Durres, the city with 3000 yeas history
Durres (Durrësi), the biggest seaport of the country, is located 34km away from Tirana. Known as the Adriatic Tavern it is the most ancient city in Albania or the eternal city over Adriatic sea, with almost 3,000 years of history.
Its foundation dates back to 627 B.C. when the Corinthians and settlers from Corcyra invaded the Illyrian territory of the Taulants. The city is home to many ancient archaeological sites and finds. The most notable tourist attraction in Durrës is the amphitheater of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. It has nearly 15,000 seats and is the second biggest amphitheater in the Balkans .
During the 9th century, a small church with mosaic-covered walls was built nearby. You can also see the bathhouses of the 2nd century A.D. and the nearby Byzantine forum of the 5th-6th century with marble columns. One-third of the original wall of the city castle is still standing, and you can even walk along the same road that Caesar himself once strolled.
Along the ancient walls of the city, you can visit the Venetian Tower (Rotonda). It is a circular tower at the city center which was built in the 16th century. You can even enjoy a coffee on a restaurant on top of it.
Having witnessed the history, the city has to offer its visitors a superb archaeological museum. The Archeological Museum is located in a new building on the Taulantia road. It is one of the most important of its kind and of great interest to visitors. The most renowned archaeological structure found in Durrës is “Bukuroshja e Durrësit,” (The Beauty of Durres) a mosaic from the 4thcentury B.C. Visitors can see it exhibited in the National Historic Museum in Tirana.
The Ethnographic Museum is the house of the historic famous actor Alexander Moissi, born near Durres .
At the main square Illyria, there is the The Art Gallery of the city.
In addition to its historical value, Durres is also a beautiful place to take a break, due to its sandy beaches, hotels and urban life. You will find excellent restaurants and accommodations, all along the sea’s edge.
Durrës is one of the liveliest towns in Albania. Being close to Tirana, just 40 min. drive, many people even from the capital prefer to spent summer nights there. The nightlife has to offers a lot, from restaurants, bars and nightclubs open till late.