Durres is located at 38 km west of Tirana on the Adriatic coast. It has more than 200.000 inhabitants and is the second largest and most important city. It can be reached from Italy by sailing ferries from Trieste, Ancona and Bari. There are also ferries from Koper to Slovenia. It was founded in 627 a.
C. from a group of Greek colonists who came from Corinth. In ancient times it is known as Epidamnos and later called it Dyrrachion.
In the fourth century Dyrrachion became an independent city, dealing with metallurgy, ceramic factories arose, and specialized in the production of ships. After an independent century Durazzo fell under the Illyrian domain. Later in 229, Durazzo was taken from Rome and subjected to its laws, the city was called Dyrrachium. At that time it became the starting point of Via Egnatia, which connected Rome with Constantinople. In this period the city has experienced strong growth. The famous Roman orator, Cicero, called Durazzo an "admirable city".
In the Middle Ages Durazzo was part of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine). Between the 10th and 14th centuries, the city was conquered by the Bulgarians, the Crusaders, the Angevins, the Venetians and the Serbs. In the 1501 the city falls under the Turkish domain where it will remain until the 1912. From the 1913 - 1920 Durazzo becomes the capital of Albania. In the 1914 it became the residence of Prince Wilhelm Wid. The 7 Aprile of the 1939, Durres is the landing point of the Italian occupation army.
Today it is the most important port city in Albania. In the southern part there is its long beach more than 10 km. During the summer it hosts more than 150.000 tourists, who enjoy the waters of the Adriatic Sea. The monuments of the ancient city have withstood the passage of time and are still in good condition today. Durres is an interesting destination for historical tourism.
To visit: The castle walls: the remains of the Byzantine fortifications of the 6th century to which were added, in the 14th century, of the round Venetian towers.
The Amphitheater: It is one of the largest and most important monuments of rare splendor that survived from the ancient city. It was erected in the 2nd century BC C. In the late Middle Ages it was abandoned. The documentation suggests that the Amphitheater was very large and could host 15.000 spectators.
The Roman Thermal Baths: discovered in the 1962, during the construction of the Palace of Culture. They had a heating system.
The Archaeological Museum: located near the sea, full of ancient remains recovered during the excavations in Durres, all useful for understanding the ancient Dyrrachium and their traditions.
The Palace of the King Zog: At the top of the hill the magnificent "Villa", belonging to King Zog I, rises in all its beauty.
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