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One of Albania's oldest cities, the country's main sea port, the second largest industrial center after Tirana. Durres lies on a small peninsula on the coast of the Adriatic sea.
The city was colonized by the Greeks in 627 B.C. It was named Epidamnos, which later became Dyrrachium. From the Venetian Tower at the harbor the Medieval Town Wall leads to the amphitheater (capacity 15,000 spectators) dating back to the 2nd century AD. and containing an early Christian Crypt with a rare wall mosaic.
Between the 1st and 3rd centuries Durres was an important port and trading center on the Via Egnatia trading route between Rome and Byzantium (Istanbul). After a great number of earthquakes, much of ancient Durrës sank into the sea or collapsed and was subsequently built over.
Today the city is well known for the nearby beach resort of Durres Plazh, its wonderful sand and warm sea water.