Lengyel Toulouse Architects

The amphitheatre of Dyrrachium

Atd 00

Caption from the film "The Amphitheatre of Dyrrachium". The film was made on the basis of the scientific project "Visualisation of the construction and development principle of the amphitheatre of Durrës in Albania", funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation for Historical Humanities.

„It is the largest and most important amphitheatre in the Balkans, built in the early 1st century, with remarkable architectural, functional and constructive values, the only one of its kind discovered in Albania...The amphitheatre is located in the centre of the city, the western cavea is on the slope of the hill and the opposite part rises on a flat terrain. The amphitheatre is elliptical in shape and 136 m in diameter. The height of the cavea is 20 m starting from the base. The spectator tiers had a capacity of 15,000 to 20,000 spectators...The cavea of the amphitheatre was supported by a system of stone vaults surrounding the entire structure. The size and technical design of this amphitheatre testify to a period of prosperity for the city of Durrës in the first centuries of our era. After the 4th century, when the amphitheatre of Durrës was subjected to social and economic changes, it ceased to function as such. In one of its galleries, a Byzantine chapel was built in the 10th century, its walls decorated with mosaics depicting various figures.“ (source: UNESCO)