The Temples of an Atheist State

The Temples of an Atheist State

Today the bunkers of Albania resemble the abandoned ruins of ancient temples, which sometimes surrealistically supplement the urban or rural landscapes of the country.

Photos and text by Oleksandr Rupeta

 

Albania, under the leadership of Enver Hoxha, was declared the world’s first atheist state in 1967. Every single place of worship had been destroyed or converted into other uses, such as cinemas, warehouses or sports halls. On the other hand, in the period from the 1960s to the 1980s, Hoxha carried out a programme of country’s bunkerisation, which resulted in the construction of a total of 750,000 bunkers in every corner of Albania. The bunkers were abandoned following the collapse of communism in 1990. Today the bunkers of Albania resemble the abandoned ruins of ancient temples, which sometimes surrealistically supplement the urban or rural landscapes of the country.

Photos and text by Oleksandr Rupeta


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