The City of Patras

The City of Patras

The city is divided into the upper and the lower section, connected with roads and broad stairs. The upper section (Ano Poli) is the older and the more picturesque; however, the lower section (Kato Poli) is laid out according to the 1858 city plan, featuring a variety of squares. The most notable of these are the Psila Alonia and the Georgiou I Square. A number of notable neoclassical buildings are to be found, including the Apollon Theatre in Georgiou I Square, the ‘Town Hall, the headquarters of the Local Trade Association and the Court of Justice. A replica of Patras Lighthouse, the city’s emblematic old lighthouse – which was at the dock of Agios Nikolaos – rises at the end of Trion Navarhon street, near the temple of Saint Andreas.

 

In general, much of Patras’ coastline is framed by roads and avenues running alongside; these include Dymaion Coast to the south and Iroon Polytechneiou Road to the north.

Patras and its region is home to various Ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine Monuments, including the Roman Odeon, the Fortress of Rio and the Fortress (castle) of Patras. More specifically, the main sights of the city are:

The Roman Odeon, the most significant ancient monument, is in the upper town and was built around 160 AD, in the reign of either Antoninus Pius or Marcus Aurelius. It has been restored and partially reconstructed, and is used as an open-air theatre for performances and concerts in the summer.

The medieval Patras Castle, in the ancient acropolis overlooking the city, was initially built in the 6th century AD by the Byzantine emperor Justinian , having many additions from the period of the Frankish and Venetian rule of the city, up to as far as the time of the Despotate of Morea and later the Ottoman Empire. Its current outline dates back to the second Venetian rule of the town (1687–1715). Today, its interior is used as a public garden.

The Roman Amphitheatre, near the Roman Odeon, in Ifestou street, dating from the 1st century AD, at a period of the biggest development of Roman Patras. Its area has been only partially excavated.

The church of Saint Andrew of Patras was founded in 1908 by King George I and was inaugurated in 1974. It is dedicated to Saint Andrew, the patron of the city. It is the second-largest temple of Byzantine style in the Balkans (after the Cathedral of Saint Sava in Belgrade). The central cupola is 46 m (151 ft) tall and is the base for a 5-metre (16 ft) gold-plated cross and twelve smaller ones, symbolising Christ and the twelve apostles. A congregation of at least 5,000 can attend a sermon within the church.

The municipal Theatre Apollon, built in 1872 to plans by the German architect Ernst Ziller. The building is characteristic of the 19th-century neoclassical style and is in the central square of the city.

The Achaia Clauss wine industry and tasting center, which is on the outskirts. It was founded in 1861 by the Bavarian Gustav Clauss and is most famous for its Mavrodaphne.

The Patras Archaeological Museum exhibits the history of Patras from the prehistoric era to the late Roman period.

The Roman aqueduc that led from the springs of Romanos to the acropolis. The aqueduct measured 6.5 km (4.04 mi) from the water cistern to the castle. For the greater part of this distance, the water passed through an underground channel, passing over valleys and gorges on carefully constructed archways, parts of which still stand, in the area of Aroi.

The Turkish baths building (16th century), still retain their initial use, and are one of the few Turkish baths surviving in Europe.

The Patras Lighthouse, a reconstructed “Faros” (Lighthouse), which is the symbol of the city.

The Agiou Nokolaou Stairs, Gerokostopoulou Stairs, Patreos Stairs and Trion Navarchon Stairs, outdoor grand staircases all over the centre of the city dividing the upper town from downtown.