The Medieval Cistern of Durres: A “First Category Monument”?

Behind the World War II Martyrs Memorial and Museum Complex of Durres, there is a monument that has not recognized by various visitors.

This monument, which reminds a typical Roman house or a typical Turkish Haman, is the medieval cistern of the city. Categorized as a First Category Monument, it is listed at number 1886, announced by June 10th, 1973. 

According to historians, the medieval water deposit dates back to the Late Medieval period. Differently from the Well of Top Hane, that was used in the Turkish period for the collection of water, the building was used as a main source for the water that came from the mineral resources of Durres hills.

The construction is typical of that period. It represents a building with a roof, tiles and a little window. It has 5 entry stairs, with an arched door, through which it was possible to enter.

According to my opinion, the building lost its importance after the Turkish invasion of the city. At the beginning of the Turkish era of Durres, the remained 500 people of the town used the wells to collect the water or used the remainedmedieval taps such as the taps of Ferra and Currila.

Today, the monument is an abandoned. It has been transformed into a storehouse. The vegetation and the construction of a huge wall that circles the house yard near it, has raised the difficulty of visiting it. 

Furthermore, even if the Municipality of Durres has put indication tables of this monument and that it is located circa 1 kilometer from the city center, it has not raised any attention of a visitor or any inhabitant from Durres. 


Photo on the head: Photo of the medieval cistern, Photo: Gerhard Mema. June 16, 2021.

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