Details

Keywords Change this

Rationalism

Project timeline

June 16th 1927 – 1937

Type

Private House

Location Change this

Kodër Vilë
Durrës
Albania

Current state

Restored (after demolition)

Architect Change this

__

Article last edited by Bostjan on
April 16th, 2020

The Royal Villa Durres Change this

1 of 7

Description Change this

The Royal Villa of Durrës, commonly known as Zog's Villa of Durrës, is a historical building in the city of Durrës, Albania. It served as the summer residence of King Zog. The fashionably styled building has survived as a symbol of the monarchy for the city and country. The villa was a gift to the Kind from the business community of Durres, or, according to other sources it was given to the kind by the italian government with the intention to strengthen relations between Albania and Italy.

The villa is set on the Durrës hill, 98 m above the sea level. The sea can be seen from three sides of the villa. It is extended in the form of an eagle and was built in 1926. The first concept, designed by Italian architect Armando Brasini, is dated january 1929, while the definitive project was designed by Florestano Di Fausto, assisted by engineer Antonino Chiesa, between 1928 and 1929. The intervention of the Italian architect Gherardo Bosio was limited to the interior, transforming the former royal palace into the office of the lieutenant governor and documented in a series of undated sketches. Construction started in 1926 based on the art nouveau concept of the local architect Kristo Sotiri (educated in Padova and Venice, Italy) who had previously also worked for the Romanina royal family. In 1937 the works were completed.

Restoration

The villa was used after World War II as a government reception building. During Communist Albania, many communist leaders from Nikita Khrushchev to the Cambodian prince Samde Norodom Sihanuk have been guests in the building. Former US President Jimmy Carter also has been one of its guests in the '90s.

After the Italian invasion of 1939 the king and his family were exiled. During World War iI and thereafter, the residence was used for government receptions and events. The building was unfortunately looted and damaged during the social and political turmoil of the Albanian rebellion in 1997, and is undergoing a gradual process of reconstruction.

It was restored to Leka Crown Prince of Albania in 2007. The restoration process was accepted and approved by the Albanian lands commission, following all the legal procedures without contest. The Palace was a gift given by the Durrës business community as a sign of prosperity to King Zog. Although in 2012, Artan Lame declared in the Media that the Palace was built by the Italian government.

Sources

  • Wikipedia
  • M.A. giusti (2006), Albania. Architettura e Citta 1925-1943, Maschietto
  • Armand Vokshi (2014), Tracce dell’architettura Italiana in Albania, DAN Editrice
  • Sotir Dhamo, Besnik Aliaj, Saimir Kristo, Albania – decades of architecture in political context curated by Adolph Stiller, Müry Salzmann (2019), isbn 978-3-99014-082-6

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