Hotel Turizmi: Geopolitics, Tourism, and Modern Architecture in Socialist Albania

Laska, Andi, Architectural History - School of Architecture, University of Virginia
Li, Shiqiao, Architecture, University of Virginia
Crane, Sheila, Architectural History, University of Virginia
Last, Nana, Architecture, University of Virginia

The study of tourism and tourist infrastructure in socialist Albania remains unexplored within the Cold War scholarship. During the Cold War, Albania managed to reap enormous economical benefits by progressing up the ladder of geopolitical relevance in the Socialist bloc by first being mentored by Yugoslavian ambitions from 1944 to 1948, to becoming a Soviet protectorate and satellite from 1948 to 1960, and finally reaching an alliance with the Chinese from 1960 to 1978. Geopolitical negotiations with the Yugoslavs allowed for a quick start to rebuilding of the country after the devastation of World War II, while the shift to the Soviet Union industrialized and modernized the country to new heights. Last, the alliance with China completely transformed all facets of the economy and standards of life. This thesis addresses gaps in Cold War scholarship by focusing on Albania’s socialist-era tourism development. It will explore the intersection of architecture, geopolitics and ideology. By highlighting Albania's positioning in the broader political-architectural context of the Cold War, this thesis will investigate architecture as manifestation of geopolitical negotiations.

MARH (Master of Architectural History)
Albania, Cold War, Tourism, Socialist, Architecture, Hotel, Albturist, Turizmi
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