Kazerma e Cerenit, a former military installation in Albania, has been transformed into a sustainable agro-tourism business and a top dining destination. The site, which was once a secretive military base built in 1975 to house military units of the then-Ministry of Defence (MoD) of communist Albania, has undergone minimal interventions and has been preserved to showcase rare military artifacts from the era.
Kazerma e Cerenit survived the tumultuous year of 1997 in Albania’s modern history and was transformed in 2020 to preserve its identity while creating contemporary spaces suitable for food processing. The site has become the first Albanian Green Agro-tourism Business in the Western Balkans, utilizing renewable energy through the installation of solar panels throughout the site.
Ismet Shehu, the visionary owner of Kazerma e Cerenit, turned this historical location into an exceptional dining experience, complete with sustainable agricultural practices. On January 29, 2023, Kazerma e Cerenit was inaugurated as an agro-tourism business,
and visitors can now experience a unique blend of history, sustainability, local culture, and exceptional cuisine.
The success of Kazerma e Cerenit serves as an inspiration for other countries to explore innovative ways of repurposing their own historical sites for a more sustainable future. The story of Kazerma e Cerenit highlights the power of innovation and adaptability in the face of change, and its transformation into a sustainable agro-tourism business and a top dining destination is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of Albania as a nation.
Minimal interventions were carried out during the transformation of Kazerma e Cerenit, such as repairing walls and other deteriorated parts of the Army Barracks. The remainder of the site was kept as close to the original as possible, including the dormitories, dining hall, and new war museum. The transformation also involved prioritizing safety while creating contemporary spaces suitable for food processing.
As Albania’s first green agro-tourism business and a premier dining destination, Kazerma e Cerenit stands as a symbol of the nation’s remarkable transformation, showing how its past can be repurposed to create a brighter, greener future. Visitors to Kazerma e Cerenit can now experience a unique blend of history, sustainability, local culture, and exceptional cuisine, and the site’s success is a testament to the power of innovation and adaptability in the face of change.