Zekate House
Zekate House
4.5
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About
One of the most beautiful and best preserved houses of Gjirokastra. The Zekate House is a grand example of the typical (tower-house), belonging to the wealthiest families in Gjirokastra in 19th century. It belonged to Beqir Zeko, a general administrator of Ali Pasha. It was built in 1811-1812. Where you are in the top of it, the view of river valley is amazing. This 3 storey house has very strong defensive features, and that is why she is still so powerful until nowadays. The ground floor contains storage rooms, the kitchen and the cistern. The first floor has two rooms used as living quarters for branches of the family, while the third floor has a grand reception room and two other smaller rooms. The principal room is very typical of the grandest of these dwellings with frescoed walls, a carved ceiling and an ornate fireplace. This house gives visitors a vast understandings of the vernacular architecture. The entrance fee is € 1.00.
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4.5
173 reviews
Excellent
81
Very good
74
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Terrible
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KrisD_pl
Warsaw, Poland7,695 contributions
"One of the grandest examples of Gjirokastër architecture in the Ottoman style" - the traditional high tower house of wealthy Zekate family. The houses used to be a place of defense and were fortified - therefore they were built in such way. It was built at the beginning of 19th century, it has two towers and a large double arch facade. There's a small entrance fee which will help the owners to maintain this historic building. You can also sit down after a visit and order a beer - views to the town and castle are great.
Written July 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Shibac701
Bengaluru, India151 contributions
Solo
Zekate House does not have the guided tour like Skenduli House does but the house itself is more impressive than the Skenduli House. The ceremonial room in the top floor is much more impressive and you are allowed to take pictures ( not allowed in the ceremonial room in Skenduli House). A lot more art that is still visible and the building by itself is more impressive. Lastly it has the best view of the Gjirokaster city/ valley from the top floor. So here is the best tip. Go there just before sunset . See the house and then park yourself in the top floor verandah and watch the whole Gjirokaster valley and the Castle slowly slip into the darkness through the fading sunlight. Wait till the Castle lights come on .. the city lights come on ... and the Zekate House outside lights come on. I did just that ..and luckily I was alone in the top floor soaking all of it in. It was magical.
Written October 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Diversity Mel
24 contributions
Family
Absolutely worth a visit. There are two old houses in Girokaster to visit and this one is the highest up the hill. The advantage is that it is quieter as most people go to the nearer, lower house, so if you want to wander through empty rooms and feel like the house is your own, you can get that here.
The other huge advantage is that the view is breathtaking. You can sit on the highest floor of the house and see Girokaster spread out beneath you, the fields in the valley beyond and the beautiful mountain stretching up in front of you.

After your visit you can take a drink on the terrace and enjoy more of the view from a slightly lower height!
Couldn't recommend it more highly.
Written July 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

B1714D
Belgrade, Serbia14,680 contributions
You must engage some extra effort to reach this historic house built during the Ali Pasha Tepelena rule in early 1800's.
The house is little bit off the main tourist attractions in central Gjirokaster, but marked along the way.
Cheap entry fee will give you an insight on the Ottoman era household style, and you'll also be rewarded with great views.
Written September 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

sleepybexhill
Bexhill-on-Sea, UK1,490 contributions
Couples
It’s a delightful experience wandering freely around this magnificent house. While you get very little explanation that doesn’t really matter. We had the place to ourselves - I guess a lot of people wouldn’t want to walk that far up the hill. They even have a small cafe with great views across the town and a toilet.
Written September 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rainela X
3 contributions
Couples
I was there (again!) in the summer of 2021. It is the most authentic house by fare... The caretakers are a daughter and her husband. What I guess it is difficult for foreigners to comprehend is what the house has endured during the times that it didn't belong to the family. Once used by the state owned Picture Studios for a movie, that alone was detrimental to many of its memorabilia. In my view, worth going back any day.
Written March 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gillian B
Hadlow Down, UK129 contributions
Couples
The house was owned for several generations by the family of Mr. Skenduli who was our guide. Fortunately he and I both speak Greek so I was able to learn much from him that others may have missed.

When the Communists came to power after WW II the house was confiscated on orders of the communist leader, Emver Hoxha, who was actually born in Gjirokaster in a house nearby. Our guide's house was stripped of its contents, including the family's precious metals and jewels which used to be stored in an elaborate trunk. Fortunately the house has not been tarted up with nicknacks which might detract from the reality of its history, so what you see is a credible insight into the reality of its early 20th century past.

This house was home to our guides extended family of around 30 people. There were summer and winter shared living rooms. The main winter room was above the stabling, so that it gained some heat from the animals below. The status of a family was gauged by the number of fireplaces in a house. Here there were nine fireplaces indicating that it belonged to a well to do family. The main door was well fortified with locks and bars, and spy holes to see who was outside.

The main room had an interior balcony which used to have a carved wood and elaborate metal grill, so that the female members would be where they could see the men, but the men could not see the women, so not have lustful thoughts ! Between the male and female accommodation there was a large cupboard accessible from either side. At night the men would open their side to get their bedding before closing the door. Then the women would access their bedding from the other side.

Th summer rooms had an open balcony, and a small metal tank with a tap was hung in the sunlight to give warm water. The house had two shower rooms and what I would describe as a 'long drop' toilet, the contents ended up with the animal dung. A large cistern collected rain water and alongside this was a cold room chilled by water or snow, where food was stored.

war, conflicts and forty years of a Communist Dictatorship put an end to this type of living, but for me it was one of the highlights of Albania. The guide was a joy to meet !
Written May 14, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

cuccir
Durham, UK219 contributions
Couples
A very nice and well-preserved house from Ottoman times. The reconstructed rooms give a real sense of life and character. House also offers good views over the city. We appreciated the walk up the hill (~10 mins from the Bazaar) too! No explanatory notes/signs around the place but doesn't really need it - you get the sense of what's going on!
Written September 23, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Artan T
Tirana, Albania12 contributions
Family
Traditional architecture in every detail.Such a big house where we could see how the rich people organized their life 200-300 yrs ago.
It was a pitty that just owners took care about it.
Written December 4, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Margaret S
Berlin, Germany19 contributions
Family
Really an interesting place to visit. Amazed at the size of this house, the many rooms and many stairs joining all the parts together. Do not miss seeing this site.
Written October 3, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Zekate House (Gjirokaster) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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