Patras "past" and "present" through photo collectios
City of Patras
With a population of approximately 400,000, Patras is the third largest city of Greece and the capital of the province, Achaia.
The city's History
Its history begins about 3,000 years B.C. In the beginning Patras was inhabited by Pelasgeans who were the first inhabitants of the Peloponnese. In 1500 B.C. Patras consisted of three small towns. During the Dorian invasions in 1100 B.C. the Achaeans led by the hero Patreus united the three towns into one and settled there. The city derives its name from the Achaean, Patreus and the province, from the Achaeans. During the classical period it was a prosperous city and member of the Achaean League. During the 4th century B.C. it was occupied in turn by the Romans, the Franks and the Venetians. It regained its prominence during the Byzantine era, as a port for travellers and trade from the West. In the 13th century Patras was the base from which the Crusaders launched their conquest of the Peloponnese. Later in its history it passed again into Byzantine hands and finally fell to the Turks in 1460. Four centuries later Patras was the first town to revolt against Turkish rule and in the ensuing struggles it was completely destroyed in reprisal. After its liberation it was rebuilt according to an attractive new plan.
Today, Patras is one of Greece's most important seaports with sea links to Italy's eastern ports, and the Ionian Islands, Kefalonia, Ithaca and Corfu. It is also an important commercial city as well as a tourist centre. Visitors to Patras are impressed by its rich historical heritage. It has a Roman Odeon built in the 2nd century A.D., which is in very good condition. Its seats have been refaced with marble and are the venue for theatrical performances and concerts especially during the Festival of Patras, which is held every summer. Musicians and performers from all over the world take part in the Festival.
Patras was also the scene of St. Andrew's martyrdom, whose relics are kept in the modern church of St. Andrew, the biggest church in the Balkans. The archaeological museum of Patras houses local finds from Mycean tombs, sculptured relieves impressive mosaics, urns and statues from the Achaean period up to the Roman era. The "Castro", a Venetian fortress stands on the summit of a pine-clad hill, the highest point of Patras from which there is a panoramic view of the whole city. Besides its historical sights, Patras has other places of interest. The Achaia Claus Winery built in 1861, is situated 7km from the city centre. It produces wines, which have received word-wide acclaim, while its beautiful hill top site has a magnificent view of the Gulf of Patras.
On the whole, Patras is well known for its well-planned and arcaded streets, its many charming squares, churches, monasteries and ancient relics. Even the most demanding visitor to Patras will find it difficult to get bored. The city's biggest event is the yearly Carnival, which is held 40 days before Easter. Celebrations and festivities last approximately two months. Throughout this period the streets are bright with lively decorations and there are masked balls in the evenings at the Municipal Theatre, dances and masquerades everywhere. On the last Sunday there is a Carnival procession with 200 floats and 20,000-25,000 masquerades dancing in the streets. The Carnival draws to a blazing finish with a fireworks display in the evening. The Carnival attracts many thousands of visitors each year and the city takes on a mythical character.
There is a numerous restaurants, bars, night clubs, cinemas and theatres as well as athletics stadiums, sports centres and swimming pools, all of which make Patras a modern city. There are also many wonderful sandy beaches like Kaminia, Alissos, Lakopetra, Kalogria, Psathopyrgos, Labyri and Loggos where you can go swimming. As far as it concerns sports, Patras has facilities for sports like tennis, basketball, volleyball including windsurfing, sailing and other sea sports. The Gulf of Patras is an ideal spot for fishing and scuba diving.
For those who prefer something more strenuous, mountain climbing is the answer. Mountains near Patras are Mt. Erymanthos (2,224m), Mt. Panachaikos (1,926m)and Mt. Helmos (2,335m). The Hellenic Alpine Club of Patras organises excursions every weekend. Mt. Helmos is also an ideal ski resort during the winter months for those who enjoy skiing. Then there is the National Stadium which is 200m from the T.E.I. campus. It seats 20,000 people and is the venue for athletic games throughout the year.
All these add up to an interesting and exciting way to enjoy one's stay in Patras.
The address of the institute is:
T.E.I. of Patras
Koukouli, 263 34 Patras, Greece.
Telephone Exchange: +30-61-369000
President: +30-61-325101, 325102
Public Relations Office: +30-61-369135
The telephone exchange has 200 internal phone connections to all the administration and staff offices at the institute.
How to reach the T.E.I. of Patras
From Athens (215km). The journey takes 2 1/2 hours via the National Road Athens-Patras.
Frequent Public Bus Services get you to the T.E.I. in approximately 15 minutes from the town centre. (about 4km).
From Athens, from the Kifisos bus station. There is a bus service every hour to Patras. It takes about 3 hours.
From Athens, 5 trains daily. By bus or taxi to the T.E.I.
Car ferry services from Italy (Brindisi, Ancona, Bari, Venice).
On campus there are free parking facilities.