FIERI – ALBANIA
The district of Fieri is located in the Western lowland of Albania and its cities, winding up in Fier, Patos and Roskovec. Its city is known for its hard working and vital people, and the peaceful co-existence of diversified origins and religions. A great experience for cultural tourism are the traditions, customs, celebration days, ceremonies, folk dresses, songs and dances from Fier.
Fieri is one of the largest urban cities in Albania, it has a very rich heritage, including the remains of old cities, such as Apollonia, that belongs to Fier, but also Bylis and Ardenica on the borders of Fier. Fieri is an important point of cultural tourism due to the archaeological park of Apollonia. Apart from this, Fier is visited each year by many tourists.
ACCOMMODATION IN FIERI IN ALBANIA
ACTIVITIES IN FIERI OF ALBANIA
SIGHTSEEING IN FIERI OF ALBANIA
The site of Apollonia: Apollonia was an ancient city in Illyria, located on the right bank of the Aous River (the modern-day Vjosë River). Its ruins are situated in the Fier region, near the village of Pojani. Apollonia was founded in 588 BC by Greek colonists from Corfu and Corinth, on a site initially occupied by Illyrian tribes. Apollonia flourished during the period of Roman rule in the area and was home to a renowned school of philosophy. The city began to decline in the 3rd century BC when its harbor began silting up as a result of an earthquake. Cicero, the famed Roman Orator, was captivated by the beauty of Apollonia and in his Philippics, referred to it as “magna urbs et gravis,” or “great and important city.” Archaeological excavations have shown that Apollonia achieved its zenith around the 4th-3rd centuries BC. Sources depict a flourishing culture, with a busy harbor along this active trading route. Apollonia, like Dyrrachium further north, was an important port on the Illyrian coast as the most convenient link between Brundusium and northern Greece, and as one of the western starting points of the Via Egnatia leading east to Thessaloniki and Byzantium in Thrace. It had its own mint, stamping coins that have been found as far away as the basin of the Danube. The city has a 4 km long wall encircling an area of 137 hectares. It has been estimated that during the peak of civilization in Apollonia as many as 70,000 inhabitants lived inside the city gates. Among the most interesting sights are the city council building with its surviving facade, the library, the triumphal arch, and the temple of Artemis. Also noteworthy are the Odeon, which dates from the 2nd century BC and once accommodated approximately 10,000 spectators, and the two-story, 77 meter long covered walkway, or “stoa.” An earthquake in the 3rd century CE altered the path of the Vjosë River and caused severe infrastructure damage. The harbor eventually filled with silt, effectively ending trade. The once proud city declined until it was nearly uninhabited. It was “rediscovered” in the 1700’s, and archaeological efforts have continued intermittently throughout the 20th century. Today the site can easily be accessed from the nearby city of Fier and offers both unique views of the Adriatic coastline as well as an extensive collection of historical and archaeological items of interest.
Hours Open: 9:00 – 17:00 for winter season and 09:00 – 20:00 for summer season
Seasons Open: Year-round
Visitor Fees: 300 lek
The best ruins are accessible on foot along marked and maintained trails. Visitors should be prepared to walk and have plenty of water during warmer months.
THE HISTORY OF FIERI – ALBANIA
The history of Fier is bound up with that of the oil, gas and bitumen deposits nearby. The presence of asphalt and burning escapes of natural gas in the vicinity was recorded as early as the 1st century AD. Dioscorides, in Materia Medica, describes lumps of bitumen in the adjacent river Seman, and the concentrated pitch on the banks of the Vjosë river Strabo, writing in about AD 17 states:
On the territory of the people of Apolonia in Illlyria there is what is called a nymphaeum. It is a rock which emits fire. Below it are springs flowing with hot water and asphalt… the asphalt is dug out of a neighboring hill: the parts excavated are replaced by fresh earth, which in time is converted to asphalt.
The name comes from Albanian meaning fern. A hypothesis is that the name of the city comes probably from the Italian word fiera, meaning trade fair in English, because in the 14th and 15th century the location was used by the Venetian traders as a marketplace to purchase agricultural products from the Myzeqe lowlands. The settlement took city status in 1864 when Kahreman Pasha Vrioni, the local governor, asked from some French architects to project a future city as an artisan and trade center. During the 1864–1865 period a market for 122 merchants was built along the Gjanica river. The first inhabitants of the city were the servants of Kahreman Pasha Vrioni and members of Vlach families that had lived in the area since the early 19th century period.
USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT FIER – ALBANIA
Fieri is one of the largest urban cities in Albania, it has a very rich heritage, including the remains of old cities, such as Apollonia, that belongs to Fier, but also Byllis and Ardenica on the borders of Fier. Fieri is an important point of cultural tourism due to the archaeological park of Apollonia. Apart from this, Fier is visited each year by many tourists.
UNIQUE CULTURE OF ALBANIA
The Albanian culture is an exotic blend of traditions that have evolved over thousands of years. From the ancient Illyrians and Greeks to the Romans and the Ottomans, the language, music, arts, and cuisine of the Albanian people are a rich and vibrant mix of many civilizations. Once you discover our culture, you are bound to fall in love with this new destination on the Mediterranean.
Hospitality is in our nature. Welcoming guests and ensuring their comfort is a hallmark of Albanian heritage and is epitomized by our very own Nobel Peace Prize recipient: Mother Teresa. The spirit of cooperation and friendship thrives in Albania, and it is not uncommon for guests to be invited to eat and drink with curious locals wishing to learn more about you.
Besa is a concept related to the Albanian code of honor and is an idea that is very important to the Albanian people. In the Kanun (a set of traditional Albanian laws), Besa is described as the highest authority, so essential to personal and familial standing as to be virtually a cult. Besa has been the subject of some stories and novels by Albania’s foremost modern novelist, Ismail Kadare, a Nobel Prize Candidate for Literature and winner of several international prizes. Kadare’s work has been published in over forty countries and translated into more than thirty languages, making Kadare the best ambassador of Albanian literature worldwide.
If we are speaking about the food and drinks of Albania, then we must mention the country’s deliciously-unique cuisine. It has many similarities to Turkish and Greek dishes, but offers a healthier, Mediterranean twist. Come try our wide variety of phyllo dough delicacies, including a melt-in-your-mouth sensation called byrek, or the original sweet treat known regionally as baklava.
Albania also has a long tradition of wine craftsmanship, which is lately being revived to its former glory. While you’re here, taste a sampling of our wine, produced from a rich soil that has been under cultivation since the ancient Greeks and Romans. Regardless of your culinary inclinations, we guarantee that our rich history and culinary traditions have created a menu of mouth-watering specialties for you to try.
Each region of Albania likes to specialize in its own brand of music, thus giving the music aficionado an incentive to explore the entire country in search of each community’s sense of style. For example, UNESCO has classified a type of music from southern Albania, known as Iso Polyphony, to have tremendous cultural value to humankind. Our music has even given rise to a few prominent artists of global acclaim, including opera lyric soprano, Inva Mula, and the distinguished violinist, Tedi Papavrami.
In regards to style, when you arrive in Albania, you will notice that the men take great pride in their appearance and will often don a suit and tie when in public. Even if their errands only involve a short trip to the grocery store, the men will dress to impress.
Depending upon the type of festival or time of year, you might even catch a glimpse of Albanian men in traditional folk attire. The National Folk Festival held in Gjirokastra is a prime example. This special autumn event is held once every four years and attracts artists from around the world.
The women of Albania also share a flair for style, especially at traditional Albanian weddings. At these events, the families of both the bride and groom will gather together in their finest dress and celebrate with great fervor. Weddings are often the ideal opportunity to witness the best of Albanian culture all in one event, and if you’re invited to one, the experience will undoubtedly be extraordinary.
Albanian culture is unique in many ways and we hope you’ll visit us to see it firsthand. We say ‘yes’ by shaking our head from side to side, both men and women greet each other with a kiss on either cheek, and our conversations are loud and passionate in an effort to entice others to join in. Visit Albania and discover why our culture is a new Mediterranean love.
MAP OF ALBANIA
PHOTO GALLERY OF FIERI
MAP OF FIERI