Ruins of Antigonea

Area, Historic Site and Ruins in Gjirokastër

Antigonea House With Peristyle Albania
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Albinfo

The ruins of Antigonea are located only 14 km to the east of Gjirokastër, near the village of Saraqinishtë in the Drino valley. The ruins of this city offer one the best archaeological sites in south Albania.

King Pyrrhus of Epirus (319-272 BC) was the king of the Molossians, one of the three main tribes of Epirus. Pyrrhic victory is named after the King, whose army suffered irreplaceable casualties in defeating the Romans during the Pyrrhic War (280–275 BC). In the 3rd-century BC Pyrrhus was fighting in Egypt and impressed the wife of King Ptolemy of Egypt, who decided to offer him her daughter, Antigone in marriage. His abilities In token of his gratitude to his mother-in-law and his first wife, Pyrrhus decided build and dedicate the city to her.

Unfortunately his descendants choose the wrong side of Third Macedonian War (171-168BC) and the Roman Consul Aemilius Paullus looted and set fire to Antigoneia and the town never recovered.

The ruins have impressive are the city walls, although demolished by the Romans they still encircle the hill with a visible gate at the south-western side. The walls stop at a small early Christian church of triconch which was built after the city was ransacked by the Romans in 500 AD. The church has an good example of a mosaic floor which has been excavated. In the center of the site an entire street has been exposed.

Some of the archaeological finds from here are exhibited in Tirana, including a bronze sphinx and a statue of Poseidon.

The Ruins of Antigonea appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Gjirokastër!

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Visiting Ruins of Antigonea


Weekdays 8:00 – 16.00

Weekends 9:00 -15.00


300 lek

Address: Gjirokastër - Parku Arkeologjik i Antigonesë
Duration: 3 hours

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