bangkokpost.com 21 Sep, 2020 02:15 am

Tourists travel secret tunnels of Albania's communist-era paranoia

Tourists travel secret tunnels of Albania's communist-era paranoia
GJIROKASTRA (ALBANIA) - Snaking beneath a fortress in southern Albania, a covert tunnel network built during the communist era captures the secrecy and paranoia that defined the long rule of tyrant Enver Hoxha.

World published : 17 Sep 2020 at 09:45 writer: p Gjirokastra's 1,500-metre tunnel network, built to house Albania's military command in case of a foreign assault, was rediscovered after the fall of communism in the 1990s GJIROKASTRA (ALBANIA) - Snaking beneath a fortress in southern Albania, a covert tunnel network built during the communist era captures the secrecy and paranoia that defined the long rule of tyrant Enver Hoxha.It was rediscovered after the fall of communism in the 1990s and has since become a tourist draw.- From bunkers to funky cafes - After the fall of communism in 1990, Albania's bunkers were mostly abandoned, while some larger sites fell victim to looters.Construction crews worked shifts in secrecy to ensure no one had a view of the full plan for the 1,500-metre tunnel network built to house the military command in case of a foreign assault.

The corridors connect nuclear bomb shelters and scores of offices for the military command, secret police, public prosecutors and a court, explained Astrit Imeri, a 67-year-old former military officer, as he revisited the underground hideout."Today we are visiting this bunker to reflect and think about the sad time we are living with the pandemic, we are deprived of certain liberties, freedom to touch each other, to speak to each other, to meet," he told AFP.

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