Apollonia of Illyria was founded in the 7th Century BC and served as an important centre of learning philosophy and education as it grew from a Greek city into a highly populated Roman metropolis of up to 60,000 inhabitants. Its location lay on the main road, Via Egnetia which ran from Thessaloniki and Byzantium (modern Istanbul).
Devoted to the God Apollo who's name was used by both Greek and Roman alike, the city flourished until an earthquake in the 3rd Century AD redirected the course of the river which had enabled trade and travel. The area became a swamp land and the inhabitants abandoned the city and moved elsewhere.
A Monastery was built in the 13th Century which now houses the local museum. The majority of finds and artifacts were moved to the museum at the Albanian capital, Tirana. Only 5% of the entire city has been excavated, the majority now lying underneath farmland and countryside.