The statue of the
two heroines

Partisan Heroines

Situated in the main square is a stone monument depicting two young women standing heroically with nooses around their necks. The Monument pays tribute to two teenage girls, Bule Naipi and Persefoni Kokëdhima, who were partisans during World War II and were hanged by the Nazis in 1944.

Personalities of the Town

To the right of the Çajupi Hotel there is a monument recently built by the Municipality in honour of three renowned people from Gjirokastra, all of them have been awarded the status of Honorary Citizen.  They are: Eqerem Çabej, the philologist; Ismail Kadare, the novelist; and Musine Kokalari, a writer and co-founder of the Albanian Social-Democratic Party in 1943. Musine Kokalari spent 37 years in prison during the communist regime and died a forsaken death in northern Albania.

Monument to commemorate Çerçiz Topulli

Situated in the main square (named after him) it was erected in 1934 and is by the great Albanai realist sculptor Odise Paskali.  Çerçiz Topulli and his brother Bajo were from one of the best known families in Gjirokastër.  In 1908, they were at the head of a unit of patriotic rebels who fought against the Ottoman occupation.  Two of the members of their unit assassinated the Turkish bimbash, the Gjirokastra police chief.  If you look closely you will see a bullet hole which was inflicted by an Italian soldier during the occupation of the 2nd world war.

The obelisk

The Obelisk

This monument, known as “Mëmëdheu ABC”, pays tribute to Albanian education in the 20th century.  There are breathtaking views of the city from the Obelisk, especially of the old town districts of Varosh (below), Palorto (on the hill toward the right) and Dunavat (higher on the hill toward the left).  The Obelisk is adjacent to the area in which the first Albanian school opened in Gjirokastra in 1908. Under the Ottoman occupation Albanians were not permitted to have their own schools, and so this was a very dangerous enterprise at the time for the teachers who dared to work there.  This is also where one of the most remarkable sons of this city, Eqerem Çabej, used to live. Today the building houses the Gjirokastra Conservation and Development Organisation.

‘Ali Pasha’ Bridge

Known as Ali Pasha’s bridge, this is in fact is the only remaining span of what, in the early 19th century was an extensive network of aqueducts.  Built by Ali Pasha of Tepelenë, the aqueducts fed the castle’s cisterns from springs under Mount Sopot over 10 km away.  The hike up to see the bridge, which is high up in the Manalat district, will take you about two hours starting from the Tourist Information Centre (where directions can be obtained).   Although much of the walk is through the city’s lanes, there is a 10 to 15 minute stretch along rough mountain paths.  It is recommended that you wear hiking boots or stout shoes and take a hat and sunscreen as there is little shade at any time of the day.