House of Leaves (Museum of Secret Surveillance), Tirana

House of Leaves (Museum of Secret Surveillance), Tirana

The House of Leaves is a historical museum that honors those innocent people who were spied on and persecuted under the communist regime. It is dedicated to those who were convicted, tortured and executed in the name of communism. The museum is also known as the Museum of Secret Surveillance.

The House of Leaves is located in a two-story villa that was built in 1931. It was formerly an obstetrics clinic, but it was converted into a housing for the Gestapo during German occupation. Later, when communists took over the country, it was used as the headquarters for the Directorate of State Security, otherwise known as the Sigurimi.

The Sigurimi's stated goal was to maintain security in Albania. However, the Sigurimi's practice was much more sinister. The security, intelligence and secret police service that made up the Sigurimi worked to suppress political activity. They did this by spying on citizens, arresting them and, often, executing them if they were accused of non-conformity.

The 31-room museum opened in 2017. Visitors can see exhibits that cover listening devices, the story of the house, the laboratory, a view of everyday life and voices of the past, among others. The House of Leaves was given the European Museum of the Year Award by the Council of Europe in 2020.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Tirana. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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House of Leaves (Museum of Secret Surveillance) on Map

Sight Name: House of Leaves (Museum of Secret Surveillance)
Sight Location: Tirana, Albania (See walking tours in Tirana)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Tirana, Albania

Create Your Own Walk in Tirana

Create Your Own Walk in Tirana

Creating your own self-guided walk in Tirana is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Tirana Introduction Walking Tour

Tirana Introduction Walking Tour

Tirana is Albania's largest city. It is also the country's center of culture and government. Though the city itself was founded by the Ottomans in 1614, its history goes back to earlier times.

The Romans settled in the area that would become Tirana in the 3rd century. The Byzantine Emperor Justinian I built a castle that has some remnants left for tourists to see today. Tirana Castle,...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 Km or 0.6 Miles
Communist Heritage Sites

Communist Heritage Sites

The people of Albania lived in a Communist state from 1976 through 1992. The country was ruled by one party, the Party of Labor of Albania. Dictator Enver Hoxha held power over the country and established a Stalinist-style of administration.

Citizens were oppressed by the secret police, known as the Sigurimi. They would spy on anyone who they believed to be an enemy of the state. Those who were...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles