City of Mosaics

“Culture in 1 minute” / Episode 15

The mosaic in the Chapel of the Durres Amphitheater is the only mural mosaic in Albania. Interpretations for its subject vary, but it is thought to have been built around the 6th-10th centuries AD.

The Durres underground counts today at least 7 mosaics that are scattered throughout the city. 5 of them enjoy the status of Culture Monument, 2 others have not been taken into protection, as it is thought that in the rich underground of the city are still hidden mosaics, fragments of which have appeared partially during the new constructions.

While the mosaic christened as ‘Beauty of Durres’ is thought to belong to the IV century BC. Originally discovered in 1916 in the courtyard of an apartment in the 11th district of the city, it has an area of ​​9 square meters and presents the portrait of a woman on a black background, with floral motifs. Since 1982 it has been exhibited in the National Historical Museum in Tirana.

For more follow the video posted on the top.


Producer and narrator: Geri Emiri
Historical information: Dorian Hatibi
Video-Production: Arlind Veshti

This video was developed with the support of the “Media for All” project, funded by the UK Government. The views and opinions expressed on the video are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the constitutions of the donors.

Photo on the head: From the published video.

1. Reynis-Zhando Zhanin: “Mozaiku mural në Kapelën e Amfiteatrit të Dyrrahut/ La mosaïque murale dans la chapelle de l’amphithéâtre de Dyrrachium”. Iliria, vol. 13 n° 1, 1983. Page. 225-232;
2. Zeqo Moikom. Maria Andaloro: “I mosaici parietali di Durazzo o dell’origine costantinopolitana del tema iconografico di Maria Regina”, Mainz 1986. Iliria, vol. 19 n°1, 1989. Page. 283-288;
3. Albanian Encyclopedic Dictionary, Academy of Sciences: “Durres mosaic with a portrait of a woman”. Page 726. Tirana. 1984;
4. Internet address of the National Institute of Cultural Heritage, category, “Cultural Monuments of Durres Region:

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