Lies, spies and disguise: visiting Albania’s museums of secret surveillance
If you ever wanted to indulge your conspiracy theories, Albania is a great place to do it.
The mountainous little country looks out to the heel of Italy’s boot, and for the last century, has played out as a field for war, foreign occupation and annexation, and the enactment of fantasies of next-level paranoid dictators.
Its capital, Tirana, is a mishmash of architecture ranging from Bronze-age fortress to Ottoman-era mosques and Soviet Brutalist monuments. But the contemporary symbol of Albanian architecture is no skyscraper or soaring minaret: it’s its bunkers.
My story about Albania’s Communist-era bunkers and the grisly House of Leaves, a museum of secret surveillance, shows a dark side to this beautiful Balkan country.
Click here to read the story, which was published in the Traveller section of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers.
If you’re keen to read more about travelling in the Balkans, take a look at my earlier story about travelling in the lands of honey and blood.