Butrint the ancient town in Albania!
Butrint (alb. Butrinti) is one of Albania's major archaeological centers and is protected under UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The ancient town has been built on Ksamil Peninsula, on the shores of Lake Butrint, south of Saranda (15km) and close to the Greek border. Cross the sea (Straits of Corfu), less then 10km is Greeks Corfu Island.
Linked to the Mediterranean Sea, Butrint was settled in a prime location for the establishment of a commercial center. The settlement quickly became an important stop along the merchant trade routes, and by the fourth century B.C. became one of the major maritime and commercial centers of the Ancient World. Throughout its history, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Venetians have inhabited this location. The present archeological site, therefore, contains structures and remnants that represent each period of the city's development. It was not until the beginning of the twentieth century that systematic excavations were carried out. Today, the rediscovered city of Butrint stands within Albania's cultural landscape as a unique treasure - the city is a microcosm of almost 3,000 years of Mediterranean history.
What to see:
Defences- the earliest defensive circuit encloses only the Acropolis and belongs to the 7th/6th centuries BC. The establishment of a city was accompanied by the construction of a new city wall in Hellenistic ashlar masonry. The post-antique defenses formed additions to the Hellenistic circuit and belong to three successive phases: 2nd half of 9th century; 11th/12th centuries and the Venetian period (15th century).
Is one of the best-preserved ancient theatres in Albania, with 19 tiers of seating and a capacity of 5,000 spectators. It was first built in the 2nd half of the 3rd century BC; the stage building belongs to the Roman period.
With its total-immersion baptismal font set in a circular building decorated with columns and mosaics, is one of the finest of its kind. It is ascribed to the middle of the 6th century AD.
Stands next to an entrance through the defenses guarded by two towers. It has three aisles and measures 20.15 18.33 m. It was built at the beginning of the 6th century AD, underwent subsequent rebuilding and was still functioning as a church until the 18th century.