Scean Gate (The Lake Gate)

Butrint National Park, part of Hellenistic wall line, north side around the lake shores

Dating from the 4th century BC, consisting of large trapezoidal blocks of limestone. ...

Scean Gate (The Lake Gate)City walls and forts

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Butrint National Park, part of Hellenistic wall line, north side around the lake shores

Opening Hours

summer 8am - 8pm and winter 8am - 4pm

Basic Info

Dating from the 4th century BC, consisting of large trapezoidal blocks of limestone. Scaean Gate, the first gate, is the best conserved one, build as to provide protection against aggressors, gives access to a stairway and path leading up to the summit of acropolis. Discovered during the Italian Archaeological Mission, 1928 - 1940 and named by excavator Maria Luigi Ugolini, inspired from Virgil’s description of Aeneas’s entrance to Buthrotum (Butrint ancient name), who supposedly saw the miniature copy of the great portal in Troy.

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Scean Gate (The Lake Gate)city walls and forts

Sanctuary of Asclepius

Butrint National Park, on the Agora (the main helenstic square), next to the theatre

Dating from 4th centry BC, the size and the form of the temple are typical of Epirote temples. ...

Sanctuary of AsclepiusSacral objects

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Butrint National Park, on the Agora (the main helenstic square), next to the theatre

Opening Hours

summer 8am - 8pm and winter 8am - 4pm

Basic Info

Dating from 4th centry BC, the size and the form of the temple are typical of Epirote temples. An inscription dedicated to Asclepius indicated that the temple was devoted to the god of medicine. Butrint owes its growth and early fame to this Scantuary. Worshippers came here in order to be healed, leaving symbolic objects and money to the god and his attendant priests. The Sanctuary of Asclepius was the making of Butrint and represented its sacred power.

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Sanctuary of Asclepiussacral objects

Theater

Butrint National Park, on the Agora (the main helenistic square)

Build probably under the King Pyrrhus, 3rd century BC, remodeled by the Romans in the 2nd century AD ...

TheaterPublic buildings

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Butrint National Park, on the Agora (the main helenistic square)

Opening Hours

summer 8am - 8pm and winter 8am - 4pm

Basic Info

Build probably under the King Pyrrhus, 3rd century BC, remodeled by the Romans in the 2nd century AD. The theater could seat 2500 persons suggesting that the city must have been large. The lower rows of seats are the proedroi, the seats of honor for magistrates and leading citizens.

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Theaterpublic buildings

Baptistery

in the lower city, or southern city

Built in early Christianity, 6th century AD, the second largest baptistery in the Eastern Roman Empi ...

BaptisterySacral objects

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in the lower city, or southern city

Opening Hours

summer 8am - 8pm and winter 8am - 4pm

Basic Info

Built in early Christianity, 6th century AD, the second largest baptistery in the Eastern Roman Empire, one of the most important paleochristian monuments both locally and all over the Balkans. The floor of Baptistery is decorated with a splendid mosaic pavement. It is very well preserved and one could say that nowhere else in Europe a mosaic of this size and quality can be found.

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Baptisterysacral objects

Venetian Tower

Butrint National Park, at the entrance of the city

Venetian Tower was built by the Venetians in the Middle Age, 16th century AD ...

Venetian TowerCity walls and forts

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Butrint National Park, at the entrance of the city

Opening Hours

summer 8am - 8pm and winter 8am - 4pm

Basic Info

Venetian Tower was built by the Venetians in the Middle Age, 16th century AD. Along with the Triangular Fortress opposite the channel, it was used to control the channel and the hinterland and to discourage the sea pirates. In case of danger the tower was made inaccessible with a small drawbridge and balistraria.

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Venetian Towercity walls and forts

Triangled Fortress

Butrint National Park, on the other side of Vivary Channel, opposte the Venetian Tower

The Triangular Fortress opposite the Venetian Tower was used to control the channel and the hinterla ...

Triangled FortressCity walls and forts

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Butrint National Park, on the other side of Vivary Channel, opposte the Venetian Tower

Opening Hours

summer 8am - 8pm and winter 8am - 4pm

Basic Info

The Triangular Fortress opposite the Venetian Tower was used to control the channel and the hinterland and to discourage the sea pirates.

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Triangled Fortresscity walls and forts

Great Basilica

Butrint National Park, in the lower city, or southern city

This monument was built as a basilical church in 3 phases. ...

Great BasilicaStatues and monuments

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Butrint National Park, in the lower city, or southern city

Opening Hours

summer 8am - 8pm and winter 8am - 4pm

Basic Info

This monument was built as a basilical church in 3 phases: the first dates back to the 6th century, the second to the 9th and the third belongs to the late medieval period (probably 15th century), with the last builders using the earlier construction as foundations. As everywhere else, part of the floor is paved with mosaic.

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Great Basilicastatues and monuments

Butrint Museum

Butrint National Park, on the Acropoli Hill

Was built in the 1930 to house the finds of the Italian archaeological mission 1928 to 1940 and late ...

Butrint MuseumMuseums and galleries

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Butrint National Park, on the Acropoli Hill

Opening Hours

summer 8am - 8pm and winter 8am - 4pm

Basic Info

Was built in the 1930 to house the finds of the Italian archaeological mission 1928 to 1940 and later those of Albanian archaeologists 1960 to 1980. It introduces the history of the antique city throughout the ages.

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Butrint Museummuseums and galleries

The Inscription Wall

Butrint National Park, in the lower city, or southern city

Composed of 105 stone inscriptions in Greek, mainly manumission decrees. ...

The Inscription WallStatues and monuments

Address | Location on Map

Butrint National Park, in the lower city, or southern city

Opening Hours

summer 8am - 8pm and winter 8am - 4pm

Basic Info

Composed of 105 stone inscriptions in Greek, mainly manumission decrees, The inscriptions contain the name of the slave and the witnesses during the release ceremony, dating from 157 BC. Such inscriptions can be seen also at the theater.

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The Inscription Wallstatues and monuments

Ali Pasha Castle

Butrint National Park, at the mouth of the Vivari Channel

The small 22x30m, rectangular castle at the mouth of Vivari channel, was constructed in 18th centur ...

Ali Pasha CastlePublic buildings

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Butrint National Park, at the mouth of the Vivari Channel

Opening Hours

summer 8am - 8pm and winter 8am - 4pm

Basic Info

The small 22x30m, rectangular castle at the mouth of Vivari channel, was constructed in 18th century by Gonemi family, a Corfiote landowning family. It has often been attributed to Ali Pasha, who during his short reign in Butrint, used it to control the ships sailing to Butrint and to prevent French attacks from the sea.

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Ali Pasha Castlepublic buildings

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In the southwest of Albania lies the peninsula of Ksamil, and on the southern tip of this peninsula is situated Butrint, surrounded by  Vivari channel through which the waters of the lake are carried to the sea. The city occupies a position well protected by the nature, with a natural harbor mentioned also in the maritime itineraries of the ancient world.

From the plain of Kestrina and the Surrounding hills, Butrint secured ample supplies of grain and livestock products. The lake rich in fish and shellfish also served as permanent reserve of food. Because of this natural conditions, a centre of habitation arose at Butrint in prehistoric times, that gradually grew, took shape, increased in strength and extended in area.

Butrint is mentioned for the first time in written sources by Hecataeus, the geographer of the 6th century BC. At this time the city extended over the whole area of the hill. However, we do not encounter its name again until 500 years later.

According to the legend, Butrint was founded by the Trojan exiles Helenus after the fall of Troy in the 13 century BC.

The legend and the beauties of Butrint have inspired poets and writers down through the ages. Virgil devoted whole pages to it in his masterpiece “Aeneid”, recounting the voyage of another Trojan hero. The events in Racines “Andromaque”, also take place in Butrint indicating that it became a significant city, one of the most important in the region of Epirus.

While there is archeological evidence from the 12th century BC, Butrint didn’t flourish as a settlement until the 8th century BC undergoing different civilizations. During Hellenistic period, 4th century, Butrint become an important religious site. The late 1st century AD, Roman Butrint, was a prosperous period. Public and private building of every kind were erected. During late Roman Butrint, 5th century, many prominent early Christian buildings were constructed. The bay was a scene of a great sea battle between the Norman and the Byzantine fleets during 10th century, giving way to a Byzantine period. Venetians purchased Butrint from the Angevins in late 13th century  and for the next 4 centuries it wasn’t more than an outpost of Corfu. 19th century -Butrint had dwindled in  the size of a fishing village, clustered around the Triangular Castle. The settlement belonged to Ali Pasha, who ruled Epirus from the castle at Ioannina.

From the 18th century foreign diplomats were regular visitors to Ali’s court. French painter, Louis Doupre, visited Butrint and wrote:  “…one day, exploration of the ruins will bring forth a great wealth of discoveries that have been covered for all these centuries by the curtain of night”.

In 2003 the wetland complex, including a part of the lagoon and the coastal area of Butrint – Stillo Cape – was proclaimed a Ramsar Site and a National Park.
Due to its importance for the preservation of archaeological and historical heritage, Butrint was designated in 1992 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

http://butrint.com/

Butrint

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