This 80-year-old building is otherwise known as the ‘King Zog’s Villa’ and is positioned in a very dominant location, 98 meters above sea level, from where the whole city of Durres can be seen from the three main sides of its eagle-shaped structure. It is thought to have been built in 1927 as a personal gift to King Zog I, from the business community of Durres in a sign of respect and appreciation.
Royal Villa in Durres
The architect of this house is thought to be Prof. Kristo Sotiri, a laureate in Padua and Venice (Italy), who also had an eleven-year experience as the architect of the court of Queen Elizabeth Carmen Silva of Romania. He designed and built one of the most unique villas of the city, that referring to the detailed level of indoor and outdoor decorations and materiality can be seen as a kind of royal palace.
The upper floor is specially designed for the royal couple with balconies that overlook the entire bay of Durres, a testament to a modern building of this period. This villa is quite famous for its different kinds of marble and its grand saloon. Over the years the villa has served for more than 40 years as a waiting residence for various names of the Communist Party, starting from Hrushov to the Cambodian prince, and its most notable host after the 1990s has been the former US President, Jimmy Carter.
The building was also used in communist-era for parties and weddings. The building with special architecture was badly damaged in march of 1997, during the collapse created by the pyramid firms, when within two days it was vandalized, stolen, completely destroying the lighting system, which had remained intact since the time it was built. For several years it was used by the international NATO forces, arriving on military missions.