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Slide item 1

National Historical Museum (1978-1981): socialist-realist architecture

Photo: Municipality of Tirana Archive

Slide item 2

Mosaic on the main facade of the National Historical Museum

Photo: Municipality of Tirana Archive

National Historical Museum

An example of socialist propaganda


The giant mosaic

The National Historical Museum was designed by a group of Albanian architects and engineers in the style of late socialist realism. Its construction in Scanderbeg Square required the demolition of the old Town Hall. The museum, the largest in Albania, was opened on 28 October 1981. The main entrance of the building displays a gigantic mosaic (10x40m.) entitled “The Albanians”. This work of art tells the story of how the Albanians fought against invasion and occupation throughout the centuries, and was thus a vehicle of socialist propaganda.

8 halls, 8 styles

The National Historical Museum features 8 exhibition halls, each one characterised by a single architectural style or theme, thus avoiding repetition: antiquity, medieval, national renaissance, iconography, culture of Albania, Albanian Resistance in World War II, the Communist regime, Mother Teresa. 6,200 artefacts ranging from 4,000 BC until the second half of the 20th century are exhibited in the eight halls.