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Patra

We are talking about the third biggest city in Greece after Athens and Thessaloniki and capital of Achaia. The city history is going back to the centuries. Founded by the Achaians of Sparti when they were hunted down by the Dorians at the end of the Mycenean era, round the 11th century BC. The west side of Achaia was belaguered and inhabited by the Achaians of Argos during the same era. At those times Achaia was called Ionia apart from the coastline which was called Aegialia (the word comes from the ancient word “Gialos”, which means beach). The name Patra comes from Patreas whose son led the people of Sparti here. The city of Patra, after being formed and after the end of the Mycenean era, throughout its entire history of battles , changing of civilazations and being re-organised constantly, drawn away due to the geographical location from the city centers of those times (Athens, Sparti, Korinthos), doesen’t take part in any activity in the general Helladic space and is standing alone, taking no parties. In 146 AC, when the Romans came, Patra is founded by Augustus as a Roman colony. The results of ex-cavations brought up clues thet verify that it was first inhabited during the Prehistorical ages, rounf the third mille-nium at the First-Helladic era. There were found several mycenean tombs and remainings of communities. The first acme comes during the late- Helladic era and remainings were found in the city and around it to the locations of Vudeni, Aroi, Samaika, Petroto, Krini, Saravali and Kallithea. To the location Belvitsio was found atemple de-dicated to Artemis the godess of hunting. Artemis was the protector of Achains and had many followers. The ex-cavation of the ancient city of Patra is almost impossible as a Medieval castle is standing above it and there hasn’t been found a way to solve the problem yet. After the destrcuction of the Korinthos port, the port in Patra and always under the protection of the Roman empire took a great part in the communication between Greece and Ita-ly. The Romans gave many advatnages to the inhabitants. The land was exploited systematically and current was cut that had curved the initials of Augustus on it. To the end of the 3rd century AC the fall begins, mainly because of a strong eartquake. Visit the ancient auditorium on the west of the acropolis, in Upper city, builted before 160AC. The Auditorium was in line with the ancient Agora and a statue of god Apollo was standing, war trophy. It came to light in 1889 and was rebuilted in 1956 preserving the initial formation, hosting nowadays music and theatrical performances while it is also open for sight-seeing during day time as an archeological space. The Medi-eval castle was built during the second half of the 6th century AC on a hill of the ancient acropolis and 800m away from the sea. Builted by Iustinianos for the dfense of the territory and the protection of the inhabitants it was used for those reasons up to the second World War. Slavians, Sarakinians, Bulgarians and Normandians tried to concur it but nobody succeeded because of the perfect structure. The Franks fortified it even better. In 1828 it passed to the hands of the Greeks after Ottomanic domination. There is a male figure curved in the wall, a figured statue of a man that the myth says he was a woman disguised as a man that guarded the city from evil and wipped whenever a famous citizen died. Visit the Achaia- Clauss viniculture, 8Klm away from the center of the city, on a verdulous hill. The viniculture facilities were built by Gustav Clauss in 1854 when he bought a vineyard to produce his own wine and was developed to a famous brand. Touring to the facilities are planned daily. The town protector is Saint- Adreas and the temple was built in 1836-1843. This is where the Saint was crucified and there is a marble grave. Next to the old temple there is a spring which before the Christian ages belonged to godess Dimitra and was an oracle center for sick people. Saint –Adreas teached here and the spring now floods holy water. Patra is the city that organises every year the biggest carnival in Greece and the preparations for it take the entire year. It started in 1829 from the ballrooms of the rich as parties. In 1870 money were spent for the armataand the people went out on the streets. Very intense are the influences of the Venetian carnival and since then the carnival has been develo-ping year by year. The city reminds of a huge carnival lab and the atmoshere is vivid thoughout the entire year. Patra is worth to be visited during the carnival time and live in its tempo. You can even participate. The carnival is organised by the municipality.

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