UNESCO World Heritage
UNESCO World Heritage Site

Gjirokastër Historic Centre

Have you been?

First visited by us on November 19, 2020

All about the

Gjirokastër Historic Centre

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Welcome to our collected information about the UNESCO World Heritage Site officially known as “Historic Centres of Berat and Gjirokastra”! If you travel here and ask about it, the site is in Albanian/Shqip known as Qendrat Historike të Beratit dhe Gjirokastrës. We call it Gjirokastër Historic Centre or just Gjirokastër.
ACF Group: Name
[ ɟiɾokastəɾ ]

The City of Stone

World Heritage Site
/ 0
ACF Group: UNESCO Visit Data/Metrics

Where is Gjirokastër

To visit Gjirokastër Historic Centre you travel to the wonderful country of Albania located in the Southwest of Europe. More precisely, you probably travel to Gjirokastër in the Gjirokastër County part of Albania to visit it. UNESCO actually has its own definition of the different world regions. According to them Gjirokastër is located in Europe and North America, how about that?
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Gjirokastër County
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How small big large HUGE v-a-s-t is it

1 Hectare is 0.01 km² and 0.004 mi²


1 km² is 100 Hectare and 0.386 mi²


1 mi² is 259 Hectare and 2.589 km²

Why is Gjirokastër
a World Heritage Site

World Heritage Type





Gjirokastër is a small, magical, and remarkably well preserved Ottoman town. It’s built on the hillside in the shade of a 13th-century hilltop citadel, with a spectacular view of the river valley beneath. In the era of the Turkish and Muslim Ottoman Empire the houses, bazaar, and mosques were all built with stone giving it its nickname the City of Stone. Of the more than 500 white and shale topped houses the most famous ones are the two-story houses from the 17th-century. Some of them have beautiful are fortified tower houses called “kule”.

UNESCO's  2 Why

Cultural Reason #3
Cultural Reason #4
Gjirokastër is a small but unique historic town. It's heavily influenced by an almost disappeared society and life-style in the Balkans. Its layout and architecture are very connected to the culture and tradition of Islam in the Ottoman days. This while still respecting the Orthodox Christian traditions. Also, because it was mostly built by rich landowners with connections to the central Ottoman rulers. As a result, the residential quarters, bazaar, and mosques were all built vertically, and in stone.
The historic centre of Gjirokastër was built around the 13th-century citadel. From the 14th to the 19th-century it developed into a regional centre. This is was the time of the Turkish and Muslim Ottoman Empire. It was built by landowners, farmers, rich farmers, with plenty of lands. They had very different needs than the more common merchants’ cities of that time. The Ottomans adopted their buildings to the surroundings of the citadel. Gjirokastër still has plenty of architecture from that time. Most famous are the fortified tower houses, turrets, in Turkey known as “kule”.
Testimony to Cultural Tradition or Civilisation
Significant Stage in Human History

World Heritage Protection Status




Timeline for the Gjirokastër World Heritage Site



Gjirokastër was physically created.



Gjirokastër was established.


Albania nominated Gjirokastër Historic Centre to become a World Heritage Site.



The application from Albania was approved and Historic Centres of Berat and Gjirokastra officially became a World Heritage Site.


Inscription Changed to "bis"

Things change. So did things for Historic Centres of Berat and Gjirokastra. The Historic City of Berat was added to the original site Museum-City of Gjirokastra. Because of this, the name was changed to the Historic Centres of Berat and Gjirokastra. Because of this there are some letters after the UNESCO Reference Number 569. After this update, Gjirokastër’s is bis.

Visited by us!

Landmark event, obviously! Our first visit to the Historic Centres of Berat and Gjirokastra World Heritage Site. This was our 126 site visited out of the 128  we have travelled to so far.

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