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Honeymoons in Eastern Europe

Honeymoons in Albania

Albania is the Sleeping Beauty of romantic European beach honeymoon destinations. With unspoiled, long beaches washed by the Adriatic and Ionian seas, and stunning mountain scenery, Albania is set to become a popular European honeymoon destination for travel abroad.

Tirana, the capital, saw development as a town in the 18th century, becoming important for silk and cotton fabrics, leather, pottery, and silverware. The capital's Scanderbeg's Square features a romantically gardened center bordered on the east by the Palace of Culture, which has an opera and ballet theater. Albania flaunts 10 professional drama companies, 15 variety theater companies and 26 puppet theater companies; and seven major symphony orchestras and more than 40 military bands perform frequently for increasingly international audiences.

Butrinti -- Albania's Ancient Sleeping Beauty City

The ancient city of Butrinti caresses the highlands of southern Albania, sheltered in dense vegetation and by ancient fortifications. Close to the sea and to lovely Lake Butrinti, the gentle climate and beautiful surroundings of her countryside create a romantic setting a romantic honeymoon destination.

Early Christianity brought greater beauty to Butrinti, adorning her with two basilicas and a baptistery that is the Mediterranean region's 'fairest of them all'.

Like evil stepmothers, Barbarians and Normans raided; and soon after, in 1153, came a catastrophic earthquake Even before Butrinti could recover from these batteries, medieval conquests by the Venetians in 1386 forced her remaining inhabitants to flee. From the 15th to the 20th centuries, this 'wicked spell' kept Butrinti in a deep sleep,; and nature's tears slowly concealed her with layers of mud and overgrown vegetation.

Butrinti's prince charming, Italian archeologist I. Ugolini, arrived to save Albania's Sleeping Beauty, carrying out careful excavations to unearth her lovely, long-buried form. Albanian archeologists added even more ambitious efforts after the country's liberation in 1944. Ramparts, acropolis, marketplace, amphitheater, temples, public baths, and private residences -- all magically emerged into the light of day; and like the legendary sleeping maiden newly kissed, Butrinti rose nearly intact under the loving gaze of her rescuers

In 1992, UNESCO crowned romantic Butrinti -- once again a European treasure -- a World Heritage Cultural Site