Patras is one of the most ancient inhabited areas of Greece. It is the third largest city in Greece, the gate to Italy and the rest of Europe through its port. It is scattered with a wealth of archaeological, religious, cultural and architectural monuments.

A. Archaeological sites and Museum

  1. Roman Theatre of Patras

The Roman theatre of Patras predates that of Athens, also known as Herodeion. It is the physical extension of the Roman Market and its accidental discovery is due to excavations of aggregate material for the building of the new port of the town. It consists of 23 rows of seats very well preserved able to host approximately 2,300 spectators. This theatre hosts a lot of theatrical plays, a variety of cultural events and the main events of the well-known Festival of Patras.

2. Mycenaean settlement of Vounteni

Just a few kilometers of the city center, on the outskirt of the town is located the ancient settlement of Vounteni. An archaeological site of 180 square kilometers wide area, inhabited from 1,500 BC until 1,000 BC (for 500 years). Inside this area is also located a well preserved graveyard full of chambered tombs covering an area of 30 acres, with a lot of findings that have been transferred to the new Archaeological Museum of Patras.

3. Prehistoric Cyclopean Dymaean Wall

The prehistoric acropolis of the Dymaean Wall , also known as Castle of Kalogria, is located near the airport of Araxos, about 35 km to the west of Patras. It is one of the very few examples of fortified buildings of the era in the region. The first inhabitance is dated to the Neolithic period (circa 3,500 BCE), while during the first common Greek era and the middle Greek era (around 3,200 to 1,680 BCE) the inhabitance has been more tentative and the settlement expanded to a larger area. During WWII the area has been used as a military camp by the German occupational army that built artillery stations, warehouses, shelters and other related buildings causing irreparable damage to ancient remains.

B. Other important buildings and monuments of Patras

  1. Municipal Theatre “Apollo”

Built by famous German architect Ernst Ziller, that built a lot of famous buildings throughout Greece under the neoclassical theme. This theatre is considered a scaled down version of “Teatro alla Scala” in Milan. Built in 1872, it reflects the urban and economic development of the period with the intense raisin trade and of course the connection with the neighboring Italy.

  1. Old Municipal Hospital of Patras

It is a building of neoclassical rhythm, built by the Danish architect Ch. E. Hansen that faced a lot of changes of use over the years. Since its restoration in 1991 the building became the Municipal Cultural Center.

3. Prehistoric Cyclopean Dymaean Wall

The prehistoric acropolis of the Dymaean Wall , also known as Castle of Kalogria, is located near the airport of Araxos, about 35 km to the west of Patras. It is one of the very few examples of fortified buildings of the era in the region. The first inhabitance is dated to the Neolithic period (circa 3,500 BCE), while during the first common Greek era and the middle Greek era (around 3,200 to 1,680 BCE) the inhabitance has been more tentative and the settlement expanded to a larger area. During WWII the area has been used as a military camp by the German occupational army that built artillery stations, warehouses, shelters and other related buildings causing irreparable damage to ancient remains.

2. The House of Kostis Palamas

It is the house that Greece’s important author and poet of the modern era, Kostis Palamas was born. At the same house was born the famous Italian novelist and first female editor in an Italian newspaper, Matilde Serao. You can visit the house that contains personal artifacts of the author as well as the original furniture of the era.

3. Achaia Clauss

The winery of Achaia Clauss is located in the area of Petroto (which means rocky), was founded by the Bavarian Gustav Clauss, that came to the area as a raisin exporter for a German company. When he visited the area he was fascinated and decided to settle down on a vineyard of 60 acres that ended up on the now famous castle-winery that is operated and preserved until this day.

The sweet red wine that first produced by Clauss, called after his first love Daphne (that died at young age) and due to the grape’s dark colour Mavrodaphne is one of the most known Greek wines throughout the world. The Achaia Clauss winery is considered to be the founder of wine tourism in Greece as the first visitor of the winery was princess Elisabeth (or Sissy) of the Austro Hungarian Empire in 1885, and in her honor the cellar was name the “Imperial Cellar”.

4. Messianic Castle of Patras

Located at the foot of mount Panachaikos, with its foundations dated at around 600 AD, during the reign of emperor of Constantinople (modern day Istanbul) Justinian. Its construction was carried out with building material of the ancient acropolis located at the same place that has already collapsed.

The history of the Castle is long and closely connected with the history of the city. In the 9th century Patras was attacked by the Slavs and Saracens from land and sea. The invaders were defeated and their defeat was attributed to the Patron Saint Andreas. In 1205 the Franks occupy the city and the Castle and Patras has been turned into a barony belonging to the Principate of Achaia based in Andravida. At the same time it became the seat of the Latin archbishop, which gradually acquired great political power. In 1408 the Pope leased the city to the Venetians for 5 years along with the castle as headquarters.

In 1428 the emperor of Constantinople, Constantine Paleologos liberated the Castle, the walls of which were repaired and additions were made. In 1458 the city was handed over to the Turks and gradually the Castle was transformed into an administrative center, as the military defense of the area was transferred to the Castle of Rio. Today, inside the Castle, elements of the Ancient Acropolis are preserved as its reconstruction was carried out with materials that pre-existed in the area.

5. Museums of Patras

The main museums of Patras are the New Archaeological Museum, located at the entrance of the city, the Old Archaeological Museum located at the town center, the Historic/National Museum, the Museum of Culture and Arts, the Folklore Museum, the Museum of Press (which is unique in whole Greece) and finally, the Museums of University of Patras, which are the Zoological and Botanical.

6. The Ottoman Baths (Hamam)

Very well preserved building in the area of Old or Upper Town of Patras, founded 500 years ago, under Ottoman occupation of the area. The baths have constantly been operative ever since and even today operate the Turkish hamams (steambaths).

The most known of these monuments are the Messianic Castle of the Old Town (also called Upper Town), the Roman Theatre, the Municipal Theatre of Apollo, the wine castle of Achaia Claous, the archaeological site of Vounteni and finally the miracle bridge “Charilaos Trikoupis” that connects Rio with Antirio and in extension the central mainland of Greece.

Another important fact is the geographical position of the town of Patras, which is on the center of the archaeological area that contains Ancient Olympia, Delphi, Mycenae and Epidavros. All of these archaeological sites are only a few hours away that can be visited as a daily excursion. Close to the town of Patras is located the rich in history village of Kalavryta.