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

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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User Reviews

Lisa Petersen (2 years ago)
In easy reach of the town centre.
Jamie Hay (2 years ago)
Interesting site. While the amphitheatre is not in a great state of preservation, there is a bit of wandering in the tunnels under the seating you can do, which will lead you to a little byzantine chapel with some wall decorations.
Jakobus Augustus (2 years ago)
I visited off season and it seemed very neglected. It is still interesting and well preserved. It is worth a visit if you are in Durrës.
David Dalrymple (2 years ago)
Great! You can explore all over it. And it will make you feel like you are one of the gladiators.
mr julian (2 years ago)
This "one of a kind" amphitheatre in Albania should not be like this. It took only 2 years and a half for the Dictator with the lead of Professor Toci to unearth and remove around 100 houses occupying the arena during 1966.....and it took 29 years of the modern era, to remove only 3 houses among lots of remaining ones...and do nothing for this romanian masterpiece.
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