Skip to main content Skip to Search Box

Definition: Durrës from The Macquarie Dictionary

a seaport in western Albania, on the Adriatic; important ancient city.

Italian Durazzo, Durres

Summary Article: Durrës
From The Columbia Encyclopedia

(dōr'Әs), Ital. Durazzo, city (1989 pop. 82,719), capital of Durrës dist., W Albania, on the Adriatic Sea. The chief seaport of Albania and the leading commercial and communications center, it has a dockyard, a shipyard, and industries that manufacture leather, plastic, and tobacco products. It is linked by rail with Tiranë and Elbasan. Durrës is the seat of a Greek Orthodox metropolitan and, since A.D. 449, of a Roman Catholic archbishopric. Founded (c.625 B.C.) as Epidamnus, a joint colony of Corinth and Corcyra, it became an important trade center. The quarrel between Corinth and Corcyra over Epidamnus helped to precipitate (431 B.C.) the Peloponnesian War. Durrës passed to Rome in 229 B.C. and became a military and naval base. Under Roman rule it was known as Dyrrhachium, from which the present name is derived. Pompey made (48 B.C.) a stand there against Caesar. The city passed to the Byzantine empire in the 8th cent., to the Normans of Sicily in 1185, to Naples in 1272, and to Serbia in 1336. Venice captured it in 1392 and held it until 1501 when it passed to the Turks. Under Turkish rule Durrës declined rapidly and almost disappeared. It was occupied (1912) by the Serbs in the First Balkan War, but was assigned to Albania in 1913. Italy (1915) and Austria (1916–18) also occupied the city. Durrës was the capital of Albania from 1913 to 1920 and revived thereafter as the country's chief seaport. It suffered heavy damage during World War II. The city, with its many mosques, has a Middle Eastern character. Three Byzantine towers and medieval fortifications erected by Venice have survived.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2018

Related Articles

Full text Article Durrës (Italian name: Durazzo)
The Macmillan Encyclopedia

41 18N 19 28E A port in W central Albania, on the Adriatic Sea. It was founded by Greeks in the 7th century BC and is now Albania's...

Full text Article Durrës
The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Chief port of Albania, on the Adriatic Sea; population (2003 est) 113,900. It is the country's leading commercial and communications centre, with a d

See more from Credo