Sofratika     more than a year ago
Eleven kilometres south of Gjirokastra, a gravel road branching off through a tunnel under the main road in Sofratika village leads to the intriguing ruins of Hadrianopolis or Adrianopoli, built around 200 CE under Roman emperor Adrian along the trade route from Apollonia to Nikopolis. Replacing the destroyed city of Antigonea further up the valley as a capital for the region, it was inhabited for hundreds of years and consequently lost for over a millennium, until a 1970s landslide revealed carved stones. Archaeologists uncovered the wonderful amphitheatre, measuring 60 metres across and built in typical Roman style with a stage and hundreds of seats, backed by massive supporting walls. Further excavations uncovered the 300 by 400 metre extent of the city walls, and another large building that's thought to be a bath complex. Easily reached but usually tranquil and set in a lovely landscape, the site is unprotected and free to enter, and there's a good chance you'll have these evocative ruins all to yourself - perhaps just with a few goats as curious onlookers.


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