That of 8 July, is a very particular date for the city of Berat (Albania) and the values it represents.
On that day, eleven years ago, in the 32nd World Heritage Committee meeting held in Canada, the city was officially listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.
List to which 5 also joined in July also the Albanian part of Lake Ohrid (Liqeni i Ohrit), 40 years after entering the UNESCO heritage of the Macedonian part of the lake.
Berat has over 24 centuries of history of art and culture. It is one of those rare cities that belong to humanity; just think that it was already a big city center when London was still a village. The castle of Berat also dates back to the fourth century BC
The entrance of the city into the world heritage of UNESCO marked the highest recognition for its values, confirming these not only nationally but also internationally.
Likewise, being part of the world heritage has allowed the city to become an international place and to be included in the itineraries of many tourist guides, making Berat a world tourist destination.
"For eleven years the city with overlapping windows has been one of the treasures of world cultural heritage. Berat, in every alley, a secret ..."- This is how the Albanian Minister of Culture, Elva Margariti, expressed herself yesterday.
Berat is the testimony of a fortified but open city, which for a long time was inhabited by artisans and merchants. City life began in the 6th-5th century BC as an Illyrian settlement. Later, in the 3rd century BC, it was transformed into a castle town known as Antipatrea. The castle expanded later, particularly during the feudal rule of the Muzakaj family.
Its urban center reflects the living tradition of the Balkans, examples of which date back mainly to the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
It also bears witness to the coexistence of various religious and cultural communities over the centuries. The area of the castle citadel, for example, includes numerous Byzantine churches, mainly from the 13th century as well as several mosques built during the Ottoman era which began with the 1417.