History of the Museum

Museum of Secret Surveillance: “House of Leaves”

The building known as the “House of Leaves” (so called because of the clambering plant covering its facade) has now returned to the Museum of Secret Surveillance. Opened on 23rd of May, it is the newest museum in Albania and certainly the most intriguing one that tries to narrate to young people and to foreigners, one of the darkest periods of the country’s history.

Located in the center of Tirana, in front of Orthodox Church: “The Resurrection of Christ” and   near   the   National   Bank,   the   building   that   temporarily   housed   Gestapo   during   the occupation of Albania in WWII was the Central Directorate of the Secret Service from 1944 to 1991.

As  the   history   of   Albania   itself under  the   Communist   dictatorship that   was   installed   at   the   end   of   World   War   II   and   continued   for almost half a century, the House of Leaves  also, was covered for a long time with all sorts of legends and it comprised the unknown, a mystery. Whispers of people and rustling of leaves… By opening the doors of this house, presenting the activities that were conducted in it and many other things related to it, this museum will unfold simultaneously  aspects   of   Albanian   society   in the  conditions   of   a regime   that   aimed   at   the   total   control   over   the   human   bodies   and souls.

Interceptions, checks, spying … that brought arrests, interments, tortures, severe punishments for quite many innocent people … This museum is dedicated to them…