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Many Albanians already know that the city of Shkodra is one of the most valued cultural centers of the country, the city where many of the most renowned Albanian poets and artists were born, among many other things. Let us simply say that this city had a slightly different path of developmental than other cities of the country. The Museum-House of Oso Kuka testifies to this development more so than any other venue in the city and, perhaps, country. This place transports the visitor to the early 20th century, when the northern city of Shkodra had not yet lost its splendor as the medieval center of trade with the West. Fortunately, this air of a former central place still flows through the cobbled streets and traditional houses of Shkodra.
This Museum-House in this city of former splendor is the place for all you nostalgic souls out there!
The first impressions of this house bring visions of parties and traditional folk song and dances of the past century, gatherings in the beautiful wooden balcony under the moonlight, looking over the flowering gardens below. This house and every object in it is masterfully built and decorated! While the Americans have the jazz and culture of the roaring 20s, the Albanians have dances, and folk music of old Shkodra and the house of Oso Kuka that so gloriously hosted them.
As you may have gathered, the residence of this famous Albanian patriot has doubled as a Historical Museum since 1947. The journey which takes you through the Neolithic period and Antiquity, and goes 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 quite rare around these parts, including objects and interiors which accurately reveal what aristocratic life was like in northern Albania. Each separate environment within the house is quite captivating, not only due to its elegant interior, but to the cultural ethnos which so naturally radiates from each corner of this house. It is, quite honestly, a historical and cultural mirror of northern Albania, as in one visit, you will be able to understand the lives and relationships of the men and women of the time as well as many fascinating details on the famous Albanian tradition of hosting friends and guests. The period of the early 20th century 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 bit different from the vibe of the American roaring 20s, you may say, but you get the idea!
This northern Albanian way of life expanded to a larger area, including central Albania, as well, and its overarching influence in the country is all found inside this house. Musical events and interesting exhibitions are regularly organized in this space. For this, and many other reasons, this place remains, as ever, the center of all those who are genuinely passionate and curious about life. The true Albanian kind, that is!