Butrint – an UNESCO World Heritage site. Over the centuries, the ancient town had disappeared under layers of silt and vegetation. In recent years, however, archaeologists have uncovered some of the finest working town remains in the Mediterranean
At the edge of the lake is the ancient city of Vouthrota. The Venetian Tower near the entrance, the ancient theatre, the Temple of Asclepius, the ancient gymnasium, the Roman Baths, the Roman Baptistery with its priceless mosaic floor, the Lion gate and the enormous Cyclopean walls will transport you back in time from 2,500 years till the 3rd century A.D. At the top of the hill stands the Venetian Castle, offering breath-taking, panoramic views of the ancient city, the lake and the vast plains below.
According to one of the many legends of those cities in the 12th century B.C. Helenus, son of King Priamus of Troy after the fall of his patria sailed west to establish a new settlement. On his journey he landed in the island of Corfu and decided to sacrifise a bull to the Olympian God Apollo who was one of the six God protecters of Troy. During the ceremony of the sacrifising the bull escaped from the knife of Helenus half wounded, swam across the Ionian Sea, landed in mainland Epirus and died by hemorrhage (sever bleeding). Helenus who followed the bull by his ship and landed also in the mainland Epirus took this as an auspicious sign of Apollo and built there a miniature town of Troy, giving to it the name Voutrotos, that means in the ancient Greek language “the wounded bull”. Vous=bull. throtos = vulnerable. According to Mr. Neritan Ceca ,Voutrotos (Butrint) was a flourishing city with a harbor, a Theatre, and a sanctuary dedicated to the God of health Asclepius. By the time of Alexander the Great two centuries later the Romans made it a supply base for their Balkan campaigns. In the year 49-48 B.C. it was serving as a base for Caesar’s army, tied up in fighting against Pompeius army in Apollonia and Dyrrachium. (In formations from Mr. Neritan Ceca’s books, son of Hasan Ceca who was “the father of Albanian archeology”. A unique harmony of four civilizations of four ancient cities of the Hellenistic period, the Roman period, the Byzantine period and the Venetian period built one above the other and next to the other in the still undiscovered country of the “eagle” or in origin Shqiperje.