Founded around the beginning of the 4th century BC. The ruins of Apollonia were discovered in the early 19th century. The earliest archaeological traces are some of the Iron Age objects, typical of Illyrian culture. From the first centuries of the city’s life are preserved ruins of the protective wall and an archaic temple dedicated to Artemis, the most beloved deity of the Apollonians.
Apollonia, after Dyrrah, was the most important city in the Adriatic Basin and the most mentioned among the other 30 cities carrying the same name in ancient times. It was raised on a hill in a position that owns the entire area and through the Vjosa River valley was connected to the Adriatic Sea. Apollonia was a large trading and industrial center. Raised on the last ridge of the beautiful and fruitful hills of Mallakastra, with an area of about 140 ha and surrounded by a wall about 4 km long, Apollonia prevailed almost all the wide space that lay on its feet and ended by the sea Adriatic.
Unlike other colonies, which were erected by the coast, Apollonia was raised more inland, a few kilometers from the coast. However, it was connected to the coast through the Vjosa River, which at that time was navigable. Apolonia is located 12 kilometers from the city of Fier. Apollonia as a city was founded at the beginning of the seventh century BC by Greek colonists coming from Corinth. The first data of their presence are documented around 588 BC.
Apollonia, archaeologists call it, “Albania’s Pompeii,” as only 10% of the former city territory has been discovered to date.
Some of the archaeological sites and statues were appropriated from other countries before 1945. Those remaining are located in a museum located in a 12th -century monastery. There is also a Byzantine church in the monastery garden belonging to the fourteenth century