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  • Writer's pictureFrida C.

Berat: A City Through Time..

Step back in time with us as we explore the enchanting city of Berat, a mosaic of civilizations and cultures. From its inception as Antipatreia to its evolution into the Ottoman gem we know today, Berat’s journey is a tale of resilience and beauty. The following are the specific periods during which the city of Berat was known by different names:

1. Antipatreia - The Hellenistic Foundation (3rd or 4th century BC)

Named after the Macedonian general Antipater, Antipatreia was a city of strategic importance in the Hellenistic world. Its foundations were laid during a time of great conquests and cultural amalgamations. Antipater was a general of Alexander the Great, suggesting that the city may have been named to honor him or his achievements.

Berat Castle From The Sky

2. Pulcheriopolis - The Byzantine Flourish (4th & 6th centuries AD)

Roman and Early Byzantine Period As the Roman Empire gave way to Byzantine rule, the city became known as Pulcheriopolis, reflecting the grandeur of the Byzantine era and its architectural marvels. The name “Pulcheriopolis” comes from Byzantine Greek and is associated with the name “Pulcheria.” Pulcheria was the sister of the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II. The name reflects the qualities attributed to her, meaning “beautiful,” “wealthy,” and “strong,” indicating the city’s significance during that period.

3. Belgrad - The Slavic Chapter (After the 9th century AD)

Captured by the First Bulgarian Empire, the city was renamed Bel[i]grad, meaning “White City” in Slavic. This name persisted through the medieval period, denoting the city’s prominent fortifications. The name likely refers to the appearance of the city, possibly the white walls of its fortress at the time.

4. Berat - The Ottoman Legacy (After 1417 till present)

15th Century Onwards With the advent of the Ottoman Empire, the city took on the name Berat. In Turkish, “berat” means “letters patent” or “authorization letter,” which could be related to a certificate of good behavior or a decree of freedom. This era brought a fusion of Islamic and local traditions, leaving a lasting imprint on the city’s cultural and architectural landscape.

Each name of Berat is a testament to its resilience and ability to adapt through the ages, making it a mosaic of history and culture. For a visual journey through Berat’s past, imagine the city’s transformation from the ancient stone walls of Antipatreia to the Ottoman-style houses that give Berat its nickname, “The City of a Thousand Windows." or "Një-Mbi-Një-Dritareve."

If you are planning a trip to this charming UNESCO-protected city, we would love to be your hosts. Check availability and best rates directly from our website:


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