TIRANA, Albania (AP) — A pharaonic landmark in central Tirana built as a posthumous museum for Albania’s communist-era strongman, Enver Hoxha, is being transformed into a youth training and art center. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama attended Thursday’s symbolic start of work to radically transform the largely abandoned, 17,000-square-meter (180,000-square-foot) structure. It was designed by Hoxha’s daughter and her husband, both architects. Long viewed with mixed feelings by Albanians due to its link with the hated communist regime, the building narrowly escaped destruction a few years ago under a former center-right government. Other proposals had included turning it into a national library, a theater or even the country’s parliament.
16 Warril Drive, KurandaWITHIN an easy commute to Cairns, Kuranda is growing in popularity as an area homeowners can get their hands on a chunk of land close to all the natural splendour of one of the world’s most pristine tropical rainforests.Large and affordable lifestyle properties are hidden out of sight from the town’s bustling tourist attractions such as the Kuranda Scenic Railway and a sprawling market full of local delights.Kuranda has been attracting tourists for more than a century to marvel at the Barron Falls while at the same time, artists attracted to the region’s natural beauty decided to call it home, building the region’s reputation as a creative hub.Kuranda Real Estate sales agent Michael Dominikovic said the suburb would not diminish in popularity any time in the future.“There is still demand for acreage and pretty much everything up here is on acreage,” he said.“It is mainly a lot of people coming to buy here who want more space for themselves and their kids. The climate is fantastic and it is still close to Cairns and Smithfield and the beaches. More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms3 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns3 days ago“The closeness to all the city amenities and the lifestyle is really what draws everyone here.”The localities of Koah and Speewah are just minutes away and also help sell the rural lifestyle so many are seeking.The rainforest around Kuranda has been home to the Djabugay people for more than 10,000 years. What is now known as Kuranda was first settled in 1885 by colonists. Construction of the railway from Cairns to Myola began in 1887 and the line reached Kuranda in 1891.Last year, a $650 million luxury resort and tourism facility near Kuranda, called KUR-World secured vital funding to start the first stage of construction.Hong Kong-based Sandalphon Privilege Financial Group backed the project which is to be set on 626ha of farmland at Myola.It will include a five-star 200-room resort, an 18-hole golf course, another three or four-star 270-room resort, retail and dining outlets, 380 residential villas, a tertiary education campus, and sports facilities.