A vast array of ugly Igloo-shaped concrete bunkers litter Albania, a constant reminder of former Communist dictator Enver Hoxha's paranoia. A joint German-Albanian tourism project plans to put beds in the bunkers to transform them into tourist hostels.
More than 750,000 concrete bunkers designed to withstand foreign attacks were constructed under the dictate of Enver Hoxha, Albania's former isolationist dictator.
Hoxha was under the illusion everyone wanted to invade his country. The cost of constructing the hideous structures crippled Albania's economy. Now they lie dotted all over the country, a testament to Hoxha's paranoia.
A new tourism project, developed by 10 German and 10 Albanian university students aims to put beds in bunkers and finally do something useful with them. Der Spiegel reported the project to turn bunkers into hotels and hostels is being developed at Mainz University of Applied Sciences in Germany.
A prototype bunker hostel is currently being designed by the students with the aim that cheap accommodation will be available at the "Bed and Bunker" hostels for just €8 per night. The prototype will have "wood floors, mattresses for lounging on, a shower and a kitchenette."
An article in Amusing Planet carries some interesting photographs of the communist era bunkers. It notes their main use these days is as a convenient place for young Albanians to lose their virginity.