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Capital:Patra, Patras
Area:3,209 km²
Inhabitants:297,318 (1991), (2001)
Pop. density:95 to 96 inh./km² 2001
ISO 3166-2:GR-13

Achaea or Achaia is a district on the northern coast of the Peloponnese, stretching from the mountain ranges of Erymanthus and Cyllene on the south to a narrow strip of fertile land on the north, bordering the Corinthian Gulf, into which the mountain Panachaicus (1,902 m, the northernmost mountain range in the Peloponnese) projects. Achaea is bounded on the west by the territory of Elis, on the east by that of Sicyon, which, however, was sometimes included in it.

The origin of the name has given rise to much speculation; one theory is that the Achaeans were driven back into this region by the Dorian invaders of the Peloponnese. Another Achaea, in the south of Thessaly, called sometimes Achaea Phthiotis, has been supposed to be the cradle of the race.

In Ancient Rome times the name of the province of Achaea was given to the whole of Greece, except Thessaly, Epirus, and Acarnania. It is in this latter enlarged meaning that the name is always used in the New Testament (e.g., Acts 18:12, 27; 19:21; Romans 15: 26; 16:5).

In the 13th century the Principality of Achaea was founded in Greece after the Fourth Crusade.

Then the fall of the Principality of Achaea led to the Ottoman Empire. In 1821, It became part of Greece.

Achaea today has about one-third of its habitants living in the Patra(s) area which is the capital of Achaea and the Peloponnese, and more than half of the population live in the city (municipality). It is also the third largest city in Greece excluding Piraeus. The main industrial area is 20 km south of the city near Phares, and Tsoukoulaiíka and Vrachnaiíka.

Achaea is the most populated area in the Peloponnese peninsula, home to nearly one-third of the peninsula.

There are two skiing resorts, one on the Panachaicus, and the other on Aroania, sometimes still called or formerly Chelmos, near Kalavrita.

Kalavrita is a town situated more than 70 km (45 miles) to the east via the road from Achaea's capital. a few kilometres to its west is a monastery situated on the peak of the hill. Its name is Aghía Lávra.

Achaia has the most supermarkets in the Peloponnese and the western part of Greece.

There are no oil refineries.

There are two main bus terminals.

Veropoulos first opened by the sea, near former GR-9, then Alpha-Beta Vassilopoulos on Akte Dymaion.

The main highways are 8 (longest), 8A (E55), GR-9 (E55, E65), GR-31, and GR-33.

A beltway which bypasses Patras begun construction in 1990, and extended construction to GR-33 in 1992, Savalia in 1993, East Patra or Patras in 1995, and in 1998 into GR-8. Lights were installed in the early 2000s on the beltway, and opened to traffic on late-2003. It starts from near Roitika and ends just south of Rhion.

GR-8 was the first superhighway, along with GR-5 in the prefecture. The beltway is the second, and the bridge will be the third. Its length now has almost 100 km (60 mi) of superhighway. 70 to 75 km until 2003.

A new bridge that has started construction in 2000 (though plans has been mafe throughout the 1990s, and was supposed to begin in these years.) is scheduled to open in mid-2004. It will connect traffic from the Peloponnese to the mainland and Western half of Greece. The location is north of the city on the state/national highway from Rhion (northern suburbs) to Antirrhion/Ant&iacutr;rrio. This will eliminate ferry service which has been used for about half a century for automobiles. After, there will be the only rare ferry service in the city of Aigio(n) which is the ferry route to Aghios Nikolaos in Phocis.

Statistics and Area

Here are the cities ranked by the largest, as of 2003.

¹ suburb of Patras There are municipalites founded here.


See also: Achaeans.

Part of this text is incorporated from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica