Patras is the third largest city in Greece and the capital of the Achaea Prefecture, region of Western Greece and the largest urban centre and port of the Peloponnese. Patras is the largest financial, commercial and cultural centre of the Peloponnese and Western Greece. During the four millennia of its history and more specifically in the Roman period, Patras was a cosmopolitan centre of the Mediterranean, while, according to Christian tradition, it was the place of the martyrdom of Saint Andrew.

It is called the Gate of Greece to the West, since it is an international commercial centre, a large port and hub for trade and communication with Italy and Western Europe.


Patras Castle

The Patras Castle was built during the second half of the 6th century AD, on top of the ruins of the ancient Acropolis. It was constructed by emperor Justinian after the catastrophic earthquake of 551 using materials from the pre-Christian structures for the defence of the region and its residents. It is located on a low hill of the Panachaiko Mountain and at a distance of 800 meters approximately from the coast. Its walls enclose an area of 22,725 m² and it consists of a triangular outer enclosure, fortified with towers and bastions, originally protected by a moat and an inner enclosure on the north-eastern corner, also enclosed by a moat.

Orthodox Church of Saint Andrew

It is the largest church in the Balkans. Apart from the remarkable icon paintings, the church keeps the skull and arm of Saint Andrew as well as the wooden “Χ” on which he martyred. Next to the majestic Church of Saint Andrew there is the old church dedicated to Saint Andrew as well. In this church there is a subterranean well from where Saint Andrew used to drink water.

New Archaeological Museum of Patras

The exhibition consists of three large thematic sections, which occupy respectively the three exhibition rooms of the Museum. It is the section of the Private Life, the section of the Necropolis and the section of Public Life.

Roman monuments

Roman monuments are scattered in the historic centre of Patras and constitute a unified archaeological site of major historical importance. These monuments are symbols of the growth of Patras during the Roman occupation, since Patras during that period was favoured by Rome. The monuments are the roman amphitheatre, the roman nymphaea, the roman aqueduct and the bridge of Meilichos.

1.    The amphitheatre built in the 1st century AD during the reign of Domitian, is located near the roman Odeon and is 200 meters long and 90 meters wide. This stadium hosted the “Caesarean Games”, athletic events in honour of Caesar for the 100 years from the foundation of the colony of Patras.
2.    The nymphaea constitute examples of the intense roman life and of the direct influence of the Romans since they are buildings of the 4th century AD which were used as recreation areas. They had water springs, gardens and they were later on used as temples and cemeteries.
3.    The roman aqueduct is located in the area near the castle in the form of an artificial dam and is nowadays part of the modern reservoir. Nymphs, water deities were worshipped in that area during antiquity. The aqueduct was based on the principle of the communicating vessels.
4.    The bridge of Meilichos (Pic. 2) is part of a Roman military road named Via Publica and is located in the eastern entranceway of Patras at Aretha Street. It was constructed around the 2nd to the 3rd century AD and is known as the bridge of Pausanias since Pausanias passed that bridge during his journey in the area.

Ancient Roman Odeon

The Ancient Roman Odeon of Patras is located near Saint George’s square and was constructed in the mid-2nd century AD, earlier than the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens. It consists of all the basic areas of the theatre, koilon, orchestra, proscenium, stage and backstage. It is smaller than the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and has a capacity of approximately 2,500 spectators.
Since the establishment of the Patras International Art Festival, the Ancient Odeon is the main seat, hosting during the summer months leading Greek and foreign art groups.

The Lighthouse of Patras

It is located across the church of Saint Andrew. It is an identical copy of the old historic lighthouse of Patras, which was constructed again a bit further from its initial location and constitutes the trademark of the city. The Lighthouse impresses people from far away, and it functions as an attraction, since the residents and the visitors may go for a walk, enjoy the sunset and visit the nearby restaurant-café.

King George I Square

King George I Square is located in the heart of Patras with two magnificent fountains designed by Ziller, representing Lions with wings. Around the square there are shops, cafeterias, as well as many neoclassical buildings, such as the Municipal Theatre “Apollon” work by Ziller (1871), where many performances are carried out, the building “Hermes” of the Trade Association (also a work by Ziller) and the magnificent building of the National Bank of Greece.

Saint George’s Square (or 25th of March)

It is located across the Ancient Odeon of Patras and is the historic square where the Achaeans fighters with Palaion Patron Germanos took the oath to give themselves body and soul to the fight in order to win “freedom or death”.

Psila Alonia Square

The square was given its name because of the previous use of the area which was used for threshing. Today, beautiful and prim enchants so much the children with its playground as the grownups who may enjoy their coffee watching the colourful water-jets from the fountain    dominating in the area and catching the eye of every passerby. Here you will see the statue of Palaion Patron Germanos and the Solar Clock.

Achaia Clauss

In 1859, Gustav Clauss, representative of the company Fels and Co., purchased an area of 60 stremma at an altitude of 500 meters, in the area of Riganokampos from the landowner George Kostakis. He built his summer residence there, where he planted vines. In 1861 he established the winery Achaia Clauss.
The factory today has several storage spaces, with a capacity of 7,500 tons. The main ones are: the storehouse with the old Mavrodaphne, the storehouse with the table wines, the underground storage tanks as well as the storehouse Daniilidas. The “imperial cellar,” where all the barrels are souvenirs from visits of Greek and foreign Royalty, is particularly interesting.


Ancient Olympia

Ancient Olympia from where the Olympic Flame starts its journey, spreading the message of the reconciliation of people, constitutes one of the most important monuments of Greece. Among dozens of brilliant structures, the gymnasium, palaestra, stadium, temples, baths, villas, shrines, sculptures and statues, the imposing Temple of the Olympian Zeus dominates. The great gold and ivory statue of Zeus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world was located inside.

Archaeological Museum of Ancient Olympia

The beautiful Archaeological Museum of Olympia houses important exhibits of unique value, among them the extraordinary statue of Hermes by Praxiteles. The Old Museum has been transformed to a Museum of the History of the Olympic Games in Antiquity, housing exhibits representing the long history of the Games.

Temple of Apollo Epicurius

The Temple of Apollo Epicurius is one of the best preserved monuments of classical antiquity.  Specifically it is the best preserved temple after the temple of Hephaestus in Athens. This temple could be ranked the best for the beauty of its marble and its harmony, out of all the temples in Peloponnese and after that of Tegea. The Temple was dedicated to Apollo Epicurius by the villagers of Figalos since he protected them from a plague. The final temple was constructed during the second half of the 5th century BC (420-410 BC) by Ictinus who was also the architect of the Parthenon and thus was described as the “twin Parthenon”.

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