Gjirokastër is the second Albanian city-museum entered on the UNESCO list after Berat. It is famous for its mighty castle towering over the buildings of the old town and well-preserved houses, whose roofs are covered with silvery slate.
The city experienced the greatest development during the Byzantine and Turkish times. The Castle in Gjirokaster, which is now the most important monument, was built then. Its walls rise above the Old Town of Gjirokastër, which is a charming maze of cobbled streets and stairs. There are traditional Albanian houses with large Turkish influences. The best examples of this construction include the House of Zakate, House of Skendula, House of Isamila Kadare, House of Muhaet Fico and House of Angonate.
In addition to historic houses on high foundations, covered with slate, silvery roofs in the old town of Gjirokastër, you can also see the Mecite Turkish bath, the Church of St. Sotiria, Tekke Mosque and Bazaar Mosque. The bazaar itself stretches over a large part of the streets of the old town and has an unforgettable atmosphere of the East.
The crowning achievement of the old town is the Castle in Gjirokaster. Its construction began in Byzantine times, and the massive walls were strengthened and expanded by the Turks. Today it houses the National Museum of Armaments, where you can see, among others an American military plane intercepted by Albanian troops during the Cold War. There is also a municipal museum that presents the history and culture of Gjirokastra.