Patras, the very ancient city of the mythical Patreus, is the third
largest city in Greece and the
capital of the Prefecture of Achaia.
It is a significant commercial and converging point. Its port constitutes the
western gateway to Greece. Millions
of visitors stop by and admire the exceptional street plan and architectural style
of the city.
The rich historical and cultural heritage of Patras, its significant
religious and archaeological monuments, the pace of a modern, live city that offers
many possibilities for entertainment set the city apart as an attraction pole
of thousands of visitors. In the course of Greek History, from prehistoric times
to our days, Patras has always played a pivotal role in the development and moulding
of historical conditions. Every corner of the city is its own historical reference
The culmination of all the cultural events of the city, as well as
the major winter show of the country is the Carnival of Patras. It is an endless
feast lasting two months during which time the colours, gaiety, imagination, and
high-spiritedness carry away every single inhabitant of the city as they all join
in happiness and sorrow.
The International Festival attracts thousands of visitors every summer.
The biggest names in the Arts and Cultural life of the place honour the deeply
rooted cultural tradition of all the inhabitants of Patras.
The Municipal District Theatre of the city - one of the largest and
most active groups in Greece
- feature outstanding performances of the classics every season.
Sporting events are highly favoured in the city, which as two sizable
football grounds and three indoor Gymnasiums. Popular athletic events are held
in the National Stadium of Patras, whereas basketball, volleyball, and gymnastics
contests of European and International interest are organized and held in the
Palais De Sport. Moreover, there are three modern conference centres with space
available for the organization of commercial and trade exhibits.
Places worth visiting are the following: the Holy Church of Agios
Andreas; the Castle
of Patra; the Archaeological
Museum; the Municipal
Theatre ‘Apollo’ (designed by Ernst Ziller); the Holy Church of
Pantokrator (a Byzantine church); the Roman
Odeon (the most beautiful Roman edifice in the area); the Castle
of Rio built in 1499; the Yirokomio
Monastery; the Monastery
of Omblou; ACHAIA CLAUSS (where a visitor can be toured around the premises
of the wine making plant and have a taste of Mavrodaphni aroma); the Catholic
Church of Agios Andreas, and the Municipal
This text (extract) is cited March 2004 from the Prefecture
of Achaia tourist pamphlet (1999).