Meet the region of Agrinion in Etoloakarnania

The city of Agrinion

A tour of Agrinion can impress the visitor and reveal a yet unknown world.

Agrinion is today the biggest urban centre in the prefecture of Etoloakarnania with a population of 106.523 registered inhabitants. Administratively it belongs to the department of Trihonida where one meets a rare variety of landscape of extreme natural beauty.

The Aheloos river, known as Aspropotamos or Aspros, irrigates the plain of Agrinion.

Argirodinis, a river worshiped as a god and transformed into a bull acording to mythology, fought against Hercules for Diianira, the beautiful sister of Meleagros. During the fight, the victorious Hercules broke the horn of the river. The river, in order to get it back, promissed and gave Hercules the Amalthea Horn, the horn of abundance.

This fight is depicted on a mosaic at the central square of Agrinion. The design was made by the Agrinion painter Chris Mbokoros and it constitutes the emblem of the city.

East of Agrinion, in the heart of Etoloakarnania, there is the lake of Trihonida surrounded by mountains, the wooded Panetoliko and the densely planted Arakynthos on the other side.

It is the biggest, most picturesque and most unknown to many lake in Greece with a 51 km perimetre which is easily accesible and asphalt covered. Its big size and the colour of its water make it seem like a sea. It is a place for escape, which captivates the visitor and justifiably belongs to the Natura areas.

The Trihonida lake is connected with the Lysimahia lake in the south of Agrinion with the well known Alaibei bridges, which in the past had 370 arches. Kostis palamas praised these two lakes.

“I know two exotic lakes, two sister lakes
with all the beauty of the village, the water and the plants.
For dreamy loves and for singers
One in Angelokastro, the other in Vrahori.”

According to mythology, the town was built by the king Agrios, who was a descendant of Etolos,and was located at nearby Zapanti (Megali Hora) as the excavation of Ioannis Miliadis revealed in 1920. This small in ancient times town was a developed walled guard of the Etolic Confederation. It followed the fate of all the Etolic cities which gathered around the political, religious centre of the Etolic Confederation, Thermo. The town was destroyed by Kassandros in 314 BC.

After being in obscurity for some centuries, the town reappears during the Turkish occupation bearing the name Vrahori, Imbrahoar. The inhabitants were Turks, Christians and Jews. It was the base of Sandzakian of karleli. It played an active role in the revolution of 1821 and it was freed on 11 June 1821 after the coordinated operation that Alexakis Vlahopoulos and other chieftains undertook. In 1835, Vrahori took the old name “Agrinion”.

Vrahori a joyfull three-syllable name!
And you the bright walking girlof Roumeli,
even if you got a name buried in books,
I like your fighting name
and the imagination can see your picture live.

Kostis Palamas

Agrinion started to develop at a fast pace in the late 19th and early 20th century, when the cultivation of tobacco became the main occupation. Many store houses and factories for the procession of tobacco were built, among which the most important were those of Papastratos, Papapetros and Panagopoulos. The ones which have survived are buildings with indisputable architectural, historical and cultural value for the town. They constitute irrefutable witnesses of an affluent era, when the town burst with life, thanks to tobacco.

The Byzantine monuments around the town are worth a visit. Some of them are : Agia Triada Mavrika of Agrinion (9th century) which is half-sunk, the monastery of Myrtia (12th century) overlooking the Trixonida lake, Agioi Apostoloi Neromanas (14th century) and Agios Stefanos Riviou near the Amvrakia lake, which is the most elegant monument in the Balkan area, the architectural Jewel of moderation and balance, as it has been described. Besides the monasteries, an exciting escape are the archaeological sites of Stratos, Thermo, which was the centre of Akarnanes, ancient Plevrona and Kalydona.

The archaeological museum of Agrinion houses many findings from the prehistorical to the Roman era and were found both in the town of Agrinion and in the whole Prefecture. The museum is a donation from the Papastratos family and it is situated next to the beautiful municipal park and the Papastrateio municipal library. The library hosts 60 exhibits, works of the sculptor Kapralos, in a special room.

Works of the sculptor Thymios Panourias decorate the streets of Agrinion. There are also some neoclassic houses which escaped the modern exploitation of exchange.

Quite intresting are the old stone houses in the town which have a special charm as if they hid secrets and stories and were ready to narrate not only a half-forgotten past characterized by blooming neighbourhoods and tobacco stringing in the shade of houseyards bursting with laughter and labour but the memory of a more humane and real life as well.

Welcome to Agrinion.

 

PS. Nafpaktos, Thermo, Petrohori and other destinations.

Excellent choices for excursion during your stay at the Marpessa Smart Luxury Hotel are Nafpaktos with its buildings of special architecture, its nightlife and its wonderful beaches, the small town of Thermo with its unique archaeological excavations and the production of local food and Petrohori with the famous stonebuilders and its stone-built houses.

 

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