Durres (Durrës in Albanian) is a city of 246,401 inhabitants (estimated in 2008), the most important Albanian town after the capital Tirana. Situated on a peninsula, Durres is the capital of the homonymous prefecture and the Durres District.
Its origin dates back to the seventh century BC as a Greek colony named Epidamno (Epidamnos). Durres is an important link to Western Europe thanks to its port that are close to the major Italian ports, especially that of Bari. The city’s beaches are chosen by foreign tourists and local visitors, with 600,000 visitors estimated a year. Many residents of Tirana choose to spend their holidays in Durres, with the new modern highway that connects the two cities in less than 40 minutes. Also in Durres there is Albania’s largest amphitheater, built in the first century BC. The Institute of Cultural Monuments has applied for admission to UNESCO World Heritage Sites this amphitheater.
Pictures of Durres
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What to see in Durres
Some important buildings in Durrës include the main library, the cultural center with theater Aleksander Moisiu, the Estrada Theater, the puppet theater, and philharmonic orchestra. There are also several museums such as the Archaeological Museum, the Villa Durazzo and the Museum of History. The city’s beaches are popular destination for many foreigners and local tourists, with about 600,000 tourists each year who come to Durres.
Due to the recent construction of a modern highway linking Tirana and Durres, the travel time by motor vehicle only lasts about 30 minutes. The trip can be done by train, although more slowly, at a cost of 50 Leke (about 0.30 Euro). There are about ten trains a day from Tirana. As in other parts of Albania, a number of concrete bunkers built under the old dictatorship are located near Durres. They are found every 100-150 meters along the city beach. They were built to defend the country from foreign attack, either from the Western powers or from those of the Warsaw Pact, attack which has never happened. Albania has about 700,000 bunkers.