Apollonia lies on a hill 524m high,overlooking the Vjosa river - the archaeological site covers an area of 30ha and visitors can walk around a variety of impressive monuments.


From them, the most impressive is the Cathedral, whose foundations were laid down in the fourth century. The original structure was expanded in the fifth century, when an atrium and galleries were added. An Episcopal complex was supplemented to the cathedral under the rule of Justinian, between 482 and 565, as Eastern Roman Emperor.


Byllis is a typical example of a city built on a plateau without an acropolis hill. By building Byllis, the koinon designed it not only to create a safe foritfication, but also to provide a normal life for residents.There were three main areas within the city walls. The first was in the center of the southern side, the highest and most picturesque, which was used for public spaces called agora. The whole southeastern part of the city was reserved for housing residents and their properties. The third part, which comprised about two-thirds of the surface of the city, constituted inhabited area. The construction of the town lasted about a century. Around mid 3rd century BC Byllis had his definitve urban system, hypodamic, which means that the surface was split up in a quadratic network of roads. The main axes were four roads with a width of 8.30m , in a north - south direction, 134m separated from each other and forming the so called plateia. They were interrupted every 69m by a 6.60m width transverse street, creating the squared insula, parcels for houses. Between two rows of houses passed a small alley, often escalating to evacuate water. The agora , which had an area equal to three insula ( about 4 ha ) has the shape of a regular rectangle. Monuments were located on two planes with different height, which were connected by stairs to the theater and the stadium. The agora was separated from the inhabited parts of the city by a decorative wall at the north and by the wall of the great stoa. Two monumental entrances allowed the access of citizens from this side, while at the southern part, people from other villages could enter through gate 5 because the agora belonged to all citizens of the koinon.


During the Roman period some restructurations took place, the theater was rebuilt and the agora became the forum. Till the first destruction of the city in the last quarter of the 4th century, no major changes were made. The city was rebuilt almost throughout its total surface, but with a different urban concept, the orthogonal system was abandoned and residences were grouped grouped around the basilica. For the construction of the new wall by Viktorinos, blocks of stone from the ancient buildings were used , destroying almost all the monuments of the agora.


The inscription of Mark Lolian


The largest Latin inscription from Albania , cut in the rock near Byllis, describes a road construction. Known since the nineteenth century, the inscription features a detailed list of works commanded by the benefactor by whom it was dedicated and has provoked frequent discussion. Benefactors rarely cared for expensive but unprestigious road construction. They only did so at highly frequented places that were difficult to traverse. The place of installation, layout, configuration of the text, and diction of the inscription were selected for maximum effect.

In Byllis, from gate 5, a way along the hill site leads to the village Klos where are the ruins of a another city, perhaps Nikaia. The road passes down the steep rocks where there is the inscription in Latin.The rock has been flattened in the form of a tabula with a size of 2:03m x 3:05 m. The inscription is written in uneven lines, who become very reduced at the end. The inscription has been engraved in the name of a Roman citizen of Byllis Marcus Lolian, who had served in the Roman army. He declares that at his own expense he had built a road for charriots which led from the colony to Astacia, passing through difficult places, and a bridge to overcome the river Argias.


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