was the historical capital of the Illyrian tribe of Amanties, which was founded around the 5th century B.C. Its present location is near the village of Plloça in the river valley of Vlora. At its peak, Amantia featured an acropolis and a doric style temple dedicated to Aphrodite. The most notable archeological object among the preserved features is the stadium, measuring 60 X 12.5 m. A significant sculptural object is the basorelief of the God of Fertility, which can bee seen at the National Historic Museum. Additional relics from Amantia are on display at the Archaeological Museum in Tirana.
Finiq (Phoenice)was the historical capital of the Illyrian tribe of Amanties, which was founded around the 5th century B.C. Its present location is near the village of Plloça in the river valley of Vlora. At its peak, Amantia featured an acropolis and a doric style temple dedicated to Aphrodite. The most notable archeological object among the preserved features is the stadium, measuring 60 X 12.5 m. A significant sculptural object is the basorelief of the God of Fertility, which can bee seen at the National Historic Museum. Additional relics from Amantia are on display at the Archaeological Museum in Tirana.
is located in the southwestern coastline of Albania. The city is separated by a narrow stretch from the Greek island of Corfu. The site has been occupied approximately at the
8th century B.C., but legends hint at the city’s foundation by Trojan exiles. By the
4th century B.C., a walled settlement
had been established and the city began to develope through trade. Augustus founded a colony at Butrint and the town remained a relatively small Roman port until the 6th century C.E. Following the fall of the Roman Empire, the city shrank in population and significance. Butrint then entered a turbulent period and control of the city was bitterly fought by the Byzantine, Norman, Angevin, and Venetian states. The Ottoman Turks and briefly the French disputed later ownership. By the time it became a part of Albania
in 1912, it was virtually deserted. Various archeological efforts began in the 1920’s, and continue today.
Butrint was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. The ground of Butrint features an impressive array of historically significant archaeological sites. Foremost among them is the theater, which dates from the 4th century B.C. hosting approximately 1,500 spectators. Performances are still staged there at a summer-festival each year. An impressive baptistery (with extensive mosaics) and a basilica from the 6th century C.E. attest to
the various occupations of the city. A canal and vestiges of Roman courtyard houses lie near the theater. Additionally, kilometers
of imposing walls surround much of the site. Nearby, the recently renovated Butrint Museum houses many fascinating objects unearthed during the various archeological digs. One must travel to the National Historic Museum to view the famous
head of Apollo, unearthed by the Italian archaeologist Luigi Maria Ugolini during his excavations in the 1920’s.
Behind the Independence Monument Square in Vlora, the remains of a rectangular castle have been excavated. The castle comprised a portion of the ancient city of Aulona and was built in the 4th century C.E. to withstand Gothic invasions. Other finds in the area indicate that it was first settled around the 4th century B.C. The best known find from this period is a sculpture known as “the aulonian girl”, depicting a girl wearing an Illyrian dress. Historical sources mention Aulona in the 2nd century C.E., in relation to Roman efforts to improve roads in this part of the western Balkans. In various itineraries Aulon is mentioned as a principal stopping place on the main road from Dyrrachium to Butrint. Following the Gothic invasions of the 5th century C.E., an archdiocese was established inside the castle. During the reign of Justinian, the castle was further fortified by his direct orders.
Late in the 6th century C.E. Slavs invaded the city, causing widespread damage and an evacuation by many citizens to the island of Sazan, where traces of this settlement have been disco- vered. The city might have never regained its status, appearing to have diminished significantly in size and importance. Aulona is mentioned again in Byzantine documents, around 1100 C.E.
TreportExcavations near the Cape of Treport, located in the lagoon of Narta, have revealed traces of an ancient settlement dating from the 7th century B.C. Over the centuries the settlement extended and a new wall was built around it in the 4th century B.E. Between the 4th and 2nd centuries B.C., the city prospered. The original name of the city is unknown, but finds in the area indicate that it might have been called Daulia. The city was mysteriously abandoned after the 2nd century B.C., but this might have been related to the Illyrian-Roman wars.
is located in southwest Albania, about 40km south of the archaeological site of Apollonia. According to Pliny, the city of Orikum was established by colonists from Colchis. Its geographical position made it an important harbor and a trade center of the Adriatic coast. Orikum was important to military strategists, as well. It was used by the Romans as a defensive base in the wars against the Illyrians as well as in the 3rd century B.C. against the Macedonians, who later occupied it in 214 B.C. Julius Caesar used the area as a troop encampment for several months, until Pompeius Magnus took them. Being subject to such varied cultural influences, Orikum became a thriving urban center. This is evidenced by various archaeological ruins, such as part of an orchestra platform and a small.
theatre with the capacity of 400 spectators. Additionally, ruins of protective walls and streets can be seen lying underwater in a lagoon. The nearby Marmiroi Church, of Byzantine origin, was commissioned by the emperor Theodore in the 13th century C.E. It has a small 6 m x 9 m main hall and a dome approximately 3 m in diameter that is supported by four Roman arches. Its internal walls feature fragments of murals that reflect various aspects of Byzantine culture. The church has three entrances and is renowned for its elaborate construction and architectural significance. Today Orikum is an important city, which has been part of many regional development programs and has seen a distinct increase in the tourism sector. This is a result of its proximity to the Adriatic Sea and its relative position to other nearby cities.
The name of the ancient town derives from Anchises, the Trojan warrior, whose mythological union with the goddess Aphrodite resulted
in a son named Aeneas. Aeneas, along with his father and his son, Ascanius, escaped the sack of Troy, and journeyed throughout the Mediterranean. Dionysos of Halicarnassus calls Onchesmos the Harbor of Anchises, while the Byzantine historian Procopius mentions that Anchises died at Onchesmos. During the 6th century C.E.,
the town’s name changes to Hagia Saranda or “Forty Saints”. The circumstances of this name change are unclear, but might have been related to the construction of a great basilica overlooking the modern city of Saranda. Various monuments and archaeological finds from the city have been excavated.
Among the more impressive finds are the ruins of a synagogue, a portion of a Roman Imperial archway, and the ruins of a late antique house. Also noteworthy are an apsidal building, an Odeon, a cemetery, and an elaborate mosaic, widely known as the Dolphin Pavement.
Porto Palermo Castle.Ali Pasha Tepelena built Porto Palermo castle, located in the Vlora region, in the late 18th century. It has a rectangular shape with four bastions in its corners. Along the terrace’s parapet is a positioned loophole for canons. The inner space is made of halls, stores and other areas. In its central part are positioned stone stairs that lead to the terrace. Walls protect the entire environment with gun loopholes on the front and on the side. On the outside, in the archway entrance, is a stone balcony in a cantilever form.