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A coastal town, a cafe on the beach and a new border wall are some of the uses for the remains of the country's communist past. Pictured: one of the bunkers, which lies on the beautiful side of Lake Ohrid in Lin, serves as a Greek Orthodox shrine

Beautiful pictures show what Albanians have done with the 175,000 military bunkers that were built when the country expected nuclear Armageddon during the Cold War.

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A coastal town, a cafe on the beach and a new border wall are some of the uses for the remains of the country's communist past.

They have also been converted into simpler designs, including a pool house, barbecue and a workshop.

A coastal town, a cafe on the beach and a new border wall are some of the uses for the remains of the country's communist past. Pictured: one of the bunkers, which lies on the beautiful side of Lake Ohrid in Lin, serves as a Greek Orthodox shrine

A coastal town, a cafe on the beach and a new border wall are some of the uses for the remains of the country's communist past. Pictured: one of the bunkers, which lies on the beautiful side of Lake Ohrid in Lin, serves as a Greek Orthodox shrine

They have also been converted into simpler designs, including a pool house, barbecue and a workshop. But this one in Tale has been transformed into a Bed & Bunker by students from Polis University in Tirana

They have also been converted into simpler designs, including a pool house, barbecue and a workshop. But this one in Tale has been transformed into a Bed & Bunker by students from Polis University in Tirana

They have also been converted into simpler designs, including a pool house, barbecue and a workshop. But this one in Tale has been transformed into a Bed & Bunker by students from Polis University in Tirana

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British photographer Robert Hackman 250 of them imagined during the last ten years as he traveled through Albania.

He put them together in a book called Metamorphosis: The Reuse of Albanian Bunkers from the Communist Era, which he described as & # 39; a document of the triumph of the people about oppression & # 39 ;.

He told Wired: & # 39; I wanted to include this transitional chapter of Albanian history, not only the bunkers, but also the Albanian people and their country with a wider audience. & # 39;

The British photographer Robert Hackman introduced 250 of them over the past ten years as he traveled through Albania. Pictured: a bunker in Rrogozhinë

The British photographer Robert Hackman introduced 250 of them over the past ten years as he traveled through Albania. Pictured: a bunker in Rrogozhinë

The British photographer Robert Hackman introduced 250 of them over the past ten years as he traveled through Albania. Pictured: a bunker in Rrogozhinë

He compiled them in a book called Metamorphosis: The Reuse of Albanian Bunkers from the Communist Era, which he described as & # 39; a document of the triumph of the people about oppression & # 39 ;. Pictured: a colorful beach cafe at Mali i Robit is made from a large military bunker

He compiled them in a book called Metamorphosis: The Reuse of Albanian Bunkers from the Communist Era, which he described as & # 39; a document of the triumph of the people about oppression & # 39 ;. Pictured: a colorful beach cafe at Mali i Robit is made from a large military bunker

He compiled them in a book called Metamorphosis: The Reuse of Albanian Bunkers from the Communist Era, which he described as & # 39; a document of the triumph of the people about oppression & # 39 ;. Pictured: a colorful beach cafe at Mali i Robit is made from a large military bunker

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The bunkers were created during a difficult period for the country when Enver Hoxha – who led the country from 1944 until he died in 1985 – became more isolationist from the 1960s.

During & # 39; bunkerizimi & # 39; they were built in the snowy mountains, on sandy beaches, meadows, forests and even on the grounds of the most famous hotel in the country.

It followed Hoxha & # 39; s break with Nikita Kruschev's Soviet Union and the hostility he had toward NATO for fearing aerial attacks from all sides.

The bunkers were created during a difficult period for the country when Enver Hoxha - who led the country from 1944 until he died in 1985 - became more isolationist from the 1960s. Pictured: a bunker is now being used in a military post along the border wall in Gjirokaster

The bunkers were created during a difficult period for the country when Enver Hoxha - who led the country from 1944 until he died in 1985 - became more isolationist from the 1960s. Pictured: a bunker is now being used in a military post along the border wall in Gjirokaster

The bunkers were created during a difficult period for the country when Enver Hoxha – who led the country from 1944 until he died in 1985 – became more isolationist from the 1960s. Pictured: a bunker is now being used in a military post along the border wall in Gjirokaster

During & # 39; bunkerizimi & # 39; they were built in the snowy mountains, on sandy beaches, meadows, forests and even on the grounds of the most famous hotel in the country. But this one in the beach cafe has doubled as the owner's house
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During & # 39; bunkerizimi & # 39; they were built in the snowy mountains, on sandy beaches, meadows, forests and even on the grounds of the most famous hotel in the country. But this one in the beach cafe has doubled as the owner's house

During & # 39; bunkerizimi & # 39; they were built in the snowy mountains, on sandy beaches, meadows, forests and even on the grounds of the most famous hotel in the country. But this one in the beach cafe has doubled as the owner's house

The head of state had arranged the bunkers in rows, spreading from central command bunkers that were visible to everyone else to allow communication through slits.

Their concrete was reinforced with steel and iron, and they varied in size from small two-man boxes to massive domes with underground networks for high-ranking party members and military officers.

They were a colossal drain on Albania's economy and saw no action until the savage Albanian civil war of the 1990s and the war in Kosovo in 1999.

When the bunkers were made, the head of state had arranged them in rows, spread out from central command bunkers that were visible to everyone else to allow communication through slits. Pictured: the remains of some bunkers are used as a landfill in Sarandë on the Albanian Riviera
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When the bunkers were made, the head of state had arranged them in rows, spread out from central command bunkers that were visible to everyone else to allow communication through slits. Pictured: the remains of some bunkers are used as a landfill in Sarandë on the Albanian Riviera

When the bunkers were made, the head of state had arranged them in rows, spread out from central command bunkers that were visible to everyone else to allow communication through slits. Pictured: the remains of some bunkers are used as a landfill in Sarandë on the Albanian Riviera

More than 25 years since the fall of the Communists, large bunkers have even been transformed into sheep barns, bars, restaurants, public toilets, hotels, museums and workplaces (depicted in Kukes)

More than 25 years since the fall of the Communists, large bunkers have even been transformed into sheep barns, bars, restaurants, public toilets, hotels, museums and workplaces (depicted in Kukes)

More than 25 years since the fall of the Communists, large bunkers have even been transformed into sheep barns, bars, restaurants, public toilets, hotels, museums and workplaces (depicted in Kukes)

Bullets shot over the dome-strewn landscape during the civil war and civilians fled to the bunkers in fear during the shelling of the war in Kosovo.

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More than 25 years since the fall of the Communists, large bunkers have even turned into sheep barns, bars, restaurants, public toilets, hotels, museums and houses.

The jewel in the crown is a vast, five-storey underground shelter on the outskirts of the capital, Tirana, to protect Albania's army command against nuclear attack.

While some have been transformed into functioning homes, some have only been used for storage, with the appearance of being in a backyard in Maliq

While some have been transformed into functioning homes, some have only been used for storage, with the appearance of being in a backyard in Maliq

While some have been transformed into functioning homes, some have only been used for storage, with the appearance of being in a backyard in Maliq

While working for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 2001, Hackman saw how the Albanians had reused the bunkers and decided to photograph them.

He said: & # 39; I knew it was unusual material and would make a great photographic project. & # 39;

But he only joined the project in 2008 and flew from London to Tirana, the capital, where he would be driving through the country for two weeks at the same time – hunting for bunkers.

Hackman only joined the project in 2008 and flew from London to Tirana, the capital, where he would simultaneously drive through the country for two weeks - on the hunt for bunkers (photo, the remains of one in Shengjin, broken for scrap)

Hackman only joined the project in 2008 and flew from London to Tirana, the capital, where he would simultaneously drive through the country for two weeks - on the hunt for bunkers (photo, the remains of one in Shengjin, broken for scrap)

Hackman only joined the project in 2008 and flew from London to Tirana, the capital, where he would simultaneously drive through the country for two weeks – on the hunt for bunkers (photo, the remains of one in Shengjin, broken for scrap)

The owners were usually happy to introduce them, but added that he sometimes had trouble drinking raki after a day, a strong alcoholic drink with an aniseed flavor.

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& # 39; When I & # 39; taking the photo in the evening, I could hardly stand. & # 39;

During his time with the bunkers, he realized that they were starting to disappear – quickly.

He made the connection between the price of scrap and the poorer Albanians who break up the shelters with explosives.

The owners were usually happy to introduce them, but added that he sometimes had trouble drinking raki after a day, a strong alcoholic drink with an aniseed flavor. Pictured: a storage bunker in a resort in Sarande

The owners were usually happy to introduce them, but added that he sometimes had trouble drinking raki after a day, a strong alcoholic drink with an aniseed flavor. Pictured: a storage bunker in a resort in Sarande

The owners were usually happy to introduce them, but added that he sometimes had trouble drinking raki after a day, a strong alcoholic drink with an aniseed flavor. Pictured: a storage bunker in a resort in Sarande

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The bunkers are now protected by the government, but they are still disappearing.

Hackman said: & I believe the local community has missed an opportunity to be the guardians of the memory for those who have suffered under Enver Hoxha, and have also denied themselves a huge income from tourism. & # 39;

Some Albanians agree with Hackman if they support the government in an effort to protect them.

Students from Polis University, Tirana, turned them into bed and breakfast houses under the name Bed & Bunker in 2012.

And The Concrete Mushroom Project came with a handbook on ways to turn the bunker into suitable 21st-century structures such as beach huts.

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