|atras, or Patra, as it's known to the locals, is one of the largest working towns in the Peloponnese, and after Pireaus, the second major port in Greece. Patras is also the capital of the Archaia prefecture and owes its name to Patreas, the ancient chief of the Archaians. The region was, of course, also named Archaia after their influence.|
hough politically insignificant through most of antiquity, Patras started to play a more important role in 280 BC, when the Achaian Confederacy was created. In 146 BC the area fell to the Romans and later it embraced Christianity after St. Andrew the Apostle preached in Patras where he was finally martyred. In 1205, Patras occupied center stage with the founding of the Principality of Achaia by the Franks. Not too long after that, it passed into the hands of the Palaiogues, who ruled the Peloponnesse from Mistra where they were succeeded by the Turks in 1460. For a short period (1687-1715), the area was a Venetian colony and was eventually liberated in 1828.
|odern Patras is one of the most important port-cities in Greece and largest of the Peloponnese. It also acts as a major transportation hub now, linking the country with Italy and the Peloponnese with the Ionian islands. The city extends from its shores up to the old Castle area and is divided into two parts: the upper castle area, and the lower with small parks and plazas that give the town a definite distinction. The Cathedral of St. Andrew is the city's patron and rises majestically above the lower city. To the left of it stands an older church built on the site of a Byzantine church that was destroyed by the Turks.|
|n this convenient port-city you can also go to Italy and Cyprus without hassle, as well as connect to the Ionian islands and Crete. These days, the city has become a key link to the transport network of the mainland too. In Patras you can generally find good restaurants and comfortable hotels. In February, Patras is also known for its famous Carnival, which offers a festive sampling of its citizens' imagination filled with humor and high spirits which attracts thousands of visitors every year.|
|he city's innumerable pastry shops, its quiet little cafes, its wide range of tavernas, its lively streets thriving with locals, foreigners and transient travelers complete the picture of Patras as a lively bustling port-center much celebrated throughout Greece.|
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