italo B Al,anese Scander,eg, ,y Pater
B 2ostru#ioni edili speciali, (-)Q..................................................................................................P&
SSource: Giusti, Maria Adriana. -".ania / ar01i$2ra $ 0i34 5678 9 56':., ()&V
Jig ).).(: Italian troops on the S$Hnder,e; S?uare a day after the invasion, April Q, (-)-.........PP
SSource: http:TTar$ivi.pesh$upau;e.comTNMprillM(-)-T&''LT'OT'QTY?ZNMprillM
Jig ).).&: Aerial vie+ of Boulevard Aog on April, (-)-...................................................................PP
SSource: Brescia, Mauro, and 0oland Se;$o. Al*ania, Fl paese di )ronte. (,)):(, Historical
documentary. Istituto 5uce.V
Jig ).).): Aerial vie+ of !irana on April, (-)-...................................................................................PP
SSource: 2astiglioni, Bruno. W!irana M Appunti sulla capitale dell/Al,ania all/al,a del nuovo
regime.X, &LV
Jig ).).O: !he traffic scheme of !irana from the masterMplan of (-O', ........................................PN
SSource: igital Archive of the Municipality of !iranaV
Jig ).).P: etailed plan of Kiale dell Impero, S$Hnder,e; S?uare and vicinities from the masterM
plan of (-O' ,y ..............................................................................................................................PN
SSource: igital Archive of the Municipality of !iranaV
Jig ).).L: etailed plan of Pia##a 5ittoria ,y Gherardio Bosio, (-O'............................................P-
SSource: Giusti, Maria Adriana. -".ania / ar01i$2ra $ 0i34 5678 9 56':., PLV
Jig ).).N: Perspective dra+ing of Pia##a 5ittoria sho+ing 2asa del Jascio in the centre adorned
,y thematic sculptural groups all over the s?uare., ,y Gherardo Bosio. (-O'.....................P-
SSource: Giusti, Maria Adriana. -".ania / ar01i$2ra $ 0i34 5678 9 56':., (ONV
Jig ).).Q: Perspective dra+ing for the preliminary version of 2asa del Jascio, Bosio, (-O'......P-
SSource: Giusti, Maria Adriana. -".ania / ar01i$2ra $ 0i34 5678 9 56':., P-V
Jig ).).-: Perspective dra+ing of 2asa del Jascio, ,y Gherardo Bosio, (-O'...............................L(
SSource: Giusti, Maria Adriana. -".ania / ar01i$2ra $ 0i34 5678 9 56':., LOV
Jig ).).(': Pala##o Stro##i of Jlorentine palaces and a typical Al,anian 1ulla............................L(
SSource: Historia e Ar?ite?tur=s ;h<iptare I Ja?et, L)LV
Jig ).).((: Perspective dra+ing of the ,uilding of *pera Ga#ionale opolavoro Al,anese, ,y
Gherardo Bosio, (-O'....................................................................................................................L(
SSource: Giusti, Maria Adriana. -".ania / ar01i$2ra $ 0i34 5678 9 56':., P-V
Jig ).).(&: Perspective dra+ing of the ,uilding of Giovent[ 5ittoria Al,anese, ,y Gherardo
Bosio, (-O'......................................................................................................................................L&
SSource: Giusti, Maria Adriana. -".ania / ar01i$2ra $ 0i34 5678 9 56':., (PPV
Jig ).).(): Perspective dra+ing of the *lympic stadium, ,y Gherardo Bosio, (-O'...................L&
SSource: Giusti, Maria Adriana. -".ania / ar01i$2ra $ 0i34 5678 9 56':., (P-V
Jig ).).(O: Scale model of Kiale dell/Impero, (-O'............................................................................L&
SSource: Fnviato del Kuce in Al*ania: la visita del Lonte Liano in Al*ania, LQV
Jig ).).(P: etailed plan of the ;?=nder*eM ;<uare from the masterMplan of !irana, (-O'............L)
SSource: igital Archive of the Municipality of !iranaV
Jig ).).(L: Perspective dra+ing of the ne+ arrangement of ;?=nder*eM ;<uare, (-O'....................L)
SSource: igital Archive of the Municipality of !iranaV
Jig ).).(N: Perspective dra+ing of the ne+ arrangement of ;?=nder*eM ;<uare, (-O'....................L)
SSource: Giusti, Maria Adriana. -".ania / ar01i$2ra $ 0i34 5678 9 56':., PPV
Jig ).).(Q: Perspective dra+ing of the a;ti Hotel, ,y Gherardo Bosio, (-)-.............................LL
SSource: Giusti, Maria Adriana. -".ania / ar01i$2ra $ 0i34 5678 9 56':., ()NV
Jig ).).(-: Photo of the construction process of the a;ti Hotel. (-O'........................................LL
SSource: Giusti, Maria Adriana. -".ania / ar01i$2ra $ 0i34 5678 9 56':., ()NV
Jig ).).&': Photo of the construction process of Lasa del Gascio, (-O(...........................................LL
SSource: Fnviato del Kuce in Al*ania: la visita del Lonte Liano in Al*ania, POV
Jig ).).&(: Photo sho+ing the construction process of the *lympic stadium, (-O(...................LN
SSource: Fnviato del Kuce in Al*ania: la visita del Lonte Liano in Al*ania, L(V
Jig ).).&&: Photo sho+ing Niale dellOF>pero and the vicinities during construction, (-O(............LN
SSource: Fnviato del Kuce in Al*ania: la visita del Lonte Liano in Al*ania, L(V
Jig ).).&): BasMrelief +ith Mussolini/s +ords\ his personal envoy to Al,ania, 2ount 2iano
inspecting the pu,lic +or$s in the capital, (-O(.......................................................................LN
SSource: Fnviato del Kuce in Al*ania: la visita del Lonte Liano in Al*ania, PN\P-V
Jig O.(.(: Previously a ,uilding of the Jascist regime, it serves as gathering hall of the ne+
2onstituent Assem,ly, %anuary ((, (-OL....................................................................................N(
SSource: http:TT+++.flic$r.comTphotosTOOO&PQO&]G''T)N&))'QPOOTinTsetM
Jig O.(.&: Prefa,ricated housing ,loc$s B an important element of the rapid ur,anisation........N(
SSource: StHrmasi, Jerit. WD#inH ?H prodhon apartamente ,animi.X ;h?enca dhe (eta, no. ')
Jig O.(.): Dr,anisation and the /ne+ man/ as a central theme in arts.............................................N(
SSource: http:TTs?.+i$ipedia.orgT+i$iTJ^2)^ABmi;^2)^ABtUSpi$tur^2)^ABV
Jig O.(.O: Dr,anisation theme used for advertising propaganda: a P' le$ ,an$note, (-LO.........N(
SSource: Personal archiveV
Jig O.&.(: !he ur,an plan of (-PN. !he S$Hnder,e; S?uare still preserves the old structure......N-
SSource: Alia;, Besni$, 1eida 5ulo, and Genc Myftiu, eds. Eirana, the challenge o) ur*an
develop>ent. P)V
Jig O.&.&: Preliminary phase plan of (-LP for the centre of !irana.................................................N-
SSource: igital Archive of the Municipality of !iranaV
Jig O.&.): ScaleMmodel of a version for the plan of the centre of !irana, (-NL.............................Q&
SSource: Alimehmeti, Jai$. W1rye?yteti ynH, !irana, d;e, sot dhe nesHr.X ;h?enca dhe (eta 'L
S(-NLV: &'M&).V
Jig O.&.O: ScaleMmodel of a version for the plan of the centre of !irana, (-NL.............................Q&
SSource: ;h?enca dhe (eta 'L S(-NLV, coverV
Jig O.&.P: !he #oning sheet of the masterMplan of !irana of the year (-Q-...................................Q&
SSource: Personal archiveV
Jig O.&.L: !he Polit,uro and the people of !irana $neeling and ma$ing an oath of loyalty
,efore the statue of Stalin, March, (-P).....................................................................................QP
SSource: Brescia, Mauro, and 0oland Se;$o. Al*ania, Fl paese di )ronte. (,)):(, Historical
documentary. Istituto 5uce.V
Jig O.&.N: !he Polit,uro and the people of !irana $neeling and ma$ing an oath of loyalty
,efore the statue of Stalin..............................................................................................................QP
SSource: Brescia, Mauro, and 0oland Se;$o. Al*ania, Fl paese di )ronte. (,)):(, Historical
documentary. Istituto 5uce.V
Jig O.&.Q: Stalin/s statue in front of the gift Soviet Dnion made to Al,ania: the Palace of
SSource: http:TT+++.flic$r.comTphotosTOOO&PQO&]G''V
Jig O.&.-: Soviet and Al,anian architects discussing on the model of the Palace of 2ulture......QP
SSource: Kelo, Ma$s. Paralel >e ar?ite?tur=n. Q(V
Jig O.&.(': Perspective dra+ing of a proposal for the S$Hnder,e; S?uare, prior to the ,uilding
of !irana Hotel, (-LL.....................................................................................................................QQ
SSource: igital Archive of the Municipality of !iranaV
Jig O.&.((: Photo sho+ing the construction process of !irana Hotel, (-NO.................................QQ
SSource: ;h?enca dhe (eta ') S(-NPV, coverV
Jig O.&.(&: Perspective dra+ing of a proposal for !irana Hotel, ,y Petra? 1olevica, (-N&.......QQ
SSource: 1olevica, Petra?. Ar?ite?tura dhe di?tatura. (NLV
Jig O.&.(): Perspective dra+ing of a proposal for the Gational Historical Museum, ,y Enver
Ja;a, (-NLMQ(...................................................................................................................................Q-
SSource: Ja;a, Enver. Qush e dreMton ur*anisti?=n sh<iptare. (&(V
Jig O.&.(O: Perspective dra+ing of a proposal for the Gational Historical Museum, ,y Enver
Ja;a, (-NLMQ(...................................................................................................................................Q-
SSource: Ja;a, Enver. Qush e dreMton ur*anisti?=n sh<iptare. (&(V
Jig O.&.(P: Perspective dra+ing of a proposal for the Gational Historical Museum, ,y Petra?
1olevica, (-NLMQ(...........................................................................................................................Q-
SSource: 1olevica, Petra?. Ar?ite?tura dhe di?tatura. !iranH: 5ogoreci, &''O. &)QV
Jig O.&.(L: Ja8ade for the Gational Historical Museum, ,y Ma$s Kelo, (-NLMQ(........................Q-
SSource: Kelo, Ma$s. Paralel >e ar?ite?tur=n. ('PV
Jig O.&.(N: Scale model of the pro;ect for the Gational Historical Museum, (-NLMQ(.................-'
SSource: Mitro;org;i, Gina. WMu#eu Histori$ 1om,Htar.X ;h?enca dhe (eta, no. '& S(-N-V: LM
Jig O.&.(Q: Perspective dra+ing of the ne+ arrangement for the S$Hnder,e; S?uare, (-QL........-'
SSource: 1olaneci, 1lement, and Ilir Jico. W_endra e !iranHs.X ;h?enca dhe (eta, no. ')
Jig O.&.(-: Perspective dra+ing of the pro;ect for the monument of Enver Ho.ha, (-QL.........-'
SSource: 1olaneci, 1lement, and Ilir Jico. W_endra e !iranHs.X ;h?enca dhe (eta, no. ')
Jig O.&.&': !he monument of Enver Ho.ha in S$Hnder,e; S?uare, !irana..................................-)
SSource: http:TT+++.flic$r.comTphotosTOOO&PQO&]G''T)N(&)(&-L&TinTsetM
Jig O.&.&(: !he ,oulevard /Martyrs of Gation/ during a military parade.........................................-)
SSource: http:TT+++.flic$r.comTphotosTOOO&PQO&]G''T)N())&PNN&TinTsetM
Jig O.&.&&: !he seat of Presidiumi i 1uvendit Popullor, no+ Presidency.....................................-)
SSource: http:TT+++.flic$r.comTphotosTOOO&PQO&]G''T)N&&QQL'N(TinTsetM
Jig O.&.&): Palace of 2ongresses, along the ,oulevard WMartyrs of GationX................................-O
SSource: Personal archiveV
Jig O.&.&O: Photo sho+ing the construction process of the Palace of 2ongresses.......................-O
SSource: Ba$all,ashi, Spiro, and 1u;tim Me$a. WPallati i 1ongreseve.X ;h?enca dhe (eta, no.
'& S(-QOV: ('M((.V
Jig O.&.&P: Museum of Enver Ho.ha, (-QQ........................................................................................-O
SSource: http:TT+++.flic$r.comTphotosTOOO&PQO&]G''T)N&L())&''TinTsetM
Jig O.).(: Gallery of Kisual Arts, ,y Enver Ja;a, (-NL.....................................................................-N
SSource: Ja;a, Enver. Qush e dreMton ur*anisti?=n sh<iptare. LPV
Jig O.).&: Apartments ,loc$, ,y Ma$s Kelo, (-N&. !he architect has ,een deported for this
pro;ect among others, ,ecause this SmodernV +as regarded as an reactionary style............-N
SSource: Kelo, Ma$s. Paralel >e ar?ite?tur=n. N-V
Jig P.(: !he many faces of the city/s spine: the ,oulevard HshmorHt e 1om,it as a military
SSource: http:TT+++.flic$r.comTphotosTOOO&PQO&]G''T)N((&N))(LV
Jig P.&: ` as an empty,........................................................................................................................('L
SSource: http:TT+++.flic$r.comTphotosTOOO&PQO&]G''T)N((&N))(LTinTsetM
Jig P.): or as a sho+do+n of the youth and country/s achievements...........................................('L
SSource: http:TT+++.flic$r.comTphotosTOOO&PQO&]G''T)N&&-&()O(TinTsetM
Jig P.O: 2ity layout of !irana in (-(N.................................................................................................(((
Jig P.P: Proposed city layout of !irana in (-&-................................................................................(((
Jig P.L: 2ity layout of !irana in (-)'.................................................................................................(((
Jig P.N: Proposed city layout of !irana in (-O'................................................................................((&
Jig P.Q: 2ity layout of !irana in (-L(.................................................................................................((&
Jig P.-: Proposed city layout of !irana in (-LP................................................................................((&
Jig P.(': 2entre of !irana in (--'......................................................................................................(()
A2! SenV Australian 2apital !erritory
A_!G Ss?V Ar?ivi Rendror Ee?ni? i Sd=rti>it S!echnical 2onstruction
2entral ArchiveV
JGC Ss?V Gronti SacionalCTliri>tar SGationalM5i,eration JrontV
G.5.A SitV UioventV Wittoria Al*anese SAl,anian 3outh of 5ictorV
I.G.J.A.I.5. SitV Fstituto SaXionale Gascista AssicuraXione contro gli Fn)ortuni sul
Wavoro SGational Jascist Institute of Ior$ Accidents/
I.G.P.S SitV Fstituto SaXionale della PrevidenXa ;ociale SGational Institute of
Social SecurityV
*.G..A SitV Ypera SaXionale Kopolavoro Al*anese SAl,anian Gational
0ecreational 2lu,V
P1SH Ss?V Partia Qo>uniste e ;h<ip=ris= S2ommunist Party of Al,aniaV
PPSH Ss?V Partia e Pun=s e ;h<ip=ris= SParty of 5a,our of Al,aniaV
0PSSh Ss?V Repu*li?a Popullore ;ocialiste e ;h<ip=ris= SPeople/s Socialist
0epu,lic of Al,aniaV
Since the rise of the nation-state, the capital city has become a symbol for the
state and its government, imbued with strong political meaning. Because of the
diversity of these states and their origins the capital has no universal physical features,
but they all are seen as representative of the respective state. Although they do not
always house the central organs of state power and they are not the only carriers of
state power symbolism, their role in this respect is significant. Citing van der Wusten,
capital cities' main features can be distinguished as
...they represent and symboli!e state power and national unity. "hey may as
a whole signify the central state idea and national unity #e.g., $aussmannian
%aris&. "heir function as icons may also be attached to different more specific
parts of such cities #e.g., the imperial administrative centre in 'ew (elhi
imbued with even wider than national pretence&, and individual elements of
their built environments may function as such #e.g., Budapest)s %arliament
Because of their high representative potential, capital cities have always been
stages of huge planning ideals, glamorous urban interventions and the continuing
effects of the latter. Beyond the practical efficiency needed to carry out their main
functions, the authorities' attitude towards the urban spaces of the capital carries the
will to produce an image appropriate to national identity. As the result of these state-
sponsored investments, larger buildings, avenues and monumental spaces emerge as
personification of these cities, conveying national aspirations.
A capital city plays the role of a public space that shows all ideological aspects.
+n the other hand, the many ideologies that have passed upon the cities may leave
their imprint on the spaces they occupied or created. "he result of this is the creation
$erman van der Wusten, ,(ictators and their capital cities -oscow and Berlin in the *./0s,1
GeoJournal 23, no. 4 #300*& //..
of hybrid patterns in many cities. 5n some cities this phenomenon has led to the
development of uni6ue spaces by evolving and interrelating these patterns, but where
this doesn't happen, the result is a city with many estranged isolated spaces, not
available to human interaction. "irana is an e7ample of both of these situations.
Although a relatively new city #even newer as a capital& it has gone through radical
changes in very short intervals of time, always initiated by the dominant ideologies of
the time, still today struggling to develop an identity of its own.
As the ma8or city of a small country, "irana had the position of a flagship, and
at the same time of an urbanisation laboratory for nearly 90 years. 'ew patterns of
urban development that firstly have been applied there later came to be adopted at
lower levels of the urban hierarchy. 5t was #and is& also the city with the most foreign
influences and e7posed to foreign valuation in the country : from the +ttoman past to
Chinese Culture ;evolution, from 5talian <ascism to Soviet totalitarianism. "he
strategies followed by different regimes are visible in many elements of the city, from
the public spaces to the dwelling !ones and governmental buildings.
"his research's starting point was to 6uestion how these ideologies have
manifested themselves in the spaces of the city. =rban plans, beyond the technical-
functional or formal issues were also interpreted in the conte7t of political conditions.
"his >ind of relation of political regimes with urban forms gives way to a supposition
that urban plans made use of specific elements to transmit political messages. "he
main purpose of this study is an analysis of the impact that political developments, in
the chosen time interval have had upon the main planning decisions, the most
important actors of these stages and the conse6uences these moves had for the future
developments of the city. "he emphasis will be on e7amining all these processes in the
light of the modern concept of the capital city, what it represents and its ideological
framewor>. <or a better and more focused research, the study will limit itself in time
and area terms, too. "he e7amined area comprises the main central boulevard of the
city and its vicinities, while the time interval starts from the proclaiming of the city as
the capital of Albania in *.30 up to the fall of the dictatorship of proletariat in *..*.
Before starting analysing the main period a short historical bac>ground of the
city and the country will ta>e place in Chapter 55. At the same time displaying some
e7amples of capital cities designed and built almost at the same time with "irana will
give a more complete panorama of the situation of urban planning used as a means of
representation for different ideologies in the first 6uarter of the twentieth century. "his
historical and comparative bac>ground will also be used in the concluding section,
focusing on specific urban elements. "he main part of the study is divided in two parts,
respectively two separate periods of political regimes. "he first part, Chapter 555,
describes the first efforts of the governments to create a capital city worth of the new
state from *.30 to the end of World War 55. <irstly capital of a republic, then of a
>ingdom and in the end capital of an empire's part, "irana got its urban plans mainly
designed by foreign architects invited by the regimes or under central organisations of
the <ascist occupation. 'evertheless, these were the years that gave the city's centre its
principal features, which later would be used and preserved in the second period, since
*.44 to *..*, the year when the single party system fell. Chapter 5? analyses these
years in a broader aspect, as such was the urbanisation program that the city and all the
country underwent. "his program, its ideological bac>ground and its effects on the
urban scene are e7amined in the first section of the chapter. "hen a panorama of the
several plans for the centre of the city, the buildings and their uses during these forty-
seven years is displayed. "he last part of the chapter shows briefly the spectrum of
professionals that designed the centre of "irana during these years and their wor>ing
conditions amid ideological developments. Also short biographies of principal actors
on the planning scene ta>e place in the appendi7es.
"he relation between spaces and ideological framewor>s during the interval
prompts 6uestions li>e '(o spaces have politics@' and the reverse '(o politics have
"he closing Chapter ? concludes by answering these and several other
6uestions rising during the analysis of the spatial elements in "irana and their design
process. Also a comparison between the selected capitals' centre layout and that of
"irana will try to locate its status among the planning and architectural history of the
twentieth century. An appendi7 of schemes illustrates the physical change of the city's
centre during the years.
(avid Crowley and Susan Amily ;eid, eds., Socialist spaces: sites of everyday life in the Eastern Bloc
#+7fordB 'ew Cor> Berg, 3003&, 3.
"his scope is partly fuelled by the e7istence of very few titles of research about
"irana and Albania in the field of architectural historiography, despite being one of the
newly proclaimed capitals in the first 6uarter of the twentieth century which had their
urban development stimulated by grand architectural pro8ects. "hus, the whole outline
of the study is constructed around different sources of various disciplines. "he main
research wor> has been carried at the 'ational Dibrary of Albania, the AE"' and
personal collection of “Shkenca dhe Jeta” 8ournal #Science and Dife&. "he principal
sources about the architectural developments of the first period emerged the
publications of -. A. Fiusti, G. -iho and Alia8 et. al. "he second period's planning
analysis is based mainly on the official account of several 8ournals and on memoirs of
%. Golevica, -. ?elo, A. <a8a and others that have e7ercised their profession during
the years of the dictatorship. +n the other hand, news and reviews from the respective
period's press were e7amined to e7tract the possible reactions of the public opinion.
"he publications related to both periods are enhanced with technical archival material
from the -unicipality of "irana and visuals from Istituto Luce. "he historical dimension
of the materials gives them also the strength of the possibility to compare initial
designs with their implementation and use over time with their meanings altered or
preserved. -eanwhile, historical literature about Albania's history during these seventy
years, were e7amined so that a more detailed panorama of conte7tual specifics could
be revealed. +n the other hand, publications of (. Fordon, W. Sonne and D. H. ?ale
were the principal sources on twentieth century capitals' analysis. "he overlapping of
all these sources and publications during this study has displayed an interesting
panorama of the architecture : ideology relation in Albania, worth of further detailed
Fig 1.2: Political map of Europe showing the location of Albania.
Fig 1.1: Geophysical map of Albania, showing
the location of irana.
2.1. The capital as focus of political power
5f we can use the modern definition, a capital city is the seat of government of
a sovereign state, or as geographer Hean Fottmann put it ,A capital city is the seat of
central government of a separate political unit.1
"he main meaning used in everyday
language represents the political aspect of the term relying strongly on the
aforementioned conditions. +n the other hand, as there are many other uses of the
notion li>e 'cultural capital' or 'economic capital', they always has to be accompanied by
an specifying attribute. "he primary condition defines the 6uintessential characteristic
of a capital that differentiates it from all other cities it must house a state government,
although the inverse is not always true. A7amples li>e Abid8an, Da %a! or "he $ague,
are seats of respective governments, but not official capitals of their countries.
At first glance, it seems that a capital is a natural product of the founding a
state or a conse6uence of political #re&organisation, materialising the statehood into
reality. Aarlier, in the -iddle Ages, empires did not re6uire designated capitals as the
centre of the state wasn't related to it but where the >ing was, while many city states
were capitals unto themselves. "he royal capitals certainly were power centres of these
territorial states but rather as symbols of royal pride and vanity than as ob8ects of
identification for the people. And it was only with the emerging of the nation-states
that capital cities began to achieve their modern meaning. Foing beyond the granted
practical necessity of pure materialisation, the modern concept of the capital came out
as a conse6uence of the evolution of nation states and a crucial part of their conscious
Wolfgang Sonne, Representin the state: capital city plannin in the early t!entieth century, trans. Ali!abeth
Schwaiger #-unichB 'ew Cor> %restel, 300/&, /3.
policies of 'inventing traditions' to create and promote 'national unity'. "herefore, the
newly iconographic interpretation of these cities began to serve the process of forging
national identities.
Fenerally, the future capital cities in old Aurope were respectively primate
cities, dominating the economic and cultural life of the nation, and housing the
political elites. +n the other hand, the newly formed states outside it often chose
minor cities to serve as capitals, trying to escape colonial influences and at the same
time build a new identity of their own. <unctionally, the capital city ,secures strong
and lasting centralityB it calls for a special hosting environment to provide what is
re6uired for the safe and efficient performance of the functions of government and
decision-ma>ing characteristic of the place,1
as Fottmann elaborates its definition.
+ften, this centrality is e7pressed more politically than geographically, but on the other
hand inside the city it results in the creation of a centrally located government district.
But as the tas> of a capital should not be limited to merely furnishing a physical
location for the government, it must also act as an embodiment of the state and its
fundamental values. Specific urban and architectural forms here become bearers of
political meanings which will construct the urban culture desired by various regimes.
"he process of assigning or designating a country's capital is a comple7 one,
made of many choices and intervening factors. Capitals, as with all the built
environment, are a product of this process' social, political, geostrategical and cultural
circumstances. (espite the various categories these cities have been separated
according to their primary role,
the comple7ity of the underlying constructional forces
cannot be simplified as such and, on the other hand the overlapping of these categories
is itself a promoter of these forces. "he balance between them gives way to the
assigning of a particular location in a particular time to be a capital city.
"here can be outlined two categories of capital cities regarding their formation
process. "he first one is the city evolving into a capital city : many e7amples of the
+ld World ta>e place in it, li>e Dondon, %aris, ;ome, "o>yo, Bei8ing, etc. they have
evolved during ages from important centres of trading, military or religious aspect into
%eter $all, ,Seven "ypes of Capital City,1 in "lannin t!entieth century capital cities, ed. (avid D. A.
Fordon #'ew Cor> ;outledge, 300I&, J.
main administrative, thus capitals of respective empires and later nation states.
Although they have undergone many planning efforts and restructuring processes,
their main driving force lies in the historical power bac>ground they possess. +n the
other hand, we have the assignedKdesigned type of capital city. "hey are results of
national independence movements and mainly the will to build new national centres,
away from the imperial influence or any possible strategical danger. "he first planned
e7ample of this category is considered Washington, the capital of =.S.A., established in
*9.0 and designed by Charles %ierre D'Anfant a year later. 5ts plan, with the wide mall
and the capitol area set the standard for the nation-state capital city planning for many
years. Cet, it falls outside the timespan of this study, in which cities li>e $elsin>i,
An>ara, Canberra, or 'ew (elhi, are some of the most prominent e7amples of the
category. "hese cities have also been stages of e7perimenting and demonstrating the
contemporary ideals of city planning. Because of the similarity between them and
"irana, regarding the conditions in which they are assigned and the later developments,
it would be useful to discuss some of their features. All these cities have been assigned
as capitals of respective countries almost at the same time, more or less with the same
circumstances of local rivalry #e7cept $elsin>i& and feature generally similar urban
elements in their planning processes. +n the other hand, they e7perienced the change
in use of main urban spaces due to various governing regimes' shifts, li>e $elsin>i's
shift from imperial to democratic spaces, Canberra's democracy-praising plan turned
into war memorial, the main a7is of An>ara designed as a promenade of the republic
later had to mi7 with free economy's features and 'ew (elhi's 'Ging's Way' nowadays
hosts the parades of the republican army.
"he "ro #elsinfors plan prepared by Aliel Saarinen and Bertel Hung #<ig. 3.*.*&
in the spring of *.*J
mar>ed the beginning of a new urban era for the newly
independent ;epublic of <inland and its would-be-capital, $elsin>i. "he country had
been part of the Gingdom of Sweden up to *J0., when it was anne7ed by ;ussian
Ampire as the autonomous Frand %rincipality of <inland. So was the urban fate of
$elsin>i, first a ;oyal Swedish coastal town with military balance purpose than an
Daura Golbe, ,$elsin>i from provincial to national centre,1 in "lannin t!entieth century capital cities, ed.
(avid D. A. Fordon #'ew Cor> ;outledge, 300I&, 9..
5mperial ;ussian regional capital.
5n *J*3, the Amperor appointed the city's first
planning authority, ;econstruction Committee, headed by the military engineer Hohan
Albrecht AhrenstrLm. (uring this centrally planed period, the city received an imperial
neoclassical centre, designed by Carl Dudwig Angel, a trend that lasted until the
administrative reform of *J92 which gave the planning control to the city council. But
it was in the *.*J plan that the city had a rema>e with ,continental planning ideas,
modernistic monumentalism and traffic optimism.1
5ts main feature was an almost
north-south a7is, named $uninasavenue #Ging)s Avenue& which connected the old
railway station neighbourhood to the new one #<ig. 3.*.3& and symbolised $elsin>i)s
political role as a national centre. -oving away from monarchist connotation by
renaming it as %altakunnankatu #'ation Street&, it formed an urban bac>bone for the
city while shifting the weight from the old imperial centre. "he plan was not fully
implemented because of various administrative conflicts, but it had an immense
influence over the development of the capital throughout the twentieth century.
5n *.32 an answer was sought for the unsolved 6uestion for a modern city
centre, with a new city plan competition, of which the winning pro8ect proposed a
centre with ,urban monumentalism and historical-classical dignity.1
Still without
concrete solution, it would be the competition held in *.3/ for the design of the
Eduskuntatalo #%arliament $ouse& situated in the "LLlL bay area, which was cut off
from the sea by a railway emban>ment. "he winning pro8ect of the team led by Hohan
Sigfrid SirMn, resulted in a ,lonely stone castle with strong roots-li>e frontal stairs
anchoring it to a roc> outcrop.1
"he building completed in *./0, emerged as a new
institutional and democratic symbol, away from the imperial past, of which
representative was the Senate S6uare.
"he Freat (epression and subse6uently the World War 55 interrupted all the
urban developments in the city. After it, in *.4. the city's authority endorsed the
preservation of the surrounding area of the Eduskuntatalo and the main train station,
,A short history of $elsin>i,1 httpKKwww.helsin>i.fiKenKinde7K>aupun>i8aseutuKhistoryinbrief.html
#accessed April 32, 30*0&.
Daura Golbe, ,An Aastern or a Western capital city@ "he spirit of $elsin>i,1 International Revie! of
Socioloy *I, no. 3 #Huly 300I& /3..
5bid., //I.
Fig 2.1.1: Pro Helsingfors master-plan for Helsinki, by Eliel Saarinen and Bertel Jng, 1!1".
Fig 2.1.2: #erspe$ti%e dra&ing of
Kuningasavenue '(ing)s *%ene+,
from t,e Pro Helsingfors plan,
Fig 2.1.-: Helsinki .entrm plan model &it, Finlandia
Talo at t,e $entre by *l%ar *alto, 1!/0.
and in *.24 a district west of them was planned as the new administrative centre. 5n
*.2., Alvar Aalto was commissioned the development of the city's centre plan, which
he firstly presented in -arch *.I*. "he "LLlL bay area was again the focus of the
design, this time receiving a terraced profile, emphasi!ed with socio-cultural buildings
li>e opera, theatre, museum, etc. "he pro8ect #<ig. 3.*./& aimed at gathering up the
crater-li>e cityscape around the bay, based on a triangular forum which ,opened to
embrace the whole country to the north1
and a series of monumental buildings
including the <innish Academy, the -useum of <innish Architecture, a concert hall, an
opera house or theatre, the main city library, the city museum, and a central art
museum. Adverse circumstances, including budget reasons and increasingly vocal
opposition to building in the par>, and above all the 'cultural revolution' of the *.90s,
delayed the implementation of the centre plan, which was accused of 'aesthetic elitism'
by its radical critics. Aalto modified it in *.93, deleting the cultural buildings on the
par> shore, allocating a new plot near the +lympic Stadium to the opera house, etc.
Although the plan was approved as a basis for further planning, only &inlandia'talo
#<inlandia $all& and S(hk)talo #Alectricity $ouse& were built.
Since then, the urban policy of the city has been characterised by the
preservation of a strong city centre by encouraging diversified cultural activities and
limiting the e7pansion of office buildings, thus ensuring that the centre places to live
and to use. 'evertheless, the 6uestion of the central !one of "LLlL bay area seems to
have remained unsolved. A 'ordic planning competition with the aim of finding a
comprehensive urban-artistic concept for it was held in *.J2,
without setting a
permanent solution. "he civic debate develops on whether or not the area is suitable
for either, e.g., a republican forum for culture and ceremonies, a civic forum, a traffic
node or a green area, meanwhile constructions are continuing slowly. +n the other
hand, emphasising the maritime character of the city has been another main goal of
many waterfront pro8ects which reclaim the old industrial areas for residential and
NOPQR TUVWXYZ[  *lvar *alto: the co+plete cataloue of architecture, desin, and art , trans. "imothy Binham
#'ew Cor> ;i!!oli, *..4&, //.
5bid., /4.
-ia $ipeli, ,%lans for $elsin>i city centre by Alvar Aalto,1 in II "aper Session #presented at the
='5?A;SAD versus 5'(5?5(=AD - "he architecture of the *.I0s, Hyv\s>yl\, 3003&.
recreational ones.
"he grandeur attributed to national capitals, in the case of Canberra derives not
from pompous architectural comple7es, as it can be e7pected, but from the immense
impact the city's landscape have on it. "he search for a special site to build the capital
of the newly formed Commonwealth of Australia began in -ay *.0*, with the
'Congress of Angineers, Architects, Surveyors and +thers 5nterested in the Building of
the <ederal Capital of Australia', in which was emphasised the importance the
landscape and specifically water bodies would have in the new capital's planning.
;oyal Commission established for this purpose, acted on the following lines of the
"he seat of Fovernment of the Commonwealth shall be determined by the
%arliament, and shall be within territory which shall have been granted to or
ac6uired by the Commonwealth, and shall be vested in and belong to the
Commonwealth, and shall be in the State of 'ew South Wales, and be distant
not less than one hundred miles from Sydney.
After evaluating forty-five suggestions ,from a scenic standpoint, with a view
to securing pictures6ueness, and with the ob8ect of beautification1
, the Cass-Canberra
district, in the state of 'ew South Wales was approved by the Senate on (ecember *4,
named as Australian Capital "erritory. +n April /0, *.**, an international
competition was declared, which was boycotted by ;5BA and also missed by many
Ferman designers, because of many technical restrictions.
"he winning design was of
Walter Burley Friffin, while the second pri!e went to Aliel Saarinen and the third to
Alfred Agache.
"he Friffin's plan #<ig. 3.*.4& was designed as a cross-a7ial scheme, accurately
responding to the site's physical features, namely its hilly terrain and watersheds. 5t
employed pure geometrical lines to strategically articulate the site's potential : a Dand
Golbe, ,An Aastern or a Western capital city@ "he spirit of $elsin>i,1 /4*.
Christopher ?ernon, ,Canberra Where Dandscape is %re-eminent,1 in "lannin t!entieth century capital
cities, ed. (avid D. A. Fordon #'ew Cor> ;outledge, 300I&, */0.
,Commonwealth of Australia - Constitution Act #Chapter ?55, Section *32&,1 -ocu+entin -e+ocracy,]**IJ #accessed Hune 3I, 30*0&.
?ernon, ,Canberra Where Dandscape is %re-eminent,1 *//.
Sonne, Representin the state: capital city plannin in the early t!entieth century, *4..
5bid., *20.
A7is starting from the -ount Ainslie to -ount Bimberi, crossed by the Water A7is
#<ig. 3.*.2&, a basin formed by the damming of -olonglo ;iver : all these overlapping
with a triangle which represented the administration centre, the mercantile centre and
the governmental one.
'evertheless, a so-called Board %lan was prepared as a blend of most
convenient features of all pri!ed designs. Friffin's plan was the base of it, although a
main change was introduced instead of the Capitol at the centre of the city, the
$ouses of %arliament was placed, implemented only seventy years later.
the cornerstone for the construction of the capital was laid on -arch *3, *.*/, with
the Commencement Column as a symbolic starting point. As the time's
Commonwealth Attorney Feneral would summari!e the new capital's role ,"he
people are incapable of nourishing abstract idealsB they must have a symbol. $ere we
have a symbol of nationality.1
A competition was launched on Hune /0, *.*4 for the design of the $ouses of
%arliament, but it was delayed and relaunched twice until the dramatic campaign of
World War put an end to it. "he war was the first worldwide event that they
participated as Australians and is recalled by many as the beginning of true Australian
nationhood. Being such, representing this spirit in the national capital became a matter
of pride and identity. So the Dand A7is of Friffin, intended to be the hub of public life
generated by theatres, museums and coronated with the casino and entertainment
centre, was named A'^AC %arade, topped by a monumental Australian War
-emorial designed by Amil D. Sodersteen, and on the other end across the la>e the
parliament building #<ig. 3.*.I&. "he memorial would be the only monumental building
in the city, far from the original plan, which designed the capitol as the dominating
5nterrupted by the two wars, the process for the site selection and the design of
the %arliament was so prolonged and intense that it caused even the dissolution of
both houses of parliament in *.92, resulting in many protests from the citi!ens.
<inally, a competition was launched in *.99, and the winning pro8ect of the 'ew Cor>
5bid., *J*.
5bid., *J3.
Fig 2.1.6: Land Axis with War Memorial and provisional Parliament Hose in !an"erra# 1$%4.
Fig 2.1.%: Perspe&tive drawing o' the government distri&t o' !an"erra 'rom the Water Axis "(
Walter )rle( *ri''in# 1$12.
Fig 2.1.4: Preliminar( general plan o' !an"erra "( Walter )rle( *ri''in# 1$1+,14.
based architectural firm of -itchellKFiurgola was completed only in *.JJ, the year of
Australia's bicentennial.
"he building tries to simulate the hill upon which it was
supposed to lay, leaving space for the citi!ens to admire the Friffin's perspective under
a huge pyramidal steel flagpole and at the same time achieved the re6uested functional
security. 5n 3003, a pro8ect called 'Friffin's legacy' was launched to e7amine the
relevance of the original design for the national capital with the recent developments
and the conditions in the twenty-first century. "he final report praised ,the original
plan's cultural significance and conclusively established its contemporary relevance,
even enlarging its legacy through a series of urban design initiatives.1
while the dream which gave way to the Friffin's plan about a world city of peace and
monument to a vital democracy, the same layout ended in being used as a monument
to the fallen and to a national identity forged by war legends.
"he same World War 5 had a much more direct impact over the political,
socio-cultural and also urban developments of the agonising +ttoman Ampire, while
laying the foundations for the ;epublic of "ur>ey. And it was during the following
5ndependence War that An>ara, the future capital, grew of importance and became the
centre of the coordination for the military and political operations.
'evertheless, this
status would gain its official form on +ctober */, *.3/ by a special decree of the
Frand 'ational Assembly. "his move represented the first official step towards the
abandonment of the Caliphate and old imperial state practices. A new republican
modernisation era was beginning and it was to be directed from a capital trying to be a
development e7ample to the country.
"his was an important factor which led to the
first planning attempts that tried to control the fast spread of the city.
5n (ecember *.3/, $e.fiyat ve /n.aat 01rk *noni+ 2irketi #"ur>ish Astimating
and Construction Dtd. Co.&, an 5stanbul based Ferman company, of which planning
responsible was Carl Christoph DLrcher, was commissioned to prepare a survey report
Dawrence H. ?ale, *rchitecture, po!er, and national identity, 3nd ed. #Dondon, 'ew Cor> ;outledge,
300J&, .0.
?ernon, ,Canberra Where Dandscape is %re-eminent,1 *49.
;obert -anne, ,"he war myth that made us,1 0he *e #-elbourne, April 32, 3009&, sec. +pinion.
_lhan "e>eli, ,An>ara'n`n baa>entli> >arar`n`n bl>esel me>cn organi!asyonu ve toplumsal yap`ya
et>ileri ba>`m`ndan genel bir dederlendirme,1 in *nkara *nkara, ed. Anis Batur #5stanbul Cap` Gredi
Cay`nlar`, *..4&, *49.
5bid., *4J.
Fig 2.1.8: Hermann Jansen's plan for Ankara, 1932.
Fig 2.1.7: Plan of Carl Cris!op "#r$er for !e ol% par! an% !e e&pansion of Ankara, 192'.
Fig 2.1.9: ($eme of !e $en!re
of Ankara !o%a).
and a plan for the capital. "he company delivered the study on -ay /0, *.34
. "he
plan #<ig. 3.*.9& was developed over two separate approaches on two !ones, the
e7isting old city with the citadel, and the new one spreading to the south housing the
administrative units in a monumental triangle. "he plan for the old part of the city was
not approved by the municipality authority, considered as inapplicable to the historical
urban fabric, meanwhile the new city !one planning was accepted as an immediate
solution to the spreading housing 6uestion.
5t's connection a7is between the two
!ones, called 3illet 4addesi #%eople's Avenue&, later would create the base layout further
developed on the future plans. 'evertheless, this plan would be soon outdated by the
urban developments, and thus the need for a new master plan emerged.
"he 6uest began when in -ay *.39, a municipality delegation ended up
inviting $ermann Hansen and Hosef Bri7 from Berlin, and DMon Haussely of %aris in a
limited competition for the plan of the city.
"he 8ury announced the pro8ect of $.
Hansen as a winner on -ay *I, *.3., while the elaborated final plan #<ig. 3.*.J& was
officially approved on Huly 9, *./3.
5t emphasi!ed the creation of neighbourhoods
along the Farden City movement's principles, and on the other hand a governmental
comple7 was placed along the city's main north-south a7is in a symmetrical triangle
sector pointing toward the old city's citadel. "he a7is, later named after the founder of
the republic, Atatbr>, goes on to reach the hills on the south of the city, where the
%residential %alace would be located, thus creating a core for the development of the
city. "he governmental comple7 and the presidential palace were designed by Clemens
$ol!meister. Started on +ctober 3I, *./. and inaugurated on Hanuary I, *.I*
campus of the Frand 'ational Assembly occupies the most prominent place in the
comple7, bac>ing all the government buildings, but due to later interventions it lost its
$owever, the s>yline of the city was to be dominated by *n5tka6ir, the
Ali Cengi!>an, 789:;:<8=8 ?@9 A@:8=B CDEFGEH IJ;KLM; A@:8=N 9M8OPM@ QM9:8 JRM@@?9@M;?N CDSE T:8PM8 U@:8=<8:
VM WXYZ8M 9:O9=@:;=N MO9? VM 9:@=8O=@:;= efRgQPQh fRgQPQ iRjZWZkjk lQgmn ofPgQYQp qQrnRXQPn[ sttuv[ wxyz
NORkX {QRg|Z[ [?; W:\9M8O?8 ?Q:;=B 789:;:N CDEDGCDSD #5stanbul Anahtar Gitaplar Cay`nevi, *../&, 24.
5bid., II.
5bid., .*.
}mer A>ai, ed., 01rkiye B1y1k 3illet 3eclisi 0an5t5+ $atalou #"B-- Bas`n ve $al>la _lia>iler
-bdbrlbdb, 300J&, 9*.
Ali Cengi!>an, ,"br>iye Bbyb> -illet -eclisi ve ba>anl`>lar,1 in *nkara *nkara, ed. Anis Batur
#5stanbul Cap` Gredi Cay`nlar`, *..4&, 3*9.
mausoleum of Atatbr>, which was built in *.22 upon one of the highest hills of the
city. 5t was the result of an international design competition held in *.43 and won by
+rhan Arda and Amin +nat's monumental proposal, which was later to turn into the
symbol of the capital and the republic as well.
(uring the early fifties, because of an uncontrolled demographic growth the
city limits were e7panded by illegal housing constructions, thus the Hansen plan began
to lose its coherence and in *.22 a new plan was prepared by 'ihat Cbcel and ;aait
=ybad`n. (uring this period the centre of the city gradually shifted to the south along
the Atatbr> Boulevard, which was widened in *.2J. +n the other hand, the city due to
the more liberalisation economic politics began to develop further and at the same
time e7pand rapidly. 'ew 6uarters and principal streets emerged #<ig. 3.*..&, slightly
diminishing the importance and symbolic of the main a7is. 'evertheless, as ?ale
points out ,the architecture and urban design of An>ara represent a turning point in
the development of a postcolonial capital consciousness1
being a reference point for
the later international developments.
"he aftermath of the 5ndian ;ebellion of *J29 saw the end of the -ughal
Ampire and the reorganisation of the British possessions. "he ruling powers were
transferred to the British Crown and the Fovernor-Feneral of 5ndia gained the new
title ?iceroy of 5ndia, whose residence was Calcutta #Gol>ata&. +n (ecember *3, *.**
during a visit to the provinces, Ging Feorge ? announced the creation of a new city in
(elhi to house the seat of the ?iceroy, thus transferring the capital and the
administrative centre of 5ndia. Beside being a reminder of empire's continuing
presence, this choice was seen as move to appease the coloni!ed population, because
of the deep historical resonances the city had for the 5ndian nation, and on the other
hand a move to a more secure location for the central administration. At the time , as
there were no clear signs of an 5ndian independence movement and the fractional
nature of the population, the new capital was meant to be ,a clear reminder of British
hegemony, an architectural affirmation of the superiority of Western civili!ation.1

A Committee constituted to select the site, after e7amining several proposals,
?ale, *rchitecture, po!er, and national identity, *30.
5bid., *04.
finally decided on ;aisina $ill to be the location of the ?iceroy's house #<ig. 3.*.*0&,
because of the ,sweeping panorama and the opportunities the hilltop provided of
connecting vistas to other historical landmar>s.1
"he opening of a competition for
the design of the Secretariat building was considered in September *.*3 by the
?iceroy, but it was prevented by Adwin Dandseer Dutyens, an architect part of the
committee who had managed to get promises about the contracts for these buildings.

$e and his friend $erbert Ba>er were officially commissioned by the ?iceroy on -ay
J, *.*/ as ,principal architects and general architectural advisers in connection with
the new capital.1
Sooner, the wor> for the definitive plan #<ig. 3.*.**& had begun,
following the advices of the >ing's private secretary, Dord Stamfordham who
communicated Feorge ?'s view that
...the building to house the British viceroy must be 'conspicuous and
commanding,' not dominated by the structures of past empires or by features
of the natural landscape 'We must now let ~the 5ndian• see for the first time,'
he declared, 'the power of Western science, art, and civili!ation.'
Dutyens designed the Fovernment $ouse upon the ;aisina $ill featuring a
dome that rose above the rest of the city. As both the architects cited the Athenian
Acropolis and the ;oman Capitol as ma8or inspirations, Ba>er designed the Secretariats
as a >ind of propyleum to the ?iceroy's $ouse of Dutyens, which they both considered
as the %arthenon of the city. "he citi!en would reach the wide steps, portico, and
dome of Fovernment $ouse along the Ging's Way. "he crossing of the Eueen's Way
and the Ging's Way was mar>ed by four large edifices containing the +riental 5nstitute,
'ational -useum, 'ational Dibrary, and 5mperial ;ecord +ffice. $owever, this
promenade effect was minimised by a design error that caused the gradual
disappearance of Fovernment $ouse from view by an inverse slope. Although the
?iceroy $ouse was to be the mos eminent structure of the promenade and the sign of
the mighty British Ampire, its diminished role seems to fit the later developments.
Because the construction of the new capital was a tas> of great magnitude, a
Souro (. Hoardar, ,'ew (elhi 5mperial capital to capital of the world's largest democracy,1 in
"lannin t!entieth century capital cities, ed. (avid D. A. Fordon #'ew Cor> ;outledge, 300I&, *J4.
Sonne, Representin the state: capital city plannin in the early t!entieth century, 304.
?ale, *rchitecture, po!er, and national identity, *0I.
Fig 2.1.10: Delhi, the Viceroy's House, by Edwin Landseer Lutyens and the ecretariats, by
Herbert !a"er, 1#$1.
Fig 2.1.12: %nce the &ing's 'ay,
now the boule(ard ser(es )or
celebrations on *e+ublic Day.
Fig 2.1.11: ,lan o) -ew Delhi by Edwin Landseer
Lutyens .in blac", le)t the Viceroy House, centre the
secretariats/ 1#12.
central authority named 5mperial (elhi Committee was set up on -arch 32, *.*/,
which later would became the 'ew (elhi -unicipal Committee. $owever, with the
beginning of the World War 5, the decreasing of allocated funds brought causing delays
on the implementation of the design. +n the other hand, designed by Dutyens after the
war, the All 5ndia War -emorial was erected on the Ging's Way to commemorate the
.0,000 fallen of the British 5ndian Army during several campaigns.
"he new capital was officially inaugurated on <ebruary *2, *./* with a consecration
from the Anglican Church of ;edemption.
5ts layout was made of a central a7is
surrounded by five types of he7agonal areas. "hese were !ones of ethnic and
occupational separation which were developed carefully not to intervene into the
political centre of the city. +n the other hand, the city was designed not an e7clusively
British rule site, but on assumption of eventual Anglo : 5ndian 8oint administration.
With the proclamation of independence in *.49, 'ew (elhi became the capital
of a new reality. 'ew symbolic status, uses #<ig. 3.*.*3& and a variety of new national
institutions came together with a rapid increase of government bureaucracy, a mass of
refugees caused by the partition of 5ndia and %a>istan, and increasing commercial
activity. "hese factors changed the face and the meaning of the city's layout.
'evertheless, its centre, with broad avenues surrounded by vast buildings and greenery
layout, still carries on reminiscences of the imperial era, standing out from the rest of
the developing fabric of the city. (espite the government regime being a democratic
one, the urban layout of the city's centre continues to display the traces of its long
imperial past.
2.2. Albanian national awakening since the mid-19th century
"he wave of national awa>ening movements that had swept across Aurope,
arrived to the Bal>ans 6uite late, as in the case of Bulgaria)s ;enaissance and the Free>
;evolution in the *J30)s or the Croatian national revival #*J/2 : *J4.&, mainly because
Sonne, Representin the state: capital city plannin in the early t!entieth century, 309.
?ale, *rchitecture, po!er, and national identity, ***.
of the control of two main empires, the +ttoman and the Austro : $ungarian, over a
variety of ethnic and cultural groups. +n the other hand, the rising of the identity
politics inside these empires, li>e the $ungarian nationalism or +ttomanism, also
played an important role in suppressing these movements. At the time, ,the image of
the '"ur>ish yo>e' had become fi7ed in the nationalist mythologies and psyches of the
empire's Bal>an peoples, and their struggle for independence 6uic>ened.1
Albanian 'ational movement, mainly because of internal social and religious divisions
#mostly e7ternally fuelled&, was the last to crystalli!e, triggered by the fears that the
+ttoman Ampire would lose its Albanian-populated lands to the emerging Bal>an
states : Serbia, -ontenegro, Bulgaria, and Freece. Since the *J40)s until the
proclamation of independence in *.*3, the struggle to establish a nation state and thus,
its capital, was at the centre of the visions laid by the intelligentsia and the patriots. 5ts
importance increases by the fact that it would be the first time in history that Albanians
across their land would have a single centre.
"he *J99-9J ;usso-"ur>ish War gave a powerful blow to the +ttoman power
in its Auropean lands, leaving the empire wea>ened, holding only what was left from
-acedonia and the Albanian-populated lands. "he first post-war treaty, the abortive
"reaty of San Stefano, assigned Albanian-populated lands to Serbia, -ontenegro, and
Bulgaria, who had already invaded much of them. Although Austria-$ungary and
Britain bloc>ed the arrangement because it would upset the Auropean balance of
power influence towards ;ussia, it was the first concrete sign of what the Freat
could ma>e of the lands inhabited by Albanians. Conse6uently, on Hune *0,
*J9J, about eighty delegates from the four Albanian-populated +ttoman vilayets
in %ri!ren, Gosova. "he delegates set up the %ri!ren Deague, under the direction of a
central committee that had the power to impose ta7es and raise an army. 5n Huly *J9J,
;aymond A ^ic>el and Walter ; 5was>iw, eds., *l6ania: a country study, Area handboo> series
#Washington (.C Dibrary of Congress. <ederal ;esearch (ivision, *..4&, *I.
?esna (anilovic, ]hen the stakes are hih: -eterrence and conflict a+on +a^or po!ers #Ann Arbor "he
=niversity of -ichigan %ress, 3003&.
?esna (anilovic, ]hen the stakes are hih: -eterrence and conflict a+on +a^or po!ers #Ann Arbor "he
=niversity of -ichigan %ress, 3003&.
"here were four Albanian-inhabited vilayet #province& in the +ttoman Ampire Sh>odra, Gosova,
Hanina and -anastir. "heir centres were respectively Sh>odra, Sh>up #S>op8e&, Hanina #5oannina& and
-anastir #Bitola&.
the league sent a memorandum to the Freat %owers at the Congress of Berlin,
demanding that all Albanian inhabited lands #<ig. 3.3.*& be united in a single vilayet with
an +ttoman governor seated in -anastir #now Bitola&, who would be advised by an
Albanian committee elected by universal suffrage.
After ignoring the memorandum and proclaiming that there wasn't any
Albanian nation,
the Congress of Berlin ceded to -ontenegro the cities of Bar and
%odgorica, areas of Fuci and %lav€, and some other parts to Serbia. +n the other
hand, fearing also a possible loss of Apirus to Freece, the Albanians opposed the
territorial losses by armed resistance efforts in Fuci, %lav€, Sh>od€r, %ri!ren, %reve!€,
and Hanin€. 5n August *J9J, the Congress of Berlin ordered a commission to trace a
border between the +ttoman Ampire and -ontenegro, and Freece. "he Freat %owers
e7pected the +ttomans to ensure that the Albanians would respect the new borders,
ignoring that the sultan's military forces were too wea> to enforce any settlement and
that the +ttomans could only benefit by the Albanians' resistance. "hus, when the
+ttoman army withdrew from areas awarded to -ontenegro under the "reaty of
Berlin, Albanian tribesmen simply too> control. "heir successful resistance to the
treaty forced the Freat %owers to alter the border, returning Fucia and %lav€ to the
+ttoman Ampire and granting -ontenegro another Albanian-populated coastal town,
=l6in. As this was again opposed with arms by the population, the Freat %owers' fleet
bloc>aded =l6in by sea and forced the +ttoman authorities to crash the Albanian
resistance on 'ovember 33, *JJ0.
5n the aftermath, the Su6li+e "orte grew uneasy
over the Deague's activities and hastened to ta>e the necessary measures. 5n April *JJ*,
a *0,000 men strong army led by (ervish %asha captured %ri!ren after fierce clashes
and later crushed the resistance at =l6in. "he Deague's leaders and their families were
deported to ;hodes.
'evertheless, during its short lifespan the %ri!ren Deague
effectively brought the Albanian people's e7istence and their national interests in front
of the Freat %owers eyes and also succeeded in preserving much more Albanian-
populated territory than would have been done without its resistance.
Hoseph Swire, *l6ania: the rise of a kindo+, "he Aastern Aurope Collection #'ew Cor> Arno %ress •
'ew Cor> "imes, *.9*&, 23.
Constantin Anastasi Che>re!i, *l6ania past and present #'ew Cor> -acmillan Co., *.*.&, 20.
Swire, *l6ania: the rise of a kindo+, 2I.
-iranda ?ic>ers, 0he *l6anians: a +odern history #Dondon 5.B. "auris, *...&, 4*.
"he main legacy of the Deague consisted in awa>ening the national spirit
among the Albanians, and in the effort to rally the various religious groups around the
ideal of an independent Albania, stressing upon a secular nationalist movement.
Whereas, being divided into four vilayets, Albanians lac>ed a single geographical or
political centre and had only their spo>en language as a uniting factor. At the time
relying in the Datin, Cyrillic, and Arabic scripts, a standard literary form and a standard
alphabet were far from developed, while there were no Albanian-language schools
even in the most developed centres up to *J9J, where schools conducted classes either
in "ur>ish or in Free>.
5n *JJI, beyond the official ban of upon the teaching of the
Albanian language, the patriarch of Constantinople threatened with e7communication
anyone found reading or writing Albanian.
"hese conditions urged the Albanian
intellectuals to focus on devising a single, standard Albanian literary language and
demanding its use in schools. 5n *J9., Sho_`ri e t` shtypuri shkron^a sh_ip #Society for the
%rinting of Albanian Writings& was founded in Constantinople with members from all
religious groups to promote and develop the spreading of the written Albanian
After the military reforms aimed at reviving the troubled Ampire, Sultan Abdbl
$amid 55 still continued repression to maintain order. $e refused Albanian demands
for unification of the four Albanian-populated vilayets, which at the same time would
give them the first political centre after centuries, uprisings begun through Albanian
lands. "he imperial forces ruthlessly crashed them, e7ecuted the leaders and once again
banned Albanian : language boo>s and correspondence. By the time, emerging
opposition groups in the +ttoman Ampire proposed restoring a constitutional
government even by revolution if necessary. 5n Huly *.0J, after a Coung "ur> rebellion
Sultan Abdbl $amid 55 agreed to their demands and restored the constitutional rule.
<or the Albanians the Coung "ur>s' uprising meant hope for autonomy within the
empire, so it had a large support amid the Albanian lands. Suddenly the ban on
Albanian language schools and writing was lifted and in 'ovember *4, a congress
gathered in -anastir #now Bitola& chose the Datin alphabet as a standard script.

5bid., 42.
Swire, *l6ania: the rise of a kindo+, I4.
?ic>ers, 0he *l6anians: a +odern history, 22.
Fig 2.2.2: Cover of the first edition of “Shqipëria - Ç'ka qenë,
ç'është e ç'do të bëhet” of Sami Frashëri, a guide-like book for the
national movement for independence.
Fig 2.2.: !ap of four "lbanian inhabited vilayets of
#ttoman $mpire before the %alkan &ars.
$owever, after deposing Abdbl $amid 55 in April *.0., the Coung "ur>s
outlawed race or political-based groups and societies by a decree in August of the same
year, attempting to e7tend Su6li+e "orte's control over the Albanian inhabited lands.

;efusing to submit to the new politics, Albanian uprisings began in Gosovo and the
northern mountains in early April *.*0 and lasted some three months until +ttoman
forces suppressed them, outlawed Albanian organi!ations, disarmed entire regions, and
closed down schools and publications.
But uprisings of the mountain tribes
continued to grow into widespread revolts, which the %orte : fearing also the
possibility of war with the Bal>an states - couldn't control by force. "hus, concessions
on schools, military recruitment, and ta7ation were granted and the use of the Datin
script for the Albanian language was sanctioned, but the union of the four Albanian-
inhabited vilayets into an autonomous unit was denied.
Seeing the continuation of suppression policies from the Su6li+e "orte,
Albanian uprising begun in Gosov€ and by -ay *.*3, Sh>up #S>op8e&, the centre of
the vilayet, was in their hands.
'evertheless, with the start of the <irst Bal>an War on
+ctober J, *.*3 many Albanian lands, considered by the Bal>an Deague as +ttoman
possessions were invaded by them. "his forced the Albanian leaders to 6uic>en their
efforts for an independent nation-state. After several visits of a delegation in the main
capitals of Aurope to ensure their support, eighty-three -uslim and Christian leaders
meeting in ?lor€ in 'ovember 3J, *.*3 declared Albania an independent country and
set up a provisional government.
"he new independent state found itself almost
totally invaded by the Bal>an forces, and had to wait until the Conference of
Ambassadors which opened in Dondon in (ecember resolved the ma8or 6uestions
concerning the Albanians concluding with the "reaty of Dondon of -ay *.*/.
"reaty established a constitutional monarchy under the protection of the Freat
Swire, *l6ania: the rise of a kindo+, .J.
+wen %earson, *l6ania and $in ao: independence, repu6lic and +onarchy bcde'bcfc, vol. *, Albania in
the twentieth century a history #Dondon, 'ew Cor> "he Centre for Albanian Studies • 5.B. "auris,
3004&, *0.
5bid., *30.
Che>re!i, *l6ania past and present, IJ.
Swire, *l6ania: the rise of a kindo+, */9.
Hames Crawford, 0he 4reation of States in International La!, 3nd ed. #+7ford +7ford =niversity %ress,
300I&, 2*0.
%owers, with an international police force to secure the control of the new neutral
principality, which were to be governed by a foreign prince. "hus, the road to a
sovereign state with its own centre and government began to be paved.
2.3. Time-line of events leading to the proclamation of Tirana
as capital city
"he centre of Albania in other word the general capital will be one of the
cities located in the middle of Albania and where the Albanian language is
spo>en. Cet it would be even better that a new city be made in the middle of
Albania in a healthy and beautiful place. "his city, which we can call
Sk`nder6eas, will be arranged in the most beautiful manner with wide and
straight streets, with nice houses, with s6uares and everything necessary, and
could be enlarged and grow in a short time because all the elite of Albania and
the wise Albanians will need to get together and build their houses there. So
this city will be free from the bad vices preserved that old cities haveB and
since its habitants will be gathered from all parts of Albania, the language
spo>en there will be a mi7ed one, so that it can be used as a general and
literary language of all Albania. "his city including some nearby regions will be
governed as an autonomous region.
?lora, although provisionally, became de facto the first capital of the new state
of Albania. After the "reaty of Dondon, an 5nternational Commission of Control was
created to draw up a constitution upon investigation on local conditions. "hey were
advised by 5smail Eemali - the head of the provisional government to choose Albasan
as the new capital due to its central geographical position and its nearest-to-literary
dialect of Albanian language.
'evertheless, this proposal was refused as the
provisional government was not recognised by the %owers, and the commission chose
Sh>od€r as its seat. 5n 'ovember *.*/, %rince W. <. $einrich of Wied (Fig. 2.3.1)
was officially assigned to the throne of %rincipality of Albania and was offered the
crown on <ebruary 3*, *.*4.
$e established (urr€s, instead of Sh>od€r, as the capital
Sami <rash€ri, Sh_ip`ria ' ghka _en`, gh`sht` e ghdo t` 6`het #Bucharest s.n., *J..&, I..
?ic>ers, 0he *l6anians: a +odern history, 9J.
5bid., J/.
of his state, landing there on -arch 9. "his choice aroused much concern in north and
south of the country, where Sh>od€r and ?lor€ respectively were more favoured and
on the other hand was seen as a manoeuvre of Asat %ash€ "optani - a largely
influential landowner of whom (urr€s was the stronghold.
But internal revolts, the
abandonment from the Freat %owers and the brin> of World War 5, which had started
in the Bal>ans, forced %rince Wied to leave the country on September /, *.*4, to never
come bac>.
(uring the years of the war Albanian territories were once again occupied by
many armies : Britain, 5taly and <rance in Sh>od€r, Serbia in the east down to the
Sh>umbin river, Freece almost of the south and south-east plain with the e7cuse of
defending the Free> minority living there. <rance had also occupied several parts of
the south, while in the rest of the country 5taly caught the occasion to fulfil the
unilateral protectorate declared in *.*9. 5ts government patronaged a provisional
government seated in (urr€s, but with almost no authority over its compatriots
because of this involvement. Struggling to preserve territorial integrity, the country
failed to organise an effective government and its capital. "he end of the war found
Albania mainly under the governance of 5talian and some <rench forces. As victorious
they sought the implementation of the Secret "reaty of Dondon #April 3I, *.*2&,
which outlined the formation of a smaller state of Albania under the protectorate of
5taly, which had the right of conducting the foreign relations of the new state.
5n the light of all these developments, leaders and tribe chiefs gathered in
Dushn8€ in late Hanuary *.30 in a congress to discuss the fate of national governance.
"hey re8ected any >ind of protectorate and vowed to fight for full sovereignty.
;eluctant to recall %rince Wied due to the outcome of the war, they constructed a
$igh Council of ;egency, made of representatives of all the religious communities.
'ational Degislative Assembly would be called and an active government, under
Sule8man (elvina, was elected in the final day, Hanuary /*. After that, the irregular
troops of respective chiefs made way for the government move to "irana. "he main
%earson, *l6ania and $in ao: independence, repu6lic and +onarchy bcde'bcfc, *2I.
5bid., *9..
‚ƒPRY „kP…ƒR †WjUVƒP[ $in ao and the strule for sta6ility in *l6ania, Aast Auropean -onographs *2.
#'ew Cor> Boulder, *.J4&, *..
part of these troops was made of tribesman of Ahmet ^ogolli, a twenty-five year old
chief who was selected as minister of the interior.

"he government's move to "irana was made due to its location away from the
areas threaten by the occupiers, but at the other side it had to be none of the centres
under the influence of any tribe chiefs, to avoid conflicts of interests. "hus, "irana
being an unimportant settlement of several thousand habitants was proclaimed as the
provisional capital of Albania in <ebruary **, *.30.
5t was a small city, founded around the first 6uarter of ‡?55 century by
Sule8man %ash€ Barg8ini, a local landowner serving also as military officer in the
+ttoman army.
Docated in a crossroads of various caravan routes, the first settlement
nucleus, erected with the function of a k1lliye, consisted of some houses, a mos6ue, a
ha+a+ and a ba>ery, while remains of an old fortress #<ig. 3./.3B 3././& were repaired
and used for security reasons.
(uring his travels described in the famous boo>
hSeyihatni+eh, Avliya ˆelebi saw "irana ,situated on a broad plain and has mos6ues,
hans, bathhouses, ba!aars, vineyards and gardens. All the public buildings have fully
tiled roofs and are splendid structures.1
"he first century of the city passed among
6uarrels and battles between local tribe chiefs and also military e7peditions from the
Sublime %orte. 5n -ay *J30, $a7hi At'hem Bey after several armed struggles managed
to get the administration of the city, mar>ing this achievement with the construction of
a mos6ue named after himself,
which would became later one of the symbols of the
city. Some twenty years later, the famous Anglish artist and traveller Adward Dear
described the situation of the town #<ig. 3./.4& as follows
%earson, *l6ania and $in ao: independence, repu6lic and +onarchy bcde'bcfc, */..
-uin ˆami, ,"irana >rye6ytet - peng i intrig€s dhe i politi>€s #*.30 - *.32&,1 Studi+e historike, no. / -
4 #3000& *.*.
Gristo <rash€ri, ,"irana - A brief historic overview,1 in 0irana, the challene of ur6an develop+ent, ed.
Besni> Alia8, Geida Dulo, and Fenc -yftiu #"iran€ Cetis, 300/&, */..
Alban Da!e, ,*I4* - 'Gulliye' e "iran€s <illesa e n8€ metropoli@,1 &oru+ *j", no. * #Hanuary 300.&
+f these structures only the -os6ue, and the "urbe of Gapllan %asha saw the beginning of the 30
century, with the mos6ue being demolished during the battle for the libration of the city, in
'ovember *.44.
;obert Alsie, ,*II3 ‰ Avliya Chelebi Seyahatname - a Hourney through 'orthern Albania and
-ontenegro,1 0ekts and -ocu+ents of *l6anian #istory, httpKKwww.albanianhistory.netKte7ts*I-
*JKA$*II3.html #accessed -arch *2, 30*0&.
<rash€ri, ,"irana - A brief historic overview,1 *2*.
Fig 2.3.3: Aerial view of the first nucleus of Tirana with the
mosque of Sulejman Pashë argjini at lower left.
Fig 2.3.2: The outer wall of the remains of To!tani castle
Fig 2.3.": Prince
#ilhelm F. $einrich
of #ie%.
Fig 2.3.&: Painting of '%war% (ear showing the centre of Tirana in ")*0.
Wavy lines of olive - dar> clumps of plane, and spirally cypresses mar>ed
the place of "yrana when the valley had fully e7panded into a pianura, and the
usual supply of white minarets lit up the beautiful tract of foliage with the
wonted deceptive fascination of these towns. As 5 advanced to the suburbs, 5
observed two or three mos6ues most highly ornamented, and from a brilliancy
of colour and elegance of form, by far the most attractive of any public
building 5 had yet beheld in these wild placesB but though it was getting dar>
when 5 entered the town #whose streets, broader than those of AlbassŠn, were
only raftered and matted half way across&, it was at once easy to perceive that
"yrana was as wretched and disgusting as its fellow city, save only that it
e7celled in religious architecture and spacious mar>et places.
...5n no part of Albania are there such beautiful mos6ues, and nowhere are
collected so many green-vested dervishes...
"he immediate neighbourhood of "yrana is delightful. +nce outside the
town and you en8oy the most charming scenes of 6uiet, among splendid
planes, and the clearest of streams.
;egarding the social and economic structure of the city, the inhabitants lived,
wor>ed and carried on almost all their daily life within the same urban 6uarter. "hese
compact 6uarters were basically created upon ethnic and religious affiliation, and were
almost self-sufficient communities with which the individual identified, thus physical
and social space, were almost identical. "hese neighbourhoods had the e7act
convenient human scale and types of social networ>s in which the inhabitant could
find a uni6uely individual space.
+n the eve of the proclamation of independence, "irana was said to have
appro7imately *2000 inhabitants.
(uring the World War 5, as did also the rest of
Albania, it became theatre of many military operations firstly by Serbian, then by
Austro-$ungarian forces. Although not a central stage of national movement
developments, the town had certain advantages that favoured its choice as residence of
the government, then as capital. "he other main centres of the country were located
mainly near the frontier, thus presenting security concerns. +n the other hand, "irana
was almost out of any local regional and cultural influences, unli>e Sh>odra for the
Adward Dear, Journals of a landscape painter in *l6ania, lc. #Dondon ;ichard Bentley, *J2*&, *00.
<rash€ri, ,"irana - A brief historic overview,1 *29.
northern or ?lora for the southern parts of Albania. With later developments, this
balanced position emerged as a cultural hinge between different regions of the country.
3.1. The first plan of the city
"he proclamation of "irana as the future capital of the country was of
immense importance for its urban development. %reviously, it was only a ,lesser
>nown provincial centre, where local vernacular and the +ttoman influence mingled in
a hybrid, Bal>an-oriental architecture and urbanism1.
5t was a settlement of nearly
/04 ha #.J.3‹ of which was residential area& and a population of some **000
"he city and its infrastructure were almost incapable of fulfilling the
needs of a capital. "here was no suitable building to house the government's
administrative units, so they were allocated at some of the best fitted villas of the city.
"here was also lac> of housing for the new officials, foreign embassies and e7treme
deficiencies in electric supply, sewerage, etc., too.
=ntil that time, the only technical documents about the city)s urban state were
some situation plans of various scales prepared by the Austro-$ungarian military
geodesists in *.*9, when "irana had been the site of the head6uarters of the occupying
Austrian army.
Because of the poor technical, economic and also professional
bac>ground in the field, only small urban interventions could be made. "he immediate
needs of constructions and public wor>s were solved partially by local and foreign
technicians and also by locally well->nown masonry masters.
According to the period's press, a ,city)s regulation plan1 was prepared in *.3/,
the authorship of which is disputed in several sources sometime attributed to one of
GoŒo -iho, Sh_ip`ria: v`shtri+ ur6anistik, bcbm'bcnn #"iran€ A7tra, 300/&, */J.
Relacion i "lanit Rreullues t` 0iran`s #"iran€ 5nstituti i Studimeve dhe %ro8e>timeve nr. *, *.J.&.
GoŒo -iho, 0ra^ta t` profilit ur6anistik t` _ytetit t` 0iran`s #"iran€ J '€ntori, *.J9&, **J.
Bruno Castiglioni, ,"irana - Appunti sulla capitale dell'Albania all'alba del nuovo regime,1 Bollettino
della Reale Societo Georafica Italiana ?5, no. * #Hanuary *.4*& **.
Fig 3.1.1: The earliest technical document of Tirana's urban development: plan of the city drafted
by the Austro-ungarian army in 1!1".
Fig 3.1.#: The situation of the city in 1!#1. $lan by %&'nder Frash'ri.
the prominent engineers, Ashref <rash€ri,
or to a group of Austrian professionals.

"his plan, because of not being a thoroughly detailed one, was not approved upon the
re6uest of the %ublic Wor>s -inistry.
5ts main ob8ective was the improvement and
ad8ustment of the e7isting street networ> and introduce a regular orthogonal layout
#where possible even by partial demolitions of old neighbourhoods
& and the
accommodation of the ministries in a huge building, planned to be erected in the
centre of the city.
But, the Ba!aar #<ig. /.*./, /.*.2& was still to remain centre of the
city. Castiglioni gives an elaborated description of it
"he heart of the city is, as we saw, the Ba!aar, that is a 6uarter sui generis,
distinct from all others, little changed today compared to the descriptions we
receive from the days of tur>ish "irana. 5t is a ma!e of streets and alleys, lined
with small huts at the slightest e7pression, mostly with only ground floor, with
the shop opening on the road with and the bac> room, when necessary used
for storage or wor>shop.
Although it was not e7ecuted, the plan served as the base for several
anonymous and partial studies, mainly concerning the opening and widening of the
main radial streets of the town. #<ig. /.*.I&
"he first years of "irana as a capital were characteri!ed by intrigues and tribal
warfare disguised in Western political garb. <rom *.30 to *.34, Albania endured as
much as eleven prime ministers and respective governments, the longest of which was
the one of Ahmet ^ogu,
#the son of a -uslim chief of the -at tribe, born Ahmet
^ogolli, later changed his surname to ^ogu as a to>en of his dedication to
& who had become at the time a central figure of Albanian politics. 5n
Hune *.34, the rising popular discontent and the political discordances evolving into
violence brought the so called Hune ;evolution, which established a coalition
-iho, Sh_ip`ria: v`shtri+ ur6anistik, bcbm'bcnn, *4*.
Besni> Alia8, Geida Dulo, and Fenc -yftiu, eds., 0irana, the challene of ur6an develop+ent #"iran€ Cetis,
300/&, 3J.
-iho, Sh_ip`ria: v`shtri+ ur6anistik, bcbm'bcnn, *4/.
<an Stilian 'oli, Rron or rron dhe nuk vdes sh_iptari #"iran€ J '€ntori, *.9I&, *90.
-iho, 0ra^ta t` profilit ur6anistik t` _ytetit t` 0iran`s, *3I.
Castiglioni, ,"irana - Appunti sulla capitale dell'Albania all'alba del nuovo regime,1 *..
,Chronology of the %rime -inisters of Albania,1 4ouncil of 3inisters of *l6ania,
httpKKwww.>eshilliministrave.alK@f6]brenda•r]•g8]g83•>id]29 #accessed (ecember 4, 300.&.
<ischer, $in ao and the strule for sta6ility in *l6ania, /..
<or further information on ^ogu, see Appendi7
government. Although it started reforms, the government was too fragile because of
the groups of interest which it was composed of. As the prime minister <an S. 'oli
would describe his government's failures ,By insisting on agrarian reforms, 5 aroused
the wrath of the landed aristocracyB by failing to carry them out 5 lost the support of
the peasant masses. -y government colleagues, and the ma8ority of the army officers
were either hostile or at best indifferent to these reforms1.
At the end of the year,
^ogu and his tribesmen crashed it using help from Cugoslav and White ;ussian armed
forces, and after that purged all the oppositional elements. "his opened his way to
declare himself ,dictator and commander-in-chief and to institute martial law until a
regular government could be set up1.
+n Hanuary /*, *.32, the old Constituent
Assembly was reconvened, obviously without many of those who had opposed and
fought against ^ogu. "he four-member ;egency was abolished, Ahmet ^ogu was
elected president of the newly declared ;epublic of Albania, and finally, "irana was
officially endorsed as the country's permanent capital.
"his move gave him a sense of
security, seeing that his loyal tribesmen from -at were close at hand. 5t served also as a
sign of iron hand on securing internal security, since no previous government
succeeded on this because of the strong opposition from Sh>od€r and ?lora, which
this time had fallen into disrepute due to their complicity in the Hune ;evolution.
(espite the urban developments that too> place since *.30, as described by
<ischer the new capital was
"he new capital was actually little more than an enlarged -oslem
village... ...and consisted primarily of a ba!aar used for hanging offenders of
the peace, four mos6ues, several barrac>s and a number of legations. "irana
gave the appearance of a gold rush town in the late *.
century American
West, with its saloons, gambling casinos and ever present guns and gunbelts.
A ric>ity <ord progressing slowly along the muddly unpaved unlite streets was
the only sign of the twentieth century.
"he buildings of the town were rather unostentatious. -ost of them
consisted of old shanties interspersed with an occasional small villa, belonging
Hason "omes, $in ao of *l6ania: Europehs Self'3ade 3usli+ $in #Washington S6uare, '.C. 'ew
Cor> =niversity %ress, 3004&, 90.
<ischer, $in ao and the strule for sta6ility in *l6ania, 92.
ˆami, ,"irana >rye6ytet - peng i intrig€s dhe i politi>€s #*.30 - *.32&,1 *.J.
to some -oslem worthy, many of which were in such a state of disrepair as to
give the visitor •the impression that the whole town had been recently under
shell-fire.• "wo such unassuming buildings, dating bac> to "ur>ish times,
became the presidential office building and ^ogu's residence..
Several plans for various public buildings including a %arliament #<ig. /.*.4& and
a number of hotels concerning foreign visitors were prepared. $owever, construction
progressed rather slowly, and in the meantime ,"irana remained a sleepy provincial
city... ...offering little in the way of Western Auropean cultural amenities. 5n an effort
to give his capital a Western cultural air, ^ogu founded a dramatic and choral society :
the performances of which, however, proved an embarrassing ordeal for those
unfortunate foreigners who could not find reasons to e7cuse themselves from
With the establishment of the presidency, ^ogu had finally provided himself a
political structure he could control. "he ne7t step was the strengthening of the
economy, on which he sought the help of 5taly, which at the time was the most
suitable power interested on investing in Albania. +n the other hand, the fascist
supporters of -ussolini were e7ecuting their program aimed at establishing a new
;oman empire in the -editerranean region since his coming in power in *.33. "hey
saw Albania as a foothold in the Bal>ans, helped also by the decisions of the
Ambassadors' Conference in 'ovember *.3*, which had recogni!ed that 5taly had
vital security interests to defend at the entrance to the Adriatic.
"he Freat %owers
with the "reaty of Dondon #April *.*2& had also granted 5taly among other
concessions, ,the right of conducting the foreign relations of Albania1.
<ischer, $in ao and the strule for sta6ility in *l6ania, J*.
?ic>ers, 0he *l6anians: a +odern history, *3*.
<ischer, $in ao and the strule for sta6ility in *l6ania, JI.
<rederic> Seymour Coc>s, ed., 0he secret treaties and understandins: tekt of the availa6le docu+ents #Dondon
=nion of (emocratic Control, *.*J&, /9.
,Article I.Ž5taly will receive in absolute property ?alona, the island of Saseno and as much territory
as would be re6uired to secure their military safety-appro7imately between the ;iver ?o8u!!a in the
north and in the east, down to the borders of the Chimara district in the south.
1Article 9.Ž$aving obtained ...also the Fulf of ?alona, 5taly underta>es, in the event of a small
autonomous and neutralised State being formed in Albania, not to oppose the possible desire of
<rance, Freat Britain, and ;ussia to repartition the northern and southern districts of Albania
between -ontenegro, Serbia, and Freece. "he southern coast of Albania, from the frontier of the
5talian territory of ?alona to Cape Stilos, is to be neutralised. "o 5taly will be conceded the right of
conducting the foreign relations of AlbaniaB in any case, 5taly will be bound to secure for Albania a
territory sufficiently e7tensive to enable its frontiers to 8oin those of Freece and Serbia to the east of
Fig 3.1.5: View of the Old Bazaar, Et'hem Bey Mos!e a"d the #lo$% &ower whi$h is 'i$t!red
(efore the re"o)atio" wor%s.
Fig 3.1.3: *erial )iew of the Old Bazaar. O" the left, +ara'i$i Mos!e a"d o" the right, the
#lo$% &ower a"d the Et'hem Bey Mos!e. *t the (ottom, the ,arliame"t (!ildi"g.
Fig 3.1.-: &he old (!ildi"g of the ,arliame"t of *l(a"ia, "ow !sed as a $hildre"'s theatre.
"he 5talian assistance for the Albanian economy began during the first half of
*.32, when firstly ,Societo per lo Sviluppo Econo+ico dellh*l6ania1 - S.?.A.A. #Company for
economic development of Albania& and after that the 'ational Ban> of Albania was
established financed in ma8or percentage by 5talian ban>s and companies. Albanian
government also awarded 5talian shipping companies a monopoly on freight and
passenger transport to and from Albania. S.?.A.A.'s fundamental tas> was to issue to
the Albanian government a loan of 20 million Albanian gold francs, to be paid in
stages, with a maturity up to 40 years. "he loan was destined essentially for the
construction of road and rail networ>s and ports, and for the reclamation and draining
of the marshes.
But all in all the investments and on the other side the 8ob vacancies
that were created, commissions opened by these investments were primarily on the
urbanisation of the main cities. As ;oselli indicates, ,under the heading of building
e7penses, a good 42 per cent of the total was spent on royal residences and ministerial
palaces, and a further /0 per cent on military buildings.1
"he e7penditure on royal
residences is also an indication of the <ascists' desire to gain ^ogu's sympathies.
Another point of interest is the nationality of the companies who won the contracts
for the wor>s I..I per cent of the total costs went on wor>s carried out by 5talian
companies, 3*.J per cent on those by Albanian firms and 2.* per cent on those by
firms from other countries.
"here were different perspectives about the urban future of the city during the
mid *.30s, diverging mainly on the point whether the old city should be left intact as
an e7otic tourism focus or the new capital should revitali!e the old nucleus besides
developing on the empty fields south of it. "he second alternative prevailed with the
pro8ect prepared by the 5talian architect Armando Brasini,
regarded also as the
archetype of 5talian colonial architects
and >nown in his home country for restoration
of many administrative buildings in ;ome and several urban plans for 5taly)s African
colonies. 5nvited at the end of *.32 by the government to develop a plan for the
Alessandro ;oselli, Italy and *l6ania: financial relations in the &ascist period, trans. Catherine <orner
#Dondon 5.B. "auris, 300I&, //.
5bid., *32.
<or a short biography of Armando Brasini see Appendi7
?ittorio Santoianni, ,5l ;a!ionalismo nelle colonie italiane *.3J-*.4/. Da •nuova architettura• delle
"erre d)+ltremare1 #%h.(. "hesis, =niversit• degli Studi di 'apoli ,<ederico 551, 300J&, JI.
Fig 3.1.6: View of the future Skënderbej Square area whose opening works can be seen in the lower
left. In the centre the newly opened “Nëna Mbretëreshë” street today known as !treet of "urr#s$%
to the right the Karapici Mosque% soon to be de&olished to &ake place for the &ain boule'ard.
Fig 3.1.(: )lan of the first 'ersion of
the pro*ect presented by +r&ando
,rasini for the centre of -irana%
Fig 3.1.0: )erspecti'e drawing of the fan1shaped city
centre 1 Piazza dei Ministeri 1 fro& the first 'ersion of
the pro*ect presented by +r&ando ,rasini% 1./6.
Fig 3.1.9: Perspective drawing of the north-south boulevard from the second version of the
project for the centre of irana presented b! "rmando #rasini$ 19%&. 'n the upper right corner
the Presidential Palace and in the lower left one the s(uare of the ministries.
Fig 3.1.1): Perspective drawing of the Presidential Palace at the southern end of the north-south
boulevard$ with an e(uestrian statue of President *ogu in front of it.
Fig 3.1.11: Perspective drawing of the entrance to the s(uare of the ministries from the project
for the centre of irana presented b! "rmando #rasini$ 19%&.
rearrangement of the city centre, he prepared different versions sharing almost the
same principles. "heir main element was a north-south boulevard, incorporating all the
governmental and civic buildings, separating them from the e7isting old city. 5t would
play the role of a hinge between the historic centre and the modern part of the city, for
which the pro8ect did provide no precise information.
5n the first version, the centre of the city was designed li>e a fan-shaped main
s6uare #<ig. /.*.9B /.*.J& surrounded by central administrative buildings which led way
to two smaller pla!as to the north and south. "he northern pla!a developed around the
old Garapici -os6ue, serving in this way as a connection to the old city, while the
southern one served as a gate to the new one, facing the %residential %alace at the end
of the boulevard. "he second version was again developed around the main boulevard
concept, but this time the interconnected pla!as were replaced by a single circular huge
pla!a, #<ig. /.*..& similar to ;ome's Saint %eter and %ia della 4onciliapione pro8ect of
'either version of this plan was e7ecuted due to many reasons, li>e the
handling of ,huge volumes and vast areas, demolition of the pictures6ue character of
the city by means of symmetrical and monotone lines1, as the period's local press
"his >ind of design elements were too e7pensive and at the same time not
so familiar with the cultural bac>ground of the society. 'evertheless, this plan was the
first of a series of pro8ects aiming to create a new capital city of ;oman and
'eoclassical grandeur, #<ig. /.*.*0B /.*.**& distinct from the old so called +riental
nucleus. "he s6uare, located at the beginning of the boulevard, would form the city's
bac>bone and serve as a focus for the later partial studies and master plans of the city.
'ew constructions began to spread more and more throughout the city, and a planned
intervention was needed urgently. Because of this, a general road plan #<ig. /.*.*3& with
a more detailed study of the centre seems to have been prepared by a wor> group of
three engineers, A. <rash€ri from Albania, Castellani from 5taly and Weiss from
Austria, probably with the collaboration of another well->nown colonial architect,
-athew Alderman, ,"he -odern Baro6ue of Armando Brasini,1 qe! Liturical 3ove+ent, <ebruary
2, 300., httpKKwww.newliturgicalmovement.orgK300.K03Kmodern-baro6ue-of-armando-
brasini.html #accessed Hanuary J, 30*0&.
,Gatundi i math po b€het 6ytet,1 0eleraf #"iran€, August /, *.39&, 3.
<lorestano di <austo.
"he authorship of this pro8ect is not clear, as various sources
claim different ones in different periods. Alia8 et. al. indicate the mentioned group as
the author,
while the plans displayed show the scheme developed by di <austo as
proved by other Albanian
or 5talian researchers.
+n the other hand, it is >nown
that <. di <austo had been visiting "irana as a consultant of the -inistry of %ublic
Wor>s since late *.3I,
by intervention of the Staccioli contracting firm.
"his was the plan where Brasini's idea of the main north : south a7is was
materialised. Although not a completed one, because it missed many parts of a master
: plan, li>e street profiles, building heights, etc.,
apart the urban solution of the
centre it gives also the first signs of the emerging east-west a7is, by including the
straightened course of Dana crea> into the city's layout.
(espite the deficiencies, this plan was partially e7ecuted, because it was the
more ade6uate choice for the financial conditions.
5nstead of the vast areas designed
by Brasini, it presented a more human scale for the main s6uare, which would be called
“Sk`nder6e^ S_uare” in honour of the national hero F8erg8 Gastrioti S>€nderbe8 and of
whom an e6uestrian statue would adorn the centre of the s6uare.
"he s6uare #<ig.
/.*.*/& was designed in the shape of a ,funnel1 that gathers the traffic from the north
part of the city by means of radial streets, and transmits it to the modern part of the
city by means of the north : south a7is. =sing the main boulevard as an a7is, it was a
totally symmetrical space #if the preserved At'hem Bey -os6ue is not ta>en into
account&, be it in plan or elevations' composition. "he plan which ,displays an
undeniable dignity in the well-calibrated articulation of the volumes of the buildings
<or a short biography of <lorestano di <austo see Appendi7
Alia8, Dulo, and -yftiu, 0irana, the challene of ur6an develop+ent, /3.
-iho, Sh_ip`ria: v`shtri+ ur6anistik, bcbm'bcnn, *23.
-aria Adriana Fiusti, 7@W:8?: G :;KL?OMOOX;: M K?OOrB CDEH G CDFS #<iren!e -aschietto, 300I&.
Fiorgio ;occo, ,+riginalit• dell'architettura 5taliana nel (odecaneso,1 in , ed. Fiuseppe Strappa and
Anna Bruna -enghini, vol. 4, Euaderni 5CA; #presented at the Architettura -oderna -editerranea,
Bari -ario Adda Aditore, 3003&, IJ.
Fiuseppe -iano, ,<lorestano di <austo - from ;hodes to Dibya,1 in "resence of Italy in the *rchitecture
of the Isla+ic 3editerranean, Anvironmental (esign #5slamic Anvironmental (esign ;esearch Centre,
*..0&, I3.
-iho, Sh_ip`ria: v`shtri+ ur6anistik, bcbm'bcnn, *24.
5bid., *2/.
<or further information about F8. G. S>€nderbe8 see
'oli, <an Stylian. Geore 4astrioti Scander6e sbndt'bnuev. 'ew Cor>, 5nternational =niversities %ress,
Fig 3.1.12: Part of the plan for the
centre of Tirana by Frashëri,
Castellani and Weiss, 12!.
Fig 3.1.14:
dra#ing of the
$%ënderbe& $'(are
by Florestano di
Fa(sto, 12!)31
Fig 3.1.13: *etail
of the plan for the
centre of Tirana
by Florestano di
Fa(sto, sho#ing
the relationship
bet#een the
+inisterial bloc%s.
The sheet is of the
year 13! #hen
the s'(are and the
s(n%en garden
too% their final
Fig 3.1.1,: Proposal for the +ain fa-ade of the +inisterial b(ildings by Florestano di Fa(sto,
Fig 3.1.1!: Fa-ade detail of the pro&ect for the +inisterial b(ildings by Florestano di Fa(sto.
8u7taposed in an ample space1
can be compared to the rearrangement that di <austo
designed for the Arch of -arcus Aurelius in "ripoli, Dibya.
-eanwhile, the volumes are simple demonstrations of 'eoclassical influences
#<ig. /.*.*4B /.*.*2&,
much used at the government's buildings in 5taly.
+n both the
sides of the ,funnel1 were placed the buildings of various ministries, while on the
upper part, located at the crossings of the radial streets were placed the building of the
municipality of "irana, the building of the 'ational Ban> of Albania and the Central
%ost's building #the latter two were not built&. "he main boulevard entered the s6uare
from the empty areas south of it, split in two branches around a sun>en garden which
8oin each other again to e7it the s6uare as the northern part. "he garden was sun> so
that the buildings around it could be perceived higher than they were, and on design
notes the architect prescribed planting wide-crown trees to achieve the ma7imum
shadow possible without harming the effect over the buildings.
"o build the
northern part of the s6uare and part of the boulevard it too> the demolition of the
Garapici -os6ue #previously an important part of Brasini's plan, laying upon the
central a7is& and some *.th century hans and shops of the old Ba!aar.
As it can be seen, the first period of the capital's urban development is
characterised by limited interventions which sought to create a new Western :
fashioned centre, meanwhile the rest of the city >ept growing without planning despite
the very immediate need of it.
3.2. The approach of the monarchy and the foreign planners
Since the beginnings of ^ogu's involvement in the political stage of Albania, ,it
soon became obvious to most of those around him that he was interested in more than
8ust limited authority1.
$is moves towards his goal were rather slow and cautious as
-iano, ,<lorestano di <austo - from ;hodes to Dibya.1
Alia8, Dulo, and -yftiu, 0irana, the challene of ur6an develop+ent, 40.
-iho, Sh_ip`ria: v`shtri+ ur6anistik, bcbm'bcnn, *2I.
Artan Dame, ,Damtumir€, lulisht8a ime•,1 Sh_ip #"iran€, April 3I, 30*0&, sec. Sh6ipni "avolinash.
-iho, Sh_ip`ria: v`shtri+ ur6anistik, bcbm'bcnn, *2I.
<ischer, $in ao and the strule for sta6ility in *l6ania, *3J.
a result of prudence not to give Albanians the impression of a conservative wor>ing on
his own interests, on the one hand and fear of the Auropean powers' reaction on the
other. "hese can be seen during the republican transition period in which despite of
controlling most of the country's power, he preferred progressing in smooth but
effective manners. Always concerned with superficial legality he managed to get the
%arliament dissolve itself in favour of the election of a Constituent Assembly, which
would in turn revise the constitution.
After securing the needed financial and
political support from 5taly, the silent approval of the other Freat %owers and the
manipulated will of many chiefs of the north tribes, the Assembly met on August 32,
+n September *, it unanimously adopted the resolution of ma>ing Albania a
hereditary monarchy and offered ,the illustrious crown of the historical Albanian
throne to the Saviour of the 'ation under the title ^og 5 Ging of the Albanians1,

referring in this way to the memory of F8. G. S>€nderbe8 on the one hand, and to the
modernisation #the abandonment of the "ur>ic name& and a nationwide, rather than
state referring title.
"he new constitution abolished the Senate creating a unicameral
'ational Assembly, but Ging ^og retained the dictatorial powers he had en8oyed as
%resident ^ogu.
"he price he admitted to pay for this support was the penetration of 5taly on
almost every field of economic, military and cultural development of Albania. "he
financial loans that 5talians provided were crucial in >eeping the >ing under political
pressure. With the financial and logistical help from 5taly, the >ing begun to accelerate
the pro8ects for a modern facelift of "irana, a >ind of investment which was fine for
the 5talians, since they didn)t want the money they gave to be spent on the
development of the economy, which would render 5taly)s role almost insignificant.

(espite publicly state priorities, rather than building infrastructural pro8ects, much
needed by the growing population of the city, he went on building large governmental
buildings and even planned to erect a royal palace on the outs>irts of "irana.

5bid., */I.
5bid., *40.
5bid., *4*.
?ic>ers, 0he *l6anians: a +odern history, *34.
;oselli, Italy and *l6ania: financial relations in the &ascist period, *3/.
Fiusti, 7@W:8?: G :;KL?OMOOX;: M K?OOrB CDEH G CDFS, *I9.
Fig 3.2.1: General plan for the city of Tirana by Köhler, 1929.
Fig 3.2.2: Detail of the 1929 plan by Köhler,
ho!ing the arrange"ent of the #e! Tirana
$itrict relate$ to the "ain bo%le&ar$.
Fig 3.2.3: The ne!ly opene$ Boulevard Zog. 193'
Continuing the ,tradition1 of hiring foreign architects, this time an Austrian
engineer, called GLhler
was invited in *.3J #during the research process of this study
no documents or facts have been discovered about the procedure of these
appointments&. Although this plan represents an important milestone for the planning
of the new "irana, no other details emerge about this author apart the Austrian
nationality, the professional title ,ing.1 and his surname. =ncertainty surrounds the
pro8ect's date, too. While the local press and the +fficial Hournal of *.39 write about
an already designed pro8ect carrying the same features, Alia8 et. al. mention the year
and -iho doesn't give a precise date at all. "his is how, for e7ample, the
0eleraf newspaper describes the plan in an article about the latest civic developments
that were ta>ing place in the capital
... and houses of the government employees divided into three classes on a
vast plain area, separated by /0m wide streets, perpendicular and parallel to
the Street of (urr€s with a huge s6uare par> 320m wide and starting form the
Cloc> "ower up the hills where the %residential %alace, and a lot of green
gardens. Si7 hundred house plots have been allocated to the cler>s through a
"his plan, prepared on a *2000 scale, was mainly a regulatory plan of streets
and plot allocations. 5t imposed a totally $ippodamic plan to the newly opened areas
in the south of the S>€nderbe8 S6uare, and tried to apply it as much as possible over
the e7isting pattern of the old 6uarters by straightening the tra8ectories of the main
a7es. #<ig. /.3.*&
5n this plan, the southern part of the main boulevard, consisting of three lanes
separated by green areas, passed through a huge par> stretching from the area where
the S6uare of the -inistries was supposed to be, up to the southern hills, where the
%residential : now ;oyal : %alace designed by Brasini was still to be built. "his time,
5bid., *29.
Alia8, Dulo, and -yftiu, 0irana, the challene of ur6an develop+ent, /3.
,"iran' e ;M,1 0eleraf #"iran€, 'ovember 3J, *.39&.
,...nga banimet e '€pun€svet t€ ndara n€ tre >llase n€ n8€ n8€ fush€ t€ g8€r€ t€ ndar€ me rruga n€
g8€n€si nga /0 metra, pandi6ylere dhe paralele me rrug€n e re t€ (urr€sit me n8€ par> madh€shtor n€
midis, 320 metrash t€ g8€r€ dhe t€ g8at€ 6ysh pre8 >ull€s t€ +r€s s€ tregut e deri n€ ma8€ t€ bregut >u
do goditet pallati %residencial, dhe me sheshe e >opsht€ra t€ lira p€r bu>urit€. F8asht€ 6ind #'r. I00&
trulle sht€pish t€ ndar€ n€ tre >lase me numurin'e vet€ u vun€ n€ lloto dhe u sh€nuan mbi em€n t€
secilit nga t€ !ot€.1
the boulevard instead of being the city's main artery, carrying most of the
governmental and civic functions, was only a monumental that accompanies the
citi!enKvisitor from the governmental centre to the highest power unit : the >ing :
with no contact at all with the rest of the city. +n the other hand, this plan elaborated
the relation that Dana cree> would have with the city, and mostly with the main
boulevard. 5ts bed was straightened and on both sides new roads were opened, thus
creating a new important traffic artery for the city.
Although roughly a street networ> study, the pro8ect also dares to neglect the
pro8ect prepared for the S6uare of the -inistries by di <austo and the others : seeing
that at the time their e7ecution doesn't seem to have been started.
5t brings a totally
new layout of the government buildings. =nli>e the plan of di <austo which showed
influences of Baro6ue and ;enaissance, this plan uses rigid and pure 6uadratic forms
arranged in a layout resembling a parade ground formation.
+n the other hand, the bloc>s of houses designed south of Dana were arranged
so that each of them would have its own garden. Because of these green areas and their
spreading which was nearly as much as the e7isting city, this district was later called
4itta iardino #5talian for ,Farden City1&.
(espite this, it must be noted that the name
resembles only a formal similarity to the Farden City -ovement, whose political
bac>ground were directed at improving the social and hygienic conditions for wor>ers,
while the proposal for "irana was arranged to house the middle class in formation and
adopted for the development as a lu7ury suburb. 'evertheless, while the reason why
this plan was not e7ecuted is not >nown, its layout for the 0irana e Re district #Albanian
for ,'ew "irana1& served as a guide for the later developments.#<ig. /.3.3&
All the plans described until now brought each one special features to the city's
layout, and particularly to its main a7is, the north : south boulevard. All these features
were finally assembled in a new plan prepared in *.3., of which the authorship is
Ashref <rash€ri, ,Arti>u8t e Fa!etarve dhe Grye6yteti,1 0eleraf #"iran€, +ctober 3, *.39&.
,...b€8m€ >omisione edhe s'>emi mundur g8er m€ sot 8o t€ b€8m€ godinat 6everitare edhe t€
n€punsavet, po s'>emi ndar€ as v€ndet.1
-iho, 0ra^ta t` profilit ur6anistik t` _ytetit t` 0iran`s, */I.
Although the name refers to the ,Farden City movement1 founded by Sir Abene!er $oward in the
=nited Gingdom, what these plans had in common were only the widely used green areas. 0irana e
Re was only a dwelling !one, while the Farden Cities were designed to be self-contained
communities involving also industry and agriculture.
un>nown until now. "his is probably the most e7haustive plan prepared during the
post-independence period until the 5talian occupation. 5t defined the city's e7pansion
borders, including the old city and the planned new districts. 5t also outlined the
centre's area consisting of the main boulevard and the vicinities.
"his plan brought together the a7is ideated by Brasini and later elaborated by di
<austo and GLhler, the plans for the S6uare of the -inistries of di <austo, the
$ippodamic layout of the 0irana e Re district of GLhler, and a new feature the
e7tension of the boulevard northward finali!ing it with a huge stadium pro8ect.
Although Fiusti attributes this pro8ect to GLhler,
it doesn't appear on the procured
materials. By this addition, the boulevard had a central point : the S6uare of the
-inistries : and two ends, the political one Ging's palace, and the sportive one the
national Stadium. 5ronically, the northern part of the boulevard was the first to be
realised, although pro8ected nearly si7 years later than the southern one. "he decree
334* of September ., *.3. mar>s the beginning of the wor>s for this part of the
boulevard #<ig. /.3.3& which was named ,^og 51.
(uring the >ingdom years, other several buildings of high 6uality have been
built by 5talian architects and contractors. "wo of these are of e7ceptional value the
'ational Ban> $ead6uarters' building for being almost a turn point from the
neoclassical design to more simplified modern lines and the 4ircolo Italo w *l6anese
Scander6e, for being the first building where prefabricated construction techni6ues
were applied resulting in a rationalist design. 5naugurated in *./J, the 'ational Ban>
building, designed by ?ittorio Ballio -orpurgo, is located at the western part of
Sk`nder6e^ S_uare. -orpurgo, an e7ponent of the ;oman architecture school was mostly
famous for designing the protective building of *ra "acis #now demolished& and
"alappo della &arnesina in ;ome. 5n Albania he designed the pro8ect for the 'ational
Ban> in other cities, li>e (urr€s, GorŒ€ and ?lor€, as well.
"he building is an
e7emplary of rationalised monumentality solved by fine architectural details. #<ig. /.3.4B
/.3.2& "he emptying of the volume at the corner, the use of terracotta covering and
several bas-relieves #<ig. /.3.I& >eep this effect at a reasonable scale.
Fiusti, 7@W:8?: G :;KL?OMOOX;: M K?OOrB CDEH G CDFS, *29.
Alia8, Dulo, and -yftiu, 0irana, the challene of ur6an develop+ent, /2.
Fiusti, 7@W:8?: G :;KL?OMOOX;: M K?OOrB CDEH G CDFS, *09.
Fig 3.2.4: The building of National Bank of Albania by Vittorio Ballio Morpurgo !"3#.
Fig 3.2.5: $nner ba%k %ourt of the National
Bank building.
Fig 3.2.&: Main hall of the National
Bank building.
Fig 3.2.': (er)pe%ti*e dra+ing of the building of Circolo Italo – Albanese Scanderbeg, by Pater –
Costruzioni edili speciali, !"3#
"he other building, 4ircolo Italo w *l6anese Scander6e was a cultural centre
designed and constructed by the “"ater w 4ostrupioni edili speciali” 5talian enterprise from
-ilan. 5t was one of the many enterprises which benefited from the economic
advantages Albanian government ceased to 5talian capital. "he building is a mi7ed use
of a theatre, an open air pool, a restaurant and a small tennis field. 5t consists of two
similar wings connected by a colonnade which in turn leads to an open greenery space.
#<ig. /.3.9& As -ontanelli described its ,monumental rise beside the old ;oyal %alace
will fill the emptiness #of "irana&, along with its pool, covered areas of tennis, a lu7ury
restaurant. "his circle, born after the 5talian-Albanian cultural agreement will be a last
touch of western furnishing for "irana1
3.3. The occupation and its effects on the citys layout
"he promotion of Count Falea!!o Ciano as <oreign -inister of the Gingdom
of 5taly brought a new approach to what the 5talians had begun to refer to as ,the
Albanian problem1.
$is strategy to include Albania into the ,resurrected ;oman
Ampire1 and treat it more as a family property #after the occupation, streets, places and
even cities were named after members of his family&, can be seen at the agitative
phrases he chose to play upon -ussolini
...5n Albania, which belonged to us every so often in history, we see> and
find the natural road to e7pansion in the Bal>ans... 5n the si7teen years of
-ussolinian policy has been newly 8oined to 5taly by bonds of great
importance. "his wor>... ...must find at the opportune moment its culmination
in the anne7ation of Albania by 5taly.
"hese lines refer to ;ome's domination over the region but also 5taly's poor
military record of which -ussolini himself was one of those who felt 5taly's prestige
suffered, when the 5talian armed forces had to withdraw from ?lora in *.30. Writing
in the "opolo dhItalia on August 2, *.30, he commented
5ndro -ontanelli, Sh_ip`ria n^` dhe n^`+i^`, trans. Aurel %lasari #"iran€ 22, 3002&, 4/.
-ia <uller, 3oderns a6road: architecture, cities and Italian i+perialis+, Archite7t #Dondon ;outledge,
3009&, /2.
<ischer, $in ao and the strule for sta6ility in *l6ania, 3II.
...?alona was to be the recompense for 5taly's suffering and blood which
she shed. ?alona was to be the threshold of our pacific penetration into the
Bal>ans. We admit that, from the strategic standpoint, the possession of
Sasseno ma>es up for the loss of ?alona... But all this does not attenuate the
e7tent of the Albanian catastrophe which is essentially of a political and moral
5ndeed, after many diplomatic negotiations between ;ome and "irana with
each other and the centres of political influences, this pro8ect became a reality on the
morning of April 9, *./., #<ig. /./.*& when some fifty thousand troops, supported by
hundreds of aircraft, mechani!ed infantry and warships invaded Albania, entering from
all its coastal line.
While in 5taly, calling Albania _uinta spxnda #5talian for ,fifth shore1& summed
up the colonising aims of the invasion,
suddenly after the military operation, 5talian
government used all the possible media under its influence to demonstrate that this
was not an occupation but a deepening of the friendship between the two countries
and that the investments that would be done were only for the good of the Albanian
people. "hese investments were mainly of military strategic importance, such as
opening of new roads to the frontiers, improvement of the e7isting ones, building
some railways from mineral rich regions to the main ports and so on. +n the other
hand, following the pattern established earlier in Africa, land was sei!ed for eventual
development into new settlement areas for future 5talian settlers.
'onetheless, the city was the central theme of these wor>s, inherited from the
comprehensive and unified land management pro8ect of the last years of the ^og's
regime supported by the 5talian loans. +n the other hand, ,the urban design was
focused on "irana and (urr€s, basically on the definition of the administrative and
business centre, and on addressing the road networ> situation, as a node for digestion
of the traffic coming from outside, rather than an organising element of the urban
"he representative 6uality of the centre, and more specifically, the capital,
was the spinning idea on which design options played upon. +n the other hand, "irana
5bid., 3/.
‚ƒPRY „kP…ƒR †WjUVƒP[  *l6ania at !ar: bcfc ' bcnt, Central Auropean Studies #West Dafayette 5nd.
%urdue =niv. %ress, *...&, II.
<uller, 3oderns a6road: architecture, cities and Italian i+perialis+, /I.
Fiusti, 7@W:8?: G :;KL?OMOOX;: M K?OOrB CDEH G CDFS, *4.
Fig 3.3.3: Aerial view of Tirana on April, 1939. The Skënderbej Square, the ministries, the National
Bank bil!ing, the bl!ing of Circolo Italo-Albanese Scanderbeg an! a se"tion of the main bolevar!
"an be seen "omplete!
Fig 3.3.#: Aerial view
of Bolevar! $og
on April, 1939.
Fig 3.3.1: %talian troops on the &k'n!erbe(
&)are a !a* after the invasion, April +,
was a special case among all these investments. 5t was the place where the grace and
glory of <ascism was to be displayed, where better and more clearly than anywhere else
were reflected the political orientation and spatial composition criteria. "his is why the
regime relied on the contest of the best and most e7perienced 5talian professionals
called to leave the incisive and recogni!able mar> of the 5talian culture of those years.
"heir wor> was organised by a central unit, founded immediately after the
occupation, the yfficio 4entrale per lhEdilipia e lhyr6anistica dellh*l6ania #Central +ffice for
Construction and =rban %lanning in Albania&. 5t was a small unit, ,consisting of three
architects, four designers, three assistants, a secretary and a helping typist, e7ercised its
functions of control over both private and public construction, both urban and
architectural design, covering all the Albanian territory1.
+n the other hand, with the
establishment of the yfficio, it seems that a language change begun, departing from the
more neoclassical lines used until then to more rational designs. "his change can be
e7plained by the difference between the two schools who e7ercised their profession
before and during the occupation. While during the mid twenties up to *./. the
principal actors of the urban and architectural design were from the ;oman school of
architecture, praising and demonstrating the “ro+anito”, with the establishment of
lhyfficio, almost all of the involved designers were of <lorentine bac>ground, e7ploring
new e7pressions of rational architecture.
"here were two opinions regarding how the e7isting situation should be
handled. "he first one was to create a whole new city, with a linear e7pansion and a
semicircular plan, with the old city preserved and maintained as an e7otic target, with
an ,oriental1 pattern. "he second one e7pected the city to develop into its e7isting
area, mainly through reconstructions and some e7tensions in open and free areas,
mainly south of Dana cree>. "he second solution was followed because it came out to
be more efficient due to the lac> of time and financial problems.
+n this ground, the yfficio leaded by arch. Fherardo Bosio, prepared a draft
pro8ect in the *2000 scale on September *./. concerning the plan of %iale dellhI+pero
and the surroundings, still based on the situation plan of the Feo--ilitary 5nstitute of
5bid., /..
-iho, Sh_ip`ria: v`shtri+ ur6anistik, bcbm'bcnn, 344.
Fig 3.3.4: The traffic
scheme of Tirana from
the master-plan of
by Ufficio Centrale per
l'Edilizia e l'Urbanistica
Fig 3.3.5: etaile! plan of "iale !ell
#mpero, $%&n!erbe' $()are an! *icinities
from the master-plan of 1940 by
Ufficio Centrale per l'Edilizia e l'Urbanistica
<iren!e. #<ig././.4& 5t was ratified by the authorities on -arch 9, *.40. Arch. 5vo
Dambertini consulted by ing. arch. <erdinando %oggi too> the lead of the pro8ect after
Bosio's untimely death on *.4*. Based on the previous city plan, it was proceeded to a
regional plan which reached its final stage on *.4/.
According to this pro8ect, "irana was e7pected to reach a population of
*/0.000 inhabitants in a time span of si7ty years, and an area of **00 hectares, with an
area of II0 ha. reserved for further e7pansion and *900 ha. of military !ones,
meanwhile the e7isting situation of the city had a population of 92.000 in an
appro7imate area of 900 ha
. As -iho indicates, it had three main ob8ectives
– ,the creation of a new centre ,worthy of the capital of a full developing country1
– improvement of a functional !oning which would integrate the heterogeneous urban
– the improvement of the street networ>, and the transformation of it into a ring-road
system with opening of new radial and peripheral roads.1
"he first ob8ective was not fulfilled, while the other two were implemented
partially and with changes according to the e7isting layout. "he city's residential !one
would e7pand northward, while the industrial !ones would develop towards north-
west and south-west creating in between a residential !one for wor>ers. +n the other
side, by preserving the typical use of greenery on the old city and e7panding it
throughout the new areas, the plan aimed at creating a citto iardino. "he new elements
of the functional !oning comprised of new residential areas on the southern hills, the
great par> behind them and a s6uare at the southern end of the main north-south a7is.
"his plan was used as a reference for the later !oning of the city, after which the
hospital, industrial !ones were located. Also, the rings of this plan were not e7ecuted
but served as the basis for the future ring road which would be built after the war.

"he main legacy of this period, seems to be the definitive design of the
southern part of the north : south boulevard, or as it was named at the time %iale del
Fiusti, 7@W:8?: G :;KL?OMOOX;: M K?OOrB CDEH G CDFS, 42.
Alia8, Dulo, and -yftiu, 0irana, the challene of ur6an develop+ent, 4/.
-iho, Sh_ip`ria: v`shtri+ ur6anistik, bcbm'bcnn, 349.
5bid., 34J.
Fig 3.3.8: Perspective
drawing for the
preliminary version of
Casa del Fascio, Bosio,
Fig 3.3.": #etailed plan
of Piazza Littoria $y
%herardio Bosio, 19!.
&eft, the '.(.#.).,
centre the %.&.), right
the stadi*m and $ottom
Casa del Fascio.
Fig 3.3.+: Perspective drawing of Piazza Littoria showing Casa del Fascio in the centre adorned $y
thematic sc*lpt*ral gro*ps all over the s,*are., $y %herardo Bosio. 19!.
I+pero #Ampire Avenue&, and the "iappa Littoria #Dictor S6uare&, situated at the
southern end of it. #<ig. /./.2B /./.I& 5t was elaborated as a special case in a partial study
from Fherardo Bosio since the beginning of the wor>s of yfficio. <ascism needed a
central and well displayed architectural comple7 to house its civilian and military
administration. "he only comple7 in the city was the group of ministries built some
years ago, but it has to be used by the local puppet regime, made of officials of the
Albanian <ascist %arty and 5talian advisers.
5t was the place where the con8unctures and the architectural e7pression of the
occupation and its ideology would be shown better and clearer, and at the same time
the connection of the old city with the new political centre that was to be created at
"iappa Littoria. #<ig. /./.9& 5t emphasised the a7iality of the pro8ect started by di <austo,
by forming a ,4ardo 3aki+us crossing the city 8oining the 4asa Littoria situated at
foothills, with the barrac>s of the Guardia, planned to be built on the plains towards
the %iale %ittorio E+anuele III.1
"he regime needed visual representations of the
5talian fascist culture, with all the elements of grandiosity that one can find at the
Esposipione yniversale di Ro+a w Enm, thus the central avenue resulted the perfect
solution for this purpose.
+n the way to the "iappa Littoria, nucleus of the political and propagandistic
buildings of <ascism, the avenue would host all the administrative and military organs
4o+ando truppe #Army $ead6uarters&, 4o+ando *eronautica #Air <orce Command&,
4o+ando della 3ilipia &orestale #Command of the <orestry -ilitia&, I.q.&.*.I.L. ' Istituto
qapionale &ascista *ssicurapione contro li Infortuni sul Lavoro #'ational <ascist 5nstitute of
Wor> Accidents' 5nsurance&, etc. 5t was planned as a reminiscence of the ;oman
<orum, forming in this way a centre for the new part of the city. "his new centre was
itself separated from the old one by the double boulevard on the ban>s of Dana cree>,
which can be perceived as the -ecu+anus 3aki+us of the new plan. Although regarding
the ;oman rules of the city planning, the &oru+ - the hub of the city should be at the
intersection of 4ardo and -ecu+anus, "iappa Littoria, which plays the role of the &oru+
was placed at the end of Cardo : %iale dellhI+pero.
?ic>ers, 0he *l6anians: a +odern history, *43.
Fherardo Bosio, "iano Reolatore di 0irana: Reola+ento ur6anistico del %iale dellhI+pero #"iran€ =fficio
per l'Adili!ia e l'=rbanistica de l'Albania, *.40&, /.
Fig 3.3.11: Perspective drawing of the building of Opera Nazionale Dopolavoro Albanese, by
Gherardo Bosio, 1!".
Fig 3.3.: Perspective drawing of the final version of Casa del Fascio, by Gherardo Bosio, 1!".
Fig 3.3.1": #wo influences: Palazzo Strozzi of Florentine palaces and a typical $lbanian Kulla.
Fig 3.3.12: Perspective drawing of the building of Gioventù Littoria Albanese, by Gherardo Bosio
Fig 3.3.13: Perspective drawing of the $ly%pic stadiu% by Gherardo Bosio 1!"#.
Fig 3.3.1": &cale %odel of Viale dell'Impero, 1!"#.
Fig 3.3.16: Perspective drawing of the new arrangement of Skënderbej Sqare! 1"#$.
Fig 3.3.1%: &etai'ed p'an of the Skënderbej Sqare from the master(p'an of )irana! b* Ufficio
Centrale per l'Edilizia e l'Urbanistica dell'Albania, 1"#$.
Fig 3.3.1+: Perspective drawing of
the new arrangement of Skënderbej
Sqare showing the commercia'
district! 1"#$.
"he huge plain of the s6uare is designed as an ancient theatre circumscribed by
stair steps which are interrupted to introduce the side-wings the buildings of zpera
qapionale -opolavoro *l6anese #Albanian 'ational ;ecreational Club : the 5talian version
of "hird ;eich's $raft durch &reude& and the Giovent{ Littoria *l6anese #Albanian Couth of
Dictor&, whose characteristics are mar>ed by the homogeneity of valuable plasticity and
te7tures. #<ig. /./.**B /./.*3& Although the buildings are different in architectural
details, their overall presence is absorbed by the absolute monumentality of the space
they reside on. +n the other hand, between the arcade of the F.D.A one can pass to a
smaller s6uare, yet monumental space in front of the +lympic stadium #<ig. /./.*/&
with a plasticity reminiscent of Stadio dei 3ar+i of ;ome.
-oreover, the pro8ect of Bosio emphasi!ed this monumentality by using series
of emblematic sculptural ornaments, representing the eagles #used as symbols of both
ancient ;ome and F8. G. S>€nderbe8&, allegory of wor>, the heroes of ro+anito, the
march of Dictor Couth, of legionaries, of aviators.
Actually the boulevard is the
materialisation of this march to the last rise which in turn is symbolised by the hills
carrying the 4asa del &ascio. "he building, >nown also as "alappo Littorio, coronates the
promenade. Standing on a huge pedestal, it is the most important piece of the
comple7, featuring influences of the <lorentine palaces and reminiscences of the
traditional $ulla #the Albanian word for ,tower1& of northern Albania. +n its feet lays
the space reserved for the public, which initially incorporated a huge water basin,

another feature that increases the monumental effect of the space.
Beside the ideological infrastructure, the plan included also the artistic, sportive
and economic buildings along the boulevard. "he architects, trying to preserve the
characteristics of the old city, placed the new business centre of the city where the +ld
Ba!aar lied, #<ig. /./.*2& which had become almost inefficient that time. 5t was
designed as a series of colonnaded buildings, #<ig. /./.*IB /./.*9& similar to pure forms
of the F.D.A. but less monumental, which were the northern borders of the new
Sk`nder6e^ S_uare. "he original design of di <austo was modified so that the longitudinal
area between the ministries turned in a green space preparatory of the proper s6uare,
Fiusti, 7@W:8?: G :;KL?OMOOX;: M K?OOrB CDEH G CDFS, I4.
5bid., 4I.
now an empty space on the east-west direction, with a fountain in the middle of it.
(a8ti $otel #named after the mountain situated east of "irana, creating a
bac>ground for the city& situated at the crossing of %iale del I+pero with the riverside
boulevard built along the Dana cree>, #<ig. /./.*JB /./.*J& was designed to be one of
the biggest hotels of the Bal>ans and among the most modern in Aurope. 5t was
commissioned on September *./. from Ente qapionale Industrie 0uristiche e *l6erhiere
#'ational Agency of "ourism and $otel 5ndustries& to Fherardo Bosio, who couldn't
live long enough to see the completion of this e7emplar of rationalist architecture in
Albania. "he volume and details of the hotel can be seen as the coronation of the
language simplifying process underta>en by the 5talian architects, starting with di
Although all the urban and architectural achievements gained through the
-onarchy period and the first years of World War 55 cannot be denied, and somehow
formed the core of the urban layout of "irana, the fact that they were commissioned
and designed under a colonial agenda must not be underestimated. #<ig /./.3/& "hey
were fruits of the theoretical debates and previous practices in the African and Aegean
colonies. 'onetheless, in "irana there was a less sophisticated urban layout, fact which
gave architects a freer rein to e7periment than the characteristically harsh environment
of Dibyan or Aritrean architecture had done. +n the other hand, these improvements
meant a lot for a city claiming the capital status while having no infrastructure at all.
"hese were to be the last contributions of the occupation period for the city, since the
replacement of the ;egio Asercito by the Wehrmacht in September, *.4/, after the
capitulation of the fascist 5taly, brought no economic or financial improvement, e7cept
some repairs of military bases and airports.
<ischer, *l6ania at !ar: bcfc ' bcnt, *99.
Fig 3.3.20: Photo of the construction process of Casa del Fascio, 1941
Fig 3.3.18: Perspective
drawing of the Dajti
Hote! "# $herardo
%osio! 1&3&.
Fig 3.3.1&: Photo of the
construction process of
the Dajti Hote. 1&'0
Fig 3.3.24:
Fig 3.3.21:
Photo showing the
construction process of
the Olympic stadium
and in the ac!ground
Casa del Fascio, 1"41.
Fig 3.3.22:
Photo showing Viale
dell'Impero and the
#icinities during
construction$ 1"41
Fig 3.3.23: %as&relief with
'ussolini(s words on it
placed on the fa)ade of
the maternity *ospital.
+ight$ his personal en#oy
to ,lania$ -ount -iano
inspecting the pulic
wor!s in the capital$
Albania emerged from the World War 55 as literally the most bac>ward country
in Aurope. Although no reliable statistics on Albania's wartime losses e7ist, the =nited
'ations ;elief and ;ehabilitation Administration reported about /0,000 Albanian war
dead, 300 destroyed villages, *J,000 destroyed houses, and about *00,000 people left
Compared to the pre-war population and economic development, these
numbers represent the worst damage any country in Aurope had suffered. Almost a
third of all buildings were destroyed, nearly all mines, ports, roads and bridges were
rendered unusable, and few industrial plants were left in wor>ing order. Shelter had to
be found for the thousands made homeless by the destruction of towns and villages.

<ew passable arteries remained as the communications networ> built up before the war
had largely been destroyed. As all goods had to be carried by road, because no railway
networ> e7isted at all, transport was a real problem for most of the country's remote
parts suffering at the brin> of famine.
5n every material sense, the war placed Albania at a tremendous disadvantage
regarding the rest of the continent. %olitically, though, the war played into the hands of
the emerging regime, as it did on most Aastern Auropean countries. Contrary to these
countries, where the advance of the ;ed Army was the most important factor in
establishing new regimes, in Albania a new, previously un>nown path to socialism was
opened as the partisan forces led by the Communist %arty achieved liberation from
mQjUWj‘z   fj  ’‘QR  QP…|ƒj[   Yƒj“WZƒ  ZVƒ  YWmmWU|XZWƒj[   ZVƒ  QY‘WRWjZPQZW”ƒ[   QRY  ƒU•R•‘WU
vacuum left by the 'a!i-<ascists and their collaborators presented an opportunity for
the establishment of a new system. "he resistance was far less than it would have been
^ic>el and 5was>iw, *l6ania: a country study, /9.
?ic>ers, 0he *l6anians: a +odern history, *II.
otherwiseB largely relying on the goodwill of the large part of the population.
+n the
other hand, the propaganda directed by the Communist %arty during the war years
brought the marginalisation of other potential oppositional forces from the future
political stage.
"he resistance during World War 55 was largely a guerilla movement consisting
of groups which lac>ed organi!ation on a large scale until *.43. Also, the groups had
s6uabbles among themselves and usually refused to wor> together since all the groups
had designs on gaining power in post-war Albania. "he absence of a political system to
ta>e effective control after Ging ^og 5 left the country was the largest obstacle the
various political groups were facing at the time. "he resistance movement proved to be
the instrument by which the internal power struggle for control of post-war Albania
was fought.
"here were some efforts to unify the several resistance groups under a central
management #which was named 'ational Diberation <ront&, but following
disagreements on the issue of creating an ethnic state of Albanians after the war, the
%GS$ denounced the other groups as collaborators to the occupiers and the councils
were purged of the non-communist elements. "he Communist sei!ure of power began
at a congress held in %€rmet on -ay 34, *.44, attended by representatives from all the
country. "he Congress decided to •set up a new democratic Albania for the people•
and that ,the permanent type of government would be decided after the war by free
5t was also decided that Ging ^og could never return to Albania and that
all agreements made by his regime were officially void. 5t elected an Anti-<ascist
Committee for 'ational Diberation headed by Anver $o7ha, which was transformed
into the provisional government of Albania on +ctober 33. 5t moved to "irana after its
liberation on 'ovember 3J, *.44.
"he first post-war general elections were held on (ecember 3, *.42. "he
(emocratic <ront : the new name of &q|, which included some non-Communist
fRYƒPj ’‘QR[ *rchitecture and ideoloy in Eastern Europe durin the Stalin era : an aspect of 4old ]ar history
#Cambridge, -ass. Architectural $istory <oundation, *..3&, J.
Hames Salibur +'(onnell, * co+in of ae: *l6ania under Enver #okha, Aast Auropean -onographs 2*9
#Boulder, *...&, J.
^ic>el and 5was>iw, *l6ania: a country study, /I.
"omes, $in ao of *l6ania: Europehs Self'3ade 3usli+ $in, 3I2.
resistance elements : won some ./ per cent of the vote.
"his was no surprise since
virtually all the candidates stood for it. A new national assembly met in Hanuary **,
*.4I. #<ig. 4.*.*& 5t approved a new constitution, proclaiming Albania a •%eople's
;epublic•, giving thus an official end to ^og's monarchy.
4.1. !rbanisation as a large scale pro"ect
"he end of the war found Albania devastated in every field of life. "he little
economic and industrial improvement gained between the wars was almost destroyed,
agriculture roughly had the same fate, and the urbani!ation had mostly halted at what
5talians had made, and in some places it was even worse, those achievements had been
destroyed by the bombardments. "he reconstruction of the country's almost non-
e7istent economy and being recogni!ed as an independent and sovereign state were the
most urgent tas>s facing the emerging regime. +n the other hand, restoring order to
the ruins and starting reconstruction was the great tas> that people could agree on, and
ruins meant not only shattered buildings but also the inherited wrec>age of society.
Anton ^isch>a, in his boo> describing his travels in the region during this period,
Averywhere people wear national costume. "he old traditional patriarchal
way of life has been destroyed, but a new one suited to prevailing Albanian
circumstances has not yet been discovered.
+n this bac>ground, the government began introducing a centralised economy,
based on the Soviet model. 5n (ecember *.44, the foreign and domestic trade, the few
industrial, commercial and transportation enterprises the country possessed were put
under state control. <oreign-owned properties were nationalised and concessions
previously granted to foreign companies cancelled.
?ic>ers, 0he *l6anians: a +odern history, *I4.
"omes, $in ao of *l6ania: Europehs Self'3ade 3usli+ $in, 3II.
?ic>ers, 0he *l6anians: a +odern history, *J0.
^ic>el and 5was>iw, *l6ania: a country study, /..
Fig 4.1.1: Previously a
building of the Fascist
regime, it serves as
gathering hall of the
new Constituent
Assembly which would
declare Albania a
Peole!s "eublic,
#anuary 11, 1$4%.
Fig 4.1.&: Prefabricated housing bloc's ( an
imortant element of the raid urbanisation.
Fig 4.1.): *rbanisation and the !new man! as
a central theme in arts: +Children, of -iro
.risto, 1$%%.
Fig 4.1.4: *rbanisation theme used again for advertising roaganda: a /0 le' ban'note, 1$%4.
'onetheless, industrialisation was the main goal of the economic strategies.
%lanners at the newly founded Aconomic %lanning Commission emphasi!ed industrial
development, and in *.49 the government introduced the Soviet cost-accounting
system. A concise statement on building the economy by concentrating on
industriali!ation was made at the <irst Congress of the %arty in 'ovember *.4J when
it was announced that
5ts fundamental economic ob8ective was to raise the country from its
profound bac>wardness, through a vigorous development of the forces of
"he essence of this tas> was the socialist industriali!ation and the
electrification, of the country. "he absolute necessity for industriali!ation was
dictated by the need to create an entirely new material-technical base for the
people's economy, to e7tend the production of goods within the country, to
prepare the conditions for the reorgani!ation of agriculture on a socialist basis,
to increase the numbers of the wor>ing class so as to strengthen its leading
position. Socialist industriali!ation would directly serve the safeguarding of the
gains and the development of the revolution, the construction of socialist
Socialist industriali!ation had to be carried out at rapid rates so as to
overcome the bac>wardness inherited from the past within the shortest
possible time, to ensure the independent development of the economy and to
achieve an appreciable rise in the material and cultural level of the wor>ing
"he pre-war society structure made of a large and impoverished peasantry, an
almost in-e7istent capitalist and wor>ers class and a politically powerful landed
aristocracy, had a strong feudal character. Such an industrialisation rate as indicated
would increase the numbers of the wor>ing class, the primary condition for a socialist
revolution. "he Communist %arty of Albania even renamed itself according to the new
goals, as "artia e "un`s e Sh_ip`ris` #%arty of Dabour of Albania&.
"his class change
would be possible only by the e7pansion of the urban area and with ,the gradual
5nstituti i Studimeve -ar>siste-Deniniste, ed., #istoria e "artis` s` "un`s t` Sh_ip`ris`, Botim i 55. #"iran€
J '€ntori, *.J*&, 343.
5bid., 342.
abolition of all the distinction between town and country1.
+n the other hand, citing
Denin, the cities were seen as ,centres of the economic, political and spiritual life of the
people and the ma8or source of progress1.
"hese ideological phrases could hardly
apply to the economic development of the new state, as it had lagged behind the rest
of Aurope #including most of its neighbours&. As Anyedi indicates, ,-ar7ist ideology
refused to adopt the life style of the western societies, but needed to achieve their
levels of material wealth to establish the socialist #that is, egalitarian& well being of the
in an almost total poverty. ;adical social changes, rapid economic
growth and accelerated urbanisation were the main tools which the new regime had to
use to reach this goal. While in the West the development of cities was brought up as
result of economic prosperity and designed to satisfy individual consumption, the
urbanisation pro8ect in Albania #as in other Aastern bloc countries& was built upon
-ar7ist : Deninist ideals of progress and principles of social 8ustice. "he primary
element of these principles was the e6ual redistribution of all resources through the
agency of the state.
Conse6uently, a centrally planned and egalitarian urbanisation, made out of
different ,socialist spaces1 too> place all over the country. 5t meant e6ual living
conditions on the urban networ> scale and within individual settlements. As the main
item of this urbanisation was the housing 6uestion, large housing units were built, all of
whose apartments had more or less the same layouts and amenities. "he amount of
space, the units of basic public services each personKfamily should get was e6ual and
the population of the new housing comple7es was socially mi7ed. Before and during
the war, there were stri>ing differences in living conditions between cities and regions,
and between various social classes, thus these principles were seen as big opportunities
to most of the people. "he importance the urbanisation issue had for the central
government can be observes in the words of Anver $o7ha
Garl -ar7 and <riedrich Angels, 3anifesto of the 4o++unist "arty, ed. <riedrich Angels, trans. Samuel
-oore #Chicago Charles $. Gerr • Co., *.0I&, 4I.
Feorge H. (em>o and Hoanna ;eguls>a, ,Socialism and its impact on urban processes and the city,1
yr6an Georaphy J, no. 4 #August *.J9& 3J..
FyLrgy Anyedi, ,=rbani!ation under socialism,1 in 4ities after socialis+: ur6an and reional chane and
conflict in post'socialist societies[   ƒYz   NPƒ…•Pr  fRYP|j–[   —WUVQƒX   ˜QPX•ƒ[   QRY  ™”QR  T–ƒXšRrW[   TZ|YWƒj  WR
urban and social change #+7fordB Cambridge, -ass. Blac>well, *..I&, *02.
Considering today's shortage on sheltering, houses for wor>ers must be
built. "he people must see an improved situation, thus there must be
initiatives in this direction. Averything that will be built, must be in
compliance with our people's regime. "he sanitary side and the comfort must
be ta>en under considerationB wor>ers' and civil employees' housing must be
beautiful, with gardens and trees, occupying not too much space, not lac>ing
anything for the residents either. "he buildings must be developed
hori!ontally and not too verticallyB architects should ta>e into account our
vernacular style. "hey must try to create a style in accordance with the
characteristics of our country.
According to official statistics of the time, the pace of urbanisation was such
that the construction capacity in *.94 was *3* times higher than that of *./JB
the years *.90-9/ I4. million le> were invested only on housing constructions and by
*.93 3//.000 apartments were built by the state or with state investments.
All these processes were part of the great social pro8ect of creating the new
socialist man, where space and material environment were believed to have great
capacity to shape his new mentality. A new consciousness would emerge from novel
social relations developed by reshaping the home, the wor>place or the street. While
trying to provide sufficient housing for all, #<ig. 4.*.3& the regime made sure that the
home and new public spaces of leisure would be primary sites for ideological
intervention. And the construction process itself was a playground of this pro8ect, by
involving largely the voluntary wor> which ,was a techni6ue to change the minds of
the people and turn them into good socialists.1

"he urbanism emerging from these politics has been criticised having low rates
Anver $o7ha, ,'ga f8ala e mba8tur n€ >omisionin e ngritur p€r Œ€sht8en e urbani!mit t€ 6ytetit t€
"iran€s dhe t€ 6yteteve t€ t8era t€ vendit - *..03.*.4J,1 in %epra sJanar bcn} ' -h^etor bcnev, ed.
™RjZWZ|ZW W TZ|YW‘ƒ”ƒ —QPgjWjZƒo›ƒRWRWjZƒ[ ”•Xz u[ lƒ“PQ e{WPQRœh •QW‘ †PQjVœPW[ wžŸtv[ uxxz
,(u>e marr€ parasysh 6€ ne sot >emi nevo8€ t€ madhe p€r strehim, duhet t€ ngrihen banesa p€r
pun€tor€t. F8ith€ populli t€ shi>o8€ n8€ g8end8e t€ p€rmir€suar, pranda8 duhet t€ >et€ iniciativ€ n€
>€t€ dre8tim. ˆdo g8€ 6€ do t€ ngrihet, t€ p€rshtatet me reg8imin ton€ popullor. "€ shi>ohet ana e
sh€ndetit, >omoditetiB sht€pit€ p€r pun€tor€t e n€pun€sit t€ 8en€ t€ bu>ura, me >opshte e pem€, t€
mos !€n€ shum€ hap€sir€, por edhe t€ mos u mungo8€ asg8€ atyre 6€ bano8n€. Fodinat t€ shtrihen n€
g8er€si e 8o shum€ n€ lart€siB ar6ite>t€t duhet t€ >en€ parasysh stilin popullor. "€ p€rpi6en 6€ t€
>ri8o8n€ n8€ stil n€ p€rshtat8e me >ara>teristi>at e vendit ton€.1
Amin -ysliu, ,'d€rtimet transformo8n€ pam8en e atdheut ton€,1 Shkenca dhe Jeta, no. 0/ #*.94& 2.
?alentina %istoli, ,%€rmbi g8ysma e popullsis€ n€ banesa t€ re8a,1 Shkenca dhe Jeta, no. 0/ #*.94& *2.
Hulie Abit!, ,%ost-socialist city development in "irana1 #-aster's "hesis, ;os>ilde ;os>ilde
=niversitet, 300I&, I0.
of ,economi!ing with space1
, which is strongly related to the fact that land was state
property, and being as such, urban planners had great freedom in implementing their
plans by being more concerned with the aesthetic rather than the economic aspects of
their urban space designs. $owever, as employees of the institute e7plained during
interviews and as several decrees indicate, this was not the case in Albania due to
economic reasons. "he main directives given by the state were that the cities were to
be designed ,... avoiding any influence from the revisionist and bourgeois ideology,
aiming the concentration and gathering of the buildings, thus saving the arable land
used for agrarian purposes, especially the grain fields...1.
5n a regime that tried to
build a self-reliant economy, space-saving plan designs, furniture and austere use of
materials came as natural living conditions for everyday life, which was propagated as
the main achievement of %%Sh
.... they ~the local government• must create better life conditions for the
people, who will then see the new living conditions, the changes introduced
from people's government assistance, how state is ma>ing efforts in that
direction and has achieved results.
Cities' configuration was used as a powerful tool and at the same time as a stage
setting to control and develop the psyche of the masses. "he new 6uarters and public
spaces that were created were the main ob8ective of this process. $ere, spaces could
easily become ,Freat Spaces through a connection with the grand spatial narratives of
As a result, the huge metallurgical comple7 |eliku i "artis` figured as the
fore of socialis+B a children's >indergarten #<ig. 4.*./& as a paradigm of the future
™”QR T–ƒXšRrW[ ¡WZWƒj |RYƒP j•UWQXWj‘ o QRY QmZƒP[¢ WR 4ities after socialis+: ur6an and reional chane and
conflict in post'socialist societies[   ƒYz   NPƒ…•Pr  fRYP|j–[   —WUVQƒX   ˜QPX•ƒ[   QRY  ™”QR  T–ƒXšRrW[   TZ|YWƒj  WR
urban and social change #+7fordB Cambridge, -ass. Blac>well, *..I&, /00.
-inistria e 'd€rtimit, -ekreti dhe Rreulloria p`r harti+in, +irati+in dhe p6ati+in e planeve rreulluese t`
_yteteve dhe t` fshatrave, *.9J, /.
,...>und€r Œdo ndi>imi t€ ideolog8is€ borg8e!e e revi!ioniste, p€r p€r6€ndrimin dhe grumbullimin e
nd€rtimeve, du>e >ursyer sa m€ shum€ fondin e to>€s bu86€sore, e sidomos t€ asa8 ar€...1
$o7ha, ,'ga f8ala e mba8tur n€ >omisionin e ngritur p€r Œ€sht8en e urbani!mit t€ 6ytetit t€ "iran€s
dhe t€ 6yteteve t€ t8era t€ vendit - *..03.*.4J,1 42J.
,...t€ >ri8o8n€ >ushtet p€r n8€ 8et€ m€ t€ mir€ p€r popullin, i cili t€ shi>o8€ >ushtet e re8a t€ 8etes€s, t€
shi>o8€ ndryshimet 6€ vi8n€ nga ndihma e pushtetit popullor, t€ shi>o8€ si shteti p€rpi6et p€r t€ dhe
8ep re!ultate.1
(avid Crowley and Susan Amily ;eid, eds., Socialist spaces: sites of everyday life in the Eastern Bloc
#+7fordB 'ew Cor> Berg, 3003&, J.
co++unist city, etc.
Cet, the urban spaces that socialism had now to manage were not
totally blan>. %revious regimes and eras had left their traces, which were often very
powerful. -anaging meanings and their impositions upon the e7isting spaces was as
important as creating the new ones. %revious street names were replaced with heroic or
revolutionary ones, the old 6uarters were filled with memorial plates everywhere, many
houses were declared part of the glorious national-liberation war, thus cradles of the
mother %arty. "he city of "irana itself was called 0irana e ku_e se "artis`v - Albanian for
,#%arty's& ;ed "irana1, emphasi!ing its role in the anti-fascist war and the foundation
of the %arty in an old 6uarter of the city.
+n the other hand, besides being itself a tool for the education and the control
of masses' consciousness, the vast urbanisation pro8ect was one of the main themes on
visual arts along with scenes that reinforced national identity and pride. Scenes from
the great spaces that were being created were on paintings, street boards, ban>notes,
etc. #<ig. 4.*.4& Although the official account was theoretically and practically against
the modern movement as a decadent and revisionist way of thin>ing,
still the whole
pro8ect they applied can be evaluated to be modern in aiming to create a new way of
life by urbanity, art, science, etc.
(espite this whole pro8ect of creating the new man, removal of privileged
classes, and application of e6uity principles, ,individuals devised hidden mechanisms
for defending their interests and for promoting urban social processes in opposition to
official policies, re8ecting some of the values of socialist urbani!ation in favour of a
continuation of 6oureois attitudes and ideology1.
"herefore, many residential
locations were regarded as better or worse by the citi!ens, despite the e6ual
infrastructural conditions. -oving from or to these areas was meant to be a status
change for everyone. 5n "irana's case this phenomena will be analysed in the ne7t
Albanian for ,%arty's Steel1, it can be seen as a wordplay on Stalinist ideals, Stalin meaning steel in
;ussian. 5t was advertised by the regime as ,the second liberation of Albania1, although it was built
mainly with financial and technological assistance from ;% of China.
<or a detailed analysis of this criti6ue see
fXmPƒY £¤W[ I:W?;?8OMO ? Q~•M;8?RQ?OB 9;?O?9: M MPOMO?9€P Q~•M;8?POMz e{WPQRœh •QW‘ †PQjVœPW[ wž¥Ÿvz 
Anyedi, ,=rbani!ation under socialism,1 *02.
4.2. #aking Tirana a capital for the people
Cities, as organisms often have to deal and react to many traumatic events such
as wars or natural disasters. (estructions of this scale can be a significant opportunity
to repair or modify shortcomings of earlier urban form. 5n the case of "irana, the
physical destruction brought by World War 55 combined with change of the governing
regime change, had an immense influence on the nature and scale of urban design of
the after-war period.
"he state, as a central planning entity, had a powerful influence on the
production of #urban and public& space. "he authority and pressure applied by the state
through city planning, which was viewed as an important means of achieving political
purposes, did materiali!e in the physical layout of the socialist city. +n the other hand,
the capital with around *00,000 inhabitants appears to have remained more or less on
the same grounds as before the war, despite the immediate reconstruction of the city
centre. ^isch>a noted that
Dow houses remain unchanged since "ur>ish times, ba!aars and half
decayed booths of artisans, there is a continual smell of don>ey manure and
rancid murton fat, and where hens and pigs refuse to be disturbed by any
mere pedestrian. "he embassy cars go regularly into Cugoslavia to buy
provisions for there is a shortage not only of lu7ury articles, but of many
necessities, shortages are in evidence everywhere.
As the cult of the individual began to consolidate, as in every field of Albanian
life, Anver $o7ha gave directives also for the future planning of the capital, which
would be carried from a commission mainly controlled by members of Byro^a "olitike
#%olitburo of %DA&. $e ,advised1 that the city should have many housing comple7es
for the wor>ers, large par>s, wide streets, a centre adorned with administrative and
cultural buildings, an ,=n>nown Soldier1 monument, etc.
All these features were
studied and implemented on the first urban plan of the city after the war, prepared by
this commission in *.29. #<ig. 4.3.*& According to the official account, this plan was
prepared only due to the construction of the %alace of Culture in the centre of the
?ic>ers, 0he *l6anians: a +odern history, *J0.
$o7ha, ,'ga f8ala e mba8tur n€ >omisionin e ngritur p€r Œ€sht8en e urbani!mit t€ 6ytetit t€ "iran€s
dhe t€ 6yteteve t€ t8era t€ vendit - *..03.*.4J,1 42I.
which was one of the many generous gifts of the >ind the =SS; made to most
of the Soviet bloc countries. 5t prepared the interventions necessary for allocating the
%alace. +n the other hand, Alia8 et. al observe that this was an immediate plan that was
prepared up to the need of restructuring new developments and creating new satellite
towns for the emerging labour force.
Whatever the starting point, this plan was the
first general attempt to put under control the immense and irregular e7pansion the city
had obtained up to the time. 5t provided ,the e7pansion of the housing areas to meet
the population needs, the read8usting of the !oning functions, the improvement and
enlargement of the road networ> and the declaring of distinctive areas as historic
Cet for the state ideology, the main achievement was the infiltration of
socio-cultural units into the heart of the city, the main s6uare. "his was perceived as a
triumph of the socialist consciousness of science, culture and progress over the
capitalist one made of money generating spaces.
-eanwhile, constructions all over the city continued to form its physiognomy :
surrounded by different industrial !ones, a huge housing area which surrounded the
central a7is, carrier of the cultural, administrative and sportive units of the city. "he
later plans would emphasise this layout furthermore. 5n *.I2, a second plan was
prepared by the 5nstitute of %lanning and %ro8ect 'r. *., which was the first plan that
beside the all-time concern about the centre, elaborated the organisation of the city's
development and growth, as the official press of the time indicates.
5t was after this
plan that the centre was once again modified with a *2-storey-high hotel and with
<ai> Alimehmeti, ,Grye6yteti yn€, "irana, d8e, sot dhe nes€r,1 Shkenca dhe Jeta 0I #*.9I& 3/.
Alia8, Dulo, and -yftiu, 0irana, the challene of ur6an develop+ent, 23.
5bid., 2/.
Alimehmeti, ,Grye6yteti yn€, "irana, d8e, sot dhe nes€r,1 3/.
Fig 4.2.1: The
urban plan of
1957. The
Skënderbej Square
still preserves the
old structure.
Fig 4.2.2: Preliminar phase
plan of 19!5 for the centre
of Tirana.
some wide streets stretching from the old part of the city to the s6uare that changed its
face drastically. #<ig. 4.3.3&
Another urban study was approved in *.9I, #<ig. 4.3./& this time concerning
mostly the centre !one. A mini-ring road was introduced to relieve the s6uare from the
vehicles, while it would be a clear empty space, now confined and defined by the new
'ational $istorical -useum Comple7. A statue called ,-onument of <reedom1
would ta>e place in the middle of this political-cultural huge space, #<ig. 4.3.4& giving it
the ma7imum solemnity possible. After the death of Anver $o7ha, Byro^a "olitike
decided among other honorific gestures that this monumentality would be realised by
his statue overloo>ing all the s6uare. 5n the plan prepared for this rema>e, a water
basin was placed in the centre of the s6uare, while the north e7it was mar>ed by a
concrete flag staff as high as the hotel ,"irana1.
"he last plan prepared under the centralised economic system was launched in
*.J2 and was ratified in *.J., #<ig. 4.3.2& in a time when the wave of falling totalitarian
regimes began spreading all over Aastern Aurope. At this time, the city had developed
mainly along the east-west direction. "his was partly because the north-south
dominating a7is was mostly institutional, administrative, bounded south by the Frand
%ar> and north by arable land and partly because of the geological suitability of the flat
areas eastward. "he e7isting functional !oning had become almost inefficient due to
their spreading towards each other's area. -any housing areas lac>ed proper service
facilities regarding their inhabitants' number. "he plan was supposed to prepare the
city's layout for a period of 30 years and manage with its powerful e7pansion, which
had gone beyond the predicted limits. 5n relationship to this study, the plan's main
features were setting a new outer ring road as a development boundary and the
prolongation of the north-south a7is toward the airport direction, thus transforming it
into the main entrance of the city.
5n general, "irana was planned as a compact, self-sufficient city, that was a
scale-model of Albania's state in that period. Some of its spatial features were
e7pressed through strong a7ial streets, residential areas developed in typical #mostly
prefabricated& bloc>s or collective housing. While urban edges were reserved for
horticultural, food and light industrial production, the centre was meant to be the most
distinctive characteristic, the focus of all political, administrative, educational and
sportive activities of not only the city, but all the country. Although it is doubtful
whether the Albanian architects had any professional connection with their colleagues
of the Aastern Bloc, from this aspect the centre of "irana fits perfectly into the
socialist city concept, as it was outlined in the “Sikteen principles of ur6an develop+ent”,
established by the F(; government in *.20
...the centre is the heart of the cityB it is the political centre for its citi!ens.
"he most important political, administrative and cultural establishments are in
the city centre. +n the central s6uares, political demonstrations, parades and
festivals on public holidays ta>e place. "he city centre with s6uares, main
avenues and voluptuous buildings determine the architectural silhouette of the
city. S6uares are the structural basis for urban development.
+n the other hand, as the urban development was ,promoted and directed
from the top governmental level by the allocation of development funds, the first
priority was to moderni!e the top of the urban hierarchy1,
thus the capital city. As
such, in a country with a high degree of centrali!ation, beside the money allocation
factor, the largest share of the political, administrative, military and artistic elite was
concentrated at "irana.
"he removal of privileged classes claimed by the regime should theoretically be
reflected in the urban patterns. 5n the housing arena, one can e7pect that no social or
occupational group would have better or more favourably located residential sites.
Similarly, public services such as transportation, healthcare, etc., should be of e6ual
6uality and availability. $owever, in reality, the aforementioned groups were rewarded
by access to special facilities providing health care or goods not generally available. A
district of mainly well-preserved villas from the pre-war period were nationalised and
used e7clusively for the high ran>s of Byro^a "olitike. Some high-6uality apartment
bloc>s were built for a lower, but still near-to-the-highest ran> officials. "hus, services
and conditions considered the right of every citi!en were treated also as a privilege or
$artmut $\ussermann, ,<rom the socialist to the capitalist city e7periences from Fermany,1 in
4ities after socialis+: ur6an and reional chane and conflict in post'socialist societies , ed. Fregory Andrus!,
—WUVQƒX ˜QPX•ƒ[ QRY ™”QR T–ƒXšRrW[ TZ|YWƒj WR |P¦QR QRY j•UWQX UVQR…ƒ e§¨m•PY© ¡Q‘¦PWY…ƒ[ —Qjjzh
Blac>well, *..I&, 3*9.
Anyedi, ,=rbani!ation under socialism,1 **4.
Fig 4.2.3: Scale-
model of a
version for the
plan of the centre
of Tirana, 19!.
Fig 4.2.4: Scale-
model of a
version for the
plan of the centre
of Tirana, 19!.
Fig 4.2.": The #oning sheet of the master-plan of Tirana of the $ear 1989.
reward for these groups. "he vicinity of these !ones to the main a7is of the city gave it
a more prestigious meaning on the eyes of the population. After all, this was the
intention of the regime to have a solemn and monumental central !one.
"he reversal of power and ideology which too> place in Albania was a drastic
transition process from fascist #or its vassal system& to socialist authority. 'onetheless,
in spatial terms this transition meant the inevitable presence of earlier eras' material
traces. "he e7isting buildings were the only possible administrative infrastructure and it
would have been unwise not to use them, so they had to change their connotations.
"he past was present more than anywhere else in the city on the main boulevard, and
people could use old meanings and memories that did not fit with the new regime's
scheme. 'evertheless, the remains of the previous politico-urban regime were more
easy to be absorbed and even forgotten mainly for two reasons. <irst, it was present
for only a short time, so the image created was easy to be changed, and also because
the amount of people who lived with that image was a minority of what would be the
demographics of the socialist capital. Second, most of the image created by the
previous regime, which was mainly state buildings and public wor>s, served easily as a
base for the future planning, both being dictatorial systems.
5n this way, the ministerial comple7, the ban> building, (a8ti $otel and the
stadium after a maintenance process were used for the same purposes. 4asa del &ascio
was used as the central seat of the State =niversity of "irana, formed in *.29 after the
merging of several institutes, while Giovent{ Littoria *l6anese as an archaeological
museum. zpera -opolavoro *l6anese was used as the seat of the Constituent Assembly in
the first years after war, and then transformed into the $igher 5nstitute of Arts, thus
closing the educational function of the comple7. +n the other side, the political-
sportive minor s6uare gained an educational aspect, although it ought to have been an
indoctrinated one. yffici Luootenenpa would be the seat of the Council of -inisters, and
receive some e7tensions on the years to come. -eanwhile, the boulevard's north and
south sections were preserved intact, and renamed respectively ,Stalin1 and “-`sh+or`t
e $o+6it” #-artyrs of the 'ation&.
+n the other hand, as <ow>es put it, ,building socialism involved changing
people's mind and view of history, ...and new public monuments were e7pected to play
a ma8or educational role in this respect.1
-onumental interventions into the central
s6uare of the city began in *.42. 5n front of the sun>en garden designed by di <austo,
a temporary monument to the fallen in war was erected, using an eagle figure part of
the demolished -onument to <reedom. "his garden later would be adorned with *0
spruces, brought from the Soviet =nion. 5n *.2*, a statue of the Soviet dictator, H. ?.
Stalin of whom the regime was probably the most fanatic follower, was placed. 5t was a
ª•Pg  “Pƒ“QPƒY  WR  ZVƒ  £TT«  ¦r  ZVƒ  PƒR•ªRƒY  T•”WƒZ   jU|X“Z•P   •Wg•X¬r  lQj-Xrƒ”WUV
Anver $o7ha and Byro^a "olitike made the city and whole nation >neel in
front of the statue on the day Stalin died, ma>ing an oath of loyalty. #<ig 4.3.IB 4.3.9&
"he statue would later be placed on the boulevard bearing his name, while its central
position on the s6uare would be ta>en over by a monument of F8. G. S>€nderbe8.
5naugurated in *.IJ, the 200
anniversary of his death, the sculpture is a wor> of the
renowned artist +dhise %as>ali with Hana6 %aŒo e Andrea -ano.
5n late may *.2., the <irst Secretary of the C% and %remier of the Council of
-inisters of the Soviet =nion, 'i>ita S. Ghrushchev paid a long visit to Albania.
(espite the ideological divergences which emerged after the 30
Congress' speech, this
visit culminated with Ghrushchev laying the cornerstone of a %alace of Culture in the
centre of the city, a present in the name of fraternity from the people of Soviet =nion.
Similarly, with its counterparts across Soviet bloc countries, its pro8ect was prepared by
Soviet architects.
#<ig. 4.3..& "he old centre of the city began disappearing from now
on, as its heart, the old ba!aar was torn down to ma>e space for the new political-
cultural giant. +n the other hand, outside "irana, a brand new plant for the production
of construction materials' #mostly marble treatment& was built to accelerate its wor>s.
"he palace would house an opera, the national library and several offices and au7iliary
spaces. Cet its construction process would face the same fate as the other Soviet
investments had after the brea> that resulted from the Sino-Soviet ideological conflict.
;euben <ow>es, ,"he role of monumental sculpture in the construction of socialist space in Stalinist
$ungary,1 in Socialist spaces: sites of everyday life in the Eastern Bloc, ed. (avid Crowley and Susan Amily
;eid #+7fordB 'ew Cor> Berg, 3003&, I2.
;ubens Shima, ,Stalini dhe Denini, do t€ ruhen si vlera artisti>e dhe 8o si p€rmba8t8e politi>e,1 Sot
#"iran€, Huly 32, 300J&.
,$istoria %a¯acu Gultury i 'au>i,1 httpKKwww.p>in.plKhistoriaK #accessed April *3, 30*0&.
"he use as ,gift1 of palaces of culture was a spread procedure then, the most famous being the
%Gi' in Warsaw, whose architect was Dev ?. ;udnev.
Fig 4.2.6: The Politburo and the people
of Tirana kneeling and making an oath
of loyalty before the statue of Stalin
!ar"h #$5%.
Fig 4.2.$: So&iet and 'lbanian
ar"hite"ts dis"ussing on the
model of the Pala"e of (ulture.
Fig 4.2.8: Stalin)s
statue in front of
the gift So&iet
*nion made to
'lbania: the Pala"e
of (ulture
Fig 4.2.+: The Politburo and the people
of Tirana kneeling and making an oath
of loyalty before the statue of Stalin. The
de"oration at the ba"kground ,as raised
on purpose. !ar"h #$5%.
All the Soviet architects, engineers and specialists left the country in April
*.I*, si7 months before the unofficial e7pulsion of Albania from Warsaw %act and
C+-AC+'. Wor>s continued under the guidance of Albanian architects A. (obi, B.
(a8a, S. -os>o and engineer <. St€rmasi, who made many essential changes to the
original pro8ect.
As this was an immense investment for the economic state of the
country, again the Chinese financial help came into rescue.
"he scale intervention this 'gift' made to the centre and to the psyche of the
citi!ens was irreparable. +n one hand, while e7panding artificially the borders of the
s6uare, it changed in an irreversible way the relations buildings of the centre had with it
and among each other. +n the other hand it can be perceived as an urban message
from the regime, bac>ed also by the Soviets. 5n a certain way it told people that the
regime of the dictatorship of proletariat had already become the dominant power and that
the development of the country was henceforth to advance along Stalinist lines. With
its immense form, its style and function it also constituted a challenge to the city's
lifestyle up to then. 5t became a new and different type of urban focus from what the
citi!ens were used to : previously the ba!aar was the hub of everyday life with the
cloc> tower and the mos6ue on the bac>ground, while now a cultural giant was
indicating that the socialist society was to be built not upon old beliefs and habits, but
upon the pillars of science, culture and education, which were ta>ing over the centre.
(uring the first years of the 90s, the regime decided to build #tourism& hotels
across the country as a facelift for those few controlled foreign tourists. 5n *.93, the
design process for the main hotel in the centre of "irana, #<ig. 4.3.**B 4.3.*3& which
had been previously assigned on the urban plan of *.I2 began. A group of architects
composed of ?. %istoli, G. ˆomi, -. %epa, %. Golevica, '. "heodhosi, G. Golaneci,
etc., was formed to prepare the design.
-a>ing space for it re6uired the demolition
of an orthodo7 and a catholic old churches, perfectly timed,
in a period when Albania
had declared itself the first atheist state in the world.
<inished in *.9., the new
Anver <a8a, $ush e dre^ton ur6anistik`n sh_iptare #"iran€ =<+ %ress, 300J&, 4/.
%etra6 Golevica, *rkitektura dhe diktatura #"iran€ Dogoreci, 3004&, *9*.
Guvendi %opullor i ;epubli>€s %opullore Socialiste t€ Sh6ip€ris€, $ushtetuta e Repu6lik`s "opullore
Socialiste t` Sh_ip`ris`, *.9I, sec. C, Article /9.
,Shteti nu> n8eh asn8€ fe dhe p€r>rah e !hvillon propagand€n ateiste p€r t€ rr€n8osur te n8er€!it
bot>uptimin materialist sh>encor.1
;obert Alsie, * dictionary of *l6anian reliion, +ytholoy, and folk culture #'ew Cor> 'ew Cor>
building, although it had to be built under severe economic conditions, emerged to be
the highest building in the country, altering the silhouette of the city drastically, and the
proportions of the s6uare more violently than any other building.
"he last big intervention into the central s6uare during the totalitarian period
started in late *.9I. "he start for the design of a 'ational $istorical -useum was
given from the central government and a group composed of A. <a8a, '. Shehu, %.
Golevica and S. -os>o, directed by the latter.
5t was foreseen that this would be a
comple7 of three units, namely the %re-war %eriod, the 'ational-Diberation War
%eriod and the Building of Socialism, which were to be organised around a monument
which would be on the centre of the perspective from the street of (urr€s. At the top,
the monument would have the personification of A. $o7ha as the architect of the
modern Albania, while his closest comrades were to be on the ground base.
As %.
Golevica writes, because later the architects were told ,from above1 that ,the struggle
of the Albanian people is a single thorough one1,
the museum also had to be
designed as a single unit. #<ig. 4.3.*9& "he result was a 30 metre high volume of .0790
metres, which is acclaimed to be the architectural e7pression of the struggle of
Albanian people during history.
5n *.9., the old municipality building, the only piece
closing the s6uare according to the original design, was demolished by being blown up
, after having been let into deterioration. "he new building was inaugurated on
'ovember J, *.J*, the 40th anniversary of the %DA, while the mosaic on the main
faŒade was named “Sh_ip`ria” #Albania&. 5n this way the main s6uare received its last
ma8or space-confining element, although it still remained a vague space.
+n April **, *.J2, Anver $o7ha died, leaving the country in a total isolation
and a deteriorating economy. "he centre would be used in the same way as he did
nearly /0 years ago while paying homage to his ideological father. %eople from all the
country filled the ,S>€nderbe81 s6uare to give their late leader the last farewell. "his
same space would be used later for the pedestal of his statue, #<ig. 4.3.*J& this time
alone, ga!ing at the (a8ti mountain slopes and dropping his huge shadow over the
=niversity %ress, 300*&, *J.
<a8a, $ush e dre^ton ur6anistik`n sh_iptare, *3/.
5bid., *30.
Golevica, *rkitektura dhe diktatura, 33J.
'ina -itro8org8i, ,-u!eu $istori> Gomb€tar,1 Shkenca dhe Jeta, no. 03 #*.9.& I.
Fig 4.2.10: Perspective drawing of a proposal
for the Skënderbe S!"are# prior to the
b"ilding of $irana %otel# 1&''.
Fig 4.2.11: Photo showing the constr"ction
process of $irana %otel# 1&(4.
Fig 4.2.12: Perspective drawing
of a proposal for $irana %otel#
b) Petra! *olevica# 1&(2.
Fig 4.2.13: Perspective drawing of a proposal for the National Historical Mse!" #$ %nver Fa&a"
Fig 4.2.14: Perspective drawing of a proposal for the National Historical Mse!" #$ %nver Fa&a"
Fig 4.2.1*: Perspective drawing of a proposal for the National Historical Mse!" #$ Petra+
,olevica" 19'()81.
Fig 4.2.1(: Fa-ade of a proposal for the National Historical Mse!" #$ Ma.s /elo" 19'()81.
Fig 4.2.19: Perspective drawing of
the project for the monument of
Enver Hoha in !"#nder$ej
!%uare& 19'(.
Fig 4.2.1': Perspective drawing of the new arrangement for the !"#nder$ej !%uare& 19'(.
Fig 4.2.1): !ca*e mode* of the fina* version of the project for the +ationa* Historica* ,useum&
s6uare. "his was one of the decisions Byro^a "olitike made in honour of the architect of the
+odern *l6ania, besides naming the university of "irana, many industrial plants, etc.,
after him. Behind the statue, a high-rise building with a gla!ed faŒade, which would
close the s6uare composition and at the same time serve as a bac>ground for the
monument was designed, but was not realised. #<ig. 4.3.*.& A flag staff as high as the
surrounding buildings that was designed to ta>e place on the a7is of the boulevard, also
was not realised. 5n front of it, a number of different levelled water-basins would play
the mirror to the image of the leader and the national flag.
"ogether with many
floristic and pavement details, they were aimed to minimise the huge scale of the
s6uare and the monument. #<ig. 4.3.30& 'evertheless, the space created was already out
of any human scale, an almost empty rectangle of nearly 4.2 ha.
"here were ma8or interventions also outside the central s6uare, in different
periods. "he first was the building housing the $o+iteti •endror i ""S# #Central
Committee of %DA&. 5t was built opposite of the Council of -inisters' building in
*.24, with a pro8ect of Andon Dufi and S>€nder Duarasi, from the few architects that
had graduated before the war in western schools. 5t was designed under the Soviet
classicism style, with many faŒade decorations. #<ig. 4.3.3*&"his building now houses
the offices of the parliament, the +mbudsman and several other units.
Another building is the %residential %alace, #<ig. 4.3.33& of which the original
purpose was to house the embassy of the Soviet =nion, but after the brea> of the
relationships, it became the seat of "residiu+i i $uvendit "opullor #%residency of %eople's
Assembly&. 5t received the actual status after the fall of the regime and the introduction
of %resident 5nstitution on April /0, *..*.
+n the other side of the boulevard, during the early J0s, the construction of
the %alace of Congresses started upon the pro8ect designed by a group of architects
directed by Glement Golaneci.
Being the biggest venue in Albania, with the main hall
of 3*00 seats, its volume reaches a height of *J : 3/ metres, trying not to overloo> the
ad8acent historical buildings. #<ig. 4.3.3/B 4.3.34& 5t is acclaimed to be one of the best
Glement Golaneci and 5lir <ico, ,Eendra e "iran€s,1 Shkenca dhe Jeta, no. 0/ #*.JI& 9.
Golevica, *rkitektura dhe diktatura, 340.
$ere the author implies the direction of last main pro8ects in "irana by G. Golaneci, son-in-law of
dictator A. $o7ha. "ogether with his wife, %ranvera $o7ha, he is attributed the direction of selected
design groups of the %alace of Congresses and later the Anver $o7ha museum.
modern interpretations of the vernacular architecture of several regions in Albania, the
faŒade columns and windows resembling the old traditional elements of houses in
F8iro>ast€r, Berat, etc.

<urther north, at the intersection of the boulevard with Dana cree>, after the
demolition of some two-storey houses, the -useum of Anver $o7ha, inaugurated in
+ctober *I, *.JJ, his J0
birthday anniversary, was built. #<ig. 4.3.32& "he design
group composed of G. Golaneci, %. $o7ha, %irro ?aso and ?ladimir Bregu, envisaged
a shell-li>e structure with a well-lit inner main hall, where in the centre stood a marble
statue of the dictator.
After the fall of the regime the building was modified and
renamed 5nternational Cultural Centre. 'owadays, it is deteriorating while waiting for a
faŒade reparation.
5n *.9*, the design process for the Fallery of ?isual Arts, #<ig. 4./.*& of which
the architect is Anver <a8a, of the generation of architects who studied in the ,people's
democracies1 countries, began. 5t was built at the lot between the ministerial comple7
and (a8ti $otel, partly in *.9I, to be completed in *.9. with an e7hibition capacity of
900 artwor>s. After the fall of the regime it underwent several interventions and
e7tensions, and was also renamed as 'ational Arts Fallery.
While the southern part of the boulevard was the stage of pompous buildings
and political-cultural conte7t, the ,Stalin1 boulevard had only a few of them, and more
housing units. Among prominent buildings is the maternity hospital built during the
reign of Ging ^og by 5talian investors. 5n (ecember *3, 3004, it was renamed as
+bstetric : Fynaecological =niversity $ospital ,Eueen Feraldine1 in honour of the
first 6ueen of the Gingdom of Albania.
+pposite of it stands the building of the <aculty of 'atural Sciences of
=niversity of "irana, built during the first years following the war in a neoclassical
style. 'e7t, further south stands the building of -inistry of Hustice. Built in *.2/ as
one of the biggest hotels in the city, and named *r6`ria #the name of Albania during
middle ages&, it was one of the Soviet style buildings of the city. While the decree for
the use of it is of August J, *..., the wor>s for its renovation, which left almost no
Spiro Ba>allbashi and Gu8tim -e>a, ,%allati i Gongreseve,1 Shkenca dhe Jeta, no. 03 #*.J4& *0.
Glement Golaneci, ,Si e nd€rtuam piramid€n p€r Anverin,1 *l6ania #"iran€, Hanuary 33, 300J&.
<a8a, $ush e dre^ton ur6anistik`n sh_iptare, I/.
Fig 4.2.20: The monument of
Enver Hoxha in Skënderbe
S!uare" Tirana.
Fig 4.2.2#: The bou$evard
%&art'r( of )ation% during a
mi$itar' *arade +e$ebrating &a'
#(t. ,n the right" the bui$ding
of -omiteti .endror i //SH"
on the ba+kground the o$d
/a$a00o 1ittorio" no2 (eat of
S3 of Tirana.
Fig 4.2.22: The (eat of /re(idiumi i -uvendit /o*u$$or" no2 /re(iden+'.
Fig 4.2.24: /hoto (ho2ing the +on(tru+tion *ro+e(( of the /a$a+e of
Fig 4.2.23: /a$a+e of 4ongre((e(" a$ong the
bou$evard 5&art'r( of )ation6.
Fig 4.2.27: &u(eum of Enver Hoxha" #988
trace of the old architecture, lasted until 3002.
Aven further south, stands an eight-storey flats building, designed by %.
Golevica in *.93. Built during *.9/-92, it was commissioned for foreign lecturers of
S= of "irana and for the use of CAAC : Civil Aviation Administration of China.
+pposite of it, the old head6uarters of Albanian "elegraphic Agency, designed by
-a>s ?elo in *.9/, rises. Both of these buildings can be considered as advanced
e7amples for the time they were designed in, >nowing the economic-political
conditions in which they were realised.
"he rest of the spaces over the boulevard and the central s6uare were flat
apartments or green spaces. At the end of the dictatorial regime, as a result of various
interventions in different periods, the centre of "irana had a hybrid character, in terms
of styles, space use, typology, etc. (espite the acclaims of the official account that at
last a harmonious centre composition had been achieved, the reality was different.
5nstead of being a place inviting people to 8oin each other, its scale is more dividing
than any other place in the city. "he distances, the heights of volumes and other
features form a conflictual unfinished space. 5f we were to cite a foreign visitor of early
thirties who is recalled to have said about "irana in those days that he ,had seen cities
without boulevards, but never a boulevard without a city1, it can be easily stated that
the city has created its character, but the centreKboulevard has lost the homogeneity
and already its history. "hese factors would be crucial on later urban and also political
developments of the city.
4.3. The unseen actors of the urban scene
After the war, the brea> with the past was the main theme in every possible
field of life in Albania. Aconomic strategies were at lead position of these changes,
with the removal of private property at its roots. "his also brought about the
elimination of private practise of the profession that had 8ust begun to flourish before
the war. <irstly, the service sector and later small craftsmen were collectivised into
middle cooperatives with the prete7t of a more efficient production process. After that
all services, production fields and other possible professional practices were
nationalised, thus the state became the sole huge employer who would decide what,
how, when it needed. Architecture was of no e7ception. (uring the pre-war period,
several private practices, whose wor> was controlled by the municipality, operated in
the city. "he 5talian occupation brought a centralised system for the main wor>s in the
country, yfficio 4entrale per lhEdilipia e lhyr6anistica dellh*l6ania #Central +ffice for
Construction and =rban %lanning in Albania&, which was at the same time the control
mechanism for every construction. +n the other hand, many wor>s were designed by
5talian architects or engineers. Another issue standing in the roots of this problem
derives from the architecture professional education. "here were very few Albanian
architects before the war, all of them been graduated abroad mainly as civil engineer-
architect, providing that no higher education of any >ind e7isted in the country. Some
of them left the country after the occupation, li>e Eemal But>a #graduated in ?ienna&
: also mayor of "irana during *./I-/9. "his generation of architects, together with
5talian designers were the first to bring in Albania the wave of style change that was
sweeping across Aurope, of course within the economic and social limits of the
country. $ere, we can mention S>€nder Duarasi and Andon Dufi, both of whom
received their degrees in AustriaB Dutfi Stra!imiri and ?asil 'oŒ>a, graduated in
FermanyB Gristo Sotiri, $a7hi (auti, 5brahim %rushi, ˆefo <ico and 'aim Shashai,
graduated in 5taly. As Golevica would emphasi!e later, ,this generation was the >ind of
intellectuals undesirable for the new regime, but their wor> needed to be e7ploited1.

At the end, they were the only capital in the hands of a country emerged from the war
poorer than ever. 'evertheless, this part of the society, i.e. the intellectuals of any field
that have studied in Western countries, were continuously under severe suspicion and
surveillance, and many were imprisoned or even shot.
+n the other hand, during the first years after the war, with the establishment
of mutual help politics in Aastern Bloc, many students were sent to =SS;, %oland,
;omania, Bulgaria, C!echoslova>ia to study architecture #often as engineer-architects&.
$ere we can name GoŒo -iho, Fani Stra!imiri, So>rat -os>o, GoŒo ˆomi, Anver
<a8a, ?alentina %istoli, etc. 5n *.2*, the %olytechnic 5nstitute of "irana was founded,
Golevica, *rkitektura dhe diktatura, 93.
Fig 4.3.1: Gallery of Visual Arts, by Enver Faja, 1976.
Fig 4.3.: A!art"ents blo#$, by %a$s Velo, 197. &'e ar#'ite#t 'as been (e!orte( for t'is
!roje#t a"ong ot'ers, be#ause t'is )"o(ern* +as regar(e( as an rea#tionary style.
incorporating the Civil Angineering (epartment with an academic staff including
several of these architects and engineers together with many Soviet lecturers. Dater, in
*.29, it would become a part of the State =niversity of "irana.
All these
professionals were also appointed at qd`rr+ar^a Shtet`rore "ro^ekti #State Anterprise
,%ro8ect1& founded in *.49, who designed most of the pro8ects built around the
in accordance with the five-year plans prepared by $o+isioni i "lanifiki+it
Shtet`ror #State %lanning Commission&. "his meant the official end of private
architectural practising. 5t would be a crucial point, both professionally for those few
architects used to another practising system, the new ones that would come and in
terms of subse6uent architectural developments. =nli>e 5talian fascism, that had
applied the same organisational pattern in the country, now the investor, the supervisor
and the designer was the same entity, able to have influence on every stage of the
process. "his high degree of centralisation wor>ing system had three ma8or steps. <irst,
a draft of the plan was sent from the State %lanning Commission to the enterprise #the
6uota phase&. "hese plans were prepared for a time span of five years, comprised into
twenty year development plans. "he enterprise, then, sent their revisions bac> #the
preliminary plan phase& so that the Commission could coordinate the various plans of
different fields of economy and pass the final version on to the Council of -inisters
for approval. "he final approved plan was sent bac> to the enterprises as law.
=nderstanding the professional conditions of those years for Albanian
architects would be of crucial importance in analysing the built environment that they
have designed. Albania had not inherited a rich architectural environment in terms of
professionalism. As aforementioned, there were only a few architects, who were not
organised in any >ind of professional structure. $ousing, as the main composition of
the cities, was mostly produced by the owners, without any official pro8ect. "hese
factors brought the lac> of a clear trend of the built environment, where one can see in
8u7taposition samples of neoclassical, proto-rationalist and +ttoman architecture, built
almost at the same time. "he period when the spreading of rationalist influences that
were brought from the 5talian professionals or Albanian architects trained abroad, was
-a>s ?elo, "aralel +e arkitektur`n, ed. Artan Sh>reli and (aniel F8oni #"iran€ '8eriu, *..J&, 3..
-inistria e 'd€rtimit, -ekret p`r *kordi+ -ekoratash, qr. mnfn, April *, *.29.
+'(onnell, * co+in of ae: *l6ania under Enver #okha, *99.
disrupted by the war.
-eanwhile, a comparison with the other countries of Aastern Bloc, reveals that
ZVƒPƒ   ªƒPƒ   …PƒQZ   YWmmƒPƒRUƒj   •m   QPUVWZƒUZ|PQX   ZPQYWZW•R   QRY   U|XZW”QZW•Rz   fj   ’‘QR
indicates, in C!echoslova>ia, $ungary, and the future ((;, the -odernist tendency
was strong and dominant. 5n %oland and Cugoslavia it was balanced by a 'eoclassical
tendency, while in ;omania and Bulgaria the 'eoclassical style predominated.

"raditionalism had already began losing ground towards rationalist modern ideas.
"heir cultivation had began during the years of the Bauhaus school and continued after
the war by means of architectural 8ournals, such as 0‚r ‚s for+a in $ungary, *rchitektura
ƒSR in C!echoslova>ia, and *rchitektura in %oland.
While reconstruction wor>s
gathered pace all over the countries, they continued publishing various competition
entries and previously finished buildings. And of course, there was what was coming
from the eastB after having won the official struggle over all avant-garde movements,
the Stalinist Soviet architecture, a mi7ture of 'eoclassical, ;enaissance and Art-(eco
influences. 5t was brought along with the organisation of state planning bureaus. "he
new scheme of things was introduced 6uic>ly, starting with Bulgaria early in *.4J.
C!echoslova>ia and $ungary followed suit that yearB ne7t came %oland, at the end of
the year, and finally, at the beginning of *.4., ;omania and the ((;.
application of central planning on architectural practising was among the preconditions
for creating the proper built environment.
+n the other hand, as no architectural educational infrastructure e7isted up to
that day and because architecture as an art was neglected compared to infrastructure
and simple constructions, in Albania, the trends of architecture used to change
according to the political-cultural alliances. Some two-storey bric> buildings
constructed by means of voluntary wor>,
according to Cugoslav building standards,
were the first housing units in "irana. After the brea> with Cugoslavia, the Soviet
architecture began to enter the stage of constructions in full pomposity.
+f this >ind
of architecture were the ,Stalin1 "e7tile %lant, $inostudio^a “Sh_ip`ria e Re” #,'ew
’‘QR[ *rchitecture and ideoloy in Eastern Europe durin the Stalin era : an aspect of 4old ]ar history, *3.
5bid., *I.
5bid., 3/.
Abit!, ,%ost-socialist city development in "irana,1 I0.
?elo, "aralel +e arkitektur`n, /2.
Albania1 <ilm Studio&, housing along the Dana ban> #nic>named Shallvare w shalwar&,
the faculties of 'atural Sciences and of $istory and %hilology, etc. "he most
prominent building of this style is the $o+iteti •endror i ""S# #Central Committee of
%DA&. 5n the last years before, and more intensively after the brea> with the =SS; this
trend was abandoned, due also to political con8unctures. Architects and engineers had
gained a certain freedom on design, as all arts began to be much more deliberately
e7pressive in style terms. 5n *.IJ, architecture was detached from civil engineering as
an independent department, signalling to the importance that the profession had
achieved for the regime. Also, during the late '20s qd`rr+ar^a Shtet`rore "ro^ekti, was
transformed into Instituti i Studi+eve dhe "ro^ekti+eve qr. b #5nstitute of Studies and
(esign 'r.* : this is an unspecified naming, casting shadow over the reasons, in a time
when other 5S(s had their own speciality named, such as Instituti i Studi+eve dhe
"ro^ekti+eve t` G^eolo^is` dhe 3inierave - 5nstitute of Feological and -ining Studies and
(esignB Instituti i Studi+eve dhe "ro^ekti+eve 3ekanike ' 5nstitute of -echanical Studies
and (esign, etc.&.
$owever,t the freedom was meant to last as much as it seemed harmless to the
foundations of the regime. As both sides, political leaders and architects wanted to
imprint their respective ideologies or principles on the newly created spaces, designing
for power and professional or national identity at the same time brought a clash
between the two groups. After the clearly political purges of the brea>s with "itoists
and Ghrushchevites, there came the influence of the Cultural ;evolution. +n the base
of all these eliminations was the fight over one's success, Stalin's thesis of the
intensified class struggle. Any >ind of art other than socialist realism was regarded as
bourgeois, reactionary art and had to be punished. Artists of all fields had to be
controlled by means of a central organisation, so that their wor> reflected the glorious
new life. "his mechanism of control would be Lidh^a e Shkri+tar`ve dhe *rtist`ve #Deague
of Writers and Artists&, founded in +ctober *.42, in which the architects were
represented as a mini-section incorporated into the visual arts branch, created in *.I9.
5n the eyes of the regime, architects were seen as troublema>ers and mostly had
to be under surveillance.
5n *.9*, the <irst 'ational -eeting of Architects, where
5bid., 9*.
they discussed substantial and essential issues of building, was organised. "his meeting
was, of course, under the tutelage and approval of the %arty's highest ran>s, whose
several individuals also were among the participants. 5t gave the architects the
possibility of a professional affirmation and daring more towards the aesthetic
treatment of buildings. Cet, in *.94, the 5? %lenum of the %DA brought to an end any
>ind of liberalisation seen in arts up to the date. 5t recalled once again the principles of
the socialist art against the bourgeois, modernist and other reactionary style. Singers,
composers, writers were punished with different grades up to life sentences. Architects
were not spared. -any of them were put under trial and deported, as were %etra6
Golevica or -auri!io Bego or imprisoned, li>e -a>s ?elo.
After the purge in arts, the main slogan of the creativity had to be ,a national
form, with a socialist substance1. <or e7ample, this was the motto during the design
process of the 'ational $istorical -useum. <urthermore, as usual in big scale pro8ects,
a draft of ideas about how the museum should be was given to the architects. Beside
the ideological and economic issues these directives were also about form and

+n the other hand, because of severe economic shortage, the tipipi+ : the
unification of housing units into standardised spaces : became the primary design
issue. Avery year, several units were produced , which were the only possibilities for
the architects to transform them into different buildings. As ?elo describes, this
standardised design was the main cause of the destruction of the architecture and of
the spiritual world of the Albanian people as well.
Golevica, *rkitektura dhe diktatura, 33..
"he author describes how they were told to design the building with motives resembling a
bandoleer, as the Albanian people made their way throughout history fighting for their rights.
?elo, "aralel +e arkitektur`n, /I.
"he tas> is to find a form for the soul of the masses.
;obert Breuer
Capital cities are an important element of the national framewor> of any
country and on the other hand, they e7ist due to the relationship with the nation-state.
;egardless of their si!e, structure, wealth or power, the capitals are viewed as
generators of change, thus they can demonstrate and promote with a certain hierarchy
the priorities of their state. Be it democracy, religion, a >ing's or a president's power,
throughout ages, the architecture and urban design of capitals seem to be an e7cellent
representative of their values, and their radiant culture overshadows the provinces
while becoming their representative to the world. Capitals, due to their state
representative role, have to be as much symbolic as functionalB time-proof yet fle7ible
to >eep the pace of development. All these tas>s are performed in a large scale by
means of built environment. 5n ,(er Stadtebau als archite>tonisches %roblem1, ;obert
Breuer estimated architecture as a genuine means of e7pressing political conditions
,Architecture is power made concreteB architecture is the materialisation of social rule.
"he architect is the instrument of rendering centres of power visible. And architecture
is the medium by which the transitoriness of social activity assumes an enduring image
that is comprehensible for all time.1

Being such, it seems that no matter who the commissioning power is, the
6uestion remains the same #o! can a successfully representational capital to onehs values 6e
6uilt„ "his 6uestion directs us to another 6uestion which has to be answered
simultaneously ]hich architectural ele+ents and ur6an desin decisions can correctly represent e..
Sonne, Representin the state: capital city plannin in the early t!entieth century, /*.
5bid., /0.
independence, de+ocracy, national identity and at the sa+e ti+e 6e unconditional to the citipen@ $ere
it should be clarified that representation is used as a political means, a depiction of
political values and ideals, regardless of who is being represented #state, people,
corporation& and its legitimacy #status, war, election&. +n the other hand, citing Breuer,
what is to be articulated ,is whether such materialisations occurred by chance,
incidentally, randomlyB or whether these installations of monuments were truly
intended, whether these materialisations of the ^eitgeist in architecture occurred with
While in the first presumption, built environment would be a
symptom of political circumstances, it would ta>e on the role of a deliberate symbol if
the second one applies.
$aving changed political stance many times since the proclamation as capital,
both the aforementioned situations seem to be eligible in the conte7t of planning
developments in "irana. (uring the interval e7amined in this study, the city was an
opportunity to showcase the state-sanctioned power of order with paradigmatic and
symbolic force. 'evertheless, this presumption cannot be securely applied for the first
twenty years of the capital, since the involvement scale of the head of state #%resident,
than Ging ^og& in the deciding process has not yet been revealed. Cet, for sure the
built environment created during his regime can be classified among its symptoms, in a
time when Baro6ue architecture, with its references to imperial Anti6uity and classic
cultural traditions, seemed to represent the highest stylistic level. +n the other hand,
being a totally centrally planned system, the spaces created during the dictatorship of
proletariat years were easily managed by and produced along official lines, thus creating
its representational spaces. $owever, minor tolerations, harmless to the regime's
ideological representation could be done, and there, architects could try out-of-canon
: but the area concerning this study, the main boulevard of the city surely
is not the case.
As displayed in the previous sections, "irana as a capital was sub8ect of several
planning efforts where monumentality and physical separation were primary concerns,
overshadowing attempts to use architectural elements culturally relevant to the city's
?elo, "aralel +e arkitektur`n, J..
conte7t. Among boulevards and public s6uares, analysing these efforts' main elements
would be helpful to re-e7amine how they were designed and perceived. At the same
time, comparing them with the elements of coetaneous capitals will contribute to
identifying "irana's position among the early twentieth century capital plans.
(uring this period, centrality, height, and monumentality seem to be the most
obvious attributes of capital city designs. Among the possible urban elements, the
s6uare : a7is pair usually was the most fre6uently employed.
5n "irana, the a7is : firstly ideated by Brasini : serves as a central spine,
running through the entire city lin>ing the old and the new parts of the city, along
which all the ma8or public buildings are anchored. While in Canberra the #Dand's& a7is
and in $elsin>i the %altakunnankatu were designed in the service of democracy, in
An>ara the Atatbr> Boulevard was meant to represent the success of the republic and
its main power hubs and it mar>ed the presence of a colonial power in the 'ew (elhi,
where it was the dominant feature. -oreover, although there was no de ^ure
colonisation of Albania at the time of design, the boulevard fitted perfectly into the
>ingdom's and later the 5talian colonisers' official account. +n the other hand, urban
elements in a city's s>yline can ma>e a grand impression seen from greater distances,
and the a7isKboulevard was an optimal way to stage government buildings in an
impressive manner. "his was one of the functions of many a7ial solutions : Canberra,
$elsin>i, An>ara, 'ew (elhi and "irana made full use of it. #<ig. 2.*B 2.3B 2./&
As in Canberra, where the Dand's A7is was meant to be a showcase of the
democracy and peace, but is used to commemorate war and its fallen or in 'ew (elhi
where Ra^path #Ging's Way& was intended to emphasi!e the ?iceroy)s palace but is used
for the annual ;epublic (ay parade , which ta>es place on every Hanuary 3I, the use of
"irana's main boulevard has changed with time. 5t was firstly meant by Brasini to
connect the ministerial comple7 with the presidential-later-royal palace #which was
never built& in southB in ten years, the southern end was changed by Bosio into the
highest organisation of <ascism, "alappo Littorio, and after only four years, at last, it
became the seat of "irana State =niversity's rectorate. "hus, change in the meanings
this space carried was forced more than once. (uring the years of the dictatorship of
proletariat, the boulevard, after being named north ,Stalin1 and south ,-artyr's of
'ation1, e7perienced a depletion of any social meaning. "heoretically, ,the street was
supposed to belong to the 'people'. Boulevards and central s6uares, the tools of the
absolutist city-builder, were used for parades and demonstrations.
'evertheless, as a
large scale proletarianisation was applied, most people became state employees. +nly
centrally controlled and organised professional, cultural and other associations were
allowed, and those were responsible for isolating any form of social activity at the
wor>place as much as possible. "hus the old role of the settlement and its confining
space as the place for political sociali!ation was violently ta>en. =nintentionally, as an
inner response, the central a7is was turned into a space where almost all the streets'
flow poured in, vaguely socialising.
+n the other hand, the only other use the
boulevard had were the grandiose military-sportive propaganda parades used at every
possible occasion to demonstrate the power and liveliness of the regime.

;egarding its means of use during the second half of the century, the boulevard
in "irana can also be perceived as a mall, if compared to the other aforementioned
designs, although physically it was not. 5t can comply at once with several points that
malls on capital city plans in the early twentieth century have been carried out, citing
as an a7is it provided a dramatic approach to the government buildings at
the far endB as a large public space with the surrounding public buildings it
was of direct use to the public legitimisation, which no government system
could afford to forego in times of growing mass participationB as a green space
it was an ideal response to the hygienic re6uirements of the time for fresh air
and recreational space in the city.
"he boulevard was the core of the city, while its social-political centre had
shifted twice during the past century. A centrally developing plan seemed to be the
easiest way of controlling a city's urbanism, and when the sub8ect is the capital city,
conse6uently, the centre would be a governmental one, not only for functionality but
also to emphasi!e its representation. "he planning of the new ministerial comple7
$\ussermann, ,<rom the socialist to the capitalist city e7periences from Fermany,1 3*I.
Ardian ?ehbiu, $ulla e Sahatit #"iran€ G•B, 300/&, 4I.
%arades too> place usually twice a year, on -ay * and 'ovember 3. : the liberation day, or also
when any >ind of important anniversary li>e the 40
aniversary of the %arty's foundation, the /0
anniversary of the %eople's Army, etc., was celebrated.
Sonne, Representin the state: capital city plannin in the early t!entieth century, 3.I.
Fig 5.1: The many faces of the city's spine: the
boulevard Dëshmorët e Kombit as a military
Fig 5.: or as a showdown of the youth and
country's achievements.
Fig 5.!: " as an empty#
huge and out of scale
monumental space.
+n the other hand, the s6uare element in "irana is repeated again at the
southern end of boulevard. Deaving the central s6uare to carry its everyday functions,
the 5talian <ascism created a new centre #although not geographically& by placing all its
organisations around a forum-li>e geometrically rigid space named "iappa Littoria
#Dictor S6uare&. "his large rectangular area together with the surrounding pure-lined
travertine clad buildings were pure reminiscences of the ;oman 5mperial past, of
which the fascist propaganda was fond of. "heir placement on slopes of the southern
hills adds them an impressive and meaningful bac>dropB almost the same practice was
used by Friffin in the location of governmental district in Canberra. Again, here, the
elevation of the buildings upon huge ornamented pedestals is used as a means to
emphasi!e their statute.
Although the disassociation from the past was the headline of the official
account after the WW55, in terms of urban meanings, it followed the pattern applied by
<ascism, continuing to turn the s6uares from small spaces fed by surrounding facilities
into large pla!as, hubs of political and ideological power but non-friendly to everyday
use by the citi!en. "hus, contrary to democracy principles, the centre of the city
assumed the role of a buffer !one between the masses and the political power through
e7tremely impressive yet placeless ceremonial centres. %arado7ically, this happened in a
time when the development of urban planning pro8ects proceeded towards the goal of
creating the new society, which was to be flag-bearers of the modern republic,
prosperity and wealth, all for the citi!ens.
Stylistic approaches were also the means used to depict and communicate
power or trying to forge a certain national identity. 5n this aspect, Albania's past could
not constitute an idyllic e7ample to be followed as many other countries did, because
of the lac> of a cultivated and preserved architecture heritage. Also, the national
awa>ening of the mid-nineteenth century spent almost all of its human and political
resources towards the language and history goal, which seemed the only possible
means to unify the different regions of occupied Albania, unli>e many other
neighbouring countries, whose architecture's typical role in forming the national
identity can be clearly read in this passage from 0he *rchitecture of 3odern Italy:
+nce 5taly had been made, its architecture was called upon to ma>e
5talians. "he Anlightenment of the eighteenth century invested architecture
with the power of moral reform, and ;omantic thought focused this reform
on the goal of national unification. 5n ;ome, the representational role of
architecture was paramount in the shaping of a collective identity. "he power
of these architectural instruments of persuasion relied upon the inheritance of
an indigenous classicism in which artistic, civil, and national identities were
indissolubly united. "he collective memory of the new nation was shaped
efficiently by the capital)s monumental architecture.
So, the first possibilities of creating a national style emerged after the
proclamation of independence, but even then, because of the fragility of the state and
its organisms, the priority was minimal.
5t was on such ground that the first big scale pro8ects began to develop in
"irana, all by foreign architects, whose planning approaches were oriented on the
$aussmanian model while government buildings were designed in academic Classicist
style, based on aspirations for hierarchy, ran> and grandiosity. While throughout
Aurope and wider, the emergence of modernism dictated new canons of design and
planning, this could be, on a certain scale unintentionally, a strategy of employing style
to demonstrate the country's participation in the international political stage, due to the
wide spread of the monumental Classicism in many of the 5mperial powers' cities
during the nineteenth century. Although the years of <ascist occupation observe a drift
from this >ind of architecture towards a more rationalist and pure style, still, the
monumentality would be a central issue, due to the representational role of its
After the war, the dictatorship of proletariat applied the same Classicist approach to
build some important buildings. "his was not due to the need for affirmation as the
previous regime, but because of the deep influence the art and architecture of Stalinist
=;SS had in those years. Being a foreign-imposed >ind of design in a very short
interval of time, it was so fragile as to be abandoned immediately after the political
brea> between the two countries.
"his theoretically mar>ed the beginning of the
efforts to design and build according to the national identity, but that had still to be
"erry Gir>, 0he architecture of +odern Italy, vol. * #'ew Cor> %rinceton Architectural %ress, 3002&, 32..
?elo, "aralel +e arkitektur`n, /3.
formed. "his search for identity was merely a faŒade for the austere constrictions on
the financial aspect of design and constructions, while in large scale buildings li>e the
'ational $istory -useum it was a means on the hand of the rulership to control the
"he planning and design of "irana, as those of other national capitals discussed
here, have been deeply affected by the political, economic, and social forces that
erected them and furthered their development. "his fact is enhanced when the sub8ect
is the capital's heart, the main boulevard, which through years has been designed to
serve from personal to supranational con8unctures rather than to advance 'national
identity'. 5n this way, the first 6uestion about the representation of one's values can be
positively answered. ?iewing the designs form the respective commissioning power,
they seem to have fit their official account, even in the case of the dictatorship during
*.42-.*, which had to inherit many structures form the previous regime, this due to
the totalitarian aspect of both them. Built environment is indeed capable of assuming
new meanings than>s to the fact that they can house new uses. 5n this sense, every
conventional political meaning in capital cities can change as the use of the cities
changes. While this fact helped the regime ad8ust the panorama for many of the
inherited structures, it also became a means on the hands of the citi!ens, who often
could build their own account of the totalitarian spaces along the boulevard. 5f the
success of representative elements can be assessed in this way, the same cannot be said
of the second 6uery about the peaceful relationship with the citi!en. As more than
ninety percent of the timespan of this study had been part of dictatorial regimes, a
negative response would be a natural conse6uence. While building their perfect
representational spaces, these regimes have alienated the citi!ens from their city's
5n this aspect, for the actual centre of "irana, although its planning started in
the first 6uarter of the twentieth century, more or less in the same time with Ankara,
Canberra, etc., the followed course did not give similar results because of the harsh
period of dictatorial regime the city e7perienced. While other cities managed
to turn their main central a7is into real living cores, in "irana, it remained
Golevica, *rkitektura dhe diktatura, 33..
merely a monumental space that still emerges as a problematic area regarding its
relationship with the citi!ens. 5n -arch 3004, an international competition for a
master-plan for the city's centre was launched,
and since then many efforts have
been made to reconcile the centre with its citi!ens. $owever, due to political mentality,
economic difficulties and other social obstacles, no serious interventions have come
out. 'evertheless, the boulevard continues to be the spine of the city, #<ig 2.4-2..& be
it monumental, a pedestrian avenue or a ma8or traffic lineB the mar> it has left on the
development of the city since Brasini put the first lines has been remar>able.
<or further information on this competition
+deta (urmishi, ,Competing urban visions for the capital of Albania international pro8ects for
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"irana -unicipality]3,*/,//0
Fig 5.5: Proposed city layout of Tirana in 1929
Fig 5.4: City layout of Tirana in 1917
Fig 5.6: City layout of Tirana in 193
Fig 5.7: Proposed city layout of Tirana in
Fig 5.8: City layout of Tirana in 191
Fig 5.9: Proposed city layout of Tirana in 195
Fig 5.10: City centre layout in 1990. Buildings are
listed in a chronological order. (in brackets today's
01. t'he! bey "os#ue
0$. Clock %o&er
03. "inisterial co!'le(
0). *ational Bank building
05. Circolo +talo,-lbanese .canderbeg (*ational
0/. Co!!ando -eronautica (Council o0 "inisters)
01. 2io3ent4 5ittoria -lbanese (6% 7ectorate)
09. 8'era *a9ionale :o'ola3oro -lbanese (;igher
+nstitute o0 -rts)
10. <ala99o 5ittorio (6% Faculty o0 "echanical
ngineering and lectrical ngineering)
11. 8ly!'ic stadiu! (=>e!al .ta0a? stadiu!)
1$. "aternity ;os'ital
13. Central Co!!ittee o0 <5- (<arlia!ent o00ices)
1). .eat o0 <o'ular -sse!bly o0 <.7- (<residency)
15. Faculty o0 *atural .ciences
1/. <alace o0 Culture
1@. %irana ;otel
11. C--C building
19. -rbAria ;otel ("inistry o0 Bustice)
$0. *ational ;istorical "useu!
$1. 2allery o0 Cisual -rts
$$. <alace o0 Congresses
$3. "useu! o0 n3er ;o(ha (+nternational Centre
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$herardo %osio
Born in <lorence in *.0/, he graduated in civil engineering in ;ome in *.3I
and subse6uently obtained a degree in architecture in <lorence, in *./*. Soon after
together with many decoration and small scale pro8ects, started teaching 'Architectural
design and monuments' rilevation' at the <aculty of Architecture of the =niversity of
<lorence. After the con6uest of 5talian Aast Africa in *./I prepared the plans of the
Athiopian cities of Fondar and (essie.
$ere follows a short chronological list of Bosio's wor>s.
*.39 ;estoration and e7pansion of %illa La "ietra #?illa Acton&, <lorence, ?ia dei Bruni. #until
*.3J Competition pro8ect for the Dighthouse in -emory of Christopher Columbus, Santo
*.3. ;efurbishment of the hospitality hall of &ederapione 0oscana per il 3ovi+ento dei &orestieri,
;enovation, e7pansion and furnishing of Casa =!ielli, <lorence, %ia!!a ('A!eglio. #until
*./3 ;efurbishment of 4asa 3araini, <lorence.
(esigns the 'ursing $ome in <lorence on %iale dei 4olli.
*.// ;efurbishment of Casa "raballesi, <lorence.
*./4 %ro8ect of %illa Ginori 4onti, Cerreto di %omarance.
(esigns with %ierluigi 'ervi the =golino Folf Club, 5mpruneta, via Chiantigiana.
*./2 ;efurbishment of 5talian Cultural 5nstitute, Budapest.
;estoration and refurbishing of the offices of -onsavano Society, %ontassieve.
;estoration and decoration of %illa "andolfini, "i!!ano of San %olo.
Swimming pool for the +'( of -inistry of <oreign Affairs, ;ome.
*./I (ecoration of the $ouse of Fherardesca, <lorence, ?espucci riverban>.
%ro8ect for the master-plan of Fondar and (essi± in 5talian Aast Africa.
*./.-40 %ro8ect for the master-plan of "irana and main buildings of the plan, including 4asa del
&ascio, Albania.
<or further detailed information on (i <austo see
Cresti, Carlo, ed. Gherardo Bosio ' architetto fiorentino bcdf'bcnb. <lorence
%ontecorboli Adittore, *..I.
Fiusti, -aria Adriana. 7@W:8?: G :;KL?OMOOX;: M K?OOrB CDEH G CDFS. <iren!e -aschietto,
Armando %rasini
Born in 0or di qona district of ;ome in September 3*, *J9., to a modest family of
handicrafts, he is considered by many to be one of the main representatives of the 5talian
colonial architecture. (isplaying a strong talent for drawing, started wor>ing early as an
apprentice engraver and decoration painter. After having successfully attended the
5nstitute of <ine Arts, begun wor>ing at the -useum of 5ndustrial Art, where he met the
director, architect ;affaele +8etti, of whom Brasini said to be his master.
<rom the very outset he was familiar with the buildings and the art of ancient
;ome. •...5 admired ;ome, and reali!ed that only ;ome could be my teacher• this
declaration, from his autobiographical notes,reveals his infle7ible opposition to the cult of
the modern. $is early studies about the theatrical style of the city of ;ome gained the
sympathy of -ussolini, who would later entrust him many wor>s. 5n *.3*, when he was
invited to Dibya by the governor of "ripoli, Fiuseppe ?olpi, the architect was an emerging
figure in the ;oman professional world. 5n "ripoli, he prepared the master-plan, which
would form the basis for the ambitious urban regeneration pro8ect of the capital,
implemented with a series of monumental buildings that were to arise on the seafront.
$ere follows a chronological list of Brasini's wor>s.
*.0*-3 Wor>s as sculptor at the Santa 0eresa church in ;ome.
*.03-. $as an intense activity in decoration of palaces, villas, and churches in the capital.
*.*3 Wins the first pri!e with -arcello %iacentini in the competition for the refurbishment of
"iappa qavona.
*.*/-*I %repares the development plan for the north e7tension of ;ome.
*.*I (esigns the arrangement layout of Saint %eter's vicinities.
*.*9 5s assigned the restoration of "alappo 4hii, seat of the -inistry of Colonies.
(esigns and builds the Aviation School in "aranto.
hL…yr6e 3assi+a e l…architettura di *r+ando Brasinih of %. +ran, a collection of his wor>s is
*.*J Begins wor>ing on the new urban study of "iappa della %ittoria in ;ome which was to be
created from the union of "iappa della 4olonna, "iappa 3ontecitorio and "iappa del "antheon.
*.*. (esigns the scenery and costumes for the film 0eodora, of Deopoldo Carlucci.
*.33 5s assigned the draft for the plan of "ripoli by the Fovernor of "ripoli Fiuseppe ?olpi.
A7ecutes the restoration of the Castle of "ripoli #until *.3/&.
According to the building program that ?olpi had prepared for "ripoli, e7ecutes the ?olpi
%romenade #until *.34&.
5nvolved in the pro8ect of the Basilica del 4uore I++acolato di 3aria in "iappa Euclide, ;ome.
Starts designing the sets for the film •uo %adis of Fabriellino ('Annun!io and Feorg
*.3/ (esigns and builds "he -onument to the <allen and ?ictory in "ripoli is built #until *.32&.
*.34 5s invited in Albania to prepare the regulatory plan of "irana and (urr€s and a proposal for
the royal palace.
Becomes artistic director for the -onument to ?ittorio Amanuele 5 in ;ome.
*.32 %repares the plan for the arrangement of the eastern slope of the Capitol, between
%ittoriano and the %inola arcade is approved.
(esigns the 5talian pavilion at the 5nternational A7position of (ecorative and 5ndustrial
Arts in %aris.
*.3I Supervises the restoration wor>s of the "alappo %olpi at "iappa delle •uattro &ontane.
*.39 Commissioned by the -inistry of Aducation the design of a urban plan for the &la+inio
district in ;ome.
*.3J Appointed member of the Committee for the rehabilitation and restoration of "alappo
%enepia #until *./*&.
Studies the plan and e7pansion pro8ect of =rbino, prepares the pro8ect for the seat of
5'A5D in ;ome #until *./3&.
(esigns "alappo del "odesta in <oggia #until *.3.&.
Builds %illa 3anponi in ;ome.
*.3. 5s appointed *ccade+ico dhItalia.
(esigns the Fovernment %alace in "aranto #until *./4&.
(esigns the monumental entrance of the ^oo in %illa Borhese, ;ome.
5s assigned the pro8ect of the provincial seat of 4asa "rovinciale della 4onreapione di q. S. della
4arito del Buon "astore, ;ome #until *./4&.
(esigns &la+inio bridge, ;ome.
(esigns %illa Brasini on &la+inia street, ;ome.
*./0 (esigns the new -useum of the Risori+ento in ;ome #until *.//&.
*./* Becomes part of the committee for the new master-plan of ;ome.
(esigns the 5talian %avilion for the 5nternational Colonial A7position in %aris, which
resembles a smaller scale reconstruction of the Basilica of Deptis -agna.
5s invited in the international competition for the %alace of Soviets in -oscow.
*./3 %repares the pro8ect for the head6uarters of the 4assa di Rispar+io #Savings Ban>& of "ripoli
in the Cloc> S6uare, ad8acent to the castle of "ripoli, which opened in *./2.
*.// (esigns the building of 5.'.<.A.5.D. in 'aples #until *./J&, currently Banca qapionale del
*./9 (esigns an imposing building, the 3ole Littoria, intended to celebrate the imperial ;ome of
-ussolini in direct competition with what Albert Speer had done for the 'a!i Fermany.
$owever, the (uce, didn't approve the pro8ect due to the high cost, in a time when A43
was being built, and on the other hand because it was not suitable to the >ind of
architecture favoured by -ussolini in this phase.
*./J (esigns the %alace of Agriculture and <orestry for the A43, later demolished.
*./. 5s appointed chairman of the Central Advisory =nit on $ousing and =rban (evelopment
at the -inistry of 5talian Africa and prepares pro8ects for the plan and the cathedral in
Addis Ababa.
*.23 (esigns the urban arrangement layout for the central part of ;ome bordered by *rentina
Avenue, %ia della Scrofa, %ia 0o+acelli, %ia del 4orso and "iappa 4olonna.
*.24 5s commissioned by the government of Saudi Arabia to design an urban plan for ;iyadh
and the royal palace.
*.22 Ac6uires the medieval castle of San "olo dei 4avalieri. "he castle, which was in a state of
neglect, was built by the +rder of Gnights "emplar of -alta during the eleventh century.
Brasini dealt with the complete restoration of the building, including the frescoes of the
interior, and restored the building its current splendour.
*.2I %repares the urban plan for the Saka Ru6ra area of 'Dighthouse of Christianity' in ;ome.
*.2J-I/ Studies and prepares a pro8ect for the bridge over the -essina strait.
Brasini was the embodiment of the classicist architect who imported from the
motherland language inspired by the monumental tradition of the ;oman Baro6ue,
in8ecting it without any mediation into the respective colonial conte7t. Although his
main wor>s abroad were in 0ripolitania, the scheme layout he prepared for "irana
emerged of immense importance, as they were more or less followed by later architects.
<or further detailed information on Brasini see
Brasini, Duca, ed. D)opera architettonica e urbanistica di Armando Brasini
dall)=rbe -assimi al ponte sullo stretto di -essina. ;oma s.n., *.9..
Conforti, Claudia. ,Armando Brasini's Architecture at "ripoli.1 Environ+ental
-esin, no. %resence of 5taly in the Architecture of the 5slamic -editterranean #*..0&
%isani, -ario. *rchitetture di *r+ando Brasini. Architettura */. ;oma +fficina
edi!ioni, *..I.
&lorestano di &austo
(i <austo was the most prolific 5talian architect wor>ing in the colonies and other
foreign settings. Although his place in 5talian architectural culture remains uncertain, his
vast architectural and urban planning production, the 6uality of his wor>s, which are
difficult to assess, their characterB a production that seems to elude any easy classification,
all are reasons for a growing interest on his figure.
<lorestano (i <austo was born in ;occa Canterano, a little village in the hilly
eastern part of Da!io not far from Subiaco on Huly *I, *J.0. Fraduating as an architect
from the Academy of <ine Arts in *.*4, and obtaining a degree in civil engineering in
*.33, his formation was entirely of ;oman bac>ground. $owever, the sum total of his
wor> is a substantial eclecticism which enabled him to adapt to different cultural situations.
$is professional dMbut was the architectural part of the -onument to %ius ‡ in St.
%eter's, due to the credit his brother en8oyed in ?atican circles. 5n Hanuary *.3*, became a
technical adviser at the -inistry of <oreign Affairs, a starting position that determined a
large part of his future professional activity.
$is article, titled ,"he -editerranean ?ision of -y Architecture1 grounded his
entire body of wor> in the -editerranean conte7t. But his -editerranean was specifically
Aurocentric ,5 have not betrayed my land, nor my s>y• And my colonial architecture...
could not betray it as a result... Architecture was born in the -editerranean and it
triumphed in ;ome... ...thus it must remain -editerranean and 5talian.1 (i <austo)s
-editerranean was also decidedly historical. 5ndeed, he began by stating that ,no sea is
rich in history li>e the -editerranean1 : by which he meant Agyptian, Free>, ;oman, and
Christian histories, rather than Semitic or +ttoman.
5n ;hodes, he inflected buildings throughout the new city with ?enetian accents :
because the islands had at one time been under ?enetian control. 5n "ripoli he changed
the face of the city by numerous government and leisure constructions. $e designed a
broad open portico facing the cathedral, leading directly to the sea, both physically and
visually : a symbolically meaningful lin>, since the sea was both the coveted, end-in-itself
-editerranean, and the lin> bac> to ;ome
At the same time, (i <austo had also been at wor> on "irana, even though it was
not yet officially an 5talian colonial city. As in "ripoli and ;hodes, the *.32 master plan
was based on the separation of new constructions from oldB and significant government-
built structures resembled their historicist designs elsewhere.
$ere is a more detailed chronological list of (i <austo's wor>s.
*.3* Becomes technical adviser to the -inistry of <oreign Affairs.
*.3/ 5s summoned by the governor of the (odecanese, -ario Dago, to direct the +ffice of
Architecture and =rban %lanning.
*.34 Seat of the 5talian Degation in Belgrade. #until *.3I&
"he reconstruction of the old Cathedral of St. Hohn Gnights, destroyed in *J2I, in ;hodes.
#until *.32&
*.3I %repares the urban plan and built the main buildings of 'ew %redappio, the birthplace of
-ussolini, as a demonstration of the lin>s with him. #until *.3J&
"he house of the famous tenor Beniamino Figli, at -ontarice, near Doreto. #until *.3J&
"he 'ew -ar>et and the %alace of Fovernment #inspired by the "alappo -ucale in ?enice&
of the port of -andracchio in ;hodes, which was called the &oro Italico.
"he Fovernment %alace and the *nus -ei catholic church in Gos. #until *.39&
"he Fovernment %alace of Gastelori!o.
At the same period begins the wor> on the plan for the centre of "irana, where inspired by
5talian ;enaissance, builds around the S>€nderbe8 S6uare a ministerial comple7, inaugurated
in *./3.
*.39 Builds the %osts %alace in ;hodes.
5s replaced by the ;oman architect %ietro Dombardi in his duty at the Aegean islands.
"he assignments in Albania continue with the $ouse of +fficers in (urr€s.
*.3J Seat of the 5talian Degation in Cairo. #until *./0&
5n Albania builds the ;oyal ;esidence and buildings of the 5talian School of 5ndustrial Art
in Sh>od€r, and the ;oyal %alace in (urr€s. #until *./0&
*./* "he $ouse of 5talians in Algiers.
"he Consulate of 5taly in "unis and the 5talian embassy in An>ara. #until *./3&
*./3 "han>s to the friendship with 5talo Balbo, the new governor of Dibya, ta>es the office of
'consultant for the architecture of the -unicipality of "ripoli.'
(esigns the new faŒade of the cathedral of "ripoli, not realised.
%ublished in Feneva a boo> illustrating his wor>.
*./4 Builds 4asa 3adre dei 3utilati e Invalidi de Guerra #$ouse of 5nvalids and Amputees of the
War& in "ripoli's zriani s6uare.
Curator of the Second 5nternational A7hibition of Colonial Art, held in 'aples.
*./2 ;ealises two of his best wor>s in "ripoli - the yaddan comple7 on the waterfront, consisting
of a hotel, a theatre and a casino and hotel 3ehari.
"he isolation of the Arch of -arcus Aurelius, the renovation of the castle to be used as seat
of the government, restoration of the mos6ue of Sidi Sceuscian, the craftsmen district of Suk
el 3usci in "ripoli.
Frand $otels in Hefren and 'alut #*./2&
hzliveh #"ripoli&, the first of an important pro8ect of 'coloni!ation villages' built in "ripolitania
and Cyrenaica.
%erforms restoration interventions at the monastery of Sacro Speco in Subiaco, near ;ome
#until *./I&.
*./I Builds the Arc of "riumph, also >nown as Arch of <ilens at ;as Danus.
%repares the draft of a colonial type of house put on display an year after at the 5talian Aast
African %avilion at the ‡5 <air of "ripoli.
h3adalenah coloni!ation village : Bengha!i.
;efurbishes a building for the head6uarters of the <ascist Confederation of Agriculture
Wor>ers in ;ome. #until *./9&
*./9 5n "ripoli designs the church of San <rancesco, the 5.'.%.S. building, the wor>shop area
around the Arch of -arcus Aurelius, 4asa Littoria on the waterfront, the Seat of Wor>ers'
=nions, the mar>et place, the new building of the $igh 5slamic School .#until *./J&
"he head6uarters of the Savings Ban> of Dibya in (erna.
At the same time prepares a draft layout for <errara's city centre and a rehabilitation of the
San Ro+ano neighbourhood.
*./J "he government offices in "iappa Italia, the new head6uarters of the 'avy $igh Command
and of the Command of Dibyan troops.
h-h*nnunpioh coloni!ation village : Bengha!i
'Baptists' coloni!ation village : (ern
*./. Builds the new Archaeological -useum in the Castle of "ripoli.
"he pavilion of the Fovernment of Dibya at the ‡55 <air of "ripoli
hz6erdanh coloni!ation village : Bengha!i
*.40 Sets up the section of Dibya in the A7hibition of +verseas 5talian lands held in 'aples.
*.42 At the end of World War 55, becomes an activist of the Christian (emocratic %arty and gets
elected to the Constituent Assembly. At the end of the mandate passes to the -onarchist
'ational %arty.
"he reconstruction plan of Subiaco #until *.2/& and in the same city, the restoration of the
Cathedral of St. Andrea #until *.23&.
*.49 "he Cistercian Feneral $ouse in ;ome. #until *.22&
*.4J "he restoration wor>s at the Sanctuary 3onteverine in Avellino #until *.I*&.
5mmediately after the war, (i <austo, than>s to his brother Amanto's activity in
the %opular %arty, was invited by the new Catholic Christian (emocratic %arty, becoming
a (eputy at the Constituent Assembly. $is period as a Christian (emocratic -% was
mar>ed by lac> of discipline and came to an end because of a scandal, having lasted from
*.4J to *.2/, when he 8oined the -onarchic party. $e died in ;ome on Hanuary **, *.I2,
after continuing tirelessly with his professional activity, refusing any substantial cultural
revision and moderni!ation.
<or further detailed information on (i <austo see
<uller, -ia. 3oderns a6road: architecture, cities and Italian i+perialis+. Archite7t.
Dondon ;outledge, 3009.
-iano, Fiuseppe. ,<lorestano di <austo - from ;hodes to Dibya.1 5n "resence of
Italy in the *rchitecture of the Isla+ic 3editerranean, 2I-9*. Anvironmental (esign. 5slamic
Anvironmental (esign ;esearch Centre, *..0.
;occo, Fiorgio. ,+riginalit• dell'architettura 5taliana nel (odecaneso.1 in , edited
by Fiuseppe Strappa and Anna Bruna -enghini, 4 ?ol. 4. Euaderni 5CA;. Bari -ario
Adda Aditore, 3003.
'nver (o)ha
$o7ha was born in F8iro>ast€r, a city in the south of Albania, on +ctober *I,
*.0J. $is father was a cloth merchant who used to travel around in Aurope and =nited
States of America and his mother was housewife. Frowing up in a family strongly
bounded with the fights for the national liberation, he was deeply influenced by his uncle
$ysen $o7ha, a patriot who represented F8iro>ast€r in the act of proclamation of
independence of Albania and who oppositionally to the regime of Ging ^og. "his played a
fundamental role in the formation of the political ideas of Anver $o7ha.
$o7ha)s revolutionary thoughts began to develop when he became secretary of the
Students Society of F8iro>ast€r, a protest group against the monarchist government. After
the Society was closed down by the government, he left his home town and moved to
GorŒ€, continuing his studies in a <rench high school, where he learned about <rench
history, literature and philosophy, read the Communist -anifesto of -ar7, and learned
about the +ctober ;evolution and the ideas of <rench ;evolution. "his would be a
brea>ing point on his formation of political thoughts and tendencies.
5n *./0, $o7ha won a state scholarship to study natural sciences, biology at the
=niversity of -ontpellier, <rance, which after a year he left being much more interested in
either philosophy or law, thus moved to %aris. While ta>ing courses of philosophy at the
Sorbonne, he collaborated with Lh#u+anit‚, writing articles on the situation of Albania, a
move which would cause the brea> of his scholarship by the government of ^og. 5n *./4
started wor>ing as secretary at the Albanian consulate in Brussels but had to return to
Albania in *./I after he was dismissed because of the -ar7ist and anti-regime publications
he possessed. As a result of his educationB $o7ha was fluent in <rench, and had gain
>nowledge of 5talian, Serbian, Anglish and ;ussian.
Bac> in Albania, he established contact with Albanian communists, especially the
communist group of GorŒ€, which was the most solid and organi!ed of the movement. $e
began to wor> at <rench high school of GorŒ€ as a teacher. 5n *./., he moved to "irana
for his openly revolutionary and anti-fascist thoughts, after the occupation of Albania by
5taly. -eanwhile he continued collaboration with the communist activists wor>ing actively
for the unification of the scattered communist movement. +n 'ovember J, *.4*, the
Communist %arty of Albania was founded and Anver $o7ha was chosen one of seven
members of the provisional Central Committee. 5n September *I, *.43 at the Conference
of %e!a, the 'ational <ront of Diberation was formed with the goal of uniting the anti-
<ascist Albanians, regardless of ideology or class. By -arch *.4/, the first 'ational
Conference of the Communist party of Albania elected $o7ha, as Feneral Secretary of the
%arty, a position that he held until his death. +n Huly *0, *.4/, the Albanian partisan
groups were reorgani!ed in the Albanian 'ational Diberation Army. "he Feneral Staff was
created and Anver $o7ha became its political commissary.
"he role of Anver $o7ha as a political and military figure was very important and
fundamental. By -ay *.44 he was chosen as president of the 'ational Anti-<ascist
Committee of Diberation at the Anti-<ascist Congress of %€rmet, which emerged the only
legislative organ of the Albanian State, with the attributes of a provisional government.
After four months, on the eve of the liberation of the country, the Committee was
transformed into the %rovisional (emocratic Fovernment and Anver $o7ha became the
first head of government of the new Albania. After liberation, the Constituent Assembly,
proclaimed Albania a %eoples ;epublic and nominated Anver $o7ha as %rime -inister,
the office that he held until *.24.
While the immediate after-war period was characteri!ed by a strong relationship
with Hosip B. "ito of Cugoslavia, drastic agrarian and monetary reforms, *.4J was mar>ed
by and the firm and determined attitude of Anver $o7ha to prevent the realisation of their
intentions to transform Albania into a Cugoslav republic, and the purges inside the party.
"he politics of %%Sh already had three fundamental orientations industriali!ation, the
development of agriculture through the formation of cooperatives, and a program for the
development of education and culture.
After the brea> with Cugoslavia, $o7ha got closer to the Soviet =nion, of whom
he was a great admirer. (uring *.4J-I0, ²300 million of Soviet aid would be given to
Albania for technical and infrastructural e7pansion. Albania was admitted on <ebruary 33,
*.4., to the C+-AC+' and Albania remained important serving as a pro-Soviet force in
the Adriatic Sea. ;elations continued to remain close until the death of Stalin on -arch 2,
*.2/, whose death was met with national mourning in Albania. Anver $o7ha)s political
thoughts were in the -ar7ist-Deninist line.
After Ghrushchev too> the place of Stalin in =.S.S.;, $o7ha opposed his
revisionism. =pon his arrival at the Conference of the J* %arties in -oscow on 'ovember
*I, *.I0, Anver $o7ha made a speech displaying his reservations and his accusations
regarding the new Soviet course. "his act also mar>ed the official brea> between Albania
and the =.S.S.;, and later another wave of purges aimed at consolidating his power
further. (ue to this brea>, $o7ha begun closer relationships with -ao ^edong's China, of
whom initial ideological views, $o7ha found to be in line with -ar7ism-Deninism - -ao
condemned Ghrushchev's alleged revisionism and was also critical of Cugoslavia, and
during the diplomatic isolation following the Cultural ;evolution relations strengthened
further. But this went on until the visit of the =S %resident ;ichard 'i7on in China, which
made $o7ha feel betrayed. <ollowing -ao's death, $o7ha remained optimistic about Sino-
Albanian relations, but in August *.99, $ua Fuofeng, the new leader of China, stated that
-ao's "hree Worlds "heory would become official foreign policy. "his meant that $o7ha
viewed this as a way for China to 8ustify having the =.S. as the •secondary enemy• while
viewing the Soviet =nion as the main one, thus allowing China to trade with the =.S.
•...the Chinese plan of the 'third world' is a ma8or diabolical plan, with the aim that China
should become another superpower, precisely by placing itself at the head of the 'third
world' and 'non-aligned world.'•~II• <rom August /0-September 9, *.99, "ito visited
Bei8ing and was welcomed by the Chinese leadership. At this point, the Albanian %arty of
Dabour had declared that China was now a revisionist state a>in to the Soviet =nion and
Cugoslavia, and that Albania was the only -ar7ist-Deninist state on earth. +n Huly */,
*.9J, China announced that it was cutting off all aid to Albania. "his resulted in the total
isolation of the country from the outside world.
-eanwhile, Anver $o7ha suffered a heart attac> in *.9/. "he more his health
problems increased the less his activity in %arty and the state was felt. <rom the end of the
*.90s, he began a writing and theoretical activity, publishing memoirs of all his e7periences
and activist life the party. "o name some of these wor>s †uoslav ‡Self'*d+inistration‡ ' *
4apitalist 0heory and "ractice and I+perialis+ and the Revolution #*.9J&, Reflections on 4hina and
]ith Stalin #*.9.&, Euro'co++unis+ is *nti'4o++unis+ and 0he $hrushchevites #*.J0&, 0he
*nlo'*+erican 0hreat to *l6ania and 0he 0itoists #*.J3&, Reflections on the 3iddle East and
Layin the &oundations of the qe! *l6ania #*.J4&, 0!o &riendly qations and 0he Superpo!ers
#*.J2&. Also a series of more than I2 volumes of his writings, speeches and letter was
published by the 5nstitute of -ar7ist-Deninist Studies.
5n *.J* -ehmet Shehu, %rime -inister for a twenty-seven years was reported to
have committed suicide and was subse6uently condemned as a •traitor• to Albania and
that he was operating in the service of multiple foreign intelligence agencies. 5n its
aftermath $o7ha ordered the purge of several party and government officials.
Dater, $o7ha withdrew into semi-retirement due to failing health. $e turned most
state functions over to ;ami! Alia. 5n his final days he was confined to a wheelchair and
was suffering from diabetes, which he had suffered from since *.4J, and cerebral
ischemia, which he had suffered from since *.J/. $o7ha's death on ** April *.J2 left
Albania with a legacy of isolation and fear of the outside world. (espite some economic
progress made by $o7ha, the country's economy was in stagnationB Albania had been the
poorest Auropean country throughout much of the Cold War period.
<or further detailed information on $o7ha see
5n Balkan stron+en: dictators and authoritarian rulers of South Eastern Europe, edited by Berndt
<ischer, 3/.-3I.. Dondon %urdue =niversity %ress, 3009.
+'(onnell, Hames Salibur. * co+in of ae: *l6ania under Enver #okha. Aast
Auropean -onographs 2*9. Boulder, *....
%earson, +wen. *l6ania as dictatorship and de+ocracy: fro+ isolation to the $osovo ]ar,
bcnu'bcce. ?ol. /. / vols. Albania in the twentieth century a history. Dondon, 'ew Cor>
"he Centre for Albanian Studies • 5.B. "auris, 300I.
?ic>ers, -iranda. 0he *l6anians: a +odern history. Dondon 5.B. "auris, *....
Ahmet *ogu
Ahmet -uhtar Be8 ^ogolli was born on +ctober J, *J.2, in the castle of Burga8et,
stronghold of his forefathers on the north Albanian mountains. $is family, ‡hemal %asha
^ogolli and Sadi8M "optani, were a tribe of landowners. $is father was the governor of the
region of -at. $is mother's members of the family were claimed to be descendants of
Albania's national hero of the *2th century, S>anderbeg.
^ogolli spent the first eight years of his life in Burga8et until the death of his father,
and then he was sent to follow the high school studies in Constantinople. After graduating
from the Lyc‚e I+p‚rial de Galatasaray, ^ogu was accepted to the +ttoman military school.
-eanwhile, a new period of learning, culture and nationalist rebirth had begun in his
country. Ahmet ^ogu watched this national revival from a distance until *.** when he left
school and went to -at in order to guide his tribesmen for the fight of independence.
5n September *.*4, with the start of the World War 5, %rince Wilhelm Wied left
the country as many neighbouring armies invaded Albania. ^ogu managed to defend -at
against Serbian forces between the years of *.*2 and *.*I. (uring the last two years of
the war, he had been assigned the ran> of officer in the Austro-$ungarian army, by which
he was induced to travel to ?ienna. Spending his time there, he grew to en8oy a Western
Auropean lifestyle and diplomacy. $e was influenced by Western technologies and political
thoughts and began to adopt Western-style methods to train his armies for the re-
establishment of a uniform and centrali!ed administration. 5n +ctober *.*J, all of the
Albanian territory formerly under Austrian occupation fell into the hands of the 5talians,
e7cept for Sh>odra, which was occupied by the <rench. ^ogu returned to Albania in *.*.
and began to organise his tribesmen so that they could secure the vicinities of Dushn8a
where the gathered 'ational Congress emerged with a provisional government and he was
appointed -inister of the 5nterior. $e was authori!ed to return to "irana and ta>e over the
reins of government immediately, arriving there on <ebruary **, *.30.
(uring the early *.30s, ^og served as Fovernor of Sh>od€r #*.30:*.3*&, -inister
of the 5nterior #-arch-'ovember *.30, *.3*:*.34&, and chief of the Albanian military
#*.3*:*.33&. 5n the elections of (ecember 39, *.3/, after the results gave an almost
complete triumph for ^ogu party, he became the target of an assassin who wounded him
in the parliament hall. A crisis arose in *.34 after the assassination of one of ^ogu's
opponents, Avni ;ustemi. 5n the aftermath of this crisis, a popular revolt forced ^ogu and
around si7 hundred of his allies to fly into e7ile to Cugoslavia in Hune *.34.
$e returned to Albania on the bac> of Cugoslav forces in (ecember of the same
year. +n Hanuary *2, *.32, following a forced recess of seven months, the Assembly re-
opened its sessions, accepted the republican regime as a definite form of government and
finally ^ogu was elected as president for a period of seven years. A process of
moderni!ation in the country began firstly with the preparation of civil, penal and
commercial codes. 'ot only a gendarme force but also a small, mobile army was
"he Cugoslavs were granted Sveti 'aum on 3J Hune *.32, in return for the
assistance they had provided him on his return to Albania. $owever, it was also a brea>ing
point with the relationship between Albania and Cugoslavia. Civilian forces were
mobili!ed at the frontier, Sveti 'aum, and entered Albanian territory provo>ing the
(u>ag8in uprising, which was a lesson to him that Albania was not yet strong enough to
stand alone in the midst of a circle of greedy and grasping foreign nations. "herefore,
^ogu entered into negotiations with the 5talian government, and on 'ovember 39, *.3I, a
"reaty of <riendship was signed in "irana, for a five-year period. Also, the "reaty of
(efensive Alliance between Albania and 5taly concluded in *.39 was ratified.
+n * September *.3J, ^ogu declared himself the Ging of the Albanians, and
named as ^og 5. 5n *.3., Ging ^og abolished 5slamic law in Albania, adopting in its place
a civil code based on the Swiss one. "he Ging organi!ed an educational system and
attempted to moderni!e the Albanian military, although the e7penses for his pro8ect were
high. "he "reaty of <riendship had e7pired in 'ovember *./*, thus the 5talian
Fovernment re6uested a renewal, but the Ging felt that this was not necessary and refused
it. 5n *./3 and *.//, Albania was unable to pay the interest on its loans from S.?.A.A.,
and the 5talians used this as a prete7t for further dominance. 5n defiance of 5talian
demands, ^ogu ordered the national budget to be slashed by /0 percent, dismissed all
5talian military advisers, and nationali!ed 5talian-run ;oman Catholic schools in the north
of Albania in order to decrease 5talian influence on the population of Albania. 5n *./4, he
tried to build ties with <rance, Fermany, and the Bal>an states, but without success.
Subse6uently, Albania drifted bac> into the 5talian orbit.
^og had been engaged to the daughter of Shef6et ?erlaci before he became the
Ging. Soon after his coronation, however, he bro>e off the engagement. 5n April *./J,
^og married to Countess Feraldine Apponyi de 'agy-Apponyi, a ;oman Catholic
aristocrat who was half-$ungarian and half-American. "heir only child, %rince De>a, was
born in Albania on 2 April *./.. "wo days after the birth of his son, on 9 April *./.,
Mussolini's Italy invaded Albania, facing no significant resistance. The royal family settled
in England until 194, after their esca!e from Italian occu!ation. In 194, "ing #og and
most of his family left England and $ent to live in Egy!t at the behest of "ing %arou&,
$ho $as overthro$n in 19'(. The family left for %rance in 19''. #og finally chose to
ma&e his home in %rance. At the age of ', he died in %rance on 9 A!ril 191.
%or further detailed information on #ogu see)
*+,-./01 3/045 6708/49 King Zog and the struggle for stability in Albania. East Euro!ean
Monogra!hs 1'9. :e$ ;or&) <oulder, 19=4.
>earson, ?$en. Albania and King Zog: independence, republic and monarchy 1908-1939.
@ol. 1. A vols. Albania in the t$entieth century) a history. Bondon, :e$ ;or&) The Centre
for Albanian Dtudies E I.<. Tauris, (FF4.
Tomes, Gason. King Zog of Albania: urope!s "elf-#ade #uslim King. Hashington
DIuare, :.;.) :e$ ;or& Jniversity >ress, (FF4.
@ic&ers, Miranda. $he Albanians: a modern history. Bondon) I.<. Tauris, 1999.

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