Nafpaktos is a seaside town of Etoloakarnania in the Gulf of Corinth. It is built between Antirrio and the mouth of the river Mornos, in the southeastern part of the prefecture and has a population of 13,415 inhabitants (2011). It is one of the oldest Greek cities that experienced periods of great prosperity and was associated with important historical events. This is confirmed by its perfect fortification, which starts from the port, continues with three consecutive walls and ends at the castle. It has been characterized as a traditional settlement.
Nafpaktos is a city with a long history. It is said that it got its name from the words naus and pignymi, which means "I build a ship". It first appears in 1104 BC. with the Dorians, who on their descent, used Nafpaktos to build rudimentary boats (rafts to be exact), so "Nafpaktos" remained a legacy. The city originally belonged to the Esperios Lokros.
In 454 BC. the Athenians removed Nafpaktos from the rule of Lokra. Messinian families settled in the city, who had been expelled by the Spartans.
During the Peloponnesian War, Athens sent Formion with ships, while Sparta sent Knimos, which was finally defeated in the naval battle that followed (429 BC).
In 426 BC, at the urging of the Messinians of the city, the Athenian general Demosthenes campaigned against the Aetolians. The Aetolians confronted him in Aegitio and forced him to retreat. The Spartan general Evrylochos, with the help of the Esperia Lokras, led by Amfissa, advanced on Nafpaktos.
In 369 BC. after the defeat of the Athenians in the Aegos rivers (405 BC), the Messinians left the city and left for Sicily. Nafpaktos passes again under the control of Lokra. The Achaeans capture the city, but are eventually expelled by the Theban general Epameinondas, in 361 BC.
In 350 BC. Philip II of Macedonia ceded the city to the Aetolians. From 338 BC. the city became the center of the Aetolian Confederation and the councils of the Confederation met in the city. Nafpaktia was named Aetolia Acquired. After the wars with the Achaeans and the destruction of the city of Thermo, Nafpaktos became essentially the capital of Aetolia. In 191 BC. the Romans, after besieging the city, ended the siege by signing a truce with the Aetolians.
During Roman rule it flourished due to its important position directly opposite the Peloponnese.
The colony of Nafpaktos was the island of Kea, named after a city hero. The poet Karkinos came from Nafpaktos, who, as Haron claimed, wrote the poem Nafpaktia epics, something that Pausanias disputed, as well as the sculptors Menaichmos and Soidas. There were many temples in the city, such as those of Poseidon, Artemis, Aphrodite and Asclepius.
Byzantium and Medieval years
It was an important city of Byzantium, as it was a port of travelers to Italy and Istanbul. It belonged to the province of Greece or Achaia. Its fortress was radically repaired during the years of Justinian, but in 553, the city was destroyed by an earthquake. It was also destroyed by raids by various peoples, such as the Slavs (6th - 10th century). In the time of Constantine VII of Porphyrogenitus, it became the capital of the Fifth Theme of Europe (Greece) while in the 10th century it merged with the Eighth Theme of Nikopolis and became the seat of the new.
After the conquest of Constantinople by the Crusaders, the city became part of the Despotate of Epirus for about a century (1204-1294). In 1294 the Despot of Epirus, Nikiforos I Komnenos Doukas, married his daughter, Thamar, and gave the city as a dowry to his son-in-law Philip, prince of Taranto. He fortified the city and minted coins. Later, however, the city came to the territory of the Duchy of New Patras and later passed under the rule of Arvanitis Boua Spata. At that time the city was called Epaktos or Epachtos by the Greeks, by the Franks Neopant-Nepand-Lepant or Lepanto. It passed a period of Venetian rule from 1407 until it fell into the hands of the Turks in 1499. At that time, the castle of the city took its current form. In 1458 Muhammad II the Conqueror unsuccessfully besieged the city, which remained in the hands of the Venetians. Finally in 1499 Bayezid II with the Turkish fleet forced the Venetians to surrender the city.
The Battle of Nafpaktos
In 1571 the Battle of Nafpaktos took place. This is the naval
battle that took place at the mouth of the Gulf of Patras (Gulf of
Lepanto), next to the Echinades Islands (then Kourtzolaros), and was
the most impressive phase of the war for the conquest of Cyprus
(1570-71). It made a great impression on the contemporaries, but did
not bring positive results for the winners. The great victory of the
Christians against the Turks was a milestone in the history of
Europe in conjunction with the celebration of Panagia Nafpaktos. In
1687 (July 24) it was occupied again by the Venetians for 12 years.
Eventually, with the Treaty of Karlovic, Nafpaktos, like the rest of
Sterea, fell to the Turks. This naval battle was a historic event,
because in it the Turkish naval force, which was threatening Europe,
was stopped. This is the name given to the great naval conflict that
took place between the Ottoman fleet and the united naval forces of
the Sacra Lega, a Holy Alliance formed by the Spaniards, the Pope,
Venice and some Italian states, on October 7, 1571. The Foreign
historians use the name Naval Battle of Lepanto from the medieval
name of the city.
In 1821 the inhabitants of the area took part in the Revolution of 1821. Operations in the city began in May. The resistance of the Turks was successful and lasted several years. On April 18, 1829, he was finally liberated by the Turks, when Andreas Miaoulis besieged the port of the city and forced the Turks to surrender the fortress. Leaving the conquerors, they left behind a few Greek families who, in fact, came into conflict with the Souliotian families (Botsarai, Tzavelaioi, etc.), to whom the newly formed Greek state had granted the Turkish mansions, in exchange for their offer to Ag. After the Asia Minor catastrophe, 286 refugees settled in Nafpaktos.
The well-preserved castle that dominates the hill with the pine
forest behind the city.
The Venetian port, with the stone lighthouse and the mint.
The old walls of the city fortress extending from the port to the castle.
The traditional houses in the city center and its cobbled streets.
The old mansion of the Botsari family that has been converted into a private museum.
The two beaches of the city of Psani and Gribovo, as well as the nearby beaches of the villages of Fokida and Etoloakarnania.
The nearby Rio-Antirio Bridge.
Cervantes Park in the Venetian port.
The clock in the castle of Nafpaktos.