Local Heritage Forum of Dragash in study visit to Albania

From 21st to 24th of December 2014 was held the study visit for the members of Local Cultural Heritage Forum of Dragash. The purpose of the visit was to be familiar with the ways of protecting and promoting cultural heritage in number of cultural heritage sites in Albania, with a specific focus on museum institutions. During this four-day visit, the participants were accompanied by the CHwB Kosovo staff and guides that were engaged during the site visits.

In the first part of the visit, the participants had the opportunity to enjoy the city of Shkodra under the escort of Fatmir Juka, the director of ethnological museum. From the visited sites, distinguished are the following: The Historical Museum of Shkodra, the Rozafa Castle, which dates back to the 4th century together with the Museum of the castle located in the residence of Kapitan (Venetian ruler), Villa Shiroka (a mansion in the lakeside, granted to the King Zog by the traders of Shkodra) and the famous bridge with 13 arches built in the village Mes in 1768.

Dragash visit 1a Dragash visit 1b   Dragash visit 1c Dragash visit 1d   Dragash visit 1e Dragash visit 1f

In the second part of the visit, on arrival to Kruja, participants under the escort of the professional guide, Elton Çaushi, had the opportunity to stop and buy items in the bazaar of Kruja. The market, which leads to the castle of old town, lies on both sides of the old road and is paved with cobblestones. The visit continued at the National Museum of Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg and Ethnographic Museum located in a building with a gallery room, cultural monument of 1st category, which dates from 1764.

Dragash visit 2a   Dragash visit 2b Dragash visit 2c   Dragash visit 2d

In the last part of the visit participants visited the capital of Albania, Tirana. First was visited Bunk-Art, a giant underground nuclear bunker, built in the period of communism in Albania, nowadays converted into a museum and an art space. Lastly was visited the National History Museum, which is the largest museum institution in Albania and the building itself is a one of the most important architectural works with a special role in the construction of the Albanian urban capital. The museum is presented through eight pavilions with different historical content.

Dragash visit 3a   Dragash visit 3b Dragash visit 3c   Dragash visit 3d

Except the visits in architectural monuments, archaeological site of the castle, landscape and urban panorama of the cities, this study visit also served as a platform for exchanging ideas and professional knowledge between the members of Forum. This question becomes even more important since one of the priorities of the Local Plan of Cultural Heritage of Dragash in 2015 is the establishment of an ethnological museum in the town.

This study visit is implemented within the project of capacity building for sustainable development and importance of cultural heritage, which has been one of the priorities of the Local Cultural Heritage Plan of Dragash. This priority was identified in the framework of the Program of Local Cultural Heritage Plans 2012-2015 drafted by CHwB, the Municipality of Dragash and other central level institutions.

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