The Cold War Tunnel Museum, also known as the Color War Tunnel, offers a captivating glimpse into Albania's communist era (1944-1990) by taking visitors underground to an extraordinary underground bunker. Constructed during a time of heightened paranoia and fear, this underground shelter served as an emergency refuge designed to protect against potential foreign invasions.
Hidden away in secrecy and built during the early 1970s, the bunker spans an impressive 800 meters and consists of 59 rooms. The Gjirokastër bunker has been preserved in its original state, providing an authentic and atmospheric experience for visitors, despite being less informative in terms of exhibits than the ones in Tirana (BUNKART 1 & BUNKART 2).
The Cold War Tunnel was intended to serve a multitude of functions in the event of a nuclear attack. Inside, you can explore rooms dedicated to government ministries, local government operations, interrogation facilities, accommodations for party elites, sleeping quarters, power generation areas, and water storage. Although much of the original furniture was looted from the site in 1990, some pieces still remain, allowing you to gain a sense of the regime's preparations for a potential nuclear threat.
During your visit, make sure to explore the decontamination room, the generator room housing a rusting Czechoslovakia-made generator, and the air filtration room. These areas provide insights into the meticulous planning and precautions taken by the regime.
The main entrance to the Tunnel is conveniently located close to the Municipality building, which once served as the headquarters of the Party Committee. The guided tour of the tunnel typically lasts around 20 minutes, offering a unique and immersive experience.
April to October (high season): 09:00-18:00
November to March (low season): 08:00-14:00
Ticket Price: 200 lek/person (approximately 2 Euro)
34FR+W34 Gjirokaster, Albania