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Site of Witness and Memory

Bulevardi Skenderbeu, 26, Shkoder 4001, Albania
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Review Highlights
Inlightening

Wow what a place well worth a visit didn’t realise the troubles that there has been in my life time... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
petedazuk40
,
Shkoder, Albania
Quite Good

We thought it was ok but a bit repetitive and didn't class it as a must see. It is one of those... read more

Reviewed June 9, 2018
948gypsy
,
Sydney, Australia
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Short historical background The “Site of Witness and Memory” is the first site of remembrance in Albania, which commemorates the victims of the communist regime in Shkodër. The building was first erected in the XIX century as a private property, then the Franciscan Fathers, in 1930, bought the property and opened here a College for training parish priests. In 1946 the building was confiscated by communists and transformed into Dega e Brendshme (Local branches of Ministry of Interior) and preserved this role till the 90’s. It was an institution where suspected were interrogated during pre-trial detention under severe torture and abuse.Starting from September 2014, the “prohibited” area has been opened to the public. The parcours, which starts with some general information about communism persecution in Shkodër, permanent exhibition of objects and documents of the time, ends in the original pre-trial holdings cells where prisoners were kept and tortured until their initial trial appearance. Our mission is to create a collective memory of recent past, to educate the new generation who should become aware of the past mistakes and never repeat them again. Shkodër “the prison city” The entrance hall is dedicated to facts about communism in Shkodër, staggering numbers about the city persecution and a general map of all prisons in the city. There we count 23 of them, mostly family houses and religious institutions converted into places for terror and tortures.An important sector is the audio-visual room where you can watch some video materials of the time and a small library with prison literature, provided by the Institute of Communism Crimes and Consequences in Albania.The passage to the cells area runs through a newly-built gallery conceived as the prisoners walk to suffering and pain with elements symbolizing tortures. To the cells of terror The exhibition room offers a collection of objects used and manufactured in prison, manuscripts, letter-writing between prisoners and their families. This small collection has been donated by former political prisoners and their families. Of great interest is the glass panel which shows some documents of the time stating the force and brutality of the regime towards Shkodra people.This leads to the pre-trial holding cells, with a small opening for natural light, commonly called holes/biruca (because of their small dimension and few light).Space is divided into two floors, but political prisoners were kept on the ground floor, where we can count 23 of them. This instrument of repression and denial culminates in the tortures room where both physical and moral tortures were inflicted. This area has been kept original from 1946 and remains the most striking evidence of communism terror.
  • Excellent46%
  • Very good42%
  • Average10%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible2%
Travelers talk about
“suffering” (3 reviews)
“torture” (3 reviews)
“victims” (2 reviews)
Open Now
Hours
Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
LOCATION
Bulevardi Skenderbeu, 26, Shkoder 4001, Albania
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"suffering"
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"regime"
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"documents"
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"dolls"
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"freedom"
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"deeply"
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"brutal"
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"poignant"
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"cruel"
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"presentation"
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"communist"
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1 - 10 of 25 reviews

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Wow what a place well worth a visit didn’t realise the troubles that there has been in my life time religious opersion murdering of insolent people because of belief

Thank petedazuk40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2018

We thought it was ok but a bit repetitive and didn't class it as a must see. It is one of those places that it's hard to review because it would definately appeal to some and not others. We just felt that it could have...More

Thank 948gypsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2018 via mobile

The place is a must see as one of the many history relics around Europe. It is an important reminder of what the communist regime has been guilty of - and in some parts of the world still is. Ok for smaller children too as...More

Thank Damien T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 24, 2018

Very powerful retelling of life under Hoxha. If you're an English-speaker, don't be put off by the lack of translation in the middle section of the museum - the section which tells the story of communism in states throughout the world - and persevere to...More

Thank Rob C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2018

This is a must visit place if you are in Shkoder. It gives you a chance to understand how things were during he communism era in Shkoder and how the government treated the people living there. The video at the museum entrance is definitely worth...More

1  Thank JGJ89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2018

A museum about history of communism and human rights. You have to visit this museum. It will give you an extraordenery feeling avout that period.

1  Thank Heather J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2017 via mobile

We visited the museum knowing nothing of Albania's Communist past, and found it an honest and deeply sad presentation of the terrible suffering that so many went through. Not everything had an English translation but we still found everything clear and engaging, and left with...More

1  Thank Henrietta F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2017

We visited this place a few hours before leaving the city, we were told we had to go. Every photo, film and document was well translated in English. It was difficult to see the human cruelty displayed that the people went through.

Thank daaby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2017 via mobile

Gave a good insight to the suffering of ordinary people. Not an uplifting experience. It had video presentations, but these were not turned on. Also we had to turn the lights on in some of the exhibit rooms, whilst others were dark, perhaps for effect,...More

Thank CardiffMaddie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2017 via mobile

If you are interested in History of communism and human rights you have to visit this museum. It was an institution during the Enver Hoxha dictatorship where suspected were interrogated during pre-trial detention under severe torture and abuse. It's open until 14:30h

1  Thank Kim V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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