Archaeological Parks of southern Albania

The country of Albania is full of surprises for the tourists especially for those interested in history. The best part of one country is the history or the archaeology of it. As albanians, we are proud to have o lot of cities that are full of history. There are some ancient cities listed above

– The first city that is at the top list of Albanian ancient cities is Butrint.

Especially, Butrint Archaeological Park is one of the Albanian must-see destinations. You should absolutely visit Butrint if you once are in Albania because it is part of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The ancient city of Butrint is declared for the first time cultural monument in 1948; in 1999 was registered in the list of the World Heritage of Unesco; in 2003 the whole complex including the lagoon in the seaside area from Butrint to Kepi i Stillos, was declared National Park. A wide area of about 2900 ha including landscape with cultural importance and archaeological settlement were including in UNESCO.

The park inside has many monuments and each of them reflects the stages of its long history. Your visit here spans the period from 3-rd to the 6-th century including Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and also Venetian periods.

Butrint is a microcosms of Mediterranean history that present the ups and downs of the greatest empires that had been dominated in the region. Based in the classical Mythology, Buthrotum was build by the people who left Troy. Once arrived there, Priam`s son sacrificed a bull that died in the shore. Due to this good sign the place was named Buthrotum that means ‘wounded bull’. The epic poem of Eneida tells about Enea who visited Buthrotum during his trip to Italy.

Also, this Park is surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches in the Ionian coast.

– The second city with an ancient name is Apollonia.

Apollonia at the beginning was an ancient Illyrian trade colony that soon developed into an independent polis or city, and later on, a Roman city but located in southern Illyria. Now its ruins are situated in Fier, close to Pojan village.

It has the name of Apollo is found over the 6-th century BC, and still remains as glorious as other civilizations of Hellenic and Roman ones in the Mediterranean. There you can notice an Arch of triumph, or also named Odeon or Nymphaeum, which seem to transport you into another world.

In particular, Apollonia grew to become one of the most important urban centers in the entire region and also used to be a trade gateway to the central Balkans

Byllis is another ancient city.

It was built during 4-th and 5-th centuries and it is the largest Illyrian city in the southern Albania. The remains of Byllis are actually situated in the north-east of the city of Vlora, 25 km from Fier. Byllis Archaeological Park was designed by the father of European urban planning, Hippodamus of Miletus, that made this city as modern as an ancient city was at that time. Inside of it there is a 7500-seat theater that is a beautiful sight.

On 7 April 2003 it was registered by the government of Albania as an Archaeological Park. Studies shows that Byllis walls that surrounded the city were built around years 350 BC, that it was the time when Illyrians founded their own cities through a dynamic development.

The creation in that time of this Hellenistic city of Byllis in the territory of southern Albania, has been attributed to the successors of Alexander the Great and also Pyrrhus of Epirus.

– The fourth in this list is Amantia.

This archaeological park is indeed another testimony to the ancient history on the Ionian coast. Amantia as an ancient city, had its main settlement of Amantes in southern Illyria. During the Hellenistic period this city was either part of Illyria or Epirus. While in Roman times it was included within the province of Macedonia.

Actually, Amantia’s location corresponds to the village of Plloce in the region of Vlora, in southwestern Albania. The studies showed that it was founded during 5-th century B.C., and its particular position was created on very challenging mountainous terrain. The most beautiful sights here are the ancient stadium and the temple of Aphrodite along with the city gates and the ruins of the city halls.


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