In the Roman period Patras was a cosmopolitan centre of the eastern Mediterranean. According to Christian tradition, it was also the place of Saint Andrew's martyrdom. Patras became a Christian centre since the early days of Christianity.
In 1204 Patras was conquered by the Fourth Crusade, and became the seat of the Latin Duchy of Achaia within the Principality of Achaea. In 1408 Patras became Venetian, and by the close of the 15th century the city was governed by the archbishop in the name of the pope. It was nevertheless seized once more by the despot Constantine in 1430, who was immediately contested by the Ottoman Empire.
In 1458 Patras was conquered by the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Mehmet II. Under the Ottomans, it was known as Baliabadra.
It was here that the Greek Revolution began in 1828.
Dubbed Greece's Gate to the West, Patras is a commercial hub, while its busy port is a nodal point for trade and communication with Italy and the rest of Western Europe. The city has two public universities and one Technological Institute, hosting a large student population and rendering Patras.
Every spring the city hosts one of Europe's largest and most colorful carnivals; notable features of the Patras Carnival include its mammoth-sized satirical floats and extravagant balls and parades.
Patras was the European Capital of Culture in 2006.
Fondest memory: You may watch my high resolution photo of Patras on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 38º 14' 33.04" N 21º 43' 40.32" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Patras St Andrew Tower.
Andrew is said to have been martyred by crucifixion at Patras that's why St Andrew is the patron of Patras.
Andrew had been crucified on a cross of the form called Crux decussata (X-shaped cross) and commonly known as "St. Andrew's cross". This was performed at his own request, as he deemed himself unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross on which Christ was crucified.
There is an Info Center opposite the port, next to the main bus station. They can provide you with a free colorful map that will help you walking all over the city center with some useful info at the backside about the main sites. The staff is friendly and can point you the sites but it seems they give the same answer to everything:
oh that church is behind us! Oh the castle is behind us!
Of course!! everything is behind them as the Info Center is near the sea so the city is behind them :)
The building of the info Center (pic 1) has a history itself. In our days it is an art center and houses the Info Center but it used to be the Barry storehouse. It was a currant storehouse and the building is a typical example of industrial architecture connected with the era of the economical boom of the city. It used to be a thread factory, then flour factory and at the end raisin factory.
The Corinthian raisin was the main export product of Greece in 19th century, mainly for England(1848-70) and then France (1876-93). Patra had the port so the majority of the locals were working at raising factories so after the raisin crisin (1893) the social fabric collapsed.
If you need information about the boats to Italy just check any of the travel agencies along the sea side. There are boats for 3 differents Italian ports (Bari, Ancona, Brindisi).
Parking. If you have a car, good luck! :) There is huge traffic and it’s very difficult to find a free spot in the center. There are several parkings though where you can pay (prices from 5 euros+)
Post Office. The one in Maizonos street (pic 2) is big enough and cover your needs if you aren’t familiar with internet yet :) But as a VTer just go to any of the internet cafes around.
Tourist Police: 2610451833
Medical Emergency: 166
Fire Brigade: 199
European Number of Emergency: 112
Bus/Boat/Train routes: 1440
Patras is a nice place for sitting out and enjoying a cup of nice cold 'frappe' coffee (or a beer, or anything else you prefer). There are various places where you can do that, such as the Psila Alonia Square, the steps of Gerokostopoulou, the King George Square, the pedestrian street of Agiou Nikolaou, the 'theatre' next to the marina, the Ab Fab (ex 9 Muses), the Rion coast, the Vrachneika coast, the park on the hill, etc. - endless possibilities. These places are usually busy and lively.
Fondest memory: Although I'm not an expert, I think the sunlight has a special quality in Patras. Perhaps it's the reflection on the sea that makes bright days look even brighter. Patras has a long coastline and, even though it's not everywhere pretty, it still gives a nice feeling to be close to the water.
The city extends from the shore up to the castle. It is divided into twp parts, the upper and the lower, whose layout, parks and plazzas give it a definite distinction.
-----The old city, at the foot of the castle, still has quite a number of attractive neoclassical houses, while the lower city has many mansions, such as those housing the Municipal Theatre, the Odeon, etc.
The Cathedral of St. Andrew, the city's patron, rises majestically above the lower city. To the left of it stands an older church built on the site of a Byzantine church that was destroyed by the Turks.
From the Trion Navarchon street leads to Psila Alonia - one of the most beautiful squares in Patras - a lovely spacious square with slender palm trees and a sun dial.
Patras possesses a fine archaeological museum, an art gallery and a printing museum.
Dominating the city from on high looms the ruined shell of castle, whose grounds have been transformed into a park. from here you have a view of the whole city and the sea beyond.
Patras is the capital of the region or prefecture of Achaia. It owes its name to Patreas, chief of the Achaians
The city is among the most important in Greece, and the largest in the Peloponnese.
It's also a major transportation centre, linking the country with Italy and the Peloponnese with the Ionian islands.
(The picture is a view of Psila Alonia Square: from my appartment's balcony).
My Friend Gregory! His Florist At Ellinos Stratiotou has big History!
Just Go And Say Hello from his Friend Fotis and smell his flower! When you are out just go across the road to check your email at UXPLORE! Really good service and perfect enviroment and rates!
Pirgos is the capital of the prefecture of Eleia, just 10 km west of Olympia, and the place where you might have to change buses if you come from Patrai. Its chief landmarks are the two exquisite neoclassical buildings designed by Schiller, the Municipal Market and the Apollo Municipal Theatre.
in two parts, the upper and the lower.
The Cathedral of St Andreas is in the lower part of the city.
Going to Psila Alonia is a must as well as going to see the Municipal Theatre.
Fondest memory: Patra's famous Carnival is something that must see.
During the year the citizens of Patra work hard to organize it.You'll be suprised by their imagination and humor.
Be careful! If you want to go there during the Carnival period, you must book a room months before.
Visit ACHAIA CLAUSS, founded in 1861 by the Bavarian Gustav Clauss.There used to be vineyards in that area. The ACHAIA CLAUSS most famous wims is MAVRODAFNI, produced by Gustav Clauss to honour his fiance,DAFNI, a charming greek woman with balck eyes that died very young.
GUSTAV CLAUSS created a community with a catholic and an orthodox church in that area.
Visit The Archaeological Museum housed on the ground floor of a Neoclassical building.
You can find
sculpture from Patras and the area surrounding Patra.
finds of the period between 3000 BC and 890 BC.
Visit the Castle, have a coffee at Dassylion, visit Rion in the summer evenings.... so more you will find them out!
Fondest memory: Well... I 've been born and grown up here! What more? Every time I travel I miss it... The fondest memory is the city lights as you see them in the night when driving towards it!
to go to the 'DASYLIO' Cafe-restaurant
Fondest memory: I miss everything when i'm away!
The life, people.. everything!
visit Kataraktis Achaias a small village 20min drive
away from patras. Its on the way to Kalavryta.
Stop for a cofee or Ouzo and relax under the trees!