The city was found by Greeks in the 7th century B.C. and was first called Epidamn. For a long period of time the city was the largest seaport on the Adriatic. Durres had a rather stormy history with often change of power, that without any doubt had an impact on the cities architecture.
The city was occupied by the Romans who changed its name to Dirrahhi. The famous road – Via Egnatia - connecting the city and Constantinople ( 800 km) was built in this period.
After the conquering of Constantinople in 1204 the city was renamed to Durazzo, survived the period of Frankokratia and than was a Turkish possession until the 20th century.
The city got its final name in the 80s. The city was ruined by earthquakes several times. During Worl War II Durres was occupied by the German troops who totally destroyed the seaport when retreating. Despite of that, Durres was rebuilt each time and remained its cultural and historical meaning.
What to see in Durres
There are many architectural monuments in Durres and its surroundings, that can tell you the stormy history of the city.
The main one is the Roman amphitheatre, built in the 2nd century B.C. Only the third part of it remained until our days, but the rest was restored by the sketches and schemes.
On the main squire you can see the Fatih mosque, which is more than 500 years old.
The city still has the famous Roman baths which are in total function – baths with cold and hot water and the “fish” pool.
Judges of art can take a look at the remains of the old aqueduct, built in 117 B.C., also the ruins of a 6th century church with basilica Arapaj, and the walls of the Byzantine city ( 6th century), which were intensified by venetian towers in the 14th century.
The city has many restaurants and cafes where you can try traditional food and sea specialities. There is a popular bar in one of the towers of the old town walls. However nightlife is not popular in the city. In the evening the streets become a pedestrian area and people take walks breathing the fresh sea air and enjoying the sea town.