Tirana - The City
The 1992 elections in Albania ended 47 years of communist rule. The shaking off of the restrictive weight of the communist regime is expressed in the attitudes of freedom and fun found in the Albanian people. The untamed color schemes of the newly redecorated buildings here are a visual demonstration of this energetic rebirth. The oppression that stifled life here for years has been discarded and a "new lease on life" attitude is evident in this city. Tirana itself is an enticing mix of stern Soviet Bloc cement buildings, Ottoman minarets and 1930s Italian architecture, which juxtapose the wild color schemes of newer buildings that have been redecorated by local artists. The religious buildings in Tirana are a wonderful mix of Christian and Muslim shrines, which speaks to its varied heritage and multi-cultural present. There is also a pulsing nightlife scene and Tirana is famous for its all night café culture.