Archaeological Park of Antigonea

Antigonea is one of the largest archaeological sites in southern Albania and an important settlement of the Drinos`s Valley. The settlement is within the fortifications walls of  the third century with a surface of 45-60 ha and the territory of the national park is over 90 ha.

Antigonea – the city that was build by love and was destroyed by hate. This city illustrates the history of one of the biggest and important civilizations of the Ancient period in Albania and in the world, that belongs to the third and second century BC.The city resembled a dolphin as it was settled in between two hills. The city at first was build by Pirro and it only lasted for 2 centuries because it was burnt within a night by the order of Amelius Paulus.

This beautiful Archaeological Park gives the possibility to touch the history of the city, even though the short time of its blossom, it achieved to become an important political, economical and cultural center. There are few evidences and objects that shows that the city was destroyed by Romans in the years 168 BC .

The Park offers lots of attractions as The Paleo Christian Mosaic, Nimpheu`s ruins, Columns, Promenade (Stoa) and other public objects.

In early 1970 was settled the position was in this area because of the archaeological excavations. The name of the city was given from the first wife of Pirro, Antigonea. The city was pontificated with strong walls from the third century BC, but is not excluded that in that place there had been previous settlement that was renamed by Pirro.

The city has dominated the whole valley that was  that was very rich rural area and to protect this territory there had been also other fortress: Leksli`s fortress in the north, Labove`s one in east and Selos`s in the south.

In the right side on the entrance, in the northern park of the city it is the hill named “Akropoli”. In the reality Antigonea hasn`t had an specific Akropoli.

In the highest point of the heel it is the Saint Mehill`s church, part of post medieval period.

The surfaces within the city is flat and the intense excavations of the 1970 have given light to most of the inhabited surfaces and to the road networks of the old city.

The most important roads of the city ended near the main door of the city. The north-south roads are wider and more important than the others and are equipped with wide side walks. In some roads are distinguished the drainage channels for the rain. The most important road is named by the archaeologist Dimosten Budina.

Archaeological findings in the work areas have shown strong evidences for the economics activities that was done by the citizens for example craftmanship. For this reason, some of them are named with conventional specific names as the building of leatherworking, the loom building, or coachman building. In this last one it was discovered an iron chariot wheel, that is a very rare archaeological finding.

In the others excavations in Antigonea, the archaeologists have found interesting objects such bronze ones, like the Sphinx figure.

In the west part of the city, in the most beautiful Drinos Valley there is the Agora which is the center of the city.

Outside the part of the city wall, it is recently found another monument that the the archaeologists think that it can be a monumental grave or may be a water deposits (stern). It belong to the period of years third century BC.

Antigonea is only 14 kilometers in the east of Gjirokastra, by the Drinos Valley.

If you are interested to visit Antigone you need a car or to book a tour. It is located in the mountain, 33 km from Saranda. The roads that takes to the Archaeological Park is in a good condition and it is very easy to park the car at the entrance.

In order to enter the Park, the ticket cost is very cheap, only 300 ALL per person.

First, you need to know that there is not a restaurant or a shop there, but it is a perfect destination for a picnic with your friend or family. Also don`t forget to bring your sunscreen because in the summer the sun can be very strong.

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