The history after the building of Puppet Theater
We are glad that this building is still part of the mosaic of the Center of Tirana. It’s still not restored, but it’s worth visiting. Austrian architects designed it, but the Albanian state finished construction in 1925. It served as the parliament building from 1925 to 1944.
Some photos taken from the German Archives show a parliamentary séance, members of parliament speaking and sitting in a small room. A portrait of Skanderbeg is hung on the main wall of the hall. The walls were decorated with fabric. The chairs and tables were modest. A wood-burning stove heated the room. In this parliament were seated the most educated people in that time, among them Gjergj Fishta and Fan Noli.
In 1944, with the arrival of the ruling communists, the building served as the seat of the Anti-Fascist National Liberation Council. Later, during the early years of the communist regime, it served as the House of Soviet Pioneers, serving children of Russian specialists.
In the 50s, it became a place to entertain kids, and it is still the National Theater for Children or Puppet Theater today. This theater, after reconstruction, has a contemporary hall of 160 seats. It has been the only professional children’s theater in Tirana for a long time, so it has served as a school for the other theaters of the country.
Now, it gives about 500 performances a year using string puppets, puppet dolls, masks, mimes, and performances by various actors. At the weekend, tickets are hard to find. Despite its role now, this building is very important for the city. It is nice to have such historical buildings in the heart of Tirana. We hope to see a full restoration of this building and, why not, to have a special room as a Museum where photos show the history years. Tourists are very interested in the old and new Tirana.
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