We spent the morning of March 16, our last morning in The Peloponnese, in the port city of Patras.
Patras is one of Greece’s main ports. Indeed, almost all trade with Italy, Greece’s primary trading partner, originates in and out of Patras.
Patras has been settled since The Mycenaean Period. The city has been occupied over the centuries by many different civilizations, foreign and Greek, and the centuries of foreign influence have graced Patras with a cosmopolitan air. Modern Patras is part Byzantine, part European (Italian and French are the leading influences), part Ottoman and part Greek.
The Patras of today has a population of approximately 200,000 persons.
Patras was a pleasant surprise for us. We were expecting nothing from Patras, as Patras is off the standard tourist route, but we found the city to be a delightful place for a morning’s exploration.
Perhaps the most important building in Patras is the city’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Agios Andreas, a 20th-Century structure in the Greek Byzantine style that is the largest house of worship in Greece. The Agios Andreas houses numerous relics of The Apostle Andrew.
We very much enjoyed exploring Patras’s seaport and strolling the streets of the city center. In fact, we enjoyed Patras more than our visit to ancient Olympia the previous afternoon.
We left Patras via the new Rio-Antirio Bridge, which connects The Peloponnese with Greece’s mainland.
Our crossing of Rio-Antirio marked the end of our three days in The Peloponnese.