15.12.2006 -

Safeguard and restoration of selected monuments within the World Heritage site of the Old City of Gjirokaster

On 15 December 2006, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, and Ambassador Tatjana Gjonaj, Permanent Delegate of Albania to UNESCO, signed an agreement establishing a self-benefiting Funds-in-Trust in favour of the restoration of the historical centre of Gjirokastra inscribed on the World Heritage List since 2005.


The historic town of Gjirokastra, in the Drinos river valley in southern Albania, is a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town, built by farmers of large estate. The 13th-century citadel provides the focal point of the town with its typical tower houses (Turkish kule). Characteristic of the Balkan region, Gjirokastra contains a series of outstanding examples of kule, a type of building which crystallized in the 17th century. But Gjirokastra also features some more elaborate examples from the early 19th century. The kule has a tall basement, a first floor for use in the cold season, and a second floor for the warm season. Interiors feature rich decorative details and painted floral patterns, particularly in the zones reserved for the reception of visitors. The town also retains a bazaar, an 18th-century mosque and two churches of the same period. The project aims at assisting the Albanian authorities in their efforts to safeguard the historic centre of Gjirokastra through the preparation and improvement of management plans, the restoration of historic monuments and capacity-building activities in the field of heritage preservation and management. The Section for Culture of UNESCO Venice Office will ensure overall coordination of the project. 

Self-benefiting funds-in-trust agreement for the restoration of the historical centre of Gjirokastra in AlbaniaWorld Heritage - Museum-City of Gjirokastra

<- Back to: UNESCO Office in Venice
Back to top