Tirana

Sights

National Martyrs' Cemetery (Varrezat e Dëshmorëve)

The final resting place of some 900 Albanian partisans who gave their lives fighting to free Albania from fascist and Nazi occupation during WWII dates from 1972. Its literal and figurative crowning glory is Kristaq Rama’s impressive, 12m-high white statue of Mother Albania watching over the city in her windswept concrete gown. Enver Hoxha used to be buried at her feet until he fell from grace in 1991 and was moved to the city’s municipal cemetery the following year. In an interesting recent political move, Hoxha’s former resting place has been occupied with the remains of Azem Hajdari, the student leader behind the fight against the regime in the late 1980s who was assassinated in Tirana in 1998. The view of the city spread out below and mountains surrounding it is worth the visit alone.

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