greece 5: roman patras and delphi, navel of the earth

Church of St. Andrew in Patras


Today, in the early morning hours I left for Patras. My final destination was Delphi. Patras is one of the most important harbours for communication between Greece and Western Europe. Ships for Italy leave from here.

An agricultural settlement which took little part in the shared activities of the Greeks during the entire Greek historical epoch (from the end of the Mycenaean civilization to the end of the Classical period), Patras, however, flourished under the Romans and became a centre for commerce and industry during Roman rule. St. Andrew, patron saint of Patras, taught the gospel in this city and was martyred here in 68 AD. I visited the 20th Century church of St. Andrew, an imposing building decorated lavishly in gold on Byzantine lines in the inside. The blue cross in the Greek flag is St. Andrews cross. Possession of Patras alternated between the Venetians and Turks in the city’s later history. Continue reading