Monumental

Featured prominently in my album from our recent hike from Tepelene to Himare are several communist – era memorials. These “Lavdi Deshmoreve,” or memorials to the heroes of past wars (of the communist age), are everywhere in Albania. Today they are, for the most part, abandoned and rarely visited. Sometimes they blend in to the creative cement architecture of the 60s and 70s that prevails in cities like Lezhe, but when they appear in small villages or out in the areas between mountains they strike quite a contrast with their surroundings. Ironically Cinco de Mayo in Shqiperi is “Dita e Deshmoreve”, so our Lavdi (right down the hill from my house) is all decked out in flags today.

My cousin recently sent me a link to a photo essay about similar memorials across the former Yugoslavia. For the most part Tito’s interpretations of the Albanian Lavdi are more architectural and visually striking. One of my favorites is the following:

The rest of the essay is worth a look. Makes me want to take a trip across Serbia/Bosnia just to visit these remnants from a not-so-distant history! Thanks, Wade, for the link!

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