Exploring Tourism in Albania
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Byllis, Albania

Byllis,the ancient city is located close to the village of Hekal in the region of Mallakastra (part of Fier district). Established in the 3rd century B.C once flourished as a political, economic and cultural center in the region. It has a Homeric origin, because according to the mythology it was created by the Noe Ptolemius (the son of Achilles). Being governed by a body of civil servants, the introduction of a bronze currency system and a reputation for having skilled artisans were the hallmarks of this powerful society. The surrounding wall of Byllis is very well preserved, measuring 2,250 m long, 3.5 m wide and 8 - 9 m high. It surrounds an area of 30 hectares and has a triangular shape. The theater built in the middle of the 3rd century BCE is located in the southeast corner of the agora.

The theater exhibits several unique features including a sculpture display area. It was an immense construction with the ability to accommodate an estimated 7,500 spectators. Interestingly, historians believe that the design of the individual steps would allow for standing room only. The adjacent stoa, measuring 60m x 11.4m, remains partially preserved. The basilica located on the site measures an impressive 33m x 22.8m. Inside are many beautiful examples of mosaics depicting a variety of subjects. In the south of the basilica lie the remains of a school, which date back to the 3rd century BCE. This area features a series of alcoves and the rectangular footprint of the original building. The cathedral is perhaps the most impressive area within Byllis. It consists of the basilica, the baptistery and the diocese complex. The cathedral underwent several reconstructions, first in 470 CE and again in 547 CE. After each reconstruction, the cathedral increased in size. The basilica of the cathedral exhibits a much more elaborate configuration than the other basilica in Byllis. The threshold leading to the entryway is made with an extensive mosaic. Notably, it is the largest mosaic discovered in Albania to date. It displays diverse motifs and scenes reflecting the daily life of shepherds, anglers and others. The walls of this cathedral had beautiful frescoes at the time, and several depicting geometrical shapes still remain.

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