It is the second largest city of the prefecture, 41klm from Patra.
It is situated at the position of the ancient city which had been inhabited since
the Prehistoric Age.
Aegio was built by the Pelasgous and it was named after Aigos who had nourished Zeus at that place. Later it was colonized by the Ions and it was greatly developed during the Historic Period, especially after the destruction of the neighboring city, Eliki. It was then that Egio became the capital of the Achaic Association.
In 146 BC it was subjugated by the Romans, right after the conquest of Korinthos and later by various invaders and conquerors. During the Byzantine Age it was renamed "Vostitsa".
As it was a religious and administrative center, it became the capital of the Achaic Association (276 BC). This city never lost its importance despite the barbarian invasions and the Franc Rule (1209-1422). Its development was continued even during the Turkish Rule. Aegio was the first city that was liberated during the Revolution of 1821 (26 March). The old part of the city is quite interesting.
Worth seeing places
Panagia Faneromeni is the Holy Metropolis of Aegion. The church of the presentation of the Virgin is the oldest church of the city. The first church was built in 1366, destroyed by earthquakes and rebuilt greater based on plans of Ernst Ziller. The painter Kostas Fanellis decorated the church with fine Byzantine icons.
The monastery of Taxiarches Angels is also a work of art. The first one was funded in 1712, but it was destroyed by fire in the ages of the Turk occupation. Today's temple dates from 1896 and it is also decorated by the painter Kostas Fanellis. A work of art is the temple of Eisodia, also based on plans of Ernst Ziller.
One of the loveliest places for the visitor to enjoy the view to the Corinthian Gulf is the square of Psila Alonia. A square full of flowers and trees, that holds a special place in the center of Aegion. In the center of the square the building of Municipal cafe is placed. It is an imposing tower-like building, surrounded by trees, pine trees and flowers, and it gives special beauty to the city. This "tower" has been designed in Venetian style and is "represents" the traditional town style. Across the square one can also find a lovely park with the monument of the lost soldier in front. It represents Mother Greece holding in her arms a solder who died for his country (sculptured by Dmitriadis).
Near the port the historic Plane tree of Vostitsa stands next to twelve fountains, where water flows from twelve lion heads. The famous archaeologist Eric Sleaman, in his book Troy and Peloponnese, reports this plane tree and says that it dates back in the year 1450 or more. Pausanias did not report the tree in his Achaecs's, but he did report the fountains nearby. Scientists estimate that the age of the plane tree is more than 600 years. During these years, it had a 12 m. circumference of torso and 50 m. wide branches.
Ascending from the railroad station to Aegio, one can see the famous steps of the old city. 172 stony steps, which were built in 1901, have the width of a normal street and connect the downtown and the port with the upper main city.
The port of Aegion, with a long history, dates from 373 BC.
The nice road made with stony plates leads from the plane tree to the Archaeological Museum of Aegion. The museum houses the restored neoclassical agora, designed by Ernst Ziller. Its area is 880 square meters and, according to an inscription that can be found at the north side, it was built in 1890.
The famous church of Panagia Trypiti (fountain of life) is located on the waterfront. 150 steps lead up to the asceterion, a small cave. It was here that the Miraculous Icon of the Mother of God was discovered. It is an art of Osios Lucas. According to tradition, during the 17th century a voyager was shipwrecked off the shores of the Corinthian Gulf. In the darkness of the night he discerned a light near the shore. Gathering up all his strength, he finally made his way ashore and reached the place where the light shone. As he approached the spot, he was amazed to find himself before an icon of the Virgin in front of which a lamp was burning. The voyager erected a small chapel on the spot, which developed into a renewed Monastery. Panagia Trypiti became the protector and Patron Saint of the Christians of the area, and a National Shrine. Her feast day is the Friday of the week after Easter, and after a divine service in the central square of Aegion, a litany follows.
One of the few but major ecological places is the semi salt lagoon of Aliki. It is an essential ecosystem that lies three kilometers east of the town, and occupies 180 acres. Its vital position, connecting east Greece to the west, is very important for the rare species and birds that visit the lake every year. Aliki's ecosystem can be divided in tree subsystems: a) the main lagoon, b) the coast zone, c) the cultivated fields. The Aliki ecosystem is very important because it offers opportunities to various species that are in the danger of elimination. After calculations, scientists estimate that 210 various birds live there.
The beach nearest to the city is Aliki, it is a good place for swimming and sunbathing. Following a small road along the coast eastward, one passes the train station and Saint Nicholas church. There are cafes and restaurants, bus connection as well. The first village on the west is Rododafni and turning to the right you can find the seashore village Akoli at 4 km. Akoli has become a popular seaside resort, especially with young people. The village has rooms to rent, taverns and vivid nightlife in the summer. Another popular beach is Selianitika and Loggos in about 10 km from Aegio. There you can find hotels, rooms to rent, restaurants and taverns. There are many coffee shops and bars even an open-air cinema. Lampiri is situated 16 km from Aegio with well-known coast and tourist facilities.
Leaving Aegio eastward one can arrive at these beaches: Digeliotika, Temeni (long history, nice houses, pebbly beach), Valimitika (5km), Nikoleika, Rodia, Elaionas (Tripia), Pounta (Trapeza beach), Diakofto (12 km).
Psila Alonia is the biggest and most known square of Aegion. From that point the view to Corinthian gulf is magnificent. It is a place of gathering, entertainment and the place for various cultural events (Elikia Anthestiria festivals). One can find coffee-shops, restaurants, and the evergreen park of the city with many plants and a lovely small pool.
The archaeological Museum of Aegion is located in the east side of the neoclassical agora of Aegion. There are 6 rooms where the exhibits are set out in chronological order from the Neolithic to the Roman period. The finds come mainly from Aegion and the other villages of Aigialeia (Aigeira, Keryneia, Rypes and others). The exhibition follows a chronological order so that it can demonstrate the historical events and the variations in art of every historic season. Aspecial place is dedicated to the marble statue of Zeus Aigiochos (1st century BC). The main room can hold up to 300 persons, and it is dedicated to the memory of Melina Mercouri.
The History and Folk Museum, is hosted in a traditional stony house that belonged to the historic family of Lontos. It covers a large historic period (from the Turk occupation until today) of Aigialia, preserving the local tradition and cultural heritage.
The building of the Town Hall is also an old reconstructed building as well as the building of cultural center, that was used first as hospital.
The Agia Lavra square in the center of Aegion, is also in the center of the economical and commercial life of Aegion.
This text is cited December 2004 from the West Greece Region General Secretariat URL below, which contains image.
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