Red Corner: Historic Albania

When I visited Albania a few months ago, I had to choose between the north of the country where the stunning Alps reigned supreme, or the south where gobs of ancient Greek and Roman ruins lay scattered about.

I chose the north and had a wonderful time. The south still remains a curiosity and hopefully a place to explore in the future.

Rose Dosti, writing for the LA Times, however, headed south and seemed to enjoy it equally as much.

Albania’s Ancient History Surfaces explores a region of Albania where Illyrians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Venetians and Ottomans invaded poor Albania as regular as the tides. This melting pot of cultures left an impressive array of archeological sites and remains. In the town of Durres alone, Dosti comes across a 14th century Venetian rotunda, Roman baths, a 15th century mosque, a 2nd century amphitheater, and more.

This wonderful cache of history is virtually unknown outside of Albania. This is partly due to the fact that an isolationist communist government cut Albania off from the rest of the world from 1944 to 1992. Thankfully, mass protests put an end to this silly system and Albania is once again open for curious archeologists and history buffs.