Artisans Restore Pride in Albania’s City of Stone

Posted on October 25, 2010


From Ardi Pulaj of Balkan Insight:

In a tiny lane in the bazaar in the southern Albanian town of Gjirokastra, the sound of repeated hammering draws passers-by to a small shop.

Outside, stones are slowly being turned into pieces of art. The shop belongs to Murtezan Makriu who spends his days carving shapes and pictures in relief into the rocks. 

Stones are symbols of Gjirokastra. The famous Albanian writer Ismail Kadare, in his book Chronicle in Stone, describes Gjirokastra thus: “Everything in the city was old and made of stone, from the streets and fountains to the roofs of the sprawling age-old houses covered with gray slates like gigantic scales.”

Like Makriu, other artisans are recreating traditional crafts in the town these days.

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Photo credit: Balkan Insight