Butrint (Albanian: Butrint) is a town and an archaeological site in Albania, near Saranda and the border with Greece. In ancient times was known as Bouthroton in ancient greek and as Buthrotum in Latin. Situated on a hill near the Channel Vivari and inhabited since prehistoric times, Butrint has been for centuries a city of Epirus, a Roman colony and a bishopric.
Butrint National Park is open year-round from 8 am until sunset. The museum is open from 8 am until 4 pm. The average time for a tour of the park is around three hours.
-700 Leke for non-Albanians
-500 Leke for non-Albanians in groups of more than ten persons
-200 Leke for Albanians
Make sure to get the ticket and keep it with him throughout the visit. Guides in English and Albanian are on sale at the ticket office of the park. These include guides to the monuments of Butrint and the trails around, as well as guides to other nearby archaeological sites and hiking in southern Albania. Photographs are permitted, though strictly in the museum without flash. Moreover, there is a regular boat trip on Lake Butrint and towards the castle of Ali Pasha, after the Channel Vivari. Ask for details at the ticket office.
The first modern archaeological excavations in Butrint began in 1928 when Mussolini's fascist government sent an expedition to Butrint. The aims, rather than scientific, had geopolitical reasons, seeking to extend the Italian hegemony in Albania. The expedition was led by an Italian archaeologist, Luigi Maria Ugolini, who did a great job. Ugolini died in 1936, but excavations continued until 1943, when they were stopped by the Second World War. Here were found a Roman city and an Hellenistic city, including the Lion Gate and the Scee gates, so called by Ugolini in memory of the famous gates of Troy, cited in the Iliad of Homer. After the Communist government of Enver Hoxha came up in Albania in 1944, the foreign archaeological missions were banned. The work was pursued by Albanian archaeologists, including Hasan Cheka. In 1959 the ruins were visited by Nikita Khrushchev, who suggested Hoxha to convert the area into a submarine base. In the seventies the Albanian Institute of Archaeology carried out an excavation on large scale. Since 1993, the British team of archaeologists, led by Professor Richard Hodges (University of East Anglia, Penn Museum) took over the archaeological research in the city of Butrint and in the nearby suburb of Vrin. Excavations have unearthed the remains of Triconch Palace, the Capitol area and the forensic area, a tower reused in Late Medieval period as a residence, many urban cemeteries like Junia Rufina, and with many other places. Investigations nearby the plain of Vrin have demonstrated the existence of a Roman colony in Albania which can be dated back to the Augustan age, crossed by a huge aqueduct that supplied the city of Butrint. The whole archaeological project was funded and supported by the Butrint Foundation and the Packard Humanities Institute, in collaboration with the Institute of Archaeology in Tirana. At the excavation of Butrint there were specialists from all over the world and Albanian students in archeology, which was dedicated the Training Program.
Sources: wikipedia.org, butrint.org