Fier is located less than 20 kilometers away from the Mediterranean Sea and in the immediate vicinity of the Albanian mountains. It has a population of 82 thousand and is the capital of the administrative district of the same name and an important industrial city, located in the center of an area where natural gas and oil are being extracted.

Fier was mostly built up during the country's socialist period, so most of its buildings display 20th-century architecture. However, the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Apollonia are only 8 kilometers away from Fier's city center, and similar sites can be found in abundance nearby. For this reason, Fier has recently - after the country's opening to the West - become very popular among history buffs.

Historians regard Apollinia as a prime example of a Corinthian urban settlement.

The countryside around Fier can be described as idyllic, with Fier being located just on the borderline between a plain and the hills that on the horizon turn into mountains. It can clearly be said that the city and its region are far from having fulfilled their potential. In any case, the future finally seems to have arrived: Within the the last years, Albania's economic system has been completely transformed. Now, for the first time in centuries, it is a country that is increasingly attractive for Western investors, who either seek to buy real estate or pump money in the Albanian economy, thereby changing it further and further.

As of now, it would be hard to say where Albania will be standing in 20 years' time, but one thing appears certain: Fier, which so marvellous combines successful industry with a location ideal for tourism, will play an elementary role in the Albanian future of the 21st century.

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Fier, Albania

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