The ancient greek city Φοινίκη (Finiq). in Albania.

The ancient greek city Φοινίκη (Finiq). in Albania.

The area near Sarandë is rich in ancient sites, including this one that is just eight kilometers (five miles) to the east of town yet feels remarkably remote. The hilltop settlement of Finiq, or Phoinike, was first established in the 5th century B.C.E. by the Chaones, a Greek tribe in ancient Epirus, but it was inhabited well into the Byzantine era. Its 12-feet-thick stone walls were built to protect the ancient residents against Illyrian attacks. The ruins today include a small temple, a theater, remains of houses and Roman cisterns.

The Phoenice (Greek: Φοινίκη) Archaeological Park (Parku Arkeologjik Finiq) is an archaeological excavation of an ancient greek city located next to the village that is nowadays Finiq. in Albania.

In antiquity, Phoenice was the political center of the Epirot Greek tribe of the Chaonians. Early Byzantine architecture (4th-7th century) is evident in the settlement in particular that of the three aisled basilica type.

The settlement retained its ancient name and is mentioned in an Ottoman record of 1431 as Finiki. According to the Chronicle of Gjirokastër the first years of Ottoman rule (15th century) were peaceful but after the Fall of Constantinople (1453) Finiki that time known with the greek name -as- Phinikoupolis(Φοινικουπολις) was destroyed by the Muslims.[λ At the end of the 16th century Finiki witnessed a drastic population increase and became one of the largest settlements in the area with 359 households (compared to contemporary Gjirokastër with 302 and Delvinë with only 204 taxable households).

At 1870 a secondary Greek language school was already operating in Finiq