Skenduli House in Gjirokastra is a must-see attraction for anyone interested in experiencing the authentic architecture of the 19th century. Considered the most well-preserved and genuine building in the old city, it offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into the past.
Built in 1823, Skenduli House has retained its original charm and historical significance over more than 300 years. Owned by Nasip Skenduli, a descendant of the family that constructed the house, it holds a special place in Gjirokastra's architectural heritage. Nasip Skenduli himself is a captivating storyteller who eagerly shares the house's history and the preservation efforts undertaken throughout the years.
What makes Skenduli House truly exceptional is its remarkable structure, which reveals its status as one of the wealthiest homes in Gjirokastra. With nine fireplaces, an indication of the family's prosperity, six bathrooms, twelve rooms, forty-four doors, sixty-four windows, and four Turkish baths (hamams), it exudes grandeur and opulence.
The house boasts many rooms that have been meticulously preserved in their original form, providing an awe-inspiring experience for visitors. Even the fortified wall surrounding the property, measuring seventeen meters, remains intact and contributes to the overall authenticity.
Unlike other historical sites, Skenduli House has yet to undergo significant restoration efforts. This, coupled with the presence of numerous original objects, makes it an unparalleled testament to Gjirokastra's past. Its proximity to the Ethnographic Museum, formerly the residence of Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha, adds to its appeal.
In jest, Nasip Skenduli humorously remarks about the original house of his neighbor Hoxha, noting that it only had one fireplace, indicating a lack of wealth. However, Hoxha managed to enlarge his house by incorporating elements from other houses, effectively showcasing the authentic lifestyle of Gjirokastra's inhabitants from 300 to 400 years ago.
In summary, a visit to Skenduli House offers an unparalleled opportunity to immerse oneself in the best-preserved example of local 19th-century architecture in Gjirokastra. Its original structure, abundance of fireplaces, bathrooms, rooms, and unique architectural elements provide insight into the affluent lifestyle of its former residents. Nasip Skenduli's storytelling skills add a personal touch, enhancing the overall experience.
Entrance Fee: 300 ALL
34GP+43H, Gjirokaster 6001, Albania