It is one of the most prominent national treasures and one of the most archeological sites of Albania, which is known for its thousand years of history, numerous monuments, and the unmatched natural beauties.
Apollonia is located in a dominant position above the plain of Small Myzeqe, about 104 m above the sea.
Apollonia’s archeological park is not famous only for its impressive history, but also for its stunning natural landscapes, in particular magic sunsets, where the eye catches the entire Adriatic coast and almost inflamed Myzeqe fields.
The ancient city of Apollonia has located 12 km in the west of the city of Fier, in the village of Pojan, near the Adriatic Sea, originated in 588 BC and was created by a colony of Corcoran (Corfu). It has a considerable surface of 140 ha inside the surrounding walls. It was located in the Illyrian tribe of Taulants, and it was inhabited until the arrival and the establishment of Hellenistic settlers, with their coexistence, brought rise to the city of Apollonia.
After Dyrrah, Apollonia was the most important city in the Adriatic Basin and the most famous among the other 30 cities bearing the same name.
It rose over a hill, with a dominant position which includes all the western Myzeqe of Fier and through the Vjosa valley which once passed close to it, connected with the Adriatic Sea. The construction materials of the city are brought from the Karaburun Peninsula, located in the South of Vlora and passed through the sea.
The city was named after the GOD called Apollon. Among 24 cities throughout the Mediterranean world that bore this name in Antiquity, Illyrian Apollonia was the most important and played a major role as a trading and logistical intermediary between Hellenes and Illyrians.
This was due to the fact that it owned a port that held up to 100 ships and was connected to the Adriatic Sea through the Vjosa River. The cultural development of the city is attributed to the Greek dominance in past centuries. They built schools and universities. It is estimated that the city at its peak had 60,000 inhabitants, which is a high number for the Antiquity!
In the year 229 BC city was under the control of the Republic of Rome. In 168 BC was occupied by the Illyrian king Genci. In 148 BC Apollonia becomes part of the Roman province of Macedonia, and later it was part of the Roman province of Epirus. During the civil war, between Pompeo Magno and Jul Cesarit, Apollonia sustains and helped Jul Qesari.
The first Roman emperor Augustus studied for a period of time in Apollonia in 44 BC, with Maestro Atendoro di Tarso and he was in Apollonia when he learned the news of Cesar’s murder. Marco Tullio Cicerone names the city as “Magna urbs et gravis” which means “The big and the important city”.
The fall of Apollonia began in IIId century when a powerful earthquake changed the course of the Vjosa River by moving it about 12 km in the south.
It was important to emphasize that Christianity has been present in these areas since its beginnings.
It is also verified by the fact that Feliks, Bishop of Apollonia and Bylis participated in the Council of Ephesus, Small Asia, in the year 451, called from Emperor Marciano.
However, the city began to empty even because of the development of the city of Vlora, which was located in the south of it. The local community started to diminish and only a small part of the Christian community remained and around the XIII century, they built Monastery of Saint Mary.
The first person who localized the ancient city of Apollonia was Ciriaco d’Ancona in 1435. In 1916-1918 it was Austrian the ones that did some research. But the one who started the proper excavations was the French archeologist Leon Rey. His excavations started from 1924 until 1938.
Rey brought to light only a small part of what is thought to be the city of Apollonia. He built a house on the top of the hill that dominates the archeological park, which can be still today as a restaurant, but most of Rey’s traces faded. Even today the locals call it “The House of the French”. It is important to note that during the WWII part of the archeological site was damaged. Archeological Park is declared a cultural monument in 1948. Many excavations have been made at the beginning of this year, but it should be stated that the archeological remains of Apollonia are still to be discovered. According to specialists that work there, it is estimated that only 10% of the whole surface of the park is excavated.
A Mediterranean climate or dry summer climate is characterized by dry summers and mild, wet winters. The climate receives its name from the Mediterranean Basin, where this climate type is most common.
Mediterranean climate zones are typically located along the western sides of continents, between roughly 30 and 45 degrees north and south of the equator.
The main cause of Mediterranean, or dry summer climate, is the subtropical ridge which extends northwards during the summer and migrates south during the winter due to increasing north-south temperature differences.
Tirana International Airport Nene Tereza (http://www.tirana-airport.com/);
Vlora International Airport (A government project, promised to start soon.)
Fier (info available only on domestic language): https://hsh.com.al/index.php/cmimi-i-biletave/; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fier_railway_station
Terminali Autobusave Fier, Rruga Shenjt Leonardo Murialdo 7/A (+355 69 380 0882)
The SH4 is a state road that takes you from Durres to Fier.
SH8 is also a state road that will take you from Fier to Vlore.