Sarande synagogue. Photo by Pasztilla aka Attila Terbócs – Wikipedia

Sarande, a charming seaside resort in southern Albania, is located on a bay lined with beaches and a promenade.

In the center are the archaeological remains of a 5th-century synagogue, as well as more recent ones from an early Christian basilica. Complex mosaic floors remain. The 16th century Lëkurësi Castle is perched on top of a hill above the town.

Archaeological wonders of Sarande

Discovered in the 1980s, then excavated and restored in the early 2000s, the  Sarande synagogue dates from the 5th century and belonged to a prosperous and prominent community, as its location in the heart of the old town indicates. Visitors can now admire the mosaics, including a menorah and what looks like the Holy Ark. In the 6th century, the synagogue was transformed into a basilica – then destroyed, probably during the Avaro-Slav attacks of the years 580-585. You will find more detailed information and photographs at the city’s  Archaeological Museum.