Albania: Ancient Butrint

The archaeological site of Butrint on a peninsula in the very south of Albania preserves the remains of an ancient city that existed here through many civilizations – Greek, Roman, Byzantine. The city was abandoned around the 15th century, perhaps due to its location in the marshy lowlands and a malaria epidemic potentially wiping out its inhabitants. To be honest, the ruins are not very impressive, despite Butrint being one of the greatest ancient cities in the Mediterranean. Perhaps the fact that only about 15% of the archaeological remains have been properly uncovered accounts for this. There are ruins of Roman theater and mosaics, Greek agora and columns, and Byzantine tower, fortress and basilica all co-existing together in various state of ruin. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.