Inside the villa of Enver Hoxha -soon to be open for the public
The living areas of the Villa are pretty functional, done with the best that 70s Albania had to offer in terms of furniture and accessories. On the walls, you can see socialist realist art.
“Inside, the walls are adorned with socialist realist art, while multiple living rooms are equipped with chunky Albanian-made television sets, on which Hoxha and his wife would, on occasion, watch video footage of the torture and interrogation of those accused of being political opponents,” the article says.
A library room and his desk where Hoxha wrote some of his 74 books.
Although Albanians didn’t have access to outside literature, Hoxha loved books and had a yearly delivery of French books from Paris. Bookshelves everywhere. Many were his tomes or other Marxist literature. But there were also thousands of books on broad subjects.
He had ingenious soundproofing on his bedroom doors. His three adult children also lived there. Escapism was a theme of their bedrooms. “The multiple doors to Hoxha’s bedroom have soundproof cushioned cladding, while in the basement a swimming pool and an escape door leading to a tunnel, through which the paranoid Hoxha could flee to an underground bunker in case of attack”, the article says.
During his life, the whole area of town was closed off to the public and only got top party leaders. Now, it’s the most happening part of Tirana.
It is announced that soon will be open to the public.
Other buildings symbolising the Hoxha regime have already been repurposed for public use. The former headquarters of the Sigurimi, Hoxha’s feared secret police, is now a museum where visitors can marvel at the all-pervasive nature of surveillance and informants during the communist period. Exhibits include a training manual showing officers how to insert tiny listening devices into walls, picture frames and even the soles of people’s shoes.
Hoxha had approximately 168,000 concrete bunkers built during eight years, after getting the idea from a visit to North Korea. The largest, on the outskirts of Tirana, is spread over five below-ground floors, sealed with multiple six-inch-thick concrete doors and containing a decontamination room, living quarters for Hoxha and his close circle, and a large hall where sessions of parliament could be held underground. Two years ago, it was opened to the public as a history museum.
Source: The Guardian
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