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ALBANIA - The littoral resort DURRËS (I)

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   DURRËS - historically known as EPIDAMNOS and DYRRACHIUM, is the second most populous city in the REPUBLIC of ALBANIA. The city is the capital of the surrounding DURRËS County, one of 12 constituent counties of the country.
  Founded on the coast of the ILLYRIAN TAULANTII by GREEK colonists from CORINTH and CORFU under the name of EPIDAMNOS around the 7th century BC, the city essentially developed to become significant as it became an integral part of the ROMAN EMPIRE and its successor the BYZANTINE EMPIRE.
   Following the Albanian Declaration of Independence, the city served as the capital of the Principality of ALBANIA for a short period of time. Subsequently, it was annexed by the Kingdom of Italy and Nazi Germany in the interwar period. Moreover, the city experienced a strong expansion in its demography and economic activity during the Communism in ALBANIA.
   DURRËS is served by the Port of DURRËS, one of the largest on the ADRIATIC SEA, which connects the city to ITALY and other neighbouring countries. Its most considerable attraction is the Amphitheatre of DURRËS that is included on the tentative list of ALBANIA for designation as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Once having a capacity for 20,000 people, it is the largest amphitheatre in the BALKAN PENINSULA.
  Christianity in ALBANIA has a presence dating back to classical antiquity. Christian traditions relate that the archbishopric of DURRËS was founded by the apostle PAUL while preaching in ILLYRIA and EPIRUS and that there were possibly about seventy Christian families in DURRËS as early as the time of the Apostles.
   Since the 2000s and especially since the beginning of the 2010s, the city of DURRËS has become one of the biggest tourist destinations in ALBANIA for its varied historical, gastronomic and beach offer (i.s.).


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