Albania, the Bunkerland

For nearly half a century, a communist regime was installed and ruled Albania. Therefore, it was clear that Albania would not escape the Cold War, since the “imperialists” were trying their best to destroy our socialist “prosperity”. On the other hand, dedicated to a strict Stalinism, the communist leadership of Enver Hoxha, could not tolerate the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, where Nikita Krushchev denounced the personality cult of Joseph Stalin.

So, the two superpowers of the planet become potential enemies. How could a small country resist a possible American or Soviet invasion? The answer was simple: by building bunkers.

Over 700.000 bunkers were built in Albania, one for every 3-4 people, with an average of 24 bunkers for every square kilometer. Too much energy and money was spent on them, but they were never used. No matter the location, alongside the border or in Tirana (capital city), the bunkers were ready for everyone.

Nowadays, most of this bunkers are derelict, though some have been reused for a variety of purposes including residential accommodation, cafés, storehouses and shelters for animals or the homeless.

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