Update: 29 October 2013

Adam was finally able to gather all the information needed, so thank you to all those who contributed.


—————Original post below—————————-

The other day someone contact me about a project that he was doing which required him to find old Albanian prison pictures from the communist era. As I do not have access (other than the internet) to such pictures, I offered to post about it here on my blog so that if, anyone has some info or better yet pictures, can help him.

I remember visiting the Gjirokastra castle and prison for the first time about ten years ago. The prison was not open to the public so my friend and I smuggled ourselves in to view what remained. There were still many aspects of the prison which had not changed despite the over ten years of its disuse.

I will gladly add those pictures on this blog as well.

————Email request from Adam——–


I’m currently doing a research project on Communist prisons located in the Balkans that were in operation during the Cold War era.

There’s two locations in particular that I’m struggling to get photos of (preferably showing the inside of them).

The first is of the “Big Jail in Korce”, I believe the Albanian translation is “Burgu i Madhi i Korce” and the second location is a stone castle located in Kruja which was converted to a prison and I believe the translation is “Kalaja e Krujes” (apologies if my translations are wrong).

If anyone has old photos of either of these two locations and would be able to email them to me, it would be very much appreciated as the only photo’s I’ve been able to access so far are the standard ones from Google images.

Feel free to private message or email me [email protected] me if you have any questions.



—————End of email—————–

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  • Bianca Gjomarkaj Nakovics

    Hello Elvis, I am attaching some photos here which I took in Gjirokastra and Porto Palermo this summer. As many people may not know the castle at Porto Palermo was utilized as a prison during the regime. My aunt Bardha Gjomarkaj was held there for about 6 months in the late 1940’s and recounted the horror of living in those conditions to me on numerous occasions. After visiting the site in June I could only imagine the suffering she and others were subjected to. The photos show a dismal, ancient, dark interior, which is unfit for human habitation. This is the way it was back then and is still. Just imagine living there! I’m glad someone is taking on this project and hopefully more stories and information about that horrible period in Albania’s history will be published. The other photos showing the cells in Gjirokastra Castle portray a cleaned, somewhat restored version of the cells, I am sure of that! I hope these help your friend. Thanks, Bianca.

  • Adam

    Hi Bianca,
    Thank you very much for taking the time to upload the photos and information, it’s greatly appreciated.
    I can only imagine from the footage I’ve seen how terrible these living conditions would have been for your aunt and other prisoners.
    My search still continues for photos of the prisons while they were still in use but fingers crossed someone out there has some that I can get copies of!