Rion Things to Do
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The castle of Rio was built by Sultan Bejazid II in 1499 over the ruins of the ancient temple of Poseidon. It was a simple structure that was erected in 3 months. There was another castle at the other side at Antirrio, a perfect couple for the ottomans who wanted to control the sea passage.
In 1533, the castle was occupied by the geoese admiral Andrea Doria for some months before the ottomans returned. In 1687 Francesco Morosini besieges the castle of Rio and occupies it but had to rebuild it after the siege because it was pretty damaged during the siege. It was that time when the towers were added but also the church of Zoodochou Pigis. Ottomans took back the castle in 1715 and used it as a prison. French took over in 1828. From 1831 until 1912 it was used as a military and political prison with the authorities using the prisoners for Rio cleanliness!
The castle has two gates, one from the sea and the central one. It is surrounded on one side by a broad moat which contains seawater (it is part of the sea that surrounds the rest of the castle. There are two outer ramparts in the moat joined to the main castle with stone bridges.Related to:
- Castles and Palaces
- Historical Travel
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The Rio-Antirio bridge is officially called Charilaos Trikoupis, after the name of the prime minister that dreamed about the bridge back in 1889 and suggested the bridge at the end of 19th century but couldn’t build it because it wasn’t technically possible at that time and there were no money available anyway.
For many years we used to take the ferry to cross to other side (mainland Greece) but since 2004 the amazing Rio bridge is a better and much faster alternative.
The bridge is a must see anyway, as it is an engineering masterpiece and the world’s longest multi-span cable-stayed bridge. The area that the bridge was built is over a spot with high seismic activity so the engineers had to think about several diffirent and complicated methods for the safety of the bridge (I think it can survive up to 8,5 in Richter level). It is about 3km long (2,880meters) and you have to pay 13,20 euros every time for tolls (ouch!). The bridge has two car lanes per direction, an emergency lane and a pedestrian walkway.
Pic 1 shows this magnificent brigde, by the way it gets illuminated some nights with different colors.
Pics 2-3-4 are in bad resolution but were taken in 2002-2003 while the bridge was under construction.Related to:
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Rio is 8km east from Patras, in Achaia prefecture at one end of the Rio-Antirio bridge. 33km from Aigio, 82km from Kalavryta, 205km from Athens.
You can easily drive there from Athens via Corinth along Athinon Patron national road 8a (the old national road 8 actually terminates in Rio). There used to be a train station in Rio but I’m not sure if the line is still in use.
Local buses 6 and 9 connect Rio with Patras.
The fastest way today to cross the Corinthian golf (30 minutes).
In late 2004 there will be a bridge.
More on the longuest suspended bridge in this travelogue: Rion - Antirion Bridge
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