Butrint is one of the best archaeological attractions in Albania. Located in the southwestern part of the country in the Saranda District, Butrint Albania is an ancient city that has been inhabited since Greek and Roman times. The ruins are more than 2,000 years old and contain remains of Greek temples as well as further developments from the Ottoman period. Butrint is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is protected within the borders of Butrint National Park.
Mentioned in the works of the Roman writer Virgil, Butrint was supposedly founded by Helenus, a son of King Priam of Roman legend. Archeological excavations of the site have revealed artifacts dating as far back as the sixth and seventh centuries BC, and there is still much more under the surface that has yet to be uncovered. Today visitors can travel to the archaeological site through the beautiful wetlands of Butrint National Park, and view Roman arches, an amphitheater, and Roman baths dating from the Roman Empire, as well as later developments such as churches and a baptistery during the Byzantine age. Later in its history, the city came under the control of the Normans and later was held by Napoleon before being conquered by the Ottoman Empire. It is therefore a city of tremendous historical significance as well as a place of breathtaking beauty.
Butrint Albania is located conveniently close to the Greek island of Corfu as well as the popular Albanian beach town of Saranda. Saranda is a good place to find a hotel from which to base your travels to Butrint and to the beautiful Albania beaches. From Corfu you can take a ferry to Saranda, where you can catch a short bus ride down to Butrint National Park. A small entrance fee is charged, which is well worth it for access to such an amazing site. You can also find guidebooks at the site that tell you how to enjoy the beautiful nature trails in the National Park.
At Butrint you can view archaeological ruins dating from all of the city's historical periods. The centerpiece of the Roman town is the amphitheater, which was originally built during the Hellenistic period and was later enlarged in the second century to fit a Roman style. In the Butrint Museum you can see some of the exquisite busts and statues that have been excavated from this period. You should also pay close attention to the precision engineering of the stone walls encircling the town. These were built in the fourth century BC of huge stone blocks that fitted together so closely that they needed no mortar.
Butrint Albania was also a major Christian center in the fifth and sixth centuries and had its own bishop and a flourishing Christian culture. The baptistery is one of the most interesting sights at Butrint and is one of the largest baptisteries in Eastern Europe. The round building has a gorgeous colorful mosaic floor, a fountain in the middle, and pillars all around the room. Dating from the same time period, the Great Basilica of Butrint is a stunning sight, with a mosaic floor, columns and arching stone walls.
Any traveler to Albania should stop for a visit to the incredible ancient city of Butrint. A visit to this historical monument is a fascinating glimpse into Albania's rich history and culture.