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Durres Travel Guide: 65 reviews and 189 photos

Durres, formerly Durrazzo, is one of the oldest towns in Albania. The legend says
that it was founded by Epidamnos, the Illyrian King of the area, who called it by his
own name and named the port area after his grandson - Dyrrah. In 1627 - 1626
B.C. Greeks from Corfu and Cornith invaded the area and called the town
Dyrrachion. In the 4th century B.C. Dyrrachion had become an independent city -
state, producing metalwork, pottery, fabrics, leather and ships and its coins were
circulating throughout the ancient world. The Illyrians after establishing their own
state, tried to place Durres under their own dependence. In this struggle, victory
favoured the state of the Taulantes.

The Illyrian King Monunes, minted coins
in Durres, with his own name in them
and made Durres, the centre of his own
state. In 229 B.C. Durres was taken by
Rome and under roman rule, the town
was called Dyrrachium, which became
the starting point of the Via Egnatia,
linking roam with the East. The famous
Roman orator, Cicero called Durres an
admirable city ..., while the poet Catullus called it the tavern of the Adriatic.

After the partition of the Roman Empire, Durres remained part of the Eastern
Empire, Byzantium. During the 10th & 14th centuries, the town was captured by
Bulgarians, Normans, Crusaders, Venetians, Angevins and Serbs. In 1501 it was
invaded by the Turks. In 1914 - 1920 Durres became the capital of Albania. In
1915 it became the seat of Prince Velhelm Xuvid. In 1916 was temporarily
occupied by Serbian forces.

On the 7th of April l939, Durres was occupied by Italians. and then the Germans,
during World War Two.

Today Durres is one of the biggest towns and sea ports in Albania. It has a
population of 82,000 inhabitants. Durres has a chemical enterprise, agricultural
machinery works, cigarette factory, radio and television works etc.

What to visit;

The Fortress of the City : the remains of the walls belong to the 6th century; the
addition from 13-14th century. Ana Comnena, the daughter of the Byzantine
Emperor, Alexis Comnenius, describing the fortress, writes that its walls were so
thick that 4 horsemen could ride abreast on top of them. Wars and earthquakes
destroyed the fortress.

The Amphitheatre : It is one of the biggest and most exquisite monuments that have
survived from the ancient city. It was built in the 2nd century A.D. In the early
Middle Ages, it was abandoned. In the 10th century, a chapel and cemetery were
built upon its areas and galleries.

From the records of the amphitheatre
must have been very big, with a capacity
of 15,000 spectators. Its diameter must
have been more than 120 metres. The
amphitheatre was unearthed by chance
in 1966, by a citizen digging in his
garden. Because of the constant
earthquakes that shook the city, only a
third of ancient Dyrrachium has been

The Belle of Durres : It is the most polychromatic mosaic found in the country. The
mosaic was discovered beneath a dwelling, in a residential quarter of the town. It is
elliptical in shape and measures 17 x 10 feet. The mosaic depicts on a block ground
g woman's head surrounded by flowers.

Roman Thermal Baths : were discovered on 1962, during the construction of the
Palace of Culture. The baths have a hypocaust or heating system and a pool, 23
feet long by 17 feet wide.

The Archaeological Museum : situated near the sea, is rich in objects excavated in
durres. It gives a view on the ancient Dyrrachium. There are many objects
excavated in Durres and this museum being small can not reveal all of them. There
are urrently plans to construct and extension to the existing museum.

On the west side of the town, on top of a hill, rises a magnificent villa. It used to be
the villa of King Zog. Today it is used to receive foreign delegations. The villa, with
its striking pink paintwork, overlooks the port of Durr
Durrėsi u themelua nė vitin 625 Para Erės Sonė nėn emrin Epidamnus, dhe sipas asaj qė thotė greku Thucydides
ishte njė koloni e pėrbashkėt e Korintit dhe Kėrkyrės (Korfuzit) nė Iliri. Me kalimin e kohės qyteti arriti njė shtrirje
dhe popullsi tė madhe. U bė njė qendėr e rėndėsishme tregtare. Si pasoje e ngrėnieve tė brendshme dhe tė luftrave
me ilirėt e zonės qyteti nisi tė dobėsohej. Pėr mė tepėr populli pėrzuri fisnikėt nga qyteti tė cilėt nga ana e tyre u
bashkuan me ilirėt (taulantėt) dhe vazhduan tė godisnin herė pas here qytetin nga toka dhe deti. Atėherė epidamnasit
kėrkuan ndihmėn e Kėrkyrės e cila iu mohua. Kėshtu u kthyen nga Korinti i cili u kėrkoi si shpėrblim tė ua dorėzonin
atij qytetin. Kur Kėrkyra pa forcat korintiane tė shkonin drejt Epidamnusit nxituan tė dėrgonin atje anijet e tyre dhe
tė kėrkonin dorėzimin e qytetit i cili iu mohua. Atėherė ata morėn nė anėn e tyre fisnikėt dhe ilirėt dhe rrethuan
qytetin. Deklaruan se ata qė do tė donin tė linin qytetin mund ta bėnin lirshėm kėtė gjė, pėrndryshe do tė trajtoheshin
si armiq. Kėrkyrasit kishin pėrdorur 40 anije pėr rrethimin e ujrave tė qytetit dhe 40 tė tjera i kishin gati pėr luftė.
Kjo flotė do tė pėrballonte flotėn e korintasve prej 75 anijesh qė po vinin. Kėrkyrasit i vunė anijet nė rreshta lufte
dhe sulmuan korintasit duke u fundosur atyre 15 anije. Kėshtu korintasit humbėn dhe nė tė njėjtėn ditė Epidamnusi u
dorėzua. Kushtet e dorėzimit ishin qė tė huajt do tė ***eshin si skllevėr ndėrsa korintasit do tė mbaheshin si tė pengje
Fėrkimet e Korintit dhe Kėrkyrės mbi Epidamnusin ndikuan nė shpalljen e luftės Peloponeziane rreth vitit 435 p.e.s...

  • Intro Written Sep 11, 2002
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