Patras is the largest economic, commercial, and cultural center of the Peloponnese and western Greece. During the Roman period, when the city flourished, Patras was a cosmopolitan center of the Mediterranean. According to Christian tradition, it is the place of martyrdom of St. Andrew, who is also the patron saint of the city. Also, in Patras dominates the imposing Church of Agios Andreas which is the largest church in Greece and one of the largest in the Balkans, where there are also kept relics of the saint and small parts of the cross he martyred. Together with the older neighboring and homonymous smaller church, they compose an important place of worship for Orthodox Christians from Greece and around the world.
The city of Patras has a great and long history of four thousand years. Patras has been inhabited since prehistoric times and was an important center of the Mycenaean era. In antiquity, he was a member of the Achaean Confederation. It flourished in Roman times. In Byzantine times it was a city where trade flourished. It was conquered by Latins, Venetians, Franks, Byzantines, and Turks. It was present in the Greek revolution of 1821. In the 19th century, it was an important export port. In the 20th and 21st century it developed as a commercial and industrial center and is the most important economic pole of the Peloponnese and Western Greece.
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