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Acarnania and .astolia, an4 immediately in front of Patras by tho two rugged hills which rise abruptly from the shore between the lagunes of Mesolonghi and the straits of Iihium. In the latter direction the prospect is terminated by the town of Lepanto and the mountains above it. The Corinthian Gulf has tho appearance of a vast mountain-lake.
In modern times Patras has been tho theatre of many sanguinary contests between the Latin princes and the Greek emperors. The latter sold it to the Venetians in 1408, from whom it was taken by the Turks, after a brilliant defence, in 1446. It was wrested from them by Doria in 1532, and continued under the Venetian dominion till 1714, when the whole of the Morea fell under the Ottoman yoke.
Although Patras was the first town that suffered during the Greek revolution, and was the stronghold of the Turks, its destruction was never so nearly complete as that of many other Greek cities; but its environs, so much extolled by earlier travellers, the woods of olives, the vineyards, the orange, lemon, and pomegranate groves, &c, the source of so much enjoyment to its inhabitants, have been laid waste by fire and sword. The population of Patras at the commencement of this century was estimated at 10,000. After the war, it was computed at only 8000, but it has risen (1871) to about 24,000.
We have said that Patras was the first Greek town that suffered in the causeof modern Hellenic freedom. Germanos, its patriot archbishop, was summoned to Tripolitza on suspicion of favouring Ypsilanti's insurrection in Moldavia in 1821; but he had not proceeded farther than Kalabryta, when, finding the people disposed to support him, ho openly raised tho standard of the cross and of independence on the 6th of April, 1821. No sooner had this intelligence reached Patras, than the whole population, already ripe for revolt, rose simultaneously. Unprepared and alarmed, the Turks took refuge in the castle, having previously set fire to the lower town, which was nearly
consumed. The castle they continued to hold throughout the war, and it was finally surrendered only after tho conclusion of hostilities. In March, 1832, the Suliot chieftain Tzavellos seized upon this fortress, and continued to hold it, in defiance of the Government, until King Otho's arrival in Greece, when he quietly resigned it to the royal authorities. It is now occupied by a small garrison of Greek soldiers, and is partly used as a prison. The fortifications arc in a ruinous state. Outside tho walls there is a remarkably fine plane-tree, whoBe trunk is 25 feet in circumference at 4 feet from the ground.
Since the date of King Otho's accession, Patras has been rebuilt and enlarged. It no longer occupies the site of the ancient and mediaeval town, on tho declivity of Mount Panachaicum, but is built on the level space close to the sea. The new streets are wide and regular, generally running at right angles to each other; and several are built with arcades. Many of tho houses, especially thoso of tho foreign consuls, arc spacious, but the majority are only of one or two stories high; a precaution necessary in a place so liable to earthquakes, to the frequency of which may be ascribed the disappearance of almost all remains of classical antiquity, Patras is subject to fevers, the effects of the malaria of the adjacent plains. Good Greek capotee are made here, half of goat's hair, half of wool, and they are sold cheaper than elsewhere. There are some tolerable shops, where various Eastern curiosities may be purchased, such as pipes, different kinds of sweetmeats, &c. Like the other towns of Greece, the general aspect of Patras presents some new, comfortable, unpicturesque houses, rising out of a mass of hovels. There are few mediaeval buildings or quaint streets in Greece, Buc£ as lend so peculiar a charm to Italian towns; such were swept away (wherever they existed) by the revolution; and the existing edifices date almost invariably from 1830, or later. The splendid Greek costumes, more striking from the contrast of the dilapidation around, will bo admired by every traveller in the streets of Patras.
The steamers from Corfu usually remain long enough at Patras to enable their passengers to land and visit the chief objects of interest, namely, the Castle, and the Church of St. Andrew and Well of Ceres; and to take a stroll through the town. Those travellers who choose to begin their tour in the interior from this point, had better call on the English Consul for the Morea, whose residence is at Patras, and from whom they will receive tho beat information respecting the stato of the roads, and the health and security of the country. There is excellent woodcock-shooting in winter in the woods to the west of Patras, especially about Ali TcheUbi, 8 hours' journey in that direction. In the autumn there is good quail-shooting round the town, and red-legged partridges are found on the mountains above. The lagoons of Mesolonghi abound with wild fowl of all kinds.
Patras is by far the most important commercial town on the continent of Greece, and carries on a large and increasing trade. Its roadstead is crowded in August and September with English vessels, loading cargoes of currants. A mole, has been constructed for the protection of the harbour, which is still, however, unsafe, and exposed to heavy seas. The principal exports, besides currants (by far the most important article), are oil, valonea, raw silk and cotton, wool, skins, wax, &c. The imports here, as elsewhere in Greece, consist principally of colonial produce, manufactured goods, 4c., chiefly from the Ionian Islands, Great Britain, Venice, Trieste, Leghorn, and Marseilles.
Leaving Patras tho Greek steamer proceeds in about 9 hours to Corinth, touching once a fortnight at Naupoctus (Lepanto), iEgium (Vostitza), Galaxidi, and Amphissa (Salona). The Corinthian Gulf resembles, as wo have said, a large inland lake. It is surrounded by mountains, and the heights towards the W. shut out the view of the open sea. In beauty of scenery it surpasses even the most beautiful lakes
of Switzerland and Northern Italy. "Its coasts, broken into an infinite variety of outline by tho ever-changing mixture of bold promontory, gentlo slope, and cultivated level, are crowned on every side by lofty mountains of tho most majestic forms" (Leake). Sailing from Patras towards Corinth, wo see on the right tho tops of Panachaicnm, Erymanthus, and other l'eloponnesian summits, rising like colossal pyramids; and, on the left, the lofty highlands of ^Etolia, with Parnassus and Helicon beyond. The northern shore of the gulf is throughout more rugged and abrupt than the southern, formed by tho province of Achaiu, which is a narrow slip of coastlaud, lying upon the slope of the northern range or Arcadia, through which tho only passes are a few deep and narrow gorges. The whole of the western part of Achaia is forest and pasture, but currant vineyards surround Patras and Vostitza, and are rapidly extending along the shore. The plains are intersected by numerous mountain torrents, most of which become dry in summer. The level along the coast of Achaia appears to have been formed in the course of ages by the soil deposited by these mountain-torrents, descending from the lofty highlands that rise immediately at the buck of the plains.
The Corinthian Gulf consists of two distinct portions, an outer and an inner sea, separated from one another by the narrow strait, little more than a mile across, between the promontories Rhium and Antirhium. The inner sea, W. of these promontories, was called originally (he Crimean Gulf, but after the time of Thucydides the Corinthian Gulf l>ecame the more general designation. The Peloponnesian promontory is called Rhium, that.to tho N. Antirhium: on either there is a dilapidated mediaeval fortress, called respectively the Cattle of die Morea, and the Cattle of Iloumelia. The strait between them has sometimes been called the Little Dardanellet. It has already been observed that the famous Battle of Lepanto was fought outside this strait, off tho Echinadcs or Curzolriri Islands. The combined fleets of tho Christian States of the Mediterranean, under Don John of Austria, a natural son of Charles V., signally defeated the Ottoman fleet in October, 1571. This was the first great reverse experienced by the Ottomans, and served to destroy the long cherished idea of their invincibility.
About 4 miles E.N.E. of the Castle of Roumelia is
Naupactus, Italice Lepanto; called Epakto by the Greek peasants. The steamers stop off this place for a few minutes to land and take up passengers. Its appearance is very singular as seen from the sea. The fortress and town occupy the south-eastern and southern sides of a hill reaching down to the shore. The place is surrounded by mediaeval fortifications resembling those common among the ancients in positions similar to that of Naupactus; that is to say, it occupies a triangular slope with a citadel at the apex, and several cross walls on tho slope, dividing it into subordinate inclosures. At Naupactus there aro no less than five inclosures between the summit and the sea, with gates of communication from the one to the other. Probably the modern walls follow exactly tho ancient plan of the fortress, for in many parts they stand upon Hellenic foundations, and retain large pieces of ancient masonry amidst tho modern work. The modern town, with its 1500 inhabitants, occupies only the lowest inclosure; in the middle of which, and formed by a curve in the seaward wall, is tho small harbour which made so great a figure in ancient history, especially in that of the Pcloponnesian war. It is now choked with rubbish, and is capable of receiving only very small craft.
The walls of Lepanto consist of a dilapidated rampart, with towers and battlements. The mosques and houses of the former Turkish inhabitants are all in ruins. A few Greek soldiers are stationed here. It is scarcely worth while to land.
Naupactus is said to havo derived its name from the Heraclida> having
there built the fleet with which they invaded the Peloponnesus. It was ono of the chief towns of the Locri Ozolie. After tho Persian wars it fell into tho power of the Athenians, who hero settled the Messenians, who had been compelled to leave their own country at the end of the third Messenian war, B.C. 455. During the Pcloponnesian war it was the head-quarters of the Athenians in all their operations in Western Greece. A squadron was also stationed hero by them to guard the entrance of the Corinthian Gulf. At the end of the war, the Messenians were obliged to leave Naupactus, which afterwards passed through the hands of the Locrians, the jEtolians, the Macedonians, tho Achroans and tho Romans. Though chiefly deriving its importance in tho meridian age of Hellenic history from its harbour at the entrance of tho gulf, the town was indebted probably for its earliest foundation to its strong hill, the fertility of its territory, and its copious supply of running water. The little plains on either side of tho present town are covered with olives, corn-fields, and vineyards.
From Naupactus the steamer crosses to the southern shoro of the Gulf, and soon reaches
rfUgium, or Vostiiza, whero it generally stops long enough to enable tho passengers to land, walk through tho town, and visit the venerable planetree, its chief curiosity. There is a tolerable khan hero, and lodgings can easily be procured in private houses.
Tho name of Vostitza (derived from a word signifying a garden) is as old as the time of the later Byzantine historians, but the classical appellation of iEgium has been restored by law here, as everywhere else in Greece since tho revolution. Tho town stands chiefly upon a hill, terminating towards the sea in a cliff about 50 ft. high, which is separated from the beach by a narrow level. Here are some copious sources of water, shaded by a magnificent and celebrated plane-tree, older probably than the Ottoman Empire, and 46 ft. in girth. The trunk is hollow from' age, and a chamber is formed in it, which, during the war of Independence, was frequently used as a prison. Those huge old branches extend 150 ft.
Along the shore are the store-houses of the currant - merchants, some of whom here, as well as at Patras, are Englishmen. A broad and well-made road now winds up from the sea to the town above. More to the W. a remarkable opening in the cliff, originally perhaps artificial, has a paved path through it, connecting the town with the place of embarkation, which is just below the fountains. The currants and other export produce of this part of Achaia are brought here for shipment, and a large number of English and other foreign vessels annually repair to this port. The harbour is formed by a low alluvial point at the mouth of a river which corresponds to the Meganitet of FausaniaB. Being sheltered from the W. by this point, it is a safer port than that of Patras, but it is not sufficiently capacious, and is rather too deep for merchant vessels, having a depth of 6 or 7 fathoms, close to the shore. It is exposed, moreover, towards the N. and N.E.; Btill its easy access, and the fine springs so commodiously placed for watering ships, will always secure to this port a great commercial importance; the more so, as the only other places on the coast frequented by ships between it and Patras, are mere anchorages. The fino harbours of the northern coast of the Corinthian Gulf form a great contrast to the Peloponnesus, which, on its northern and western sides, possesses not a single really good haven except Pylos (Navarino). Again, for ship or boat building, the mountains behind Vostitza produce pine-wood in abundance; and other kinds of timber may also be procured in the western parts of Achaia, or from the mountains on the northern and eastern shores of the Gulf.
The currant trade affords means of subsistence to the greater part of the population of the town, which amounts to about 4000. Vostitza was formerly ill built and straggling, but it is now rapidly improving, and houses of a
better description, and greater regularity of plan, havo been constructed in recent years. Some of the proprietors of the neighbouring currant vineyards are prosperous and hospitable. The situation is not generally considered to be healthy.
The copious fountains, tho defensible hill, the fertile plains, and the rivers on either side, were doubtless tho original cause of the Greek settlement on this spot. To the advantage of tho harbour, and its central position in the Corinthian Gulf, we may ascribo the magnitude and importance of jEgium in a more advanced stage of society. It is mentioned in the Homerio catalogue: and after the destruction of the neighbouring city of Helice by an earthquake in B.C. 373, it obtained the territory of tho latter, and thus became the chief city of Achaia. From this time JCgium was chosen as tho place of meeting for tho Achaean League; and even under the Roman empire the Achamns were allowed to keep up the form of their periodical meetings at iEgium, just as the Amphictyons were permitted to meet at ThermopyUe and Delphi (Paus. vii. 24). The establishment of Roman colonies at Corinth and Patras reduced, however, jEgiuin from its ancient supremacy among the cities of tho Gulf. Pausanias has left a full and interesting description of the city and its public buildings at the period of his Greek travels. Vostitza was taken by tho Turks in 1458.
The principal remains of the ancient jEgium have been lately discovered on a hill to the E. of the modern town. Several statues and other sculptures of great merit have also been dug up, and some of them may be seen in the houses of Vostitza. A great part of the modem town was destroyed by an earthquake in 1819; and this, combined with the crumbling naturo of the soil, is the cause of there being so few relics of antiquity here.
Vostitza commands a fino view of the Achaian coast, as well as of all the summits on the northern sido of tho Gulf, from the mountain behind Kaupactua to the peaks near Corinth, o
Parnassus and Helicon are very conspicuous. Naupactus is just hid by the Achaian coast. In front of Vostitza, in a part of Lokris, a singular height rising over the centre of the rocky islets, called Tritonia, is the position of some Hellenic remains.
From Vostitza to the convent of Megaspelaxm the distance is about 20 m., and occupies 6 or 7 hrs. Tolerably good horses may be procured in Vostitza for this excursion. The traveller will, of course, sleep iu the monastery.
From Vostitza the steamer proceeds to Galaxidi, an important tradingpost, and noted for its seamen during the war of Independence; and thence to Amphissa (Salona) where Captain Hastings gained an important naval victory over the Turks, in the revolutionary war. (See Mr. Finlay's ' History of the War of Independence.') Amphissa produces excellent olives. Thence the steamer proceeds to Corinth, and, in case of a southernly wind blowing, to
Lulraki.—This little port is at a a short distance to the N. of thosite of Ijechssum, the ancient port town of Corinth on the Corinthian Gulf, as Cenchreic was on tho Saronie Gulf. The position of I/echajum is now indicated by a lagoon, surrounded by hillocks of snnd; but there are few vestiges of ancient remains.
Lutraki is at the narrowest part of the Isthmus. A good road about 4 m. Ion? connects Corinth and Lutraki with Calnmiiki, on the Gulf of Salamis. Carriages are provided by the Greek Steam Company for the transport of passengers and their luggage. Horses and guides are found in abundance at both Lutraki and Calamaki. It takes nearly 2 hrs. to ride or walk from Lutraki to Corinth; 2 hrs. more should be allowed for the ascent of the Acropolis, and the examination of the remains of antiquity below ; and it will then be a journey of nearly 2 hrs. from Corinth to Kalamaki. Of course the order of this excursion will be reversed if the traveller be proceeding from Athens to Corfu; but it is to be regretted that passengers cannot
visit tho Acrocorinthus, unless at the expense of several days' delay. There is communication by steamer twice a week between Patras and Athens, corresponding vessels meeting on either side of the Isthmus of Corinth; but merely sufficient time is allowed for the direct passage of travellers and their luggage across, and not enough for the ascent of Acrocorinth. Vessels coming from Corfu or Zante leavo Patras on Wednesday and Saturday at midnight, and the Piranis at 6 A.m. on Sunday, and on Wednesday at 11 P.m. Passengers should be careful to see that their luggage is placed in tho vans for transport across. It may bo convenient for travellers in the Isthmus to remember that they may proceed also to Athens by way of Nauplia, crossing from Corinth by Ncmea and Argos in two days, or iu one long day. A steamer (1871) leaves Nauplia for Athens at 2 o'clock on each Tuesday morning.
Villages are rapidly springing up around the station-houses at Lutniki and Kalamdki. Lutniki derives its name from the baths (AoSi-pa) afforded by a copious hot spring, with medicinal qualities, which pours into the sea from under the rocks on the shore of the little bay. These springs are already resorted to by invalids.
The journey from Lutraki to Corinth occupies nearly 2 hrs., as has been said, and lies partly along the shore of the Gulf, and partly across the low undulating hills of the Isthmus. There is considerable cultivation, both of corn and currants. The comparatively level ground of the Isthmus contrasts finely with the ridges of the Geranean mountains to the N. and of the Onean chain to the S.; but the Acro-Corinthus, rising abruptly in all its isolated grandeur, is one of the moot striking objects of its class in the world. Col. Mure observes, that " neither the Acropolis of Athens, nor the Larissa of Argos, nor any of the more celebrated mountain fortresses of western Europe —not even Gibraltar—can enter into tho remotest competition with this gigantic citadel. It is one of those objects more frequently, perhaps, to