• albanian bunker restuarant


    Northern Albanian Bunkers

  • albanian bunker design

    Bunker Design

    Designed by Military Engineer Josif Zagali

  • berat stone houses


    Many Albanians make the most of their bunkers!

  • downtown berat albania


    Roadside bunkers have all but disappeared!

  • berat albania agriculture


    As bunkers wait to be demolished, locals beautify.

  • albanian bunker souvenir


    Take home a souvenir to remember!

albanian bunker tourism

Albanian Bunkers are concrete hardened, "doomsday" shelters buried partly underground. These mushroom like structures were created to protect greater Albania from various real and imaginary enemy attacks by the late communist dictator Enver Hoxha. It is estimated that 750,000 Albanian bunkers once dotted the landscape of Albania over the decades starting in 1967. (Enver Hoxha ruled Albania from 1945 (post World War II) until his death in 1985.) Strategic bunker locations of hills, farmer's fields, beaches, transport lanes, and urban centers resulted. The reasoning by Enver Hoxha to build the bunkers was to defend communist Albania from enemy imperialists, revisionists, counter revolutionaries, and "end-of-the-world" scenarios. Each bunker was built to protect a family or defending soldier and costs in today's value would be in the billions. Additionally, the Albanian bunker reinforced Enver Hoxha's futuristics plans that made Albania one of the most isolated countries in the world.

     For current travelers to Albania, the current bunker estimate is 1/10th the highest installed estimate of 750,000. Various local governments have been destroying these symbols of Albania's past and since 2010 the Albanian central government has fully supported the destruction of urban, beach, and roadside bunkers.

Bunker Designer: Albanian military engineer Josif Zagali was instructed by Enver Hoxha to construct the Albanian bunker. Hoxha provided strict engineering measures to Zagali and it's rumored that Zagali "had to build the bunker strong as he'd be personally shelled by Hoxha's tanks in a finalized design to ensure its capabilities." Thus as Zagali apparently observed how dome-shaped fortifications were superior for tank fire, which simply ricocheted off the dome, Zagali constructed the dome-shaped bunkers.

Bunker Strategy: As Albanians were highly successful mountain guerrilla fighters, the Albanian bunker tried to replicate the setting on the plains. Fighters could ambush their supposed enemies then retreat to shelters for cover and further armed conflicts.

Most Popular Bunker Design: The single solider bunker is the most frequent of the Albania bunkers. It has a height of 2 meters with tiny box windows for firing on the enemy. Fields and hill-sides were covered with the smallish bunkers and numerous small bunkers would accompany a large bunker.

bunker in albana

Albanian Lowlands: Marc Morell (2006)

albanian alps bunker

Albanian Alps: Elian Stefa, Gyler Mydyti

albanian lake bunker

Lake Bunkers: Marmittes

albanian bunker forest

Forest Bunkers: Shevchenko Andrey

albanian bunker hostel

Bunker Hostel: Arben Celi (Tale, Albania 2012)

albanian bunker street

Street Bunker: Jeroenvrp (Shkoder, Albania 2001)

albanian bunker farm

Farmland Bunker: David Guttenfelder (Kukes, Albania 1999)

albanian bunker frontlines

Frontline of Bunkers: Martchan