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The House of Oso Kuka lies a city renowned for its former splendour and importance. It’s a wonderful location for all you nostalgic souls out there – full of history, culture, and beauty!
Many Albanians already recognise the city of Shkodra as one of the most valued cultural centres of the country – a city where many renowned Albanian poets and artists were born. Shkodra has certainly had a slightly different developmental path than other cities in the country. The Museum-House of Oso Kuka testifies to this development more so than any other venue in the area, or perhaps the entire country. It transports visitors to the early 20th century, when the northern city of Shkodra had not yet lost its splendour as the medieval centre of trade with the West. Thankfully, an air of a former central place of importance still flows through the old cobbled streets and traditional houses of Shkodra.
The first impressions many get upon viewing this house is visions of parties, traditional folk song and dance of the past century, gatherings in the beautiful wooden balcony under the moonlight, and looking out over the flowering gardens below. This house and every object in it is masterfully crafted and decorated! While the roaring American 20s were known for their jazz and culture, the Albanians have the dances and folk music of old Shkodra, and the house of Oso Kuka that so gloriously hosted them.
As you’ll notice, the residence of this famous Albanian patriot has doubled as a Historical Museum since 1947. This journey, taking you through the Neolithic period and Antiquity, and through the First and Second World Wars up until the Communist era (1944-1991) in Albania, begins as soon as you enter the beautiful grand entrance of this house. The house contains an exhibition that is rare around these parts, including objects and interiors which accurately reveal what aristocratic life was like in northern Albania. Each separate space within the house is wonderfully captivating, not only due to its elegant interior, but to the cultural atmosphere which naturally radiates from every corner of the house. It is quite simply an historical and cultural mirror of northern Albania.
In one visit, you’ll be able to understand the lives and relationships of the men and women of the time, as well as many fascinating details of the famous Albanian tradition of hosting friends and guests. The period of the early 20thcentury is reflected in the organization of this residence, where the inhabitants lived, worked, and shared joyous occasions, as well as many other familial ceremonies within the same space. A little different from the vibe of the American roaring 20s, but as culturally enlightening to Albania as the Jazz Age was to the States!
This northern Albanian way of life expanded to a larger area, including central Albania, as well, and its overarching influence on the country is all found within the walls of this house. Musical events and interesting exhibitions are regularly organised in this space. For this, and many other reasons, this place remains, as ever, the centre of all those who are genuinely passionate and curious about life. The true Albanian kind, that is!