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“Zekate” House

Banesa Zapanaja e Zekatëve

“Zekate” House

A typical representative of the Gjirokastra House typology. It is known with the name ‘Zekate’ because of the ‘Zeko’ family, this house was given as a present to. The house was a present from Ali Pasha to Beqir Zeko as one of his trusted man. Its construction dates from 1811-1812. It stands on the highest point of the ‘Palorto’ neighborhood.

Banesa Zapanaja e Zekatëve

The house was surrounded by walls and today the south-western part is ruined. As a unique case, it has three court-yards besides the garden in front of it, surrounded by walls too. The courtyards are interconnected with gates. In the right courtyard, we can find the ‘odajashte’ (representing a special place for the second category friends) as well as some ruins of a ‘grass storage’ room.

Banesa Zapanaja e Zekatëve
Banesa Zapanaja e Zekatëve

The house is located on a sloped terrain, therefore built with a semi-floor. It is organized in four floors and on its right side we find a building of two floors where today the Zeko family lives.The ground floor and the one above the ‘sterne'(water tank space) also known as ‘muslluk’ from the local community, have an equal plan-development, unlike the two upper floors which extend towards the back.

Banesa Zapanaja e Zekatëve
Banesa Zapanaja e Zekatëve

The inequality of the land and the deepening of the cistern, have enabled the development of two wings of the house, with one floor difference. Being the right wing, three-story in contrast to the central and left wing, four. The left wing comes forward and is wider. Therefore, it belongs to the two-wing variation. In the composition, it is re-presented with a central interconnecting core, on the side of which the main blocks are placed, while in the last two floors there are two spaces added, one for each floor.

The ground floor and the living room above the ‘sterne’ (water cisterne), have auxiliary functions, being built in with a ‘sterne’, ‘katua’ (space for animals) and a pantry. The first floor has two living areas, besides the kitchen. On this floor, the right wing receives another development from the one below it, since no sanitary facilities are constructed.

Banesa Zapanaja e Zekatëve

The ‘guest-room’ is on the left wing. Next to the ‘cardak’, separated by the last ramp of stairs, there’s the ‘kamerie’ (a kind of balcony), which is sustained by a system of columns-vault system, as well as stairs, circulating on three sides, the main volume of the house. Exept the balcony and the hallway, you can find also a higher ‘sofa’ for the head of the family to rest there.

The third floor is made out of three rooms, two of them summer rooms because of the generous size of the windows. One of the rooms is treated with an impressive attention to details, ornamenting and mural paintings, apart from its treatment with perimetral sofas also known as ‘mindere’ or musandras for the clothes and carpets deposit etc. The ground floor is treated with stone tiles and on the other floors with wooden planks.

Banesa Zapanaja e Zekatëve
Banesa Zapanaja e Zekatëve
Banesa Zapanaja e Zekatëve

The house stands out, for its composition towards the height, with a monumental appearance and protective character. It has maintained in very good conditions its architectural elements and its original construction.

Banesa Zapanaja e Zekatëve

Source: https://thealbanian.house/

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