"Durrësi, the main harbor in Albania" Top 5 Page for this destination Durres by JLBG

Durres Travel Guide: 56 reviews and 166 photos

Durrësi is one of the oldest cities of Albania. It was founded by Epidamnos, king of the Taulants, an Illyrian tribe. He gave the city his name. In 627 BC, Illyrian invaders from Corynth and Corfu took control of the region and rebuilt the city as Durrakhion. In 229 BC, the Romans took control and changed the name to Dyrrachium which gave later the name of Durrazzo in Italian, Durrës in Albanian and Drač in Croat.

For the Romans, Dyrrachium was highly strategic: it was the cross road between the marine route from Brindidi and the inland route that led to Thessaloniki and Byzance, the Via Egnatia. The city kept its strategic importance along the centuries. It explains why it is very difficult to dig for ancient buildings: the ancient city is underneath the modern town.

Durrësi is 33 km from the capital, Tirana. It is the first harbor and the second most important city in the country. It has now more than 200,000 inhabitants.

I had built a Durrësi page from my 1988 travel in Albania. Instead of mixing 1988 and 2007, I have preferred to build a new 2007 page. I have transferred my 1988 page to Rrethi i Durrësit.

This is an entirely new page!

  • Last visit to Durres: May 2007
  • Intro Updated Oct 20, 2007
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Reviews (15)

Comments (12)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    May 22, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    Interesting page. We might go to Durres from Tirana tomorrow.

  • Aug 17, 2009 at 3:39 AM

    I like the picture and the tip from Durrësi, the galeries of the amphitheater

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Dec 17, 2008 at 3:19 AM

    Such a contrast between the old - Byzantine era - and the new - modern structures.

  • trvlrtom's Profile Photo
    Oct 26, 2008 at 9:25 PM

    Interesting - I didn't know there were Roman ruins to see in Albania. Another reason to visit this less touristed place.

  • May 26, 2008 at 2:35 AM

    Mujo Ulqinaku- the first Albanian hero of the WWII. His last name is Ulqinaku, which means "from Ulcin" (a city in Montenegro, mostly inhabited by Albanians), meaning that his ancestors came from that city, hence the last name.

  • craic's Profile Photo
    May 3, 2008 at 7:02 PM

    albania is a riot of colour now - with collective antennas! fascinating stories and great pics

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Mar 19, 2008 at 3:17 PM

    what an amazing amphitheater! And here I am a preservationist in Rhode Island trying to save 1700's houses! ha ha

  • nepalgoods's Profile Photo
    Feb 23, 2008 at 10:34 PM

    Thank you for all this great informations. Never heard about this! Great stories!

  • Jan 1, 2008 at 9:29 AM

    Interesting and well researched. Thank you.

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Nov 1, 2007 at 12:14 PM

    Thing neither ancient or modern made me smile :) looks like this page has both!!

JLBG

“I believe that tourists are very valuable to the modern world. It is very difficult to hate people you know. (Steinbeck)”

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