Butrint is one of the symbolic destinations of Albania; you cannot visit the country without stopping in this wonderful ancient city. What is particularly beautiful about this UNESCO World Heritage site, is that its many beautiful and well-preserved monuments reflect every distinct era of its long history.
The guide of Butrint
Butrint has been a town since prehistoric times and was later part of the Greek and Roman colonies. Subsequently, it went through a period of prosperity under the Byzantine domination, followed by the Venetian one until it reached the total abandonment of the city in the late Middle Ages.
The current state of the archaeological site contains testimonies of all these periods crossed in history.
The oldest finds found in the ancient city of Butrint are a stone hammer and an auction, which - according to experts - should belong to the second half of the second millennium BC
Hecataeus of Miletus - an ancient Greek historian - mentions the city for the first time in the 6th century BC, stating that Butrint was built on the authority of Troy as confirmed by Virgil, who - in the Aeneid - reports that the city was founded by the Trojan prince Aeneas during a trip from Troy to Rome. Along the way he stopped at this site and sacrificed a bull (Buthrotos), from which he derived the name of the city.
It was originally a city of the historic Epirus region, with contacts with the Greek colony of Corfu and the tribes of Illyria to the north.
In the 1926-1936 decade the Italian archaeologist Luigi Ugolini conducted some excavations in southern Albania, focusing mainly on the Butrint and Finiq sites. From the excavations at Butrint the baptistery, the theater, the basilica, the public baths, the gymnasium, the time of Minerva emerged, the two doors of the ancient walls of the castle, many houses and a large number of objects, for a total priceless value.
However, the most extraordinary discoveries arrived in the theater of Butrint: the statue of Apollo, the goddess of Butrint, the marble heads of Zeus, the portrait of Agrippina, the head of Livia and many epigraphs in Latin and Greek.
The other monuments on the Butrint site are the castle of the Vivari canal, built during the reign of Ali Pascià of Tepeleni (which also built the triangle castle), and the Venetian tower built during the Venetian hegemony.