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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 Every corner of the city is its own historical reference point.
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 Gallery.
This text (extract) is cited March 2004 from the Prefecture of Achaia tourist pamphlet (1999).
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