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The ancient city of Apollonia has become such a popular spot for wedding pictures that couples seeking to immortalise their love among its ruins outnumber tourists during the tourist season.
|Bride posing in the Odeon theater | Photo by : Besar Likmeta|
“We are lucky to have these weddings in August,” says local bar owner who declined to give her name. “We definitely get more couples than tourists during this month,” she added.
On Friday afternoon dozens of brides and grooms took turns to pose for photographers and cameramen.
Despite the thermometer showing mid-thirties, the couples braved the summer heat and took turns to snap pictures in the Monument of Agonothetes, the Odeon and the sixteenth century church of Saint Mary.
Located in the village of Pojan, 12-kilometers from the city of Fier on the bank of the Vjosa River, Apollonia was one of the most important Greek colonies in ancient Illyria.
The city was founded in 588 BC by Greek colonists from Corfu and Corinth, on a site initially occupied by Illyrian tribes.
Apollonia flourished in the Roman period and was home to a renowned school of philosophy, but began to decline in the 3rd century AD when its harbour started silting up as a result of an earthquake.
The Albanian archaeologists often compare Apollonia with the Roman city of Pompeii because only ten per cent of the site has been excavated.
Apart from Apollonia, Albania has eight archaeological parks including Butrint, Shkoder, Lezhe, Bylis, Amantia, Orikum, Antigone and Finiq. According to the Ministry of Culture in 2011 the parks registered nearly 373,000 visitors.
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