"Butrint, ancient Buthrotum" Top 5 Page for this destination Butrint by JLBG
Butrint Travel Guide: 106 reviews and 219 photos
I have visited Butrint twice, in 1988 and in 2007. I had built a page with my 1988 photos. After my second visit, I have erased the previous page and entirely rebuilt it. In this new page I have used mostly the new photos and only a few of the older ones, only when they were significant.
Butrint, ancient Buthrotum, lies in south-west Albania, 20 km south of the modern port of Saranda. It is on a narrow peninsula lying between the strait of Corfu and the inland salt-water Lake Butrint. The Vivari channel connects Lake Butrint to the Straits of Corfu. The north part of Corfu is (Kassiopi and Nissaki) 5 km away from Butrint. South of the channel lies a flat reclaimed plain, drained by dykes, which effectively separates Butrint from the range of mountains that run along Albania's southern frontier with Greece.
In classical mythology, what was known as Buthrotum was supposed to have been founded by survivors from Troy led by Aeneas, one of the sons of the Troy rulers who fled their country after it was burned by the Greeks.
It was referred to by Virgil (Aeneid.Book 3 page 292-293):
"Soon were the lofty peaks of Corcyra lost to view. We (e.g. Aeneas and his companions) coasted along Epirus, and coming to the Chaonian Harbour, we drew near Buthrothum, that hill city".
The ancient legend claims that upon arrival, Priam's son Helenus sacrificed an ox to ensure his safe entry to Epirus. The wounded ox plunged into the sea, swam into a bay and then walked onto a beach where it fell and died. Helenus took this as an omen and he called the place Buthrotos, meaning "the wounded ox". However, according to Virgil, Helenus was already established there, married to Andromache before Aeneas arrived. The events in the French classical tragedy Andromache, by Racine take place at Butrint.
Butrint was inscribed in 1992 on the List of World Heritage with the following description :
Inhabited since prehistoric times, Butrint has been the site of a Greek colony, a Roman city and a bishopric. Following a period of prosperity under Byzantine administration, then a brief occupation by the Venetians, the city was abandoned in the late Middle Ages after marshes formed in the area. The present archaeological site is a repository of ruins representing each period in the city's development.
In 1997, "The Committee's concern over the continued lack of adequate protection, management, and conservation of the site led to its inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1997 with the full support of the Minister of Culture of Albania who voiced his government's concern and commitment to the preservation of the site… A joint mission to Butrint in October 1997 had noted that the site remains vulnerable for a number of reasons, including the lack of proper fencing."
The limits of the World Heritage site were expanded in 1999 to include not only the walled city from the Greek and Roman period (approximately 16 ha), but an additional 184 ha to better protect the site.
Improvements in the preservation of threatened World Heritage site have led to its withdrawal from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The World Heritage Committee decided to remove the site of /…/ Butrint (Albania) during its 29th session currently taking place in Durban, South Africa (July 10 to 17). Butrint (Albania) was inscribed in 1992 and added to the Danger List in 1997 because of looting, lack of protection, management and conservation. The Committee noted that the reasons for placing the archaeological site with its vestiges from the Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Venetian periods on the Danger List no longer applied.
While following the paths in Butrint, we found several times this beautiful 0.80-1.20 m plant in shaded situations. At... more travel advice
This plant is an orchid named Ophrys aranifera or Spider orchis. This beautiful and rare orchid has flowers that look... more travel advice
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