22.11.2011 - UNESCO Office in Venice

Mapguide of Apollonia Archaeological Park in Albania

©UNESCO/L. Bohatka-Bouleuterion at Apollonia Archaeological Park

In order to represent the excavations and remnants of the ancient Apollonia, to promote and assess the Albania’s archaeological heritage, and to make the archaeological park more accessible to the broader public, a mapguide of Apollonia Archaeological Park was specifically designed and published in 3 languages, in English, French and Albanian.

It provides historical information, a site description, information about the management of the park, range of points of interest that may attract visitors’ attention, and some practical answers such as how to get there, opening hours, entrance fee and services. The mapguide was published as part of the activities under the MDG-F Joint Programme “Culture and Heritage for Social and Economic Development” that aims to boost Albanian social and economic development through its rich culture and heritage, to strengthen the country’s national identity, and to position it positively in the world.

Albania is a country of rich cultural-historic heritage, home to many archaeological sites from various periods - Greek, Roman, Venetian, Albanian, etc. Apollonia Archaeological Park is one of Albania’s sites with a significant value; the ancient Illyrian city was the biggest and most important one amongst 30 cities in the whole ancient world which were named in honor of the God Apollo, originally founded in the territories of Illyrians Taulantis about 620 BC. The monuments of this city have 1000 years of history. These monuments are scattered around the park, making Apollonia the largest archaeological park in Albania. For this reason, it is difficult to visit the park without a mapguide.

Visitors from all over the world will have the opportunity to discover the ancient town, to make day trips to the archaeological park, to explore its natural environment, and thereby to generate positive word-of-mouth. “The publication of the mapguide for the Apollonia Archaeological Park”, says Marin Haxhimihali, Director of the Apollonia Archaeological Park, “is a great support to the park staff’s daily efforts to best manage the increasing number of visitors. Published on the eve of the 5th anniversary of the constitution of the archaeological park, it had become a big necessity bearing the record number of visitors to Apollonia. The mapguide, in 3 languages, is a very useful tool which considerably facilitates the visitor’s orientation in the park and makes up for the incomplete signage system. We wish that we keep up the effective cooperation with UNESCO Venice Office to benefit Apollonia archaeological park and cultural tourism in the future”.

The mapguide describes in detail the Archaeological Park of ancient Apollonia. It commences with a brief history about the establishment of the city of Apollonia, its location, and interesting monuments that are worth to be visited, then follows a site description of the archaeological park (the ancient city, the medieval monastery, two ancient necropolises, and two ancient temples), followed by a concise explanation of the management of the archaeological park, before moving on to the section designated to depict the museum and the medieval monastery (including the Church of the Virgin Mary), before reaching the sector with 24 detailed points of interest. A numbered map of the park with photos will help guide visitors to the mentioned points of interest. How to reach Apollonia Archaeological Park, the opening hours, the entrance fee and other services are also described in the mapguide.

The mapguide is part of a series of mapguides that intends to promote the park system.  It currently includes the archaeological parks of Apollonia and Antigonea, and the World Heritage cities of Gjirokastra and Berat.  

The MDG-F Joint Programme on ”Culture and Heritage for Social and Economic Development” is financed by the Spanish Fund for the Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and is being implemented by the Albanian Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports and the Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with UNDP and UNESCO . 

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