Durrës Amphitheatre

Throwback Thursday – The Durrës Amphitheatre

During our Summer trip of 2015, Lars and I spent one week in one of the biggest cities of Albania, Durrës. Most of the time we enjoyed a lazy life on the beach, but we did make time to visit one of the biggest attractions of the city: the Amphitheatre.

Built in the 2nd century, it was one of the very few amphitheatres in the Balkans and the only one in Albania. It had a capacity of 20.000 spectators and performances took place until the 4th century.

In later centuries, chapels with frescoes and mosaics were added. In the 16th century, the amphitheatre was covered over.

The story goes that in the 1960s, a man grew a lemon tree in his garden that simply did not bear any lemons. He started digging and that is how he discovered the ruins. Today, only half of the amphitheatre has been excavated.

Note how close some of the houses are to the ruins!

You have to pay a small entrance fee and a guide will accompany you during your visit. Wear some good shoes, because you need to do a lot of climbing! And unlike us, don’t visit the amphitheatre at noon: in summer it can be very hot and the light is harsh.

Albania would like to have the Durrës Amphitheatre featured on the UNESCO World Heritage List, in order to obtain more funding for the further excavation and restoration. So far, they have not succeeded.


  • GP Cox March 23, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    It is such a pleasure seeing your posts again, Ingrid. All my best to Lars.

  • Uncle Rave March 24, 2017 at 3:11 am

    I liked it better when I could LIKE it! — YUR

    • Ingrid D. March 29, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      Since 2014, this is a self-hosting site. The like button comes in a plugin, which unfortunately has gone rogue. I had three developers working on it and they cannot solve the problem. I am afraid that you have to get used to the absence of this button.

  • unclerave May 26, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    I’m so glad the Like button problem was fixed!

    I’m thinking, maybe Albania is on someone’s “shit list”, like Haiti is here in the “new world”. Cuba was on it also, but things have warmed up, at least under the previous administration. Who knows what Trump might do! He seems to enjoy undoing everything that Obama did.

    It’s just a shame that they can’t get the necessary funding to fully excavate it.

    — YUR

    • Ingrid D. July 3, 2017 at 4:59 pm

      Albania is still not a popular travel destination here and I frankly don’t understand why. It has so much to offer, but people seem to stick to tourist destinations.


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