Butrint Facts: Know More About The Ancient Roman City

Sakshi Thakur
Oct 28, 2022 By Sakshi Thakur
Originally Published on Mar 15, 2022
Edited by Pete Anderson
Fact-checked by Pratiti Nath
Butrint today is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Know all the Butrint facts here.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.2 Min

When you think of ancient Roman ruins, what comes to mind?

If Butrint is one of the places that comes to mind, you're not alone! Butrint is a fascinating archaeological site located in modern-day Albania.

It was once an important city in the Roman Empire, and today it's a popular tourist destination for those who want to learn more about this bygone era. Butrint has something for everyone - read on to find out more about this amazing place!

Discovery And History

Albania is a country with a long history. Ancient cities featuring Illyrian, Greek, Roman, Ottoman, and Venetian remnants may be found across the nation.

Butrint Park is located in the modern city of Albania behind the Ksamil beach and only a few kilometers from the Greek border. It is the country's biggest archaeological park and one of the best-preserved places in the Balkan Peninsula.

The ruins of Butrint were discovered relatively recently, in 1843. However, archaeological excavations did not begin until 1893.

Since then, much has been learned about Butrint's history. In the late seventh century, it was founded by the Corinthians and served as an important port city for centuries.

The Roman Empire annexed Butrint in the second century, and it soon became an important stop on the Via Egnatia trade route. Butrint flourished under Roman rule and was even given the status of a municipium, which granted it certain rights and privileges.

The city continued to thrive in the early Byzantine period, but it was in decline by the middle ages. Butrint was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century and remained under Ottoman rule until 1912. After that, it became part of Albania.

Triconch Palace is one of Albania's most popular tourist destinations - in 2018, over 200,000 people visited Butrint. It is more visited than the new fortress.

Inscriptional Content

The Butrint inscriptional content is one of the most important sources of information about Roman Britain. The inscriptions are carved on stone tablets and altars, and they date from the first to the fourth centuries.

They provide valuable information about aspects of Roman life such as religion, politics, and social relations. Roman writers have mentioned this UNESCO world heritage site in detail. There is valuable evidence of a Greek god in the old town.

A world-renowned archaeological site. Know all the Butrint facts here in detail.

Archaeological Excavations

Archaeological excavations at Butrint began in 1893. Since then, a great deal has been learned about the site and its cultural history. Excavations have revealed the remains of a number of different buildings, including an amphitheater, a theatre, temples, and public baths.

The Butrint excavation team has also uncovered a large number of cultural artifacts. Including coins, pottery, and sculptures. These artifacts provide valuable insights into life in the Roman Empire. The Butrint excavation team is currently working on uncovering more of the city's history.

The first modern archaeological digs took place at Butrint in 1928, when the Fascist government of Benito Mussolini's Italy dispatched an expedition. The goal was geopolitical rather than scientific, intending to extend Italian influence in the region.

The mission's chief was an Italian archaeologist named Luigi Maria Ugolini, who was a skilled archaeologist despite the mission's political goals.

Ugolini died in 1936, but the excavations continued until 1943 when World War II broke out. They discovered the Hellenistic and Roman sections of the city, including the "Lion Gate" and "Scaean Gate."

Foreign archaeological expeditions were prohibited once the communist dictatorship of Enver Hoxha took over Albania in 1944. Albanian archaeologists such as Hasan Ceka carried on the job.

In 1959, Nikita Khrushchev toured the remains and urged that Hoxha transform the location into a submarine base. In the '70s, the Albanian Institute of Archaeology launched larger-scale excavations.

Since 1993, the Butrint Foundation has launched further important excavations in partnership with the Albanian Institute of Archaeology. Latest excavations in the city's western defenses have discovered signs of continuous usage of the walls, hinting that life in the town continues.

Following the fall of the communist dictatorship in 1992, the new democratic administration planned a number of big initiatives on the site. Butrint's national park ruins were included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

UNESCO listed it as a World Heritage in Danger due to theft, a lack of protection, management, and conservation. During 1994–1996, archaeologists discovered further Roman villas and an early cultural Christian church.

Facts For Tourists

Since antiquity, many ethnic groups have already inhabited the Balkan Peninsula, and it is rich in ancient structures and ruins. Butrint, Albania, is the largest archaeological park not only in the nation but also in the Balkans, with a total area of 200 ha (494 acres).

Butrint is near the seashore. Butrint should be on every traveler's Albanian itinerary because it is unquestionably one of several highlights of the Land of the Eagles. The archaeological site is conveniently positioned near some of the most magnificent beaches along the Ionian Sea, including Ksamil and the beaches of Saranda.

Butrint is near the Greek border. Butrint is relatively near to Greece, about 40 minutes away by automobile.

So, if you have additional time and want to visit a few spots in northern Greece, crossing the border and spending a day or two in Epirus is an excellent alternative. Butrint is also situated in front of the Greek island of Corfu, which can be reached by boat from Saranda.

Butrint was already inhabited since prehistoric times and has served as a Greek colony, a Roman colony, and a bishopric. It prospered under Byzantine governance, was captured by the Venetians, and was abandoned in the late Middle Ages because wetlands grew in the region.

Because many nations have left their imprint on the area, it has become a microcosm of Mediterranean culture.

Butrint is more than simply a significant and fascinating archaeological site filled with ancient ruins and treasures. Butrint is also a nature lover's heaven due to its stunning setting, buried in the center of a forest surrounded by trees, flowers, and the Vivari Canal.

Butrint provides painful perspectives. From the summit of Butrint's hill, where the old town's acropolis originally stood, visitors may enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. Panoramas over the ancient ruins, Vivari Canal, and Strait of Corfu are some of the most spectacular vistas in Albania that every tourist should experience.


What is Butrint known for?

Butrint is most well-known for its archaeological remains of an ancient city. The site features the ruins of a number of different buildings, including an amphitheater, a theatre, temples, and public baths.

Who built Butrint?

The ancient Greeks founded Butrint in the seventh century.

What was the Butrint Theatre used for?

The Butrint Theatre was used for a variety of purposes, including plays, concerts, and religious ceremonies. It could accommodate up to 3000 spectators.

Who was DEA of Butrint?

DEA Butrint was a Roman goddess who was worshipped at Butrint. She was the goddess of healing and fertility.

When was Butrint founded?

Butrint was founded in the seventh century by the Greeks.

How old is Butrint Imeri?

Butrint Imeri is a Butrint archaeological site that is around 2000 years old.

What is Butrint national park?

Butrint National Park is a national park in Albania that was established to protect Butrint's archaeological remains.

What city is Butrint in?

Butrint is located in modern Albania.

How much does it cost to go to Butrint?

The entrance fee for Butrint is 500 lek (around $5).

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You





See All

Written by Sakshi Thakur

Bachelor of Science

Sakshi Thakur picture

Sakshi ThakurBachelor of Science

Sakshi is a skilled content writer with extensive experience in the education industry. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for helping others, she has developed a reputation for excellence in academic content writing. She has worked with esteemed professionals such as Mr. Kapil Raj, a professor of History of Science at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, further enhancing her knowledge and expertise. Sakshi is well-versed in the latest developments in e-learning and has a deep understanding of how to engage students and make learning fun and accessible. In her spare time, she indulges in her creative passions, including painting, embroidery, and listening to soft music. She also enjoys exploring new cultures and traveling, which helps her broaden her perspectives and inspire her writing. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Science from Panjab University.

Read full bio >
Fact-checked by Pratiti Nath

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology, Masters of Science specializing in Biotechnology

Pratiti Nath picture

Pratiti NathBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology, Masters of Science specializing in Biotechnology

A Master's in Biotechnology from Presidency University and a Bachelor's in Microbiology from Calcutta University. Pratiti holds expertise in writing science and healthcare articles, and their inputs and feedback help writers create insightful content. They have interests in heritage, history, and climate change issues and have written articles for various websites across multiple subjects. Their experience also includes working with eco-friendly startups and climate-related NGOs.

Read full bio >