Berat is a 2400 year old city located in south central Albania that is the capital of the County of Berat, and the seat of the Municipality of Berat.
Berat is one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities in Albania. The earliest recorded inhabitants of the city, dating back to the the 6th century, were the Greek tribe of the Dassaretae or Dexarioi, the northernmost subgroup of the Chaonians. At that time, the region was known as Dessaretis after them.
Modern Berat occupies the site of Antipatreia, which originally was a settlement of the Dexarioi and later a Macedonian stronghold in southern Illyria. The exact date Antipatreia was founded is unknown. However, if Cassander was the founder, it suggests that Antipatreia was founded after he took control of the region in 314 BC. In 200 BC the city was captured by the Roman legatus Lucius Apustius. The Romans torn down the walls and massacred the city’s entire male population.
During the early period of Ottoman rule, Berat fell into severe decline. By the end of the 16th century it had only 710 houses. The city began to recover by the 17th century and became a major craft centre specializing in wood carving. Berat played an important part in the Albanian national revival during the 19th century. A Greek school was operating in the city from 1835. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Orthodox Christians in Berat numbered some 5,000 people of whom 3,000 spoke the Aromanian language. The rest spoke the Albanian language.
The population of modern Berat city is just over 60,000, living in an area of 379.98 km2 of 146.71 square miles.
Things to do while visiting Berat…
- Take a walk along the tight footpaths of The Old Town, where buildings are festooned with exterior flower and plant decorations.
- The Osumi River is one of the most beautiful rivers in Albania, passing through canyons as high as 100 meters.
- Visit the Edward Lear Art Gallery and the private studios of local artisans.
- Go for a horse ride at Gorica Hill.
- Take a walk along the main Promenade at sunset and meet locals out to enjoy some fresh air.
- Take a day trip to Corovode and visit the Osumi Gorge. Corovode is in Berate County, a few hours from Berat and the spectacular gorge well worth visiting. On the way back, stop in Bogove and hike to the waterfall.
To book your accommodations, go to Booking.com now!
If you have Visited Berat in Albania, please share your experience with other travelers by adding a review in the comment section below. Thank you!
Return to: Cities in Albania >>>