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

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4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Zach Phelan (3 years ago)
Smaller excavated Roman Era amphitheater. Cheap to get in, and good for a 15-20 minute self tour. Located in the heart of the city, with similar attractions nearby.
Stanislav Tymokhin (3 years ago)
Amphitheater is always the part of the history and and the place where you feel it in full. Amphietater in Durrës much less interesting than in the other places where I've been. But, if you roam around it, you will find really interesting places.
TRAVELING BIRDS (3 years ago)
Ian Culbreth (3 years ago)
My son liked it because he could imagine the Roman stories coming to life. From my perspective, it was disappointing because the site is very neglected. Far from being impressive, it was mostly a pile of rocks overgrown with weeds. They should clean up the site, I don't know - plant some grapes, better night lighting for ambiance. It could be much better.
Axel Johnson (3 years ago)
Loved the history of this! Great ancient ruins, gotta see it if you're in Durrës
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