Click on picture to enlarge.

Like many place names in Albania this city can be spelled in many ways like Gjirokastra, Argyrokastro, Gjinokaster, Ljurocastru, Girokaster. In the Ottoman period it was known as Ergiri.

It has a sizeable Greek minority and that has at times caused unrest. One source claims the Greeks are about 10% of the inhabitants, while the Greeks themselves claim they are 32%.

The last part of the name is kaster which means fortress, castle and and that had a dominating place in the city on top of a hill.                                                                                                                                                                                                       DSCF2804 DSCF2802

It covered a big area and had among other things a collection of cannons. How they got this heavy goods up the very steep hill is a question of manpower I assume.                                                                                                                                DSCF2803

The view from the fortress was great, not surprisingly, and this is part of the city.                                                                        DSCF2806 DSCF2807

In the centre of the pictures there are grey, tall buildings and they are old and restaured and very special. Here are close-ups.                                                                                                                                                                                       DSCF2806b DSCF2807b

As can be seen there are very small if any windows or openings close to the ground and then the windows become bigger the higher up you get. The reason is of course for protection. People lived on the top, on the ground floor it was sheds snd storage and stables.

My hotel room had two elements I am not used to see in a modern hotel. It had a fire place and both the bathroom and the closet had roof tiles.                                                                                                                                                                        DSCF2793DSCF2893

Gjirokaster is on the World Heritage List from UNESCO,


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