The magical city of Butrint
Visiting the city of Butrint is sheer magic. Today it is easily accessible from Corfu, but in Greek and Roman times it was a major port along the Adriatic coast, where Aeneas called in on his way to Rome. It was extensively excavated in the 1930s but then Albania became isolated and thus the site escaped modern development.
Since the opening up of Albania, Butrint has become a World Heritage site, development has been kept at bay, and it has become a wonderful site to visit. But what is there to see?
On the slopes of the hillside there are the vivid remains of a Greek town, with a sanctuary of the healing god Asclepius and an accompanying theatre. There are also, surprisingly, the remains of an early Christian basilica and an adjacent palace that has recently been revealed showing the survival of the town into the fifth and sixth centuries.
But where was the Roman colony? The answer came in excavations across the narrow waterway, where the Romans laid out their colony on the flat ground. Here, there is a great Roman town waiting to be discovered, the outlines of which are slowly being revealed by the patient excavators.
Jun 06, 2016 0Listen to John Reid, author of our cover feature Bullets,...