Durrës Roman Amphitheatre

Durrës, Albania

The Amphitheatre of Durrës was built in the beginning of the 2nd century AD. It was used for performances until the 4th century AD. The earthquake of 345/346 likely damaged the monument and closed it. An early Christian chapel was constructed on the amphitheatre in the second half of the 4th century. The chapel was initially decorated with frescoes; in the 6th century, mosaics were added. A medieval chapel was built in the 13th century, also decorated with frescoes. The amphitheatre was covered over in the 16th century, after the Ottoman occupation, when the wall was built nearby. In 2004 the University of Parma started restoration work to save the monument.

The amphitheatre has an elliptical shape with axes of 132 metres and 113 metres. It is built on a slope of the hill, and inside the amphitheatre there are staircases and galleries at different levels. The chapel with mosaics is preserved. The site currently functions as a museum.

It is the largest amphitheatre ever built in the Balkan Peninsula with once having a capacity of 20,000 people. The amphitheatre is included on the tentative list of Albania for inscribing it as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Details

Founded: 2nd century AD
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Albania

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Katusha G (3 months ago)
If u have visited Rome, Verona, El Jem or any other good looking amphitheatre and you are not really interested in the story of the bricks development of the construction this place will not impress you. But if this is the first chance for u to be closer to the history and possibility to literally touch it than probably you should go there. Anyhow the entrance fee is around 2€ so if you have a free hour or two you can spend it there. The area is well maintained and clean, also some beautifications are in progress.
Mic (3 months ago)
Big amphitheater. A lot of work is going on and already possible to get a good idea of the sheer size of it.
Corina G. (3 months ago)
It's nice to see. Costed 300lek for person. Free for kids under 12 years old.
Natalija D (4 months ago)
It will be good if there will be done some cleaning
WITY TRAVELS (7 months ago)
The Amphitheater is of Roman origin and was constructed under the reign of Emperor Trajan. He launched many building programs besides this amphitheater, such as the Baths of Trajan, Trajan's Forum and Trajan's Bridge. This is the largest amphitheater ever built in the Balkans and once held over 15,000 people. 1/3 of this site was excavated in the 1960s and the rest in the 1980s. It was destroyed twice by earthquakes. You would think there would be room around this amphitheater to keep it safe and protected but that is not the case. There are many houses around it at not too far a distance. It is said that these building efforts have really hurt the long term preservation of the site. In 2013 it was named on of the most endangered cultural heritage sites in Europe. Inside, there is grass and dirt in the middle with ancient areas in the perimeter. There is a chapel with a well and an open window to the center. There are several galleries which are cave-like areas where animals and other items were held which mostly are empty or have dirt and weeds in them now. A couple areas are fenced off as the steps down are destroyed and it would be too dangerous to allow people to enter.
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