Sarande Synagogue

Rruga Skënderbeu 7, Saranda, Albanie

Archaeological Museum of Saranda

Rruga Flamurit, Saranda, Albanie

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.

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.