Ismail Kadare House (Museum)

POI Number
Municipality of Gjirokaster
Palorto, situated nearby to the memorial Lavdi Deshmoreve and the museum Skënduli House
300 metres above sea level

This is the house where Ismail Kadare was born and spent his childhood. The house was first built in 1799 and is one of the oldest and biggest houses in the city. The writer lived here until he finished the high school and then he moved to Tirana for studying Literature in Tirana University, but his family left the house. In the later in 70’s. After that the house was taken by the Communism System who put there three other families. Unfortunately, the house was burned down accidentally in 1999. So the Kadare family took the house and they decided to give it to the city. In the 2000s started the renovation of the building and it was opened for the first time like a museum in 2016. In 2021 the museum had another intervention, and the work lasted more than one year. It was reopened in September of 2022. The museum is based mostly in the novel Chronicle in Stone. Except the guide that the staff makes, now you can take a lot of information in the screens that you will find in the house. You can find also a model of a traditional house. We can start the description of the house from the cellar where they kept the food to be fresh, but this place was used like a shelter for the family and the neighbours during the second world war, as Ismail Kadare describes this in one of his famous novel Chronicle in Stone.

Interesting in the ground floor is the cistern that collect the rain water from the roof and this is typical in old houses in the city, also you will find what the writer calls prison of the house (the place where parents punished the children when they did something wrong. In the conference room you will find the outfit that the writer dressed in the day that he won the Prize ‘’PRINCIPE DE ASTURIA’’ in Spain in 2009, and a Television where you can watch a documentary about the novel ‘Broken April’ which turned into a film in Albania, Brazil and France.

The house has four rooms in total and one kitchen. Two big rooms used for guests and two smaller rooms used for the family. In the biggest room you will find the window where Ismail Kadare started to write his first poems when he was 11-12 years old. In the family room you will see a box from 1889 (sunduk) that is original of the family. Ismail Kadare was a reporter in Vietnam and in the house you will find the helmet that he used there. Everywhere in the house you will find some book imitations and on the walls you can read some writings of Ismail Kadare novels.