Historical Museum

  Rr. Oso Kuka      +355 224 32 13     more than a year ago
For a glimpse of old Shkodra, visit this museum located in a wonderful Ottoman-era building, the massive family house of Osa Kuka, a wealthy middle-class merchant. One of about 15 left in Shkodra, the house was a self-contained entity surrounded by  massive seven metre high wall, with strictly separated areas for the men to conduct business, and for the women to work, cook and take care of the family. Up to 20 people would inhabit the house; the patriarch, his sons and their wives and children. At that time, families would dabble in all kinds of trade; they would have some land and livestock, specialise in some craft, do trading and administration jobs.
This house was constructed in 1815 and is very typical of Ottoman houses of the 17th-19th centuries. The grand first-floor balcony was where family celebrations were held and where the women would colour fabrics or spread out silkworm cocoons and wool to make threads. A small unconnected room here was for conducting private negotiations. Inside, the large rooms with decorated wooden ceilings were for receiving guests in style. Seated in strict hierarchical order on cushions around a low table, the men would talk while the women were only able to follow the discussions from behind the small holes above the doorway. Only the youngest girls would be allowed to approach the room to pass trays of food and drinks; older daughters were kept well out of sight. One room has an unusual fireplace with a small window behind it – this was to check that the fire was burning continuously, as a house with no fire was considered cursed.
The museum also shows a small collection of handicrafts and traditional folk costumes, including elaborate bell-shaped xhubleta skirts. In the garden lies a Roman tomb and a Venetian stone well decorated with St. Mark's lion, while the basement of the house holds a small archaeology exhibition, with the early Christian Plate of David, artefacts from the Greek and Roman periods and a quirky 4th century BC clay fertility figure.


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Open 09:00-12:00. Closed Sat, Sun.

Price/Additional Info

Admission 100 lek.


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