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The city of One above another Windows

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The City of "One Above Another Windows" in Berat: A Hidden Gem in Albania

Nestled in the heart of Albania, the city of Berat is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and stunning architecture. Known as the "City of One Above Another Windows," Berat is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that showcases a remarkable style of architecture influenced by various civilizations throughout history. Let's dive into the captivating features and experiences that make Berat a must-visit destination.

A Glimpse into History

Berat has a rich historical significance that dates back to ancient times. The city is believed to have been founded by the Illyrians and was later influenced by the Byzantine Empire. Its strategic location made it a vital stronghold during the Illyrian Wars and Macedonian Wars. The city's name, derived from the Old Slavonic language, means "White City," reflecting its stunning white-washed houses that cascade down the hills.

Architectural Marvels

One of the most captivating aspects of Berat is its unique architectural style. The city is renowned for its Ottoman-era houses, characterized by rows of windows stacked one above another, hence the nickname "City of One Above Another Windows." These houses, known as "kullas," feature intricate woodwork and colorful facades, creating a picturesque scene that transports visitors back in time.

Exploring the Old Town

The heart of Berat lies in its well-preserved old town, known as Mangalem. Strolling through its narrow cobblestone streets, you'll encounter a myriad of historical landmarks, including the 13th-century Berat Castle. This fortress offers panoramic views of the city and houses the Onufri Museum, which showcases a collection of religious icons and artifacts.

Cultural Delights

Berat is not only a city of architectural wonders but also a cultural hub. The city is home to numerous churches and mosques, adorned with stunning murals and frescoes. The Holy Trinity Church, located within the castle walls, is a prime example of the city's religious heritage. Additionally, the Ethnographic Museum provides insight into the traditional way of life in Berat, displaying a range of artifacts and exhibits.

Outdoor Adventures

Surrounded by mountains and hills, Berat offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. The nearby Tomorr National Park is a haven for hikers and nature lovers, boasting scenic trails and breathtaking landscapes. The Osum River, which runs through the city, provides the perfect setting for kayaking and rafting adventures.

When to Visit

Berat can be enjoyed year-round, but the best time to visit is during the spring and autumn months when the weather is mild and pleasant. The city comes alive with vibrant festivals and cultural events, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the local traditions and celebrations.


Berat, the city of "One Above Another Windows," is a captivating destination that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and architectural marvels. From exploring the old town's narrow streets to admiring the stunning Ottoman-era houses, there is something for everyone in this hidden gem of Albania. Whether you're a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or an outdoor adventurer, Berat is sure to leave a lasting impression. So, don't forget to add this remarkable city to your travel bucket list.

Updated on 27 May 2024

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