Thursday, February 17, 2011
This mural is found above the entrance to the National History Museum of Albania in the capital, Tirana. It dominates the city's central square, making it one of the most recognizable images of Tirana. The mural portrays proud and strong Albanians defending the territory of their country against foreign invaders during every period of the nation's history, including the ancient Illyrians, the resistance to Turkish rule led by Skanderbeg, the partisan fighters of World War Two and the communist era under Enver Hoxha. The only change that has been made since the end of the communist period is that a red star has been removed from the flag. The museum itself is equally fascinating and makes a great introduction to the complexities of Albanian history. A number of important artifacts were looted during the 1990's, but there is still an impressive collection of exhibits on display.