Berat, Albania Makes UNESCO List

  • 16 years ago
  • Uncategorized
The central Albanian town of Berat was recently added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list as an example of the co-existence of religions and cultures. The town joins Gjirokaster to its south as UNESCO sites in the central part of this country. Both of these towns are full of Balkan architecture and culture and have been around for thousands of years.
 
The origins of the town of Berat date back the third century BC and it often claims to be over 2400 years old, but much of the town was originally constructed in the 13th century. The city has been a part of many empires and cultures and has a diverse past that visitors can explore walking along its narrow streets. The Kala area is well known and is considered the oldest part of the city, and is within the walls of the old citadel. When this space became too small, the town expanded onto the hillsides along the Osum River beginning in the 13th century.
 
There are numerous Byzantine artifacts and sites throughout the Kala district, and there are also several mosques built during the Ottoman period in the city. The town is home to the National Museum Center and was declared a museum city in 1961. This declaration helped to preserve many of the old structures and keep it well kept up.
 
Berat has some 47,000 residents and is approximately 160 kilometers south of Tirana. It is located in the central part of the country along one of the main north south roads and it makes a perfect stop on the way to Gjirokaster. This is the home of the famous Albanian novelist Ismail Kadare and former dictator Enver Hoxha. Berat adds to the unique culture and beauty of this small and charming country.
 
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