Patras Things to Do

  • Municipal Theatre Apollon
    Municipal Theatre Apollon
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  • view from Agiou Nikolaou steps
    view from Agiou Nikolaou steps
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  • Evangelistria church
    Evangelistria church
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Most Recent Things to Do in Patras

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    dasilio

    by mindcrime Written Mar 9, 2010

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    Eshatovuni is a low hill covered with pine trees all over. It is known as “dasilio” (spinney) and it’s a great escape from the busy city in the city center. The pine trees were planted here in 1916 and covered the surface of the hill. You can walk around the paths and enjoy the nice view over the city. At the foothill at the spot Asyrmatos (Artemidos street) is located the roman aqueduct. The aqueduct is known as “kamares” (arches) because of its arches that are still in good shape. The aqueduct started from the sources Neromana of Romanos village and after 7.5 km ended at Aroi, near the castle where the arches can be see today. From there some underground water pipes served with water the city. It was built at the beginning of 2nd century AD probably from Adrianos that was an emperor that favoured a lot Patras.

    Dasilio is a unique oxygen lung for the city but what we enjoyed most here was drinking a coffee in the municipal café with an amazing view over the city. Go there during sunset and you will love it too. At pic 1 you can see the dasilio as seen from the castle and pic 2 shows the view from Dasilio.

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    Fortress of Patras

    by mindcrime Written Mar 9, 2010

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    The castle of Patras was built in 6th century(probably in 551AD) by Ioustianos(Justianian) over the ruins of the ancient Acropolis after the huge earthquake.

    It is located on a hill 800 meters away from the sea on the highest peak of the city. It has a strange triangle shape and its walls cover 22,725 sq meters. The castle isn’t big so you can stroll around its towers and bastions in a few minutes but I spend a lot of time taking pictures from up there because you just have the city in front of you (pics 1-2-3). I saw some old plan of the castle and there was a deep trench that protect the bastions and an inner yard on NE corner.

    Until the WWII it was the administrative and military center of the city. During the medieval times it was beleaguered by Slavs (805, the locals though they won because of St. Andreas’ help!), Bulgars, Normads but noone managed to get inside until 1205 (by Franks that lengthened it and put the trench). In 1278 it was mortgaged to the latin archibishop, in 1408 the ottomans gave it to Venetians for five years and in 1430 it was set free by Konstantinos Paleologos but in 1458 the turks took it over again and kept it for about four centuries (1828).

    There is a built-in statue on a special recess in the masonry that turned out to be the city’s ghost with the name “Patrinela”. The local legend says that it was a woman turned into a man that protected the city during the ottoman occupation and was crying in the night when some famous local died (I guess she didn’t care so much for the normal people)

    I’ve been told that concerts are held inside on a small theatre (with a capacity of 600 people) but I didn’t see any chairs, probably they arrange everything on the day of the concerts only. The castle is open daily (closed on Mondays) 8.00-17.00(till 15.00 on weekends)

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    Vas Olgas square

    by mindcrime Updated Mar 9, 2010

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    Vas Olgas square
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    Vas Olgas square (pic 1) is the second central square of the city. It houses many cafés but I liked the large trees (and their shadows), it was a nice break because I was walking under the sun for hours so I just stopped and checked the statues and fountains here (pics 2-3)

    Here, you will also find the Archeological museum (pic 4) at the intersection of Maizonos 42 and Aratou streets. It is open Tuesday-Sunday 8.00-15.00. The 3 story building in neoclassical style was the house of Karamandanis and it was donated to Greek state. Its collection includes sculptures from Patra and surrounded areas, findings from 3000 to 800BC and artifacts from the roman era in Patra.

    Although this square is still called Vas Olga square officially has changed to Ethnikis Antistaseos (National Resistance). Vasilisa(queen) Olga was the wife of King George A and for a brief period in 1920 a vicereine. She is known as the founder of Evangelismos hospital in Athens but mostly because of Evagelika. When she visited the front of the Greek Turkish war in 1897 she realized that the soldiers couldn’t read the bible because it was written in Katharevusa (a different, difficult form of the greek language that was used through out 18th, 19th and partly in 20th century, it was something between the ancient greek and the modern greek but the majority of the people never used it) so she order a translation in modern greek and when the Acropolis newspaper published it there were street demonstrations (the greek orthodox church didn’t allow any translation of the bible since the 18th century). Greece had just lost the war and nationalist reasons forced people to support the archaic language just because it was connected with the glorious ancient era! So, everyone that was supported the modern greek (the language that all the people were using) was accused for betrayal against the nation!

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    Vas. Georgiu A’ square

    by mindcrime Written Mar 9, 2010

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    Vas Georgiu A��� square
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    This is the central square of the city. A huge square (pics 1-2) with some nice buildings and some cafes for relaxing moments under the sun and watching the people passing by. This is also the square where the famous local carnival starts every year.

    There are two nice fountains (pics 3-4) showing some lions and god Pan, both fountains were designed by Ernesto Tsiller. Check also some also some interesting buildings like the Municipal Theatre Apollon (pic 5) that houses many performances and the mansion of Literature and Art (megaro Logu ke Tehnis).

    We stopped at one of the cafes and we slowly admired the Apollon Theatre but we couldn’t attend some performance inside. I will try some other time because I’ve been told that the interior is a replica of Milan La Scala. It was built in 1972 by the german architect Ernesto Tsiller and it is open Monday-Friday 08.00-13.30.

    The square was formed the way we see it today in 1902 when it was paved with slabs and also some trees were planted. It has the name of King Georgios A’ that was the second king of Greece (from 1863 to 1913) and actually the ruler of the country because he was the one that was putting the prime ministers in charge!

    By the way, the prices here are lower than at the cafes in Agiou Nikolaou street. We payed 3 euros for Nescafe and 3 euros for a beer while we payed 4 at Agiou Nikolaou.

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    Lighthouse

    by mindcrime Written Mar 9, 2010

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    This lighthouse is a symbol of the city and was in the port in the past years but it was built again in a different spot. The lighthouse is an exact replica of the original lighthouse. 3 seconds after the moment I took the picture (pic 1) the water came all over me! :)

    The old lighthouse was a major meeting point (it housed a small café) at the port when the city was actually the port to the west for Greece and Patras’ port was more important even than Pireaus (until Korinthos Isthmus opened). The lighthouse was built by stone, it was only 5 square meters big and first it was used as a lighthouse but later after the construction of the breakwater it was just the place where the sailor of the foreign boats were putting their flags while the orchestra was playing the national hymn of that country!

    The new lighthouse(pic 2) was built in 1999, 27 years after the demolition of the old one.
    There is a cafeteria that also serves food behind the lighthouse and a great sea view. I preferred to walk along Akti Nymfaiou (pic 3), it was very relaxing, not crowded with only some fishermen around (pic 4) (and some couples that were trying to hide like everywhere on earth). Then I walked back passing by Ichthioskala (pic 5), the area that is full of life during the mornings when dozens of fishes come and go for trading.

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    Around Agios Andreas cathedral

    by mindcrime Written Mar 9, 2010

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    Right next to Agios Andreas cathedral you can see the old church that was also dedicated to St Andreas(pic 1). It was built between 1836-1843 by the greek architect Lisandros Kaytatzoglu, right on the spot where apostle Andreas martyred on the cross. It is a simple basilica with some nice agiographies like the ones of D.Hatziaslanis on the ceiling. The local legend says that when the turks tried to stabbed the icon of Virgin Mary with a knife blood began to flow from it. I guess they didn’t get scared that much because the destroyed the old Byzantine church anyway (the church we see today was built upon the remains of the old Byzantine church. The church houses the marble tomb of the apostle Andrew.

    At this church (at the right side) there is a well at the basement where Saint Andrew supposed to drink water and teach. The place is called Piges Dimitras (Dimitras’ springs) (pic 2) because at the same point was the faunt of goddess Dimitra and was the oracle but only for the sick.

    At the back street of the cathedral I took a picture of the Archiodece (pic 3) and I visited the small church of Agios Ioannis Theologos(Saint John the Evangelist) (pic 4), dedicated to the apostle John from Galilea, he was the brother of Jacob and he protected Mary after Christ’ crucifixion. Different sources say that he wrote the Book of Revelation in Patmos island but some other say that its John of Patmos or John the Presbyter. Anyway, when I went into the church there was a baptism taking place so I just asked the relatives about the name of the child and …surprise surprise, they called it Andreas, another one in the city :)

    I took a last pic of a monument in front of the cathedral (pic 5) and headed for the lighthouse

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    Agios Andreas cathedral

    by mindcrime Written Mar 9, 2010

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    Agios Andreas cathedral
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    Agios Andreas cathedral is a greek orthodox church dedicated to the patron saint of the city the apostle Andrew (almost every man I talked to in Patra called Andreas!).

    It is impressive and actually the largest in the Balkans! It was started to built in 1908 by the king George A’ but opened in 1974. It has some beautiful wall paintings and frescoes and over the central dome are a 5 meter long gilt cross and 12 smaller that represent Jesus and his apostles. The central dome is 46 meters high and the church can house 5.500 people. There was no ceremony during my visit so I had this huge cathedral for me! I liked the huge wooden carved candlesticks. What’s more here are the relics of apostle Andrew and part of the cross where he martyred. The cathedral is open 08.00-11.00 and 16.30-19.00 and the big celebration of the church is on November 30. There’s no entrance fee.

    Apostle Andreas has a greek name (from “andria” that means “valor” in greek), he was from Galilea, brother of apostle Peter. He lived in early first century AD and died in Patras, martyred by crucifixion on a x-shaped cross (although some agiographies showing this type of cross at his martyrdom it must be wrong because this kind of crosses used some centuries later so it must be a myth that Andrew asked not to be crucified on the same type of cross with Jesus Christ). His relics during the 4th century in Constantinople and later to Rome. It was only in 1964 when the Pope Paul gave them back to Patras so, now we can see a finger and part of his head (of Andreas not the Pope’s :) )

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    Rio-Antirio Bridge

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Jan 17, 2009

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    This bridge is widely considered to be an engineering masterpiece owing to several solutions applied to span the difficult site. The Rio-Antirio Bridge connects Patras' easternmost suburb of Rio to the town of Antirrio, connecting the Peloponnese peninsula with mainland Greece.
    The Rio-Antirio bridge officially called "Charilaos Trikoupis" bridge after the statesman who first envisioned it. This is a cable-stayed bridge crossing the Gulf of Corinth.

    The 2,880 meters long bridge improves access to and from the Peloponnese, which could previously be reached only by ferry or via the Isthmus of Corinth at its extreme east end. Its width is 28 m.

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    Saint Andrew Cathedral

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Jan 17, 2009

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    Patras - Saint Andrew Cathedral
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    The two churches dedicated to Patras' patron Saint, St Andrew, constitute a national and Pan-Orthodox place of pilgrimage. The small Church was erected during the 1836-1843 period at the spot where Apostle Andrew died a martyr.

    The new magnificent Byzantine church was founded in 1908 by King George I and inaugurated in 1974. It is the largest and most artistic church in the Balkans and one of the largest across Europe. The Church's central dome is 46m high and supports a five meter high gold-plated cross and twelve smaller ones, symbolizing Jesus and his twelve disciples respectively.

    Next to the old Church it is located Saint Andrew's well. At this spot it used to be located Dimitra's spring, where it operated an oracle for sick people.
    The region of the divining spring was the place where Apostle Andrew was teaching. According to tradition he was crucified next to this spring.

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    Sunset at Patras

    by Aitana Written Dec 22, 2008

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    Living in Alicante, it is easy to see the sunrise on the sea, but I don't have many opportunities to see the sunset on the sea. That's why, while in Patras, I tried to look at it whenever it was possible.

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    "The Roman Catholic Church of Saint Andrew"

    by INSULARIUS Updated Aug 8, 2008

    I consider the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Andrew, as one of the most beautiful Catholic churches in Greece, as well as one of the oldest in the Greek territory, after the proclamation of the Greek State in 1830.
    Aloysius Maria Vlagis, Catholic Bishop of Syros and responsible for the Catholics of the Peloponnese, understanding the importance of Patras, due to its affinity to and commercial transactions with Western Europe, decided to replace the former timbered chapel with the erection of a new , larger church.The foundation stone was solemnly laid on the 19th of November 1838 and on 27th of September 1840 the Bishop Vlagis, consecrated the church of Saint Andrew.
    The growth of the population of the Catholic community called for the erection of a much bigger church., which started in 1937.
    Of great importance is the icon of Saint Andrew, put on the high altar, a donation from the Cardinal Fransoni in 1843, as well as the two lateral icons representing Jesus and St Andrews facing the crosses of their martyrdom.

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    Saint Andrew Cathedral Inside

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Apr 21, 2008

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    Although the present rather hideous church was only built after World War II, the mosaics give a vivid picture of old Patra. The church's capacity is 5.500 persons.

    Inside this church are preserved the remains of St. Andrew the Apostle. These are located in a small chapel to the back right of the church as you face the front. The remains of his X-shaped cross are kept behind it.

    In the mid-4th century, on the initiative of Emperor Constantine, the Holy Relics was transferred to St Apostles' Church in Constantinople. When the Franks occupied the city, the Relics were transferred to Italy. On September 26th 1964, the Saint's Head returned to Patras by Pope Paul and after the actions that the citizens of Patras and the Orthodox Church took.

    The relics, which consist of the small finger, part of the top of the cranium of Saint Andrew and small parts of the cross, have since that time been kept in the special shrine.

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    The "Saint Andrew Church"!

    by INSULARIUS Updated Mar 1, 2008

    A familiar landmark for the city of Patra, as well as for all its inhabitants, is the "grandiose" church of "Aghios Andreas" (Saint Andrew), the "biggest" church in the Balkans!

    Please, bear in mind that this is an Orthodox Church!

    For your information, the patron saint of the city of Patra is Saint Andrew and his memory is celebrated every year on the 30th of November.

    The first foundation od the church was set by the King George the First of Greece on 1908 and was inaugurated on 1974.It can host a congregation of 5.500 persons!

    The dome of the church is 46 metres high and on its top, there is a golden cross of 5 metres high.

    Beside the new church, there is the old church of Saint Andrew, built on 1836-1843, on the ruins of another old church.You can still find the "Saint Anrew's Well" and it is said that this was the place, where the apostle Andrew used to teach, as well as his martyrdom place.

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    The "Apollon Theatre"!

    by INSULARIUS Written Mar 1, 2008

    A piece of art that gives a lot of pride to the inhabitants of Patra!

    It was built on 1872-at the same time when Barcelona and Paris got similar theatres-according to the plans of the famous Bavarian architect: Ernst ZILLER.

    It is considered as the oldest "covered theatre" in Greece and a replica of La Scala of Milan.

    In the past ,the Apollon Theatre hosted the most famous theatrical troupes and the most famous melodrama, operetta and opera performances.Now, it hosts the Regional Theatre of Patra.

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    "PATRINO CARNAVALI"

    by INSULARIUS Written Jan 15, 2008

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    If we are talking about Carnival in Greece, there is only one word for that: "Patrino Carnavali gia panta"!

    The city of Greece, where Carnival was born is PATRA!!!

    The most famous Greek Carnival takes place in the city of PATRA.

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