Pirgos is the capital of the prefecture of Ilia. The town owes its
name to the presence of a tall tower (pyrgos) erected by loannis Tsernotas (1512-20).
It was known by this name as early as 1687.
Its chief landmarks are the two exquisite neoclassical buildings designed by Schiller, the Municipal Market and the Apollo Municipal Theater.
In the evenings the residents of this little town congregate in the flagstone paved main square lined by cafes and pastry shops. In the narrow alleyways, small tavernas and grills serve up local delicacies, savory tidbits from Ilia's fertile soil.
In 1995 the "Olympia Film Festival" started for children and young people and it takes place every year with great success.
The history of the town is the "history of the raisins: itself. "The raisin issue" was an important one for the area in the first three decades of the country.
The port in Katakolo has played an important role in the economic development of the town. Other factors that contributed to that development were the construction of the railway that connected Pyrgos with Katakolo, the extensive cultivation of vineyards and the workers that moved to Pyrgos from Gortinia, Zakynthos and Cephalonia.
The economic development had a positive effect in the town itself. The town hall, the neoclassical market by Chiller, the Apollo theatre and some neoclassical houses were built around that time.
What also contributed to the cultural development of the town were the newspapers "Patris" (the oldest one in Greece!) and "Avgi", the magazine "Odysseus" that presented in its pages the famous poets Elytis, Seferis and Kavafis under the supervision of the poet Takis Sinopoulos, the broadcasting station and the Public Library.
In the last decades the charity organizations "Agia Filothei" and "Vasiliada" were set up, the "Latsio Dimotiko Megaro" was built and the "Apollo" theatre was restored.
This text is cited December 2004 from the West Greece Region General Secretariat URL below, which contains image.
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