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The excellent ethnographic museum of the famed town of Berat reveals wonderful details about the lifestyle and daily traditions of its residents.
The National Ethnographic Museum of Berat, situated within a striking, typical 18th century two-story Berat residence, is a pleasant immersion into the lifestyle traditions of this fascinating town. The museum’s pavilions are nicely organized within the two stories of the former residence. The nice journey along the pavilions reveals an accurate panorama of the traditions and daily conditions of the lives of Berat’s prominent families.
Opened in 1979, the beauty and unique architectural style of the house in which the museum resides demonstrates the economic and social status of the city’s largest families of more than 200 years ago. The ground floor of the building replicates a traditional medieval bazaar lined with embroidery, woodcarving and metalworks shops, all of which were a primary source of life and commerce at the time. The house’s front yard displays an old water well, typical for all the residences in Berat.
The museum houses approximately 1200 cultural heritage objects, beautifully placed on window ledges, shelves, or near the white fireplace, all wonderfully decorated by ethnographers. The spaces and objects make the visitor feel at home, like the house guests once upon a time, and simultaneously transported to another time.
The Museum’s second floor, dedicated to displaying the locals’ lifestyle, is divided into different rooms. The main ones are the guest room, where guests were welcomed and entertained, the kitchen, in which the day’s meals were prepared, and the work room, where the hand loom was used to thread clothes and tapestry. The balcony, covered in woolen throws, a local handicraft product, also contains small household objects that were used on special occasions. A particularly interesting part of the interior is the mezzanine where the women of the house could check in on the status of the guests’ foods and beverages.
An indisputable stop for international and local tourists who want to learn more about this region of Albania, the National Ethnographic Museum of Berat is an important part of the network of museums located and dedicated to life in the Adriatic basin.