โ‰ก Menu
Vagabond Journey

Colorful Painted Buildings of Tirane

Colorful Painted Buildings of Tirane, AlbaniaUnder all of the grit, dust, and exhaust fumes, one of the most striking features about Albania’s capital city, Tirane, is that many of its apartment buildings are painted with bright colors in stripped patterns. Tirane’s mayor, Edi Rama, was once a painter, and he did not leave his art [...]

Colorful Painted Buildings of Tirane, Albania

Under all of the grit, dust, and exhaust fumes, one of the most striking features about Albania’s capital city, Tirane, is that many of its apartment buildings are painted with bright colors in stripped patterns. Tirane’s mayor, Edi Rama, was once a painter, and he did not leave his art behind as he took the reins of the city. Rather, he made the entire urban center his canvas.

Photo taken from http://www.flickr.com/photos/davduf/540541113/in/photostream/

An article in the New Yorker states that, “Rama has been in office for nearly five years he was elected in 2000, at the age of thirty- six, and reelected three years later), and the first thing he did was to order paint. He blasted the facades of Tiranaโ€™s gray Stalinist apartment blocks with color-riotous, Caribbean color-turning buildings into patchworks of blues, greens, oranges, purples, yellows, and reds, and the city itself into something close to a modern-masters sampler.”

I suppose the mayor is also a pretty interesting fellow, as he is 6 foot 6, has a beard, a funny vest, red socks, and a frock coat, sings hip-hop songs, and walks the streets of Tirane making sure that nobody is stealing street lights or otherwise messing up his masterpiece.
————–
Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Istanbul, Turkey- February 9, 2008
Travelogue Travel Photos — Travel Guide
————–

This photo was taken from http://www.flickr.com/photos/davduf/540431310/


The colorful buildings of Tirane cut through its otherwise drab seeming appearance, and are enough to make a traveler look twice an regard the city as something interesting, unique, and full of character. I am reminded of the old color coded cities of Rajasthan. After spending a few days in Tirane, I must say that this city is absolutely liveable.


Patterns painted upon apartment buildings in Tirane contrast sharply with the bombed out, gun shot look of many other Balkan cities.

Painted buildings of Tirane, Albania.

Edi Rama, the mayor of Tirane, and architect of this city-wide masterpiece.

Related Pages:
Tirane Albania Good City

Sources:
New Yorker Article on Tirane’s mayor, Edi Rama

Colorful Painted Buildings of Tirane, Albania

Filed under: Albania, Eastern Europe, Europe

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 88 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3422 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

Support Wade Shepard’s writing on this blog (please help):

Wade Shepard is currently in: Prague, Czech Republic

3 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

  • Anonymous January 28, 2010, 9:23 pm

    We'll be moving to Tirane in August 2010. We already have one of the older pre-WWII homes picked out. Tirane is a beautiful city which is quickly progressing after nearly 50 years of Communist rule.

    Link Reply
    • W August 17, 2010, 11:20 pm

      I lived in tirana for about 7 years. nice people, but be careful with the corruption.
      if u are buying a home, make sure you take ALL the legal paperwork to a noter and have every single paper notarized!!!! there have been people who have bought houses and the owner manages to pay off some judge and kicks them out of what he claims “his house”, leaving them homeless.
      be very careful with corruption, and do NOT be afraid to say no to bribing. they will tell you “thats how things are done here” but they respect you when you tell them that its not legal.
      its a good idea to look for copies of the legal process before you get into anything, that way youll know how the albanian government works and you wont be lied to.
      hope everything works out for you! the albanians are very warm and will do anything for their friends! make an albanian friend, and you will never be homeless, lack food, or company! ๐Ÿ™‚
      for me albania is home away from home ๐Ÿ™‚
      good luck!

      Link Reply
  • jj September 9, 2012, 11:20 am

    where are you from? i prefer being a homless and alone than living in albany and have an albanian friend whit love ๐Ÿ™‚ an friendly irelnad guy

    Link Reply