Fier is a city and a municipality of the homonymous district in the south-west Albania. The population, at the 2011 census, was of 85.845 inhabitants.
Geographically it is located in the center of the village and is surrounded by hills. The city is around 16 km east of the Adriatic Sea and 100 km from Tirana.
The history of Fier is linked to that of the oil and gas fields nearby. The presence of bitumen and natural gas leaks in the area was recorded as early as the first century AD Dioscoride , in Materia Medica, in fact describes lumps of bitumen in the adjacent Seman river and the field concentrated on the banks of the the Voiussa river (Vjosa).
The Cathedral of San Giorgio
In the 14th and 15th centuries its geographical position was used by Venetian merchants as a market to buy agricultural products from the plains of Myzeqeja.
The settlement took town status in the 1864 when Kahraman Pasha Vrioni, the local governor, asked some French architects to design a future city that had the function of a craft and commercial center.
During the two-year period 1864-1865 a market was built for 122 merchants along the Gjanica river. The first inhabitants of the city were the servants of Kahraman Pasha Vrioni who lived in the area since the beginning of the 18th century.
MIRËMËNGJES? Dhe me këtë projekt të Programit Kombëtar të Urban Rilindjes, që nis zbatimin së shpejti për ta kthyer qendrën and Fierit nga një parking të ndotur në një hapësirë të king publike, is brightened Gjanica nga "Lana and Dytë" and Saliut të Parë , në integral pjesë të qendrës së king të qytetit të rilindur, ju uroj një javë të mbarë?
Posted by Edi Rama on Sunday, May 6, 2018
Twelve kilometers from Fier Apollonia is found, one of the two most important Illyrian colonial settlements in present-day Albania. It was founded in 600 AC on a hill near the sea and near what was then the course of the Vjose river, by the settlers of Corfu and Corinth.
At the time, before the changes in the formation of the lands and the Adriatic coast caused by an earthquake in the 3rd century AD, the port of Apollonia could accommodate up to 100 ships. It is believed that the site is located on the southern border of an Illyrian settlement, mentioned in Periplus, an account of a sailor written in the mid-fourth century BC by a Greek poet.
The settlement was near the territory occupied by the Illyrian tribes and close to the tribe of the Chaonians.
- Apollonia d'Illiria - Important archaeological site of Southern Albania
- Apollonia, an ancient city of Illyria
Excavations and monuments in Apollonia
The first attempts to carry out excavations were carried out during the First World War, by Austrian archaeologists who unearthed and mainly explored the walls that surrounded the city.
Systematic excavations began in the 1824 by a French archaeological mission directed by Leon Rey , which brought to light a complex of monuments in the city center.
Many excavations have been done by Albanian archaeologists in the last 40 years. Many objects found are exhibited in the museum that used to be the monastery of Santa Maria.
The monument of Agonothetes
This monument decorated the city center. The structure was in the form of a semicircle and served as a meeting place for the city council: the Bule.
The front of the structure has been decorated in a special way: there are 6 pillars crowned in Corinthian style. An inscription dating back to the mid-second century AD says that the building was built by high-ranking officers of the city.
On the day of the inauguration, a show was set up in the city with the participation of 25 pairs of gladiators.
On the western side, tourists can see the ruins of the small temple of Artemis (Diana). On the eastern side there is a road that passes under a triumphal arch. On the opposite side of the Agonothetes monument, there is a colonnade decorated with marble statues
The library and the Odeon
The library stands behind the colonnade of the monumeto. Opposite, instead, there is an Odeon or 'small theater' which could contain 200 spectators. The building had a stage and an orchestra. There they did musical performances and held oratory and philosophical discussions.
The house with mosaics
A rich Apolonian residence dating back to the 3rd century AD has been excavated just a few meters away: the mosaics are of all kinds. There are mosaics in which the main decorative motifs are simple geometric figures, others have ornamental mythological figures such as sea horses, accompanied by Nereids and Eroti.
One of the mosaics represents a scene in which Archiles holds in his arms the Pentesilea wound, the beautiful queen of the Amazons.
It represents a complex structure in itself; it had a wall that collected all the water that came from the earth and four other aqueducts.
The museum of Apollonia
The Apollonia museum has 7 pavilions, a gallery and two arcades. Here are exhibited several objects that testify to the history of the city of Apollonia.
The monastery of Ardenica
The church of Santa Maria at the Ardenica monastery is the most important part of the monastery. It is located between the museum and the refectory. The church is of Byzantine style. The interior of the church had been painted once, but today only very few fragments of paintings remain. The monastery refectory was built at the same time as the church.