Fier (pronounced [fiˈɛɾ]; Albanian definite form: Fieri) is the seventh most populous city of the Republic of Albania and seat of Fier County and Fier Municipality. It is situated on the bank of Gjanica River in the Myzeqe Plain between the Seman in the north, the Vjosë in the south and the foothills of the Mallakastra Mountains in the southeast. Fier experiences a seasonal Mediterranean climate affected by its proximity to the Adriatic Sea in the west.

Top to bottom, left to right: Centre of Fier, Gold Market Shopping centre, Archaeological Museum of Apolonia, Shën Gjergj Cathedral and Mosque of Fier, University of Fier, Apartment buildings in Fier, Fountain in Fier
Flag of Fier
Official logo of Fier
Fier is located in Albania
Coordinates: 40°43′30″N 19°33′26″E / 40.72500°N 19.55722°E / 40.72500; 19.55722
Country Albania
 • MayorArmando Subashi (PS)
 • Municipality619.9 km2 (239.3 sq mi)
44 m (144 ft)
 • Municipality
 • Municipality density190/km2 (500/sq mi)
 • Municipal unit
DemonymFierak (m) Fierake (f)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal Code
Area Code034

Fier was founded in the 19th century by the Vrioni family and officially in 1864 by Omer Pasha Vrioni II who was the father of Kahreman Pasha Vrioni (1889-1955).[1][2] It is 11 km (7 mi) from the ruins of the ancient settlement of Apollonia which was founded in 588 BCE by Ancient Greek colonists from Corfu and Corinth,[3] on a site occupied by Illyrian tribes.[4][5]

Fier is an important terminus in southwestern Albania and is served by the A2 motorway and SH 4 highway, forming a north–south corridor in Albania and part of the Adriatic–Ionian motorway.



The word "Fier" is claimed to derive from the Albanian word fier, which is claimed to mean "fern". Another alternative hypothesis proposes a derivation from the Italian word fiera, translated as trade fair.[6]



The history of Fier is bound up with that of the oil, gas and bitumen deposits nearby. The presence of asphalt and burning escapes of natural gas in the vicinity was recorded as early as the 1st century AD. Dioscorides, in Materia Medica, describes lumps of bitumen in the adjacent river Seman, and the concentrated pitch on the banks of the Vjosë river Strabo, writing in about AD 17 states:

On the territory of the people of Apolonia in Illyria there is what is called a nymphaeum. It is a rock which emits fire. Below it are springs flowing with hot water and asphalt... the asphalt is dug out of a neighbouring hill: the parts excavated are replaced by fresh earth, which in time is converted to asphalt.

In the 14th and 15th century the location was used by the Venetian traders as a marketplace to purchase agricultural products from the Myzeqe lowlands.[6]

The settlement took city status in 1864 when Kahreman Pasha Vrioni, the local governor, asked from some French architects to project a future city as an artisan and trade centre.[6] During the 1864–1865 period a market for 122 merchants was built along the Gjanica river.[6] The first inhabitants of the city were the servants of Kahreman Pasha Vrioni and members of Aromanian families that had lived in the area since the early 19th century period.[6]

Twelve kilometres away from Fier is situated Apollonia,[7] one of the two most important ancient Greek colonial settlements in present-day Albania. It was founded in ~600 BC on a hill near the sea, and near what was then the course of Vjosë river by Ancient Greek settlers from Corfu and Corinth. At the time before the changes in land formation and the Adriatic coastline caused by an earthquake in the 3rd century AD, the harbour af Apollonia could accommodate as many as 100 ships. The site was on the territory of Illyrian tribe of the Taulantii. The colony was said to have been named Gylaceia after its Corinthian founder, Gylax, and later changed its name to that of city of the God Apollo. According to archaeological investigations for 100 years Greek and Illyrian have lived in separate communities.

River Gjanica and Square of Victory

The economic prosperity of Apolonia grew on the basis of trade in slaves, and the local rich pastoral agricultural. In the middle of the 5th century BC, a workshop for minting coins was set up here. Through trade and commercial transactions these coins spread throughout Illyria and beyond its boundaries. In the years 214 BC onwards, the city was involved in the war between the Illyrian Taulantii and Cassander, the king of Macedonia, and in 229 BC came under Roman control. In 168 BC, its loyalty to Rome was rewarded. For 200 years, it was of central importance in the Roman effort to colonize the east and may have been an original terminus of the Egnatian Way. It was a vital stronghold for Caesar in the civil war between Pompey and Julius Caesar. In 45 and 44 BC, Octavian, later to become the Emperor Augustus, studied for 6 months in Apollonia, which had established a high reputation as a center of Greek learning, especially the art of rhetoric. It was noted by Cicero, in the Philippics, as 'magna urbs et gravis' a great and important city.

Under the Empire, Apollonia remained a prosperous centre, but began to decline as the Vjosë silted up and the coastline changed after the earthquake.

Since the fall of communism construction has been taking place. In particular, an Orthodox church was reconstructed in 1999 that allows people to practice their religion.[8]



Fier is located on the bank of Gjanica in the southeast of the Myzeqe Plain between the Seman in the north and Vjosë in the south of Fier near the Adriatic Sea in southwestern Albania.[9] The municipality of Fier is encompassed in the County of Fier within the Southern Region of Albania and consists of the adjacent administrative units of Cakran, Dërmenas, Frakull, Levan, Libofshë, Mbrostar, Portëz, Qendër, Topojë and Fier as its seat.[10][11] It stretches from the mouth of Seman within the Divjakë-Karavasta National Park in the northwest across the Albanian Adriatic Sea Coast until it reaches the mouth of Vjosë in the Vjosa-Narta Protected Landscape in the southwest, also forming the southern border of the municipality.[9] The area of the municipality Fier is 619.9 km2.[12]



Fier has a Mediterranean climate (Csa) under the Köppen climate classification with mild winters and hot, dry summers.[13]

Climate data for Climate data for Fier
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 10.8
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 3.1
Average precipitation mm (inches) 77
Average precipitation days 7 7 7 8 6 4 3 3 7 7 8 9 76
Average relative humidity (%) 76 73 71 70 69 64 60 60 69 74 75 77 70
Mean daily sunshine hours 6.8 7.6 8.9 10.2 11.5 12.4 12.6 11.8 10.1 8.5 7.4 6.7 9.5
Source: Climate-Data[13]


Train approaching Fier railway station.

Fier is an important industrial city and is built by the Gjanica tributary of the Seman River, and is surrounded by marshland. With nearby Patos town, it is the centre of the oil, bitumen and chemical industries in Albania. Fier is a convenient place to stay to visit the major Classical sites at nearby Byllis and Apollonia. Main roads from the central square lead south to Vlora (35 km or 22 mi) and east to the oil and industrial town of Patos (8 km or 5.0 mi). Also, 19 km (12 mi) to the west of the city centre, one will find the picturesque Seman Beach.

Fier is also known for its olive trees production (Kalinjioti cultivar) which contributes to the olive oil sector of Albania. Together with Vlora, Berat and Elbasan they provide almost 90% of olive oil production.[14]

The city also plays an important economic role in the development of the county since it produces many goods such as sugar, bread and animal products.[15]

The creation of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline raises the economy of Fier and Albania highly. The pipe line will be crossing Fier and a Pumping Station will be built in Fier. This shows an open road to investment and employment of the city and country. The Pipe line has started since 2015 and is expected to be completed in 2020. This will Supply Albania Natural Gas.[16]



There are Urban Buses available throughout the city. There are also buses at the bus terminal in Fier that can take you throughout places in Albania and Balkan region. Fier is served by Fier railway station. There used to be trains during the communism era and till this day there has been no movement of the trains. The SH4 is a state road that takes you from Durres to Fier. The SH8 is also a state road that will take you from Fier to Vlore. There is a project for the Fier and Vlore highway.


Historical population

Fier is the seventh most populous city and sixth most populous municipality in Albania. As of the 2011 census, the municipal unit of Fier had an estimated population of 55,845 of whom 27,767 were men and 28,078 women.[18] The municipality of Fier, including its adjacent administrative units, had a total population of 120,655 in 2011.[a][18] Fier, as other cities of southern Albania, has a religious mixed population, consisting of Muslims and Orthodox Christians. Data shows that in 1918, after Albanian independence from the Ottoman Empire, Fier and its surrounding countryside on the Myzeqe Plain formed a majority Orthodox Christian enclave, in which Muslims constituted roughly 35% of the total population.[19]



Fier's main sports are football and basketball. The main soccer team of Fier is KF Apolonia and plays in the Albanian First Division. There is another team called KF Çlirimi which plays in the Albanian Second Division. KF Apolonia home ground is Loni Papuçiu Stadium. KF Clirimi plays on Stadiumi Fusha Sportive e Shkolles Bujqesore. The basketball club of Fier is BC Apolonia and plays in the Albanian Basketball League and their home ground is Fier Sports Palace.

Notable people


Notable people born in Fier include:

International relations


Fier is twinned with:

Fier also cooperates with:


  1. ^ The municipality of Fier consists of the administrative units of Cakran, Dërmenas, Frakull, Levan, Libofshë, Mbrostar, Portëz, Qendër, Topojë and Fier. The population of the municipality results from the sum of the listed administrative units in the former as of the 2011 Albanian census.


  1. ^ Robert Elsie (December 24, 2012), A Biographical Dictionary of Albanian History, I. B. Tauris, p. 478, ISBN 978-1780764313
  2. ^ Elsie, Robert (2010). Historical Dictionary of Albania. Scarecrow Press. p. 135. ISBN 9780810861886. Archived from the original on 21 September 2021. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  3. ^ Wilkes, John J. (1995). The Illyrians. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. pp. 96–98. ISBN 0-631-19807-5.
  4. ^ Hammond, Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière (1976). Migrations and Invasions in Greece and Adjacent Areas. Park Ridge, New Jersey: Noyes Press. p. 426. ISBN 0-8155-5047-2.
  5. ^ Larson, Jennifer Lynn (2001). Greek Nymphs: Myth, Cult, Lore. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. p. 162. ISBN 0-19-514465-1.
  6. ^ a b c d e Fier Municipality. "History of the city" (in Albanian). Fier Municipality. Archived from the original on 2011-08-12. Retrieved 2010-08-06.
  7. ^ Wilkes, J. J. The Illyrians, 1992, ISBN 0-631-19807-5, Page 96,"... whose land is the city Epidamnus. A river flows by the city, by name the Palamnus. Then from Epidamnus to Apollonia, a Ilirian (Albanian) city, the journey on foot takes two days. Apollonia lies fifty stades from the sea and the river ..."
  8. ^ ":: - Kisha e Shen Gjergjit ne Fier ::". Retrieved 2023-06-04.
  9. ^ a b "Dokumenti i Raportit Përfundimtar të Vlerësimit Strategjik Mjedisor të Planit të Përgjithshëm të Territorit të Bashkisë" (PDF) (in Albanian). Bashkia Fier. pp. 110–120. Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 September 2021. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  10. ^ "A new Urban–Rural Classification of Albanian Population" (PDF). Instituti i Statistikës (INSTAT). May 2014. p. 15. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 November 2019. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  11. ^ "Law nr. 115/2014" (PDF) (in Albanian). p. 6370. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  12. ^ "Bashkia Fier" (in Albanian). Albanian Association of Municipalities (AAM). Archived from the original on 17 October 2020. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  13. ^ a b "Climate: Fier". Climate-Data. Archived from the original on 20 September 2021. Retrieved 20 September 2021.
  14. ^ Leonetti, Luciano, et al. "The olive and olive oil value chain in Albania." Development Solution Associates (DSA), Tirana (2009): 4.
  15. ^ "Fier", [site blocked on Wikipedia], accessed 28 September 2017
  16. ^ "TAP route and infrastructure".
  17. ^ "Cities of Albania". 2024-04-15.
  18. ^ a b Nurja, Ines. "Censusi i popullsisë dhe banesave/ Population and Housing Census–Fier (2011)" (PDF). Tirana: Institute of Statistics (INSTAT). p. 85. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 October 2020. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  19. ^ Siegfried Gruber. "Regional variation in marriage patterns in Albania at the beginning of the 20th century". Archived from the original on 2019-05-02. Retrieved 2014-06-11.
  20. ^ "Sister Cities International (SCI)". Archived from the original on 2015-06-13. Retrieved 2013-04-21.
  21. ^ "兰州市政府外事办 友好城市". Retrieved 2021-09-05.
  22. ^ "Bashkia Binjakezime". Archived from the original on 2020-07-03. Retrieved 2021-09-05.