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                                           Guide in Butrint

The Museum.

The Museum was reopened in 2005 after being refurbished. It is located within the reconstructed castle on the hill top. Entrance to the museum is included in the entrance fee to the archeological site as a whole. It is open from 09.00 until 16.00.A plaque inside told it was prohibited to take photos, with or without flash.

Festival.

An international festival of theatre is held every year on top of the hill. From the beginning in 2000 it was held in September but now it's in July instead.I post a link to the homepage here. The Triangular Fortress. The Triangular Fortress which can be seen on the other side of the Vivari strait, was built between 1490 and 1540 by the Venetians, while the towers were added later.To get there one can take a small cable ferry. The Lion Gate got its name from the relief above the entrance. The relief shows a lion eating from a bull. However, it was not part of the original wall, only was placed here in the 5th century AD, in order to reduce the size of the gate and make it easier to defend. The relief itself comes from a temple building and may date from as early as the 6th century B.O.T.

The Basilica.

Following the pathway you will soon reach the basilica. It was built at the same time as the baptistery, in the second quarter of the 6th century, but it has been rebuilt a few times. There is a mosaic floor beneath the present flagstone floor. The mosaic was probably laid by the same craftsman as in the baptistery since they are similar in style. The basilica was not the only church within the premises, there have been found eight other this far.

The Baptistery.

After leaving the theatre you will in a few minutes reach the famous baptistery. It is the second largest one in the territory of the former Eastern Roman Empire after Haghia Sofia in Istanbul (which was built as a church and later converted into a mosque). The extraordinary mosaic floor has been dated to the second quarter of the 6th century. It is the most complete and also most complex mosaic of all surviving baptisteries of the period. It is nowadays covered by a layer of sand and gravel to protect it. Hopefully there can be money risen to build a more visitor-friendly kind of shelter. I have seen photos of the mosaic and I can just say they are stunning in colour and composition. What a craftmanship!

The Theatre.

The theatre was discovered only in the late 1920s by the Italian archeologist Luigi Maria Ugolini. The first theatre was built in the Greek style and is thought to have been used by worshippers and priests of the sanctuary for religious ceremonies and public discussions. It was quite small but was soon extended. Seating was organised following a hierarchy, with the seats closest to the stage reserved for the most prominent citisens. In the 2nd century the theatre was rebuilt and enlarged in the Roman style with a stage. It was the centrepiece of the town. It is estimated to have had the capacity of 2.500 people. On the surrounding walls are numerous inscriptions that record the freeing of slaves in honour of the god, Asclepius. They are dated to around 230 B.O.T and spann over 60 years.

Lake Butrint

Lies in the south of Albania between Sarande and Butrint Archaeological site,it is in fact a Lagoon.It overlooks the Ionian sea and is quite large in size.The locals catch many muscels here and they are sent to Sarande and other nearby towns for the restuarants,they are a dark yellow colour and very tasty. Directions: 15 minutes north of Butrint archaeological site

The sanctuary of Asclepius.

The sanctuary of Asclepius sits on a terrace close to the theatre. It was built in the 4th century B.O.T. Asclepius was the most important of the healing gods of antiquity. His father was Apollo and mother was a human woman. Asclepius himself was married to Hygieia, who has given us the word "hygiene". He was so skilled at his art of healing that he soon was regarded as a god. The legend has it that he in fact became so skilled that he was able to bring the dead back to life. That angered Zeus so much that he killed Asclepius. The main attribute of Asclepius was a staff with a snake coiled around it, the same symbol which is still used for pharmacies in many countries, including Sweden. This symbol also appears on many of the earliest coins minted at Butrint. The largest sanctuary to Asclepius was at Epidaurus, but sanctuaries have been found also in Athens, Corinth abd in Rome. They were most often situated outside or on the outskirts of cities, often close to rivers or the sea. This location not only provided isolation for infectious diseases but also a quiet and peaceful environment to assist the healing process. The essential part of the healing rite was the sleep in which the god would appear in a dream, and suggest cures or remedies.

                                                  Tour Sarande - Ksamil - Butrint

In Saranda, you maay find the entertainment and the vitality of a Monte- Karlo , but an Albanian one.In Butrinti you may find the monumental antiquity, in Ksamil, three green mini islands, side by side one another, very close to the shore ofa deep blue sea, with mini beaches in each of them. No wonder this triangle has cought the attention of some of the most prestigious international media, such as " The Guardian" , "The Telegraph" , "Lonely Planet" , etc

Once you arrive in Ksamil, Its likely you have alsogone in Butrint , so close to each other those are.And once you left a natureparadise, there you find closer the echoes of the human areas.Anational archaeological park a Butrinti, with an area of 15ha, located in 30-50 meters altitude, Butrinti is estimated as part of the mankind heritage.It is protected by UNESCO since 1992 .Beside the ancient Roman theatre of VII every summer for the International Festival of Butrinti, there are also typical Mediterranean Butrinti lagoons,with salty and sweaty waters,with a surface of 1600 hectare.The area is filled with vegetation, trees such as laurel, prralli, ilex ilqe, fishekarthi, kullastra, mimosa or aquatic birds,migratory ones. It is interesting also the fact fact the presence of Careta Careta Turtle, according to Virgil words.