Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

Heritage by Country / Albania

Amphitheatre of Durres

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Amphitheatre of Durres

About the site

Corridor: Via Egnatia, Via Adriatica
Country: Albania, Durres
Type: Ancient Site
Epoch: Antiquity
World Heritage:
AntiquityAncient Site

The Amphitheatre of Durres, built in the 2nd century BC, figures amongst the largest monuments of the Antiquity. It is the only monument of this type on Albanian territory. The amphitheatre is situated in the center of the city of Durres, the main port of Albania, at 35 km distance from the Capital. The founding of Durres, a city mentioned by writers and historians, dates back to 627 BC.
In the 5th century AD, the amphitheatre ceased to be used in accordance with its main function (that is, gladiators’ combats). In the 6th century a mortuary chapel, dedicated to Saint Asti, the first Bishop and martyr of Durres, was built on top of the amphitheatre. The chapel, famous for its mosaics, is significant as a testimony to the origins of Christianity in the city of Durres.
The amphitheatre suffered from looting. Today, a part of the arena is occupied by contemporary houses. However, restoration and rehabilitation projects have been prepared in order to integrate this significant landmark in the overall city development. Being surrounded by other important archaeological sites of the city, situated near the Archaeological Museum which displays a large number of valuable archaeological findings, the amphitheatre will play a major role in the future of cultural tourism in Albania.

Council of Europe