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Durrës or Durrësi ( , , ) is the second most populous city of the Republic of Albania and the capital of the eponymous
county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is derived from the Old French ...
and municipality. It is located on a flat plain between the
river mouth A river mouth is the part of a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course wi ...
s of Erzen and Ishëm on the southeastern corner of the
Adriatic Sea The Adriatic Sea () is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkans. The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea, extending from the Strait of Otranto (where it connects to the Ionian Sea) to the northwest a ...
within the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the ...
. Its climate is profoundly influenced by a seasonal
Mediterranean climate A Mediterranean climate or dry summer climate is characterized by dry summers and mild, wet winters. The climate receives its name from the Mediterranean Basin, where this climate type is most common. Mediterranean climate zones are typicall ...
. Durrës was founded by
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: Mycenaean Greek (), Dark Ages () ...
colonists from
Corinth Corinth ( ; el, Κόρινθος, Kórinthos, ) is the successor to an ancient city, and is a former municipality in Corinthia, Peloponnese (region), Peloponnese, which is located in south-central Greece. Since the 2011 local government refo ...
and
Corcyra Corfu (, ) or Kerkyra ( el, Κέρκυρα, Kérkyra, ), ; ; la, Corcyra. is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea The Ionian Sea ( el, Ιόνιο Πέλαγος, ''Iónio Pélagos'' ; it, Mar Ionio ; al, Deti Jon ) is an elongated bay of the ...
under the name of Epidamnos around the 7th century BC in cooperation with the local Illyrian
Taulantii Taulantii or Taulantians ("swallow-men"; Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into ...
. Also known as Dyrrachium, the city essentially developed as it became an integral part of the and its successor the Byzantine Empire. The Via Egnatia, the continuation of the Via Appia, started in the city and led across the interior of the Balkan Peninsula to Constantinople in the east. In the Middle Ages, Durrës was contested between Second Bulgarian Empire, Bulgarian, Venetian Empire, Venetian and Ottoman Empire, Ottoman dominions. Following the Albanian Declaration of Independence, the city served as the capital of the Principality of Albania for a short period of time. Subsequently, it was annexed by the Kingdom of Italy and Nazi Germany in the interwar period. Durrës experienced a strong expansion in its demography and economic activity during the Communism in Albania. The transport connections, concentration of economic institutions and industrial tradition underlie Durrës' leading economic position in Albania. It is served by the Port of Durrës, one of the largest on the Adriatic Sea, which connects the city to other neighbouring countries. Its most considerable attraction is the Durrës Amphitheatre, Amphitheatre of Durrës that is included on the List of World Heritage Sites in Albania#Tentative list, Albanian tentative list for designation as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Once having a capacity for 20,000 people, it is the largest amphitheatre in the List of Roman amphitheatres, Balkan Peninsula.


Etymology

In antiquity, the city was named ''Epidamnos'' (Ἐπίδαμνος) and ''Dyrrhachion'' (Δυρράχιον) in Ancient Greek, classical Greek and then ''Epidamnus'' and ''Dyrrachium'' in classical Latin. ''Epidamnos'' is the oldest known of the two toponyms. It is attested in Thucydides (5th century BC), Aristotle (4th century BC) and Polybius (2nd century BC). Although the name ''Epidamnos/Epidamnus'' was more commonly used among Ancient Greek authors, the coinage of the city only used the abbreviations for the name ''Dyrrhachion/Dyrrhachium''. ''Dyrrachium'' was chosen as the name of the city after the Roman Republic got control of the region after the Illyrian Wars in 229 BC. The Latin spelling of /y/ retained the form of Doric Greek Dyrrhachion, which was pronounced as /Durrakhion/. This change of the name is already attested in classical literature. Titus Livius, at the end of the first century BC, writes in Ab Urbe Condita Libri that at the time of the Illyrian Wars (roughly 200 years earlier) the city was not known as Dyrrachium, but as Epidamnus. Pomponius Mela, about 70 years later than Titus Livius, attributed the change of the name to the fact that the name Epidamnos reminded to the Romans the Latin word ''damnum'', which to them signified evil and bad luck. Pliny the Elder, who lived in the same period, repeated this explanation in his own works. The Romans also adopted the new name because it was already in more frequent use by the citizens of the city. The name ''Dyrrhachion'' is usually explained as a Greek compound from 'bad' and 'rocky shore, flood, roaring waves', an explanation already hinted at in antiquity by Cassius Dio, who writes it referred to the difficulties of the rocky coastline, while also reporting that other Roman authors linked it to the name of an eponymous hero ''Dyrrachius''. The mythological construction of the city's name was recorded by Appian (2nd century AD) who wrote that ''the king of the barbarians of this country, Epidamnus gave the name to the city. His daughter's son Dyrrachius, built a port near the town that he called Dyrrachium''. Stephanus of Byzantium repeated this mythological construction in his work. It is unclear whether the two toponyms referred originally to different areas of the territory of the city or whether they referred to the same territory. Classical literature indicates that they more probably referred to different neighbouring areas originally. Gradually, the name Epidamnus fell out of use and Dyrrachium became the sole name for the city. The modern names of the city in Albanian (''Durrës'') and Italian (''Durazzo'', ) are derived from ''Dyrrachium''/''Dyrrachion''. An intermediate, Palatalization (sound change), palatalized antecedent is found in the form ''Dyrratio'', attested in the early centuries AD. The palatalized /-tio/ ending probably represents a phonetic change in the way the inhabitants of the city pronounced its name. The preservation of old Doric /u/ indicates that the modern name derives from populations to whom the toponym was known in its original Doric pronunciation. By contrast, in Byzantine Greek, the name of the city is pronounced with the much later evolution of /u/ as /i/. The modern Italian name evolved in the sub-dialects that emerged from Colloquial Latin in northern Italy. The modern Albanian name evolved independently from the parent language of Albanian around the same period of the post-Roman era in the first centuries AD as the difference in Stress (linguistics), stress in the two toponyms (first syllable in Albanian, second in Italian) highlights. In English usage, the Italian form ''Durazzo'' used to be widespread, but the local Albanian name ''Durrës'' has gradually replaced it in recent decades.


History


Earliest period

The territory of Durrës was populated at least starting from the Eneolithic and then, from Protohistory, protohistoric times, it was inhabited by Illyrian peoples.


Antiquity

Though surviving remains are minimal, Durrës is one of the List of cities by time of continuous habitation, oldest cities in Albania. In terms of mythology the foundation of the settlement is connected with the legendary hero Herakles who supported the local ruler, Dyrrachus, in the struggle against his brothers. As such in historical times the locals claimed Heracles as one of their founders. Several ancient people held the site: the presence of the Brygi appears to be confirmed by several ancient writers, the Illyrian
Taulantii Taulantii or Taulantians ("swallow-men"; Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into ...
(their arrival has been estimated to have happened not later than the 10th century BC), probably the Liburni who expanded southwards in the 9th century BC. The city was founded by Ancient Greece, Greek colonists in 627 BC on the coast of the Taulantii. According to ancient authors, the Greek colonists helped the Taulantii to expel Liburnians and mixed with the local population establishing the Greek element to the port. A flourishing commercial centre emergend and the city grew rapidly. The fact that about the 6th century BC the citizens of Epidamnus constructed a Doric-style Treasury at Olympia, Greece, Olympia confirms that the city was among the richest of the Ancient Greek world. An ancient account describes Epidamnos as ‘a great power and very populated’ city. After 323 BC Epidamnus-Dyrrhachium was involved in the intervention in Illyria of the Macedonians under Cassander, who clashed with the Illyrians under Glaukias. In 314 BC the Macedonian king seized the city but the garrison he established there was in turn besieged and driven out by the Illyrian king and the Corcyrans. In 312 BC, after another unsuccessful attack of Cassander in the region, the city came under the protection of Glaukias. Those events marked the end of Macedonian presence on the Adriatic coast for almost one century. The city probably came under the control of Pyrrhus of Epirus at the beginning of the 3rd century BC. From about 280 BC the Illyrian king Monunius I, Monunius, and his successor Mytilos minted in Dyrrhachion silver and bronze coins respectively, bearing the king's name and the symbol of the city. The fact that their coins were struck in the city mint of Dyrrhachion stresses that they exercised to some extent their authority over the city. Epidamnus came under the control of the Illyrian Ardiaei under Agron of Illyria, Agron, who fortified the city (c. 250-231 BC). When the Ancient Rome, Romans defeated the Illyrians, they replaced the rule of queen Teuta with that of Demetrius of Pharos, one of her generals. He lost his kingdom, including Epidamnus, to the Romans in 219 BC at the Second Illyrian War. In the Third Illyrian War Epidamnus was attacked by Gentius but he was defeated by the Romans at the same year. For Catullus, the city was ''Durrachium Hadriae tabernam'', "the ''taberna'' of the Adriatic", one of the stopping places for a Roman traveling up the Adriatic, as Catullus had done himself in the sailing season of 56. After the Illyrian Wars with the Roman Republic in 229 BC ended in a decisive defeat for the Illyrians, the city passed to Roman rule, under which it was developed as a major military and naval base. The Romans preferred to use the name ''Dyrrachium'' (Greek language, Greek: Δυρράχιον / ''Dyrrhachion'') for the city. They considered the name ''Epidamnos'' to be inauspicious because of its wholly coincidental similarities with the Latin word ''damnum'', meaning "loss" or "harm". The meaning of ''Dyrrachium'' ("bad spine" or "difficult ridge" in Greek) is unclear, but it has been suggested that it refers to the imposing cliffs near the city. During the Great Roman Civil War in Illyria, the Battle of Dyrrhachium (48 BC), Battle of Dyrrachium was undertaken by Julius Caesar against Pompey, Gnaeus Pompey. The battle was a victory for Pompey, but it preceded the more decisive Battle of Pharsalus in Greece where Caesar won. Under Roman rule, Dyrrachium prospered; it became the western end of the ''Via Egnatia'', the great Roman road that led to Thessalonica and on to Constantinople. Another lesser road led south to the city of ''Buthrotum'', the modern Butrint. The Roman emperor Augustus, Caesar Augustus made the city a colony for veterans of his Roman legion, legions following the Battle of Actium, proclaiming it a ''civitas libera'' (free town). In the 4th century, Dyrrachium was made the capital of the Roman province of Epirus nova. It was the birthplace of the emperor Anastasius I (emperor), Anastasius I in c. 430. Sometime later that century, Dyrrachium was struck by a powerful earthquake which destroyed the city's defences. Anastasius I rebuilt and strengthened the city walls, thus creating the strongest fortifications in the western Balkans. The walls were so thick that, according to the Byzantine historian Anna Komnene, four horsemen could ride abreast on them. Significant portions of the ancient city defences still remain, although they have been much reduced over the centuries. Like much of the rest of the Balkans, Dyrrachium and the surrounding ''Dyrraciensis provinciae'' suffered considerably from barbarian incursions during the Migrations Period. It was besieged in 481 by Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths, and in subsequent centuries had to fend off frequent attacks by the First Bulgarian Empire, Bulgarians. Unaffected by the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the city continued under the Byzantine Empire as an important port and a major link between the Empire and western Europe. During the sixth century based on accounts of Procopius, the city was mainly inhabited by a Greek population.


Middle Ages

The city and the surrounding coast became a Byzantine province, the Theme of Dyrrhachium, probably in the first decade of the 9th century. The city remained in Byzantine hands until the late 10th century, when Samuel of Bulgaria gained control of the city, possibly through his marriage with Agatha, wife of Samuel of Bulgaria, Agatha, daughter of the local magnate John Chryselios. Samuel made his son-in-law Ashot Taronites, a Byzantine captive who had married his daughter Miroslava of Bulgaria, Miroslava, governor of the city. In circa 1005, however, Ashot and Miroslava, with the connivance of Chryselios, fled to Constantinople, where they notified Emperor Basil II of their intention to surrender the city to him. Soon, a Byzantine squadron appeared off the city under Eustathios Daphnomeles, and the city returned to Byzantine rule. In the 11th–12th centuries, the city was important as a military stronghold and a metropolitan see rather than as a major economic center, and never recovered its late antique prosperity; Anna Komnene makes clear that medieval Dyrrhachium occupied only a portion of the ancient city. In the 1070s, two of its governors, Nikephoros Bryennios the Elder and Nikephoros Basilakes, led unsuccessful rebellions trying to seize the Byzantine throne. Dyrrachium was lost in February 1082 when Alexios I Komnenos was defeated by the Normans under Robert Guiscard and his son Bohemund I of Antioch, Bohemund in the Battle of Dyrrhachium (1081), Battle of Dyrrhachium. Byzantine control was restored a few years later, but the Normans under Bohemund returned to besiege it in 1107–08, and sacked it again in 1185 under King William II of Sicily. In 1205, after the Fourth Crusade, the city was transferred to the rule of the Republic of Venice, which formed the "Duchy of Durazzo (Republic of Venice), Duchy of Durazzo". This Duchy was conquered in 1213 and the city taken by the Despotate of Epirus under Michael I Komnenos Doukas. In 1257, Durrës was briefly occupied by the King of Sicily, Manfred of Sicily, Manfred of Hohenstaufen. It was re-occupied by the Despot of Epirus Michael II Komnenos Doukas until 1259, when the Despotate was defeated by the Byzantine Empire of Nicaea in the Battle of Pelagonia. In the 1270s, Durrës was again controlled by Epirus under Nikephoros I Komnenos Doukas, the son of Michael II, who in 1278 was forced to yield the city to Charles d' Anjou (Charles I of Sicily). In c. 1273, it was wrecked by a devastating earthquake (according to George Pachymeres) but soon recovered. It was briefly occupied by King Stephen Uroš II Milutin of Serbia, Milutin of Serbia in 1296. In the thirteenth century, a Jews in Albania, Jewish community existed in Durrës and was employed in the salt trade. In the early 14th century, the city was ruled by a coalition of Anjous, Hungarians, and Albanians of the Thopia family. In 1317 or 1318, the area was taken by the Serbs and remained under their rule until the 1350s. At that time the Popes, supported by the Anjous, increased their diplomatic and political activity in the area, by using the Latin bishops, including the archbishop of Durrës. The city had been a religious center of Catholicism after the Anjou were installed in Durrës. In 1272, a Catholic archbishop was installed, and until the mid-14th century there were both Catholic and Orthodox archbishops of Durrës. Two Irish pilgrims who visited Albania on their way to Jerusalem in 1322, reported that Durrës was "inhabited by Latins, Greeks, perfidious Jews and barbaric Albanians". When the Serbian Tsar Stephen Uroš IV Dušan of Serbia, Dušan died in 1355, the city passed into the hands of the Albanian family of Thopia family, Thopias. In 1376 the Navarrese Company Louis of Évreux, Duke of Durazzo, who had gained the rights on the Kingdom of Albania (medieval), Kingdom of Albania from his second wife, attacked and conquered the city, but in 1383 Karl Topia regained control of the city. The Republic of Venice regained control in 1392 and retained the city, known as ''Durazzo'' in those years, as part of the ''Albania Veneta''. It fended off a siege by the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II in 1466 but fell to Ottoman forces in 1501. Durrës became a Christianity, Christian city quite early on; its Diocese, bishopric was created around 58 and was raised to the status of an archbishopric in 449. It was also the seat of an Eastern Orthodox Church, Orthodox metropolitan bishop. Under Ottoman rule, many of its inhabitants converted to Islam and many mosques were erected. The city was renamed Dıraç but did not prosper under the Ottomans and its importance declined greatly. Following the establishment of Ottoman rule in 1501, the Durrës Jewish community experienced population growth. By the mid-19th century, its population was said to have been only about 1,000 people living in some 200 households. In the late nineteenth century, Durrës contained 1,200 Orthodox Aromanians (130 families) who lived among the larger population of Muslim Albanians alongside a significant number of Catholic Albanians. "Durrës... At the end of the nineteenth century, there were more than 130 Vlach families, some 1,200 Vlachs, who constituted the nucleus of the local Greek Orthodox community, amid the much more numerous Moslem Albanians and quite a number of Roman Catholics, also of Albanian stock." The decrepitude of Durrës was noted by foreign observers in the early 20th century: "The walls are dilapidated; plane-trees grow on the gigantic ruins of its old Byzantine citadel; and its harbour, once equally commodious and safe, is gradually becoming silted up." Durrës was a main centre in Scutari Province, Ottoman Empire, İşkodra Vilayet before 1912.


Modern

Durrës was an active city in the Albanian National Awakening, Albanian national liberation movement in the periods 1878–1881 and 1910–1912. Ismail Qemali raised the Flag of Albania, Albanian flag on 26 November 1912 but the city was occupied by the Kingdom of Serbia three days later during the First Balkan War. On 29 November 1912 Durrës became the county town of the Durrës County (Kingdom of Serbia), Durrës County ( sr, Драчки округ) one of the counties of the Kingdom of Serbia established on the part of the territory of Albania (toponym), Albania occupied from Ottoman Empire. The Durrës County had four districts ( sr, срез): Durrës, Lezha, Elbasan and Tirana. The army of the Kingdom of Serbia retreated from Durrës in April 1913. The city became Principality of Albania, Albania's second national capital (after Vlora) on 7 March 1914 under the brief rule of Prince William of Wied.Organic Statute of the Principality of Albania (in Albanian)
, http://licodu.cois.it
It remained Albania's capital until 11 February 1920, when the Congress of Lushnjë made Tirana the new capital. During the First World War, the city was occupied by Kingdom of Italy, Italy in 1915 and by Austria-Hungary in 1916–1918. On 29 December 1915, Battle of Durazzo (1915), a Naval Battle was fought off Durazzo. On 2 October 1918, several allied ships Battle of Durazzo (1918)#Battle, bombarded Durazzo and attacked the few Austrian ships in the harbour. Although civilians started to flee the city at the start of the bombardment, many casualties were inflicted on the innocent and neutral population. The Old City being adjacent to the harbour was largely destroyed, including the Royal Palace of Durrës and other primary public buildings. It was captured by Italian troops on 16 October 1918. Restored to Albanian sovereignty, Durrës became the country's temporary capital between 1918 and March 1920. It experienced an economic boom due to Italian investments and developed into a major seaport under the rule of King Zog of Albania, Zog, with a modern harbour being constructed in 1927. It was at this time the Royal Villa of Durrës was built by Zog as a summer palace, that still dominates the skyline from a hill close to the old city. An earthquake in 1926 damaged some of the city and the rebuilding that followed gave the city its more modern appearance. During the 1930s, the Bank of Athens had a branch in the city. Durrës (called ''Durazzo'' again in Italian) and the rest of Albania were Italian invasion of Albania, occupied in April 1939 and annexed to the Kingdom of Italy until 1943, then occupied by Nazi Germany until Belgrade Offensive, autumn 1944. Durrës's strategic value as a seaport made it a high-profile military target for both sides. It was the site of the Italian invasion of Albania, initial Italian landings on 7 April 1939 (and was fiercely defended by Mujo Ulqinaku) as well as the launch point for the ill-fated Greco-Italian War, Italian invasion of Greece. The city was heavily damaged by Allies of World War II, Allied bombing during the war and the port installations were blown up by retreating German soldiers in autumn 1944. The Communist regime of Enver Hoxha rapidly rebuilt the city following the war, establishing a variety of heavy industries in the area and expanding the port. It became the terminus of Albania's first railway, begun in 1947 (Durrës–Tiranë railway). In the late 1980s, the city was briefly renamed Durrës-Enver Hoxha. The city was and continues to remain the center of Albanian mass beach tourism. Following the collapse of communist rule in 1990, Durrës became the focus of mass emigrations from Albania with ships being hijacked in the harbour and sailed at gunpoint to Italy. In one month alone, August 1991, over 20,000 people migrated to Italy in this fashion. Italy intervened militarily, putting the port area under its control, and the city became the center of the European Community's "Operation Pelican", a food-aid program. In 1997, 1997 rebellion in Albania, Albania slid into anarchy following the collapse of a massive pyramid scheme which devastated the national economy. An Italian-led peacekeeping force was controversially deployed to Durrës and other Albanian cities to restore order, although there were widespread suggestions that the real purpose of "Operation Alba" was to prevent economic refugees continuing to use Albania's ports as a route to migrate to Italy. Following the start of the 21st century, Durrës has been revitalized as many streets were repaved, while parks and façades experienced a face lift.


Geography

Durrës lies mostly between latitudes 41st parallel north, 41° and 18th parallel north, 18° N and longitudes 19th meridian east, 19° and 26th meridian east, 26° E. It is located on the Bay of Durrës on a flat alluvial plain between the
river mouth A river mouth is the part of a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course wi ...
s of Erzen and the Ishëm along the
Adriatic Sea The Adriatic Sea () is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkans. The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea, extending from the Strait of Otranto (where it connects to the Ionian Sea) to the northwest a ...
within the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the ...
. The Municipalities of Albania, municipality of Durrës is encompassed in the County of Durrës within the Northern Albania, Northern Region of Albania and consists of the adjacent administrative units of Ishëm, Katund i Ri, Manëz, Rrashbull, Sukth and Durrës as its seat. It stretches from the mouth of Ishëm River at the Cape of Rodon in the north across the Bay of Lalzi to the Shkëmbi i Kavajës in the south.


Climate

Durrës experiences a seasonal
Mediterranean climate A Mediterranean climate or dry summer climate is characterized by dry summers and mild, wet winters. The climate receives its name from the Mediterranean Basin, where this climate type is most common. Mediterranean climate zones are typicall ...
as defined by the Köppen climate classification as ''Cfa''. Its climate is considerably influenced by its proximity to the Adriatic Sea in the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains in the Western Lowlands in the hinterlands. The summers are predominantly hot and dry, the winters relatively mild, and falls and springs mainly stable, in terms of precipitation and temperatures. The mean monthly temperature ranges between in winter to in summer. The highest temperature of was recorded on 14 August 1957. The lowest temperature of was registered on 26 January 1954. Durrës receives most of the precipitation (meteorology), precipitation in winter months and less in summer months. The mean annual precipitation ranges between and .


Demography

Durrës is the second most populous Municipalities of Albania, municipality in Albania and one of the most populous on the
Adriatic Sea The Adriatic Sea () is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkans. The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea, extending from the Strait of Otranto (where it connects to the Ionian Sea) to the northwest a ...
with a growing number of inhabitants. According to the 2011 Census of Albania, 2011 census, the municipal unit of Durrës had an estimated population of 113,249 of whom 56,511 were men and 56,738 women. Albania is a secular state with no state religion and the freedom of belief, Freedom of conscience, conscience and Freedom of religion, religion is explicitly guaranteed in the constitution of Albania, constitution of the country. Durrës is therefore religiously diverse and has many places of worship catering to its religious population, whom are adherents of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Christianity in Albania, Christianity in Durrës and elsewhere in Albania has a presence dating back to classical antiquity. Christian traditions relate that the archbishopric of Durrës was founded by the apostle Paul while he was preaching in Illyria and Epirus (region), Epirus and that there were possibly about seventy Christian families in the city as early as the time of the apostles.http://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/rcl/10-3_242.pdf The Orthodox Church of Albania, which has been autocephalous since 1923, was divided into the Archbishop of Tirana, archbishopric of Tirana–Durrës, headed by the Metropolitan and sub-divided into the local church districts of Tirana, Durrës, Shkodër and Elbasan.


Economy

Durrës is an important link to Western Europe due to its port and its proximity to the Italian port cities, notably Bari, to which daily ferries run. As well as the dockyard, it also possesses an important shipyard and manufacturing industries, notably producing leather, plastic and tobacco products. The southern coastal stretch of Golem is renowned for its traditional mass beach tourism having experienced uncontrolled urban development. The city's beaches are also a popular destination for many foreign and local tourists, with an estimated 800,000 tourists visiting annually. Many Albanians from Tirana and elsewhere spend their summer vacations on the beaches of Durrës. In 2012, new water sanitation systems are being installed to completely eliminate sea water pollution. In contrast, the northern coastal stretch of Lalzit Bay is mostly unspoiled and set to become an elite tourism destination as a number of beach resorts are being built since 2009. Neighboring districts are known for the production of good wine and a variety of foodstuffs. According to the World Bank, Durrës has made significant steps of starting a business in 2016. Durrës ranks ninth among 22 cities in Southeastern Europe before the capital Tirana, Belgrade, Serbia and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Transportation

Major roads and railways pass through the city of Durrës thank to its significant location and connect the northern part of the country to the south and the west with the east. Durrës is the starting point of Pan-European Corridor VIII, national roads SH2 and SH4, and serves as the main railway station of the Albanian Railways (HSH). The Pan-European Corridor VIII is one of the Pan-European corridors. It runs between Durrës, at the Adriatic Sea, Adriatic coast, and Varna, at the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, Bulgarian Black Sea coast. The National Road 2 (Albania), National Road 2 (SH2) begins at the Port of Durrës at the Dajlani Overpass, bypasses the road to Tirana International Airport, and ends at the Kamza Overpass in the outskirts of Tirana where it meets National Road 1 (Albania), National Road 1 (SH1) State Road heading to northern Albania. The Albania–Kosovo Highway is a four-lane highway constructed from 2006 to 2013 between Albania and Kosovo. As part of the South-East European Route 7, the highway will connect the
Adriatic Sea The Adriatic Sea () is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkans. The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea, extending from the Strait of Otranto (where it connects to the Ionian Sea) to the northwest a ...
ports of Durrës via Pristina, with the Pan-European corridor X, E75/Corridor X near Niš, Serbia. As most tourists come through Kosovo, the laying of the highway make it easier to travel to Durrës. The very advantageous geographical location makes the port of Durrës to the greatest port of Albania, and among the largest in the Adriatic and Ionian Sea. The port is located in the south-western part of Durrës it is an artificial basin that is formed between two moles, with a west-northwesterly oriented entrance approximately wide as it passes between the ends of the moles. Port of Durrës is also a key location for transit networks and passenger ferry, giving Durrës a strategic position with respect to the Pan-European Corridor VIII. The port has experienced major upgrades in recent years culminating with the opening of the new terminal in July 2012. In 2012, The Globe and Mail ranked Durrës at no. 1 among 8 exciting new cruise ports to explore. It is one of the largest passenger port on the
Adriatic Sea The Adriatic Sea () is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkans. The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea, extending from the Strait of Otranto (where it connects to the Ionian Sea) to the northwest a ...
that handle more than 1.5 million passengers per year. The Durrës Railway Station, rail station of Durrës is connected to other cities in Albania, including Vlorë and the capital of Tirana. The Durrës–Tiranë railway was a Rail transport, railway line which joined the two biggest cities in Albania: Durrës and Tiranë. The line connects to the Shkodër–Vorë railway halfway in Vorë, and to the Durrës-Vlorë railway in Durrës. In 2015, some rail stations and rolling stock along the Durrës-Tiranë line are being upgraded and latter colored red and white.


Culture

The theatrical and musical life of the city is constituted by the Aleksandër Moisiu Theatre, the Estrada Theater, a puppet theater, and the philharmonic orchestra. The International Film Summerfest of Durrës, founded in 2008, has since takes place every year in late August or early September in Durrës Amphitheatre. In 2004 and 2009 Miss Globe International was held in Durrës. The city is home to different architectural styles that represent influential periods in its history. The architecture is influenced by Illyrian, Greek, Roman and Italian architecture. In the 21st century, part of Durrës has turned into a modernist city, with large blocks of flats, modern new buildings, new shopping centres and many green spaces.


Education

Durrës has a long tradition of education since the beginning of civil life from antiquity until today. After the fall of communism in Albania, a reorganization plan was announced in 1990, that would extend the compulsory education program from eight to ten years. The following year, major economic and political crisis in Albania, and the ensuing breakdown of public order, plunged the school system into chaos. Later, many schools were rebuilt or reconstructed, to improve learning conditions especially in larger cities of the country. Durrës is host to academic institutions such as the University of Durrës, Albanian College of Durrës, Vëllezërit Kajtazi Educational Institute, Kajtazi Brothers Educational Institute, Gjergj Kastrioti High School, Naim Frashëri High School, Sports mastery school Benardina Qerraxhiu and Jani Kukuzeli Artistic Lycee. One of the city's main sights is the Byzantine city wall, also called Durrës Castle, while the largest Durrës Amphitheatre, amphitheatre in the Balkans is found close to the city's harbour. This fifth-century construction is currently under consideration for inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage site.


Museums

Durrës is home to the largest archaeological museum in the country, the Durrës Archaeological Museum, located near the beach. North of the museum are the sixth-century Durrës Castle, Byzantine walls constructed after the Visigoth invasion of 481. The bulk of the museum consists of artifacts found in the nearby ancient site of Dyrrhachium and includes an extensive collection from the Illyrian, Ancient Greek, Hellenistic and Roman periods. Items of major note include Roman funeral steles and stone sarcophagi, an elliptical colourful mosaic measuring 17 by 10 feet, referred to as The Beauty of Durrës, and a collection of miniature busts of Venus, testament to the time when Durrës was a centre of worship of the goddess. There are several further museums such as the Royal Villa of Durrës and the Museum of History (the house of Aleksandër Moisiu).


International relations

These countries have an honorary consulate in Durrës: * * * *New consulate in Durrës improves Albania-Macedonia ties
SETimes.com, 13-08-13
Bosnia has opened a consulate in Durrës in 2011 for the people of Bosniaks, Bosniak origin who live in Durrës, Shijak city and villages around, Koxhas and Borake.


See also

*List of ancient cities in Illyria *List of mayors of Durrës *Bibliography of Durrës


References


Bibliography

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External links


durres.gov.al
– Official Website {{DEFAULTSORT:Durres Durrës, Cities in Albania Administrative units of Durrës Municipalities in Durrës County Populated coastal places in Albania 627 BC Populated places established in the 7th century BC Mediterranean port cities and towns in Albania Former national capitals Illyrian Albania Cities in ancient Illyria Greek colonies in Illyria Ancient Greek archaeological sites in Albania Hellenistic Albania Roman sites in Albania 7th-century BC establishments Territories of the Republic of Venice