Patras is Greece's third-largest city and the regional capital of Western Greece, in the northern Peloponnese, 215 km west of Athens. The city is built at the foothills of Mount Panachaikon. Patras has a population of 213,984; the core settlement has a history spanning for four millennia. According to the results of 2011 census, the metropolitan area has a population of 260,308 and extends over an area of 738.87 km2. Dubbed as Greece's Gate to the West, Patras is a commercial hub, while its busy port is a nodal point for trade and communication with Italy and the rest of Western Europe; the city has two public universities and one Technological Institute, hosting a large student population and rendering Patras an important scientific centre with a field of excellence in technological education. The Rio-Antirio bridge connects Patras' easternmost suburb of Rio to the town of Antirrio, connecting the Peloponnese peninsula with mainland Greece; every year, in February, the city hosts one of Europe's largest carnivals: notable features of the Patras Carnival include its mammoth satirical floats and balls and parades, enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors in a Mediterranean climate.
Patras is famous for supporting an indigenous cultural scene active in the performing arts and modern urban literature. It was European Capital of Culture in 2006. Patras is 215 km west of Athens by road, 94 km northeast of Pyrgos, 7 kilometres south of Rio, 134 km west of Corinth, 77 km northwest of Kalavryta, 144 km northwest of Tripoli. A central feature of the urban geography of Patras is its division into lower sections; this is the result of an interplay between natural geography and human settlement patterns. It is built on what was a bed of river soils and dried-up swamps; the older upper section covers the area of the pre-modern settlement, around the Fortress, on what is the last elevation of Mount Panachaikon before the Gulf of Patras. The largest river in the area is the Glafkos. Glafkos springs in Mount Panachaikon and its water is, since 1925, collected in a small mountainous reservoir-dam near the village of Souli and subsequently pumped in order to provide energy for the country's first hydroelectric plant.
Other rivers are Haradros and the mountain torrent Diakoniaris. Patras has a Mediterranean climate, it features the typical mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers, with spring and autumn being pleasant transitional seasons. Autumn in Patras, however, is wetter than spring. Of great importance for the biological diversity of the area and the preservation of its climate is the swamp of Agyia, a small and coastal aquatic ecosystem of only 30 ha, north of the city centre; the main features of this wetland are its apparent survival difficulty, being at the heart of a densely populated urban centre that features a arid climate and its admittedly high level of biodiversity, with over 90 species of birds being observed until the early 1990s, according to a study by the Patras Bureau of the Hellenic Ornithological Society. Another geophysical characteristic of the region is its high level of seismicity. Small tremors are recorded along the coast of Patras constantly. Larger earthquakes hit the area every few years with destructive effects.
In 1993, a 5.0-magnitude earthquake caused some damage to several buildings throughout Patras due to the proximity of the epicenter to the city. On June 15, 1995, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit the nearby town of Aigion causing some structural damage to a few buildings in Patras. The Ionian Islands are frequently hit by more severe earthquakes, some of which can be felt in the city. In antiquity, the most notable example of destruction caused by an earthquake in the region was the total submergence of the ancient Achaean city of Helike, now Eliki; the first traces of settlement in Patras date to as early as the third millennium BC, in the area of modern Aroe. Patras flourished for the first time in the Mycenean period. Ancient Patras was formed by the unification of three Mycenaean villages in modern Aroe. Mythology has it that after the Dorian invasion, a group of Achaeans from Laconia led by the eponymous Patreus established a colony. In antiquity Patras remained a farming city, it was in Roman times.
After 280 BC and prior to the Roman occupation of Greece, Patras played a significant role in the foundation of the second "Achaean League", along with the cities of Dyme and Pharai. On, following the Roman occupation of Greece in 146 BC, Patras played a key role, Augustus refounded the city as a Roman colony in the area. In addition, Patras has been a Christian centre since the early days of Christianity, it is the city where Saint Andrew was crucified. In the Byzantine era Patras continued to be an important port as well as an industrial centre. One of the most scholarly philosophers and theologians of the time, Arethas of Caesarea was born at Patrae, at around 860. By the 9th century, there are
Heptanese School (literature)
The term Heptanese School of literature denotes the literary production of the Ionian Island's literature figures from the late 18th century till the end of the 19th century. The center of this production is considered to be the poet Dionysios Solomos, so its periods are conventionally divided as follows: Pre-Solomian poets, Solomian poets, Post-Solomian poets and Descendants; some general traits of the Ionian style were: the use of Dimotiki instead of Katharevousa, the manifest influence that the contemporary Italian poets had in its thematology, regarding the depiction of real-life scenes, the worship of homeland, the worship of nature, a "romantic impulse", an emphasis on the importance of love and freedom, an appreciation of religion's role in man's life. Mikelis Avlichos Andreas Kalvos Andreas Laskaratos Antonios Martelaos Antonios Matesis Lorentzos Mavilis Iakovos Polylas Dionysios Solomos Georgios Tertsetis Aristotelis Valaoritis Ioannis Zambelios Hymn to Liberty by Dionysios Solomos Vasilikos, play by Antonios Matesis The mysteries of Cephalonia by Andreas Laskaratos Idou o anthropos by Andreas Laskaratos Beaton, Roderick.
"An Introduction to Modern Greek Literature", Oxford University Press, USA, 1999. Πολίτης Λ. "Ιστορία της Νεοελληνικής Λογοτεχνίας", XI ed. ed. Μ.Ι.Ε.Τ. Athens, 2001. Lambert, Juliette. "Poètes grecs contemporains: École ionienne". La Nouvelle Revue. Paris. Pp. 368–377. ISSN 0184-7465. Retrieved 30 June 2011
National Library of the Czech Republic
The National Library of the Czech Republic is the central library of the Czech Republic. It is directed by the Ministry of Culture; the library's main building is located in the historical Clementinum building in Prague, where half of its books are kept. The other half of the collection is stored in the district of Hostivař; the National Library is the biggest library in the Czech Republic, in its funds there are around 6 million documents. The library has around 60,000 registered readers; as well as Czech texts, the library stores older material from Turkey and India. The library houses books for Charles University in Prague; the library won international recognition in 2005 as it received the inaugural Jikji Prize from UNESCO via the Memory of the World Programme for its efforts in digitising old texts. The project, which commenced in 1992, involved the digitisation of 1,700 documents in its first 13 years; the most precious medieval manuscripts preserved in the National Library are the Codex Vyssegradensis and the Passional of Abbes Kunigunde.
In 2006 the Czech parliament approved funding for the construction of a new library building on Letna plain, between Hradčanská metro station and Sparta Prague's football ground, Letná stadium. In March 2007, following a request for tender, Czech architect Jan Kaplický was selected by a jury to undertake the project, with a projected completion date of 2011. In 2007 the project was delayed following objections regarding its proposed location from government officials including Prague Mayor Pavel Bém and President Václav Klaus. Plans for the building had still not been decided in February 2008, with the matter being referred to the Office for the Protection of Competition in order to determine if the tender had been won fairly. In 2008, Minister of Culture Václav Jehlička announced the end of the project, following a ruling from the European Commission that the tender process had not been carried out legally; the library was affected by the 2002 European floods, with some documents moved to upper levels to avoid the excess water.
Over 4,000 books were removed from the library in July 2011 following flooding in parts of the main building. There was a fire at the library in December 2012. List of national and state libraries Official website