Durrës Archaeological Museum

Durrës, Albania

The Durrës Archaeological Museum, established in 1951, is the largest archaeological museum in the country. The museum is located near the beach and north of the museum are the 6th-century Byzantine walls, constructed after the Visigoth invasion of 481.

The museum consists of 3204 artifacts found in the nearby ancient site of Dyrrhachium and includes an extensive collection from the Ancient Greek, Hellenistic and Roman periods. Items of major note include Roman funeral steles and stone sarcophagi and a collection of miniature busts of Venus, testament to the time when Durrës was a centre of worship of the goddess.

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Details

Founded: 1951
Category: Museums in Albania

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Charlie Richmond (3 years ago)
It's a shame this museum has not been able to expand to show more of their very large collection. Hopefully they will get the funding to fill the two empty floors of this most impressive building before too long! The items on exhibit were well displayed and described and the woman who gave us a very complete tour was extremely knowledgeable, friendly and informative.
mr julian (3 years ago)
An epic landmark for Durres and whole Country. An excellent one of a kind museum when you can get to know the ancient history of Dyrrachium. You can touch the history and feel astonished from the artifacts. Thumbs up for the actual administrator, Mr. Alban. He is always there, taking care of the museum and maintaining in clean conditions all the archeological sites in Durres.
Carel Erasmus (3 years ago)
Small but interesting displays. Was busy with renovations to expand the displays
Daniela Tola (3 years ago)
Magnificent place full of history and artifacts.
Drawswisgwr (3 years ago)
Nice place to see if you have too much of your free time. Currently, only the first floor is opened, while the rest of them are getting renovated. Like in every archaeological museum some old sculptures, coins and vases. Unfortunately almost none of the items were explained (like what it is, or what they used it for). If you are interested in stuff like that go check it out, but I personally would not go there again.
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Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

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Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.