1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Avlona

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AVLONA (anc. Aulon; Ital. Valona; Alb. Vliona), a town and seaport of Albania, Turkey, in the vilayet of Iannina. Pop. (1900) about 6000. Avlona occupies an eminence near the Gulf of Avlona, an inlet of the Adriatic, almost surrounded by mountains. The port is the best on the Albanian coast, and the nearest to Italy. It is protected by the island of Saseno, the ancient Saso, and by Cape Glossa, the northernmost headland of the Acroceraunian mountains. It is regularly visited by steamers from Trieste, Fiume, Brindisi, and other Austro-Hungarian and Italian ports, as well as by many small Greek and Turkish coasters. The cable and telegraph line from Otranto, in Italy, to Constantinople, has an important station here. The town is about 1½ m. from the sea, and has rather a pleasant appearance with its minarets and its palace, surrounded with gardens and olive-groves. Valonia, a material largely used by tanners, is the pericarp of an acorn obtained in the neighbouring oak-woods, and derives its name from Valona. The surrounding district is mainly agricultural and pastoral, producing oats, maize, cotton, olive oil, cattle, sheep, skins, hides and butter. All these commodities are exported in considerable quantities, besides bitumen, which is obtained from a mine worked by a French company. The imports are woollen and cotton piece-goods, metals and petroleum.

Avlona played an important part in the wars between the Normans and the Byzantines, during the 11th and 12th centuries. In 1464 it was taken by the Ottomans; and after being in Venetian possession in 1690, was restored to them in 1691. In 1851 it suffered severely from an earthquake.