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Patras
Πάτραι
Πάτρα
Patras' view from its fortress
Patras' view from its fortress
Location
Patras is located in Greece
Patras
Coordinates 38°15′N 21°44′E / 38.25°N 21.733°E / 38.25; 21.733Coordinates: 38°15′N 21°44′E / 38.25°N 21.733°E / 38.25; 21.733
Government
Country: Greece
Periphery: West Greece
Prefecture: Achaea
Districts: 11
Mayor: Andreas Fouras
Population statistics (as of 2001[1])
City
 - Population: 171,616
 - Area: 125.4 km2 (48 sq mi)
 - Density: 1,369 /km2 (3,545 /sq mi)
Metropolitan
 - Population: 222,460
Other
Time zone: EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)
Elevation (min-max): 0 - 10 m (0 - 33 ft)
Postal: 26x xx
Telephone: 2610
Auto: ΑΧ,AZ
Website
www.patras.gr

Patras (Demotic Greek: Πάτρα, Pátra, /ˈpatra/, Classical Greek: Πάτραι, Pátrai, Latin: Patrae) is Greece's third largest urban centre and the capital of the prefecture of Achaea, located in northern Peloponnese, 215 kilometers west of Athens. The city is built at the foothills of Mount Panachaikon, overlooking the Gulf of Patras.

The Patras metropolitan area is a conurbation of 222,460 inhabitants.[2] The core settlement has a history spanning four millennia. In the Roman period it had become a cosmopolitan centre of the eastern Mediterranean whilst, according to Christian tradition, it was also the place of Saint Andrew's martyrdom. 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 a major scientific centre with a field of excellence in technological education. The Rio-Antirio bridge connects Patras' easternmost suburb of Rio to the town of Antirrio, connecting the Peloponnese peninsula with mainland Greece. Every spring, the city hosts one of Europe's largest and most colourful carnivals; notable features of the Patras Carnival include its mammoth-sized satirical floats and extravagant balls and parades, enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors in a pleasant Mediterranean climate, with relatively cool yet humid summers and rather mild winters. Patras is also famous for supporting an indigenous cultural scene active mainly in the performing arts and modern urban literature; it was European Capital of Culture 2006.

Contents

Geography and climate

Satellite view of Patras.
Panachaiko Range

Patras is located 215 km (134 mi) west of Athens by road, 94 km (58 mi) northeast of Pyrgos, 7 km (4 mi) south of Rio, 134 km (83 mi) west of Corinth, 77 kilometers northwest of Kalavryta, and 144 km (89 mi) northwest of Tripoli.

A central feature of the urban geography of Patras is its division in upper and lower sections, connected with stairs. This is the result of an interplay between natural geography and human settlement patterns; the lower section of the city, which includes the 19th century urban core and the port, is adjacent to the sea and stretches between the estuaries of the rivers of Glafkos and Haradros. It is built on what was originally a bed of river soils and dried-up swamps. The older upper section covers the area of the pre-modern settlement, around the Fortress, on what is the last elevation of Mount Panachaikon (1,926 m (6,319 ft))[3] before the Gulf of Patras.

The largest river in the area is Glafkos flowing to the south of Patras. Glafkos springs in Mount Panachaikon and its water is, since 1925, collected in a small mountainous reservoir-dam near the village of Souli and subsequently pumped in order to provide energy for the country's first hydroelectric plant.[4] The water is also used for the orchards of Eglykas and as drinking water for the city. Other rivers are Haradros, Meilichos and the mountain torrent Diakoniaris.

Patras
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
89
 
15
6
 
 
82
 
15
6
 
 
63
 
17
8
 
 
48
 
20
10
 
 
29
 
24
14
 
 
8
 
28
17
 
 
5
 
30
19
 
 
5
 
31
20
 
 
28
 
28
17
 
 
72
 
24
14
 
 
118
 
20
10
 
 
116
 
16
8
average max. and min. temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm
source: HNMS (ΕΜΥ)[5]

Of great importance for the biological diversity of the area and the preservation of its climate is the swamp of Agyia, a small and coastal aquatic ecosystem of only 30 hectares, located to the north of the city centre. The main features of this wetland are its apparent survival difficulty, being at the heart of a densely populated urban centre that features a relatively arid climate and its admittedly high level of biodiversity, with over 90 species of birds being observed until the early 1990s, according to a study by the Patras Bureau of the Hellenic Ornithological Society.[6]

Another geophysical characteristic of the region is its high level of seismicity. Small tremors are recorded along the coast of Patras almost constantly. Larger earthquakes hit the area every few years with potentially destructive effects. In 1993, a 5.0 magnitude earthquake caused some damage to several (mostly older) buildings throughout Patras due to the proximity of the epicenter to the city. In June 15, 1995, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit the nearby town of Aigion, causing some structural damage to a few buildings of Patras as well. The Ionian Islands are also frequently hit by even more severe earthquakes, some of which can be felt in the city. In antiquity, the most notable example of destruction caused by an earthquake in the region was the total submergence of the ancient Achaean city of Helike, now Eliki.

History

Patras' Roman Odeum
Monument for the Greek Revolution(1821-1830).
The central square of Patras in the past century

The first traces of settlement in Patras date as early as in the 3rd millennium BC, in the area of modern Aroe. Patras flourished for the first time during the Post-Helladic or Mycenean period (1580–1100 BC). Ancient Patras was formed by the unification of three Mycenaean villages located in modern Aroe; namely Antheia and Mesatis. Mythology has it that after the Dorian invasion, a group of Achaea from Laconia led by the eponymous Patreus established a colony. During antiquity, Patras remained a farming city. It would be in Roman times that it was to become an important port.

After 280 BC and prior to the Roman occupation of Greece, Patras played a significant role in the foundation of the second "Achaean League" (Achaiki Sympoliteia), along with the cities of Dyme, Triteia and Pharai. Later on, and following the Roman occupation of Greece in 146 BC, Patras played a key role, and Augustus founded a Roman colony in its area. Moreover, Patras became a Christian centre since the early days of Christianity, and it is the city where St. Andrew was crucified.

During Byzantine times Patras continued to be an important port as well as an industrial centre. One of the most scholarly philosophers and theologians of the time, Arethas of Caesarea was born at Patrae, at around 860. By the 9th century there are strong signs the city was prosperous: the widow Danielis from Patras had accumulated immense wealth in land ownership, the carpet and textile industry, and offered critical support in the ascent of Basil I the Macedonian to the Byzantine throne.

In 1204 Patras was conquered by the Fourth Crusade, and became the seat of the Latin Duchy of Athens within the Principality of Achaea. Captured in 1205 by William of Champlitte and Villehardouin, the city became a part of the principality of Achaea, and its archbishop primate of the principality while in 1387 Juan Fernández de Heredia, grand master of the order of the Knights Hospitaller at Rhodes, endeavoured to make himself master of Achaea and took Patras by storm. 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, from the Greek Παλαιά Πάτρα, the town, as opposed to Νέα Πάτρα, the fortress. Though Mehmet granted the city special privileges and tax reductions, it never became a major centre of commerce. Venice and Genoa attacked and captured it several times during the 15th and 16th centuries, but never re-established their rule effectively except Venetian rule between 1687-1715.[7] It was here that the Greek Revolution began;[8] but the Turks, confined to the citadel, held out until 1828.

Patras was liberated on 7 October 1828 by the French expeditionary force in the Peloponnese, under the command of General Maison. Patras developed quickly into the second largest urban centre in late 19th century Greece.[9] The city benefited from its role as the main export port for the agricultural produce of the Peloponnese.[10]

In the early 20th century, Patras developed fast and became the first Greek city to introduce public streetlights and electrified tramways.[11] The war effort necessitated by the first World War hampered the city's development and also created uncontrollable urban sprawl with the influx of refugees from Asia Minor. During the Second World War, the city was a major target of Italian air raids; during the period of Axis occupation, a German military command was established and German and Italian troops stationed in the city.

Urban landscape

Patras' western seafront.

The city is divided into the upper and the lower sections, connected with roads and broad stairs. The upper section is the older and the more picturesque; however, the lower sections are attractively laid out, featuring a variety of squares in a unique geometric pattern. The most notable of these are the Psila Alonia and the Georgiou I . A number of exquisite 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.

View of the city from the stairs of Agios Nikolaos street

The most significant ancient monument, open to the public, is the Roman Odeon, now reconstructed and in use as an open-air theatre used for performances and concerts during the summer months. Overlooking the whole town is the ruined Castle, whose current outline dates back to the Venetian invasion of the town (1687–1715). Today, its interior is used as a public garden.

Near the seafront, between the sites of the new and the old port, stands the monumental church of Saint Andrew, the patron Saint of the city and the largest church of Greece.[12] A replica of the city's emblematic old lighthouse, built as a part of a coastline beautification project, rises at a nearby park. 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. Unfortunately, due to insufficient urban planning as well as institutional weaknesses on behalf of the City Council (mainly due to a lack of proper financial planning), some of the city's coastal areas are not in an ideal condition, with several areas illegally occupied by shops built along the coastline. This is contrary to what the Constitution of Greece of 2001 declares; that the Greek coastline is a "national treasure", and as such belongs to the Greek people.

Architecture

Kolokotroni street in central Patras
Mansion in Psilalonia square

The city is endowed with a number of neoclassical buildings and mansions dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the past, years of neglect and the absence of protection enforcement, as well as recent earthquakes had contributed to the destruction of several such examples. Today, however, most surviving neoclassical buildings are under a strict protection status. The project for the restoration of the city's architectural heritage is part of the 2006 Cultural Capital bid. Several (Λαϊκή) laikê (produce markets) take place across the city's neighborhoods on weekdays, and on Saturdays.

Landmarks

The Achaia region is home to 4 museums, including the Patras Archaeological Museum and the Museum for the Sacrifice of the people of Kalavrita.[13] The Achaia Clauss wine tasting center is located on the outskirts in Petroto village. It was founded in 1861 by the Bavarian Gustav Clauss and is most famous for its Mavrodaphne. The winery is the main sponsor of the local basketball team, Apollon Achaia Clauss.

The region is also home to various Ancient Greek and Byzantine Monuments, including the Roman Odeum, the Castle of Rio and the Fortress of Patras.[13]

Psilalonia Square

Psilalonia Square (Greek: Ψηλαλώνια or more formally Πλατεία Υψηλών Αλωνίων) is one of Patras's most popular squares. The square is located 1.5 km from downtown Patras, next to the city's main north-south street, Gounari Street.

The square features a fountain in the middle and until the 1950s with sidewalks. Trees surround the square and it features a grassy field, palm trees, a playground. A bronze statue of Germanos of Patras stands on the northern end, while a memorial plaque to people executed during the Axis occupation of Greece stands on the south-western corner. Several shops, chiefly restaurants and cafes, surround the square.

The square features modernistic buildings around and it had red shingles with arches. It was completed in the mid to late-19th century when the population boomed. Trees were added along with neoclassical buildings. After World War II and the Greek Civil War however, and through the 1960s and 1970s, most neoclassical buildings were replaced by eight-story residential buildings. Restaurants were added in the 1980s.

In the west end, a 15 m (49.21 ft) tall cliff overlooks the Trion Navarchon pedestrian street, and offers a wide vista across the western Corinthian Gulf, including the Arakynthos mountains and the mountains of Aitoloakarnania and Fokida. The Panachaiko and the mountains to the southeast including Omplos are also visible from the square.

City plan

The first city plan of Patras, 1829

Patras is the first city of the modern Greek state to develop a city plan. In January 1829, Stamatis Voulgaris, a Greek engineer of the French army, presented the plan of the new city of Patras to the Governor Kapodistrias, who approved it. Voulgaris applied the orthogonal rule in the urban complex of Patras. The plan was divided into two sectors, the upper and the lower city, with a different city block layout; a revision of the proposal in 1858 was that finally realised.

Neighbourhoods and districts

Patras city districts

Suburbs

Nowadays, the municipalities of Rio and Antirrio have functionally become a part of the wider urban complex of Patras, other suburbs are:

Demographics

The urban area of Patras includes the towns of Rion (12,674), Paralia (9,153), Vrachneika (4,805) and Messatida (12,246), comprising 18,5% of the urban population.

Historical Population[14][15][16]
Year Patras Urban Area
1853 15,854 19,499
1861 18,342 23,020
1870 16,641 26,190
1879 25,494 34,227
1889 33,529 44,970
1896 37,985 51,932
1907 37,728 -
1920 52,174 -
1928 61,278 -
1951 87,570 94,192
1961 96,100 103,985
1971 112,228 120,847
1981 142,163 154,596
1991 161,782 190,463
2001 171,616 210,494
2007 (est.) 180,000 230,000
Population of Patras (dark blue) and the urban area of Patras (blue) from 1853 to 2007.
Patras suburbs

Government

Patras is the regional capital of Western Greece and the capital of the Achaea prefecture (the 5th most populous prefecture of Greece). The city is going to be the capital of one of the newly proposed regions of Greece, including Peloponnese and Ionian Islands.

Consulates

The city hosts consulates from several European countries (the only exception is the Lebanon consulate)

Infrastructure

The port of Patras

In the past, Patras lacked public investment in infrastructure; in recent years, this trend has changed significantly. Several important works have been recently completed to serve Patras as an Olympic city, a European capital of culture and one of the most populous Greek cities.

The city has always been a sea-trade hub due to its strategic position. The port manages more than half of the foreign sea-passenger transportation in Greece,[17] and has excellent car-ferry links with the Ionian islands and the major Adriatic ports of Italy. Additionally, a new port is under construction in the southern section of the city to accommodate the increased traffic and relieve the city centre from port operations.[18]

A newly constructed, 20 km (12 mi) ring road was first opened in 2002 in order to alleviate heavy traffic throughout the city.[19] A mini ring road is now being constructed to alleviate heavy traffic-related problems in the city centre.[20] Two large highways are under construction that will connect the seacoast and the new port with the external ring road that surrounds the city of Patras. The first is over the small Diakoniaris river while the second consists of two roads, 4 km (2 mi) each, that will run in parallel with the Glaykos river.[21][22] Another project will lead to an additional entrance to the downtown area by expanding the Kanakari street.

The highway connection with Athens and Pyrgos is to be drastically upgraded.[23] Patras will also be the central hub of the Ionia Odos highway, intended to bridge western Greece from Kalamata to Ioannina. The Rio-Antirio bridge is located to the north of the city and links Peloponnese to mainland Greece, and was completed in August 2004.

A rudimentary single, narrow gauge railway track crosses the city and connects it to Athens and to Pyrgos-Kalamata, while the central passenger train station lies to the west of the downtown area, between Aghiou Nikolaou Street and Othonos-Amalias Avenue. The main freight station of Aghios Andreas lies further to the south, next to the homonymous church. Finally, the old depot of Aghios Dionysios, consisting of about ten tracks, offers basic turntable and roundhouse facilities; its length is approximately 400 m (1,312.34 ft). A new standard gauge railway to Korinth and further to Athens is under construction.

Other heavy infrastructure works include the Peiros-Parapeiros dam (to provide water supply for Patras and surrounding towns)[24] and a "small industries" park that will be constructed next to the Glaykos river and provide an easy connection with the new port.

The city is one of the main Greek internet and GRNET hubs and is connected with high speed lines to Athens as part of the backbone. A metropolitan optical network will be deployed in the city, with a total length of 48 km (30 mi).[25]

Two major state hospitals operate in the city: the Saint Andreas Hospital is the oldest of the two; named after the city's patron saint. The University Hospital of Rio is a prominent university hospital, where intern medical students specialize on their major. There exist, in addition, two smaller state hospitals, Karamandanio - children's hospital, and the Center of Chest Diseases of Southwest Greece, and the Greek army operates the 409 army hospital in the city. A large range of private hospitals and clinics operate in parallel.

Numerous art venues[26] and an ultra-modern archaeological museum[27] were constructed for the needs of European Culture Capital designation. The cultural and educational facilities include the city and university libraries, many theatres and a municipal art gallery,[28] in the host city of the University of Patras, the Hellenic Open University and the Technical Institute of Patras. A number of research facilities also surround the university.

Economy

The economy of the city largely depends on a thriving service sector. Its main economic activities include retailing, logistics, financial and the public sector services. Patras suffered a severe problem of deindustrialization during the late 1980s and 1990s; a number of major productive units shut down in successive order. As a result, a considerable portion of the city's workforce and the city's economic planning in its entirety had to be re-evaluated and restructured by the authorities. The University of Patras contributed by working towards this goal, using its widely respected service and technology sectors. The area still retains some of its traditional winemaking and foodstuff industries as well as a small agricultural sector, and its industrial area lies approximately 20 km to the south of the downtown area, located between the 16th km of GR-9 and Fares/Phares (pro. FAH-rehs). Major businesses in Patras include:

Banking

Most Greek Banks have their regional headquarters for Western Greece located in Patras.

Construction and real estate

Numerous small local companies are involved in the construction sector.

Tertiary education

The University of Patras with the Rio-Antirio bridge in the background

(University of Patras, Hellenic Open University, TEI of Patras)

Retailing

Most of the large retail and super-market chains operate in the city. Patras has also some local but dynamic companies.

Tourism

The prefecture has 4,800 hotels rooms and in 2006 286,000 tourists, mainly Greeks, stayed for a total of 634,000 days.[29][30]

Transport

The railway station of Patras

Manufacturing

Energy

Acciona has recently completed the largest wind park in Greece, on the Panachaiko mountain, overlooking the city of Patras.[31] The Public Electric Company, operates a small hydroelectric plant on river Glafkos.[32]

Foodstuff

The most numerous industries in the city include many local juice and drinks producers and two large facilities from Coca Cola HBC and Athenian Brewery. The largest local company in soft-drinks production is Lux (ΛΟΥΞ). The city is also home to many leading Greek wineries and distilleries, among them the venerable Achaia Clauss. In the food sector, Friesland Foods, through the local subsidiary NoyNoy, operates a new yogurt factory in the industrial area. Patras is also home to important fish-farming companies (Andromeda, Nireus)[33][34] . ECOFEED operates in the industrial zone of Patras, the largest fish-feeds factory in the Mediterranean[35]. The city hosts the second largest flour-mills in Greece, Kepenou-Mills[36].

Machinery

Patras has several packing and industrial equipment companies. The most important of them are the local Antzoulatos and the multinational Frigoglass, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola, headquartered in the suburbs of Patras. Idealis a leading bike producer in Greece, with large export activities.

Pharmaceutical

  • CBL is headquartered in Patras
  • Vianex, (Pavlos Giannakopoulos), has its largest production facilities in the industrial area of the city.[37]

Textiles

The omnipresent textile industry of the city is now almost defunct after the shut-down of the huge factory of Piraiki-Patraiki ("Πειραϊκή-Πατραϊκή"), followed by numerous smaller textile industries. The remains of the facilities, still cover hundreds of acres in the south side of the city. Nowadays, Patras companies focus in dress production, the most important amongst them being DUR.

Timber and paper

Patras hosts several timber manufacturing companies, and a wood distribution center of Shelman. The largest local company is Abex[38].

The paper sector is also active including a paper-factory belonging to Georgia-Pacific (Delica) and two important Greek companies, Elite and El-pack, headquartered in the city.

Research

There has been a significant development in the R&D sector, during the last years, as a result of the many research institutes and the University impact in the area.

  • The Computer Technology Institute and the
  • Industrial Systems Institute[39] of Greece are headquartered in Patras.
  • The city is also a host to the FORTH-ICE-HT (Institute of Chemical Engineering & High Temperature Chemical Processes)[40] and the Institute of Biomedical Technology.[41]
  • Atmel Corporation has an important R&D facility in Patras with more than 200 employees
  • Bytemobile has its European Development Center in Patras.[42]
  • Intracom facilities in Patras house the offices of Telecommunications Software Development, Terminal Equipment Design, Development Programmes, and Support Services divisions. Expansion plans have recently been completed.[43]
  • CBL Patras, a global manufacturer of specialty chemicals and active pharmaceutical ingredients, is a startup from a professor of the University of Patras
  • Patras Science Park is an incubator for many small but upcoming technology companies.[44][45]

Culture

Patras Carnival; the float of the king of Carnival

The current cultural activity of the city includes the Patras International Festival (various artistic activities, mainly in the field of music), the Patras Carnival and the Poetry Symposium.[46] The city hosts several conservatoires and schools of music, including one devoted exclusively to Byzantine music, and several orchestras and choirs. There is one full-time theatre group in the city, as well as several amateur groups.[47] A number of schools teach dancing, and there are plans to set up a dance theatre within the context of the Patras Municipal Regional Theatre. Patras has a visual arts workshop, a school of icon painting and a carnival float workshop, and hosts a Municipal Gallery as well as private art galleries; there is also a Municipal Library, an archaeological museum, a folk art museum, an historical and ethnological museum and a museum of the press. The architectural heritage of the city is dominated by neo-classicism, but also includes structures from other periods.

Entertainment and performing arts

The Patras Municipal Theatre was founded in June 1988 and was renamed as Patras Municipal and Regional Theatre in 1989. The theatre's founding artistic directors were the actors Maya Liberopoulou and Viktor Arditis, and the institution draws its funding from the Municipality of Patras and the Ministry of Culture, with a main stage at the landmark Apollon Theatre. Throughout its existence it has mounted critically acclaimed performances ranging from ancient dramaturgy, modern Greek to international repertoire, with other theatre groups nearby the Viomichaniki(Industrial) and Michani Technis (Art Machine). The ancient Roman Odeum hosts ancient dramas during the summer months, while the Pantheon theatre and the Art Factory, the Lithographeion and Agora theatres provide additional venues.

The Patras Carnival, Patrino karnavali is the largest event of its kind in Greece and one of the biggest in Europe, with a heritage reaching back 160 years. The events begin on January 17 and lasts until Clean Monday. The carnival is not a single event but a variety of events that include balls, parades, a children's carnival and artistic projects. Its apogee comes in the last weekend of Carnival with the Saturday evening parade of carnival groups, the extravagant Sunday parade of floats and groups, and finally the ritual burning of king carnival in the mole of Saint Nikolaos street in the harbour of Patras. Its characteristic principles are spontaneity, improvisation, inspiration and volunteerism.

The International Festival of Patras takes place every summer, with a program consisting mostly of plays—both ancient drama and modern theatre—as well as various musical events.

Music scene

Patras is also responsible for a very strong indie rock scene with critically acclaimed bands such as Raining Pleasure, Abbie Gale, Serpentine, Doh an Doris and others. The city is also the birthplace of Karagiozis, the Greek shadow theatre, with Dimitris Sardounis as founder.

European Capital of Culture 2006

Patras 2006 logo

Patras was chosen by the European Commission to be the European Capital of Culture for the year 2006. The concept of the event revolved around the main theme of "Bridges" and "Links", taking benefit from the City's rich history and its position as a "Gate to the West", to underline the essence of the productive interaction of culture and civilisation in Europe. The EU Commission found Patras' plans very ambitious and also commented that a successful hosting of the title by a medium sized city would make it possible to redefine the meaning of the term Cultural Capital. During 2006 various cultural events took place.

The Selection Panel for 2006 noted in its final report:

The current cultural activity of the city includes the Patras International Festival (various artistic activities, mainly in the field of music), the Patras Carnival and the (organized each year for the 25 years by an ad hoc committee at the University of Patras).[46] The city hosts several conservatoires and schools of music, including one devoted exclusively to Byzantine music, and several orchestras and choirs. There is one full-time theatre group in the city, the, as well as several amateur groups.[47] A number of schools teach dancing, and there are plans to set up a dance theatre within the context of the Patras Municipal Regional Theatre. Patras has a visual arts workshop, a school of icon painting and a carnival float workshop, and hosts a Municipal Gallery as well as private art galleries. The city has a Municipal Library, an archaeological museum, a folk art museum, a historical and ethnological museum and a museum of the press. The architectural heritage of the city is dominated by neo-classicism, but includes also constructions from other periods.

The Patras 2006 proposal focuses on two central ideas: “bridges” and “dialogues”. Cultural managers from Patras and the general public will be involved in developing these ideas. Further, four poles/programmes of cultural attraction will be developed. The first, “A city for Europe”, will relate to the architectural heritage, the industrial revolution and similar subjects. “The counterpart cities” programme will be developed in the fields of human and social sciences and in diverse artistic fields. “The three sea battles” will present a cultural programme focusing on peace and understanding. The last theme, “The many homelands”, is directly linked to the etymology of the name of the city. This programme will amongst other things concentrate on art workshops, the transfer of know-how, way of life and entertainment. Excerpt from the Report of the Selection Panel for the European Capital of Culture 2006[48][49]

With the completion of the Capital of Culture programme, a part old factory was renovated to host exhibitions and house a small theatre, and neoclassical buildings around the city were renovated as part of a plan to preserve the city's architectural heritage and link it to its cultural life.

A major new archaeological museum is being built, which with its globe-like roof and modern architectural design, will enhance the town's northern entrance and take its place among the other town landmarks.

Sports

Patras has many sports facilities and important teams in all the major Greek leagues. Panachaiki Gymnastiki Enosi, Apollon Patras and EA Patras are the major sports club based in Patras, the first specializing in football, the second in basketball and the third in volleyball.

Logo Club Leagues Venue Capacity Established
Panachaiki Logo Panachaiki Third Division - football Kostas Davourlis Stadium 11,321 1891
Thyella Logo Thyella Third Division - football Fotis Aravantinos Stadium 3,000 1930
Apollon Patras Logo Apollon Patras BC A2 Ethniki - basketball Apollon Arena - Perivola 4,150 1926
Olympiada Patras Logo Olympiada Patras First Division - basketball Dimitris Tofalos Arena 4,150 1961
EAP Patras Logo EA Patras First Division - volleyball EAP Arena - Agios Dionysios 2,200 1927
NE Patras Logo NE Patras First Division - water polo Antonis Pepanos 3,000 2006
NO Patras First Division - water polo NOP Aquatic Centre - Akti Dymeon 2,000 1929

2009 the International Children's Games had taken place in Patras.

Religion

The Cathedral Agios Andreas

The city is the seat of a Greek Orthodox archbishopic, while there is a living community of Roman Catholics and a historical Anglican church. The most significant church in the city is the Greek Orthodox cathedral Agios Andreas, in the east side of the city. The church, of Greek Byzantine style, construction began in 1908 under the supervision of the architect Anastasioa Metaxas, followed by Georgios Nomikos. It was inaugurated in 1974. It is the largest church in Greece and the largest Byzantine-style church in the Balkans. It keeps the relics of the apostle Saint Andrew, which were sent there from St. Peter's Basilica, Rome in September, 1964, on the orders of Pope Paul VI.

People

The city boasts a relatively large number of politicians in the national political arena as its natives. Most particularly in the first century after liberation, when the city lay second only to Athens in the urban hierarchy of the country, significant personalities shaping the character of Greece were associated with Patras. Its famous natives include the prime ministers Dimitrios Gounaris the main leader of the anti-venizelist party in the 1910s, Stylianos Gonatas a high-ranking officer, politician and one of the leaders of the “1922 Revolution”, Andreas Michalakopoulos, a prominent liberal party cadre, foreign minister and prime minister, and Dimitrios Maximos a distinguished economist, minister and finally prime minister during the civil war era. More recent figures include George Papandreou (senior) leader of the Center Union and one of the most important political personalities in post World War II Greece, Panagiotis Kanellopoulos, the last democratically elected head of government before the establishment of the 1967 junta, and Costis Stephanopoulos, the former president of the Hellenic Republic.

Politics Related

Sports Related

Culture Related

Transportation

Airports

Roads

  • GR-5/E55
  • GR-8/E55 and E65 (partly Panepistimiou Street)
  • GR-8A
  • GR-9/E55 (partly Akti Dymaion)
  • GR-33 (partly Kalavryton, Georgiou Papandreou Street and Akrotiriou)
  • Patras Bypass

Maps

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Patras is twinned with:

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ "Δείτε τη Διοικητική Διαίρεση" (in Greek). Hellenic Interior Ministry. www.ypes.gr. http://www.ypes.gr/UserFiles/f0ff9297-f516-40ff-a70e-eca84e2ec9b9/D_diairesi.xls. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  2. ^ "EU Commission, Directorate General for Regional Policy, Inforegio, Urban Audit, City profile". http://www.urbanaudit.org/CityProfiles.aspx. 
  3. ^ Region of Western Greece: Geography - Accessed Feb. 9, 2007
  4. ^ Thomopoulos, St. N, History of the City of Patras from Antiquity to 1821, Patrai 1952, (ed. Triantafyllou, K.N.)
  5. ^ "Patras climatology data". EMY. http://www.hnms.gr/hnms/greek/climatology/climatology_region_diagrams_html?dr_city=Patra. 
  6. ^ Chris K. "Hellenic Ornithological Society - Birds, birding and conservation in Greece". Ornithologiki.gr. http://www.ornithologiki.gr/en/enmain.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  7. ^ Encyclopaedia of Islam s.v. Baliabadra
  8. ^ Strategus Makrygiannis, "Memoirs", Book A, Chapter I, Athens, 1849, http://www.snhell.gr/testimonies/writer.asp?id=102
  9. ^ Triantafyllou, Κ.Ν., Historic Lexicon of Patras
  10. ^ Kounenaki Pegy, "19th Century Patras: how the character of the city changed with the development of the port after 1828" Kathimerini 14-10-01 http://news.kathimerini.gr/4dcgi/_w_articles_civ_491371_14/10/2001_3252
  11. ^ Thomopoulos
  12. ^ "Info about St.Andrew Church by InfoCenter Patras". http://www.infocenterpatras.gr/mnimeia_en.php. 
  13. ^ a b Region of Western Greece: Monuments - Accessed on Feb. 9, 2007
  14. ^ 1928-1980 statistical data are from: "The population of Greece in the second half of the 20th century". Hellenic Republic. National Statistical Service of Greece. Athens 1980 & "Statistical Yearbook of Greece" Hellenic Republic. National Statistical Service of Greece. Athens 1980
  15. ^ Population data from 1853 to 1920 are cited from: Kosta N. Triantafyllou, "Istorikon Lexikon ton Patron: Istoria tis poleos ton Patron apo arxaiotaton xronon eos simeron kata alphavitikin eidologikin katataksin" 3rd edition, Patrai 1995
  16. ^ Data on municipal and urban population refer to permanent population and are taken from: the "2001 Census" of the National Statistical Service of Greece
  17. ^ "ΟΛΠ - Στατιστικά στοιχεία" (in Greek). http://web.archive.org/web/20080404011151/http://www.patrasport.gr/el/organization/stats.html. 
  18. ^ "Οργανισμός Λιμένος Πατρών - Το νέο λιμάνι" (in Greek). http://www.patrasport.gr/el/organization/port.html#i__171238864_870. 
  19. ^ "Ring Road map" (PDF). http://www.ditikiellada.gov.gr/mediaupload/%C1%F1%F7%E5%DF%E1%20%E5%F6%E1%F1%EC%EF%E3%DE%F2/par_patra.pdf. 
  20. ^ "Works under construction in the region of Western Greece". http://www.ditikiellada.gov.gr/contents.asp?id=289. 
  21. ^ Loizos Bailas, Mixalis Kaplanidis. "MHXANIKH AE". Michaniki.gr. http://www.michaniki.gr/newsite/erga_new_35.cfm. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  22. ^ Loizos Bailas, Mixalis Kaplanidis. "MHXANIKH AE". Michaniki.gr. http://www.michaniki.gr/newsite/erga_new_30.cfm. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  23. ^ "Road Axis Patra - Athens - Thessaloniki - Evzoni". Hellenic Ministry of Public Works. http://www.minenv.gr/4/45/4504/e450401.html. 
  24. ^ Loizos Bailas, Mixalis Kaplanidis. "MHXANIKH AE". Michaniki.gr. http://www.michaniki.gr/newsite/erga_new_34.cfm. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  25. ^ "Metropolitan Optical Network of Patras". http://ru6.cti.gr/broadband/el/man_93_patras.php. 
  26. ^ "European Culture Capital, Patras Venues". http://www.patras2006.gr/en/modules/html/index.php?id=19. 
  27. ^ "Ktizon, Presentation of the Archaeological museum of Patras". http://ktizon.blogspot.com/2007/03/new-archaeological-museum-patras.html. 
  28. ^ "Cultural Facilities in Patras - Infocenter". http://www.infocenterpatras.gr/texni_en.php. 
  29. ^ "Greek Statistics Organization, Tourism data - 2006" (PDF). http://www.statistics.gr/gr_tables/S604B_STO_1_TB_AN_06_3_Y.pdf. 
  30. ^ "Greek Statistics Organization, Tourism data - 2006" (PDF). http://www.statistics.gr/gr_tables/S604B_STO_1_TB_AN_06_4_Y.pdf. 
  31. ^ "Acciona Wind Parks". http://www.acciona-energia.com/default.asp?x=0002020101&lang=En#gre. 
  32. ^ "Glafkos Hydroelectric Power Station". http://www.dei.gr/Default.aspx?t=MapStation.aspx&id=174&nt=124&lang=2. 
  33. ^ aquaculture.gr/ "Andromeda Aquaculture". http://www.andromeda aquaculture.gr/. 
  34. ^ "Nireus Aquaculture". http://www.nireus.gr/default.jsp. 
  35. ^ http://www.lkmk.gr/index.php?page=projects&category=1&project=0
  36. ^ "Kepenou mills". http://tovima.dolnet.gr/print_article.php?e=B&f=13570&m=D17&aa=2. 
  37. ^ "Vianex facilities in Patras". http://www.vianex.gr/htmlsite/infrastructure.asp?id=15. 
  38. ^ "Abex Timber Manufacturing". http://www.abex.gr/en/index.html. 
  39. ^ "Industrial Systems Institute". http://www.isi.gr/eng/default.htm. 
  40. ^ "Institute of Chemical Engineering & High Temperature Chemical Processes". http://www.iceht.forth.gr. 
  41. ^ "Institute of Biomedical Technology". http://www.inbit.gr. 
  42. ^ "Bytemobile - Company facts". Bytemobile. http://www.bytemobile.com/company/facts.html. 
  43. ^ "Intracom Telecom: Infrastructure". Intracom Telecom. http://www.intracom-telecom.com/en/company/profile/infrastructure.htm#patras. 
  44. ^ "Patras Science Park - Hosted Companies". Patras Science Park. http://www.psp.org.gr/apps/en/stem/listcompanies.html. 
  45. ^ "Awards of the 7th International Venture Capital Forum" (in Greek). http://www.ekt.gr/content/display?ses_mode=rnd&ses_lang=el&prnbr=68645. 
  46. ^ a b Poetry Symposium
  47. ^ a b Patras Municipal Regional Theatre
  48. ^ Patras Final Report
  49. ^ Patras Future Report

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Patra article)

From Wikitravel

Patras is the third largest urban conglomeration of Greece, (after Athens/Piraeus and Thessaloniki). It is the capital of the Prefecture of Achaia on the Peloponnese and the western gateway into the country, thanks to numerous ferry connections with Italy.

Get in

By plane

Patras' own airport is on the military base of Araxos (IATA code: GPA), some 50km to the south, but this receives only seasonal charter flights from various locations in Europe. For regular flights, Patras is served by Athens International Airport, some 250km to the west.

A startup floatplane company, Air Sea Lines, operating DHC 6 de Havilland Twin Otters, has set up a seasonal base at the Patras marina, linking the city with several Ionian Islands and the city of Ioannina in Epirus. Onwards services from Corfu run to Brindisi in Italy.

By boat

Patras is linked by ferry to the Italian ports of (south to north) Brindisi, Bari, Ancona and Venice, with numerous sailings daily year-round. Service to Trieste has been discontinued.

For the ferry form Ancona to Patra you will e.g. pay for a single person about 40€ winter/60€ summer. S

Local ferry services offer daily sailings from Patras to the Ionian Islands. Corfu is served by the International ferries on their way to and from Italy.

By road

Patras, located in the northwestern corner of the Peloponnese is connected to Athens by road via Corinth on the 8a National Road (corresponding to the E65 and E94 European Routes. To the south, Patras is connected by road to Amalias, Pyrgos and Olympia and further to Kalamata. The construction of a new bridge linking Rion (on the Peloponnese) to Antirrion (on the Central Greek mainland) has been in operation since 2004 and carries the E55 European route, linking Patras with points in Central Greece and Epirus (and onward to Albania) including the port of Igoumenitsa.

By train

A narrow gauge train line runs through Patras southwards to Olympia and Kalamata and eastwards to Athens and the port of Pireas. the Slow Train to Athens costs about 5 € and it takes you there in 4,5 hours. For more info see the train company webpage (OSE [1])

By bus

Near to the port and main station lies the intercity bus station (KTEL [2]). It costs 0.65 cents per minute for timetable information when ringing KTEL on telephone number 14505.

Get around

The city bus service in Patra can be slow and unpredictable, lacking definative timetables. Information can be found from the small booth in front of port, near the Intercity bus terminal.

See

Notable sights include:

  • The impressive Rio-Antirio bridge.
  • The Roman Odeon.
  • The Achaia Clauss wine factory.
  • St. Andrews Church: Inside this church, which was built in the 20th century, 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.
  • The Castro, which offers a good view of the city.
  • The Faro (Lighthouse) which is the symbol of the city.
  • The Apolllo Theatre, situated at the central square of King George A.
  • The Turkish hot baths (Hammam) which are still in use.
  • some very attractive leafy squares with terrace cafes.

Drink

Patras is well known for the wines produced by the Achaia Clauss wine factory and especially for a variety called Mavrodafni. Visitors should also taste the local liqueur called Tentoura which is usually served as a digestive.

Some of the best places to get a drink, especially is the warm summer months is on the beach road in Rio. This strip of land is lined with bars and cafeterias catering to mostly Greeks. The clubs can get pretty packed, and usually European style music is played rather than Greek. Enjoy the views of the ocean and the Rio-Antirrio Bridge which is magnificently lit up on the weekends.

  • Astir Hotel, Agiou Andreou 16 GR 262 21, [+302610] 277.502, 276.311, [3]. Strategically positioned in the center of Patras, on the quay, right next to the bus and train stations and at an easy walking distance from the Patras port, Astir Patras Hotel is the ideal choice for your stay in the city of Patras, whether you are on business or holiday as it can provide the best Patras accommodation. Surrounded by shops, cafes and buzzing Patras nightlife, there is always something to see and do.  edit
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Etymology

From Patreus, the name of its founder

Proper noun

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Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Singular
Patras

Plural
-

Patras

  1. The capital of the western region of Greece.

Translations

Anagrams

  • Anagrams of satrap

Simple English

Patras (ελληνικά: Πάτρα) is the third biggest Greek town. Patras is located in west Greece. It is the capital of the prefecture of Achaea and it is the capital of the Greek "perifereia" of west Greece. Its population is 171,616 inhabitants, according to the 2001 census. The total population of Patras, including all its suburb, is over 200,000 inhabitants. Patra is a coastal town, so it has a big port. Patras' port connects Greece with east Italian's ports such as Bari, Printezi and Ancona.

History

File:Patras
The church of Agios Antras in Patras

Patra developed in the third century A.C.. During Roman period, Patras became an important town. In Patras Christianity arrived quite early, approximately in first century A.D. During the middle ages Patra wasn't a significant town. Patras developed again after the Greek liberation from the Turks, in 1830.

Sights

[[File:|left|200px|thumb|The bridge Rion-Antirion near Patras]] The most important sight in Patra is the contemporary Bridge Rion-Antirion which links Peloponnese and Sterea Ellada. This bridge is locaded a short distance from Patras' center, in the district Rio. Opposite Rio is Antirio and it ends by the bridge. Other significant sights in Patras are the church of Agios Antreas and the Apollon theater. The church of Agios Antreas is one of biggest churches in Greece.

koi:Патррез







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