Strolling the city
Η πόλη… Ο φρουρός του Αμβρακικού! Να της δώσεις την αξία που της πρέπει. Μια λωρίδα γης προστατευμένη από όχι ένα, αλλά πέντε φρούρια, μέρη ενός ισχυρότατου οχυρωματικού συστήματος, τη φυλάνε από τα τέλη του 17ου αι. τα οποία διακρίνεις παντού γύρω σου, σε εισάγουν μέσα σε όλα: το κάστρο του Αγίου Ανδρέα (Ιτς Καλέ) στην καρδιά της Πρέβεζας, του Αγίου Γεωργίου (Γενί Καλέ) στο νότιο άκρο της Παλιάς Πόλης, ο προμαχώνας της Βρυσούλας στη μία πλευρά του κόλπου, του Ακτίου στην άλλη, το Κάστρο του Παντοκράτορα με τα φημισμένα ηλιοβασιλέματα, στην μπούκα του Αμβρακικού.
Agios Andreas castle
We begin strolling from Agios Andreas castle (Ic Kale), which is situated at the north of the city of Preveza, next to the sea. It was built by the Ottomans at the beginning of the 17th century and it was restored by Venetians at its end. At the beginning of the 19th century, Ali Pasha reinforced the castle and he built a wall around it with a moat and three gates. Until today, the castle is well preserved, in an excellent condition and it is impressive, due to its sloped walls and the marvelous geometry of its angular bastions.
Τhe main pedestrian beach walkway
In front of the castle, the main pedestrian beach walkway of Preveza begins, adorned with some buildings of great architectural beauty.
The building that currently houses the Palace of Justice, is dated back to the end of the 19th century, when it used to be the city’s Government house. It is a spacious rectangular building, with two storeys, built in the characteristic style of ottoman public buildings of that period.
The National Bank building was built in 1930-1932 and it is a typical example of the recent public buildings that were built after the liberation (1913).
Τhe Municipality’s Cultural Centre
Further ahead, we will find the building of the old public market that was built in 1939 in order to house the grocery and butchery shops of the city and currently it houses the Municipality’s Cultural Centre and it hosts various cultural events.
Theofaneio School was built in the years of 1825-1844, thanks to the bequest from Anastasios Theofanous, a citizen of Preveza, who was a prominent merchant operating in Russia of Catherine the Great. Now, it houses the Public Cultural Centre.
Leaving the beach and entering the city centre.
The old city, with the houses of 19th and 20th century, combines many architectural elements of the region of Epirus and the Ottomans, with characteristics of baroque style of the Ionian Islands, as well as neo-classical ones, and gives a vivid picture of the Parisian society of those times.
The Venetian ClockTower
The Venetian ClockTower with the famous solar clock, is located at the historic city centre and it is a building of 1752, a typical example of architecture of the Venetian domination. Later, the “hat” was added on top and the belfry of the temple of Agios Charalampos, as well.
At the same place, there is the Metropolitan cathedral of Agios Charalampos, a building of the 18th century. The amazing icons of the iconostasis (1793, 1804), the saints’ paintings – influenced by the Venetian painting – and the wood carved gold-plated iconostasis (1828) are of great interest.
Τhe bust of Kostas Karyotakis
Walking up to Dardanellion street, next to the Venetian Tower, you will come across the bust of a famous poet, Kostas Karyotakis, a piece of work of the sculptor Theodoros Papagiannis, situated in front of the house where he used to live during his short stay in town, as an official of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, before putting an end to his life in July 1928.
Then, you will find the Seitan Pazar, the devil’s market, which is a narrow street at the historic city centre, and which starts at Agios Charalampos church and goes up to the West. According to folk tradition, its name reminds of the relations between Turkish and Greek people of the region. It is one of the most interesting sites of the city centre and also a place for entertainment, with many tavernas and ouzeri that serve delicious local food.
Τhe church of Agios Athanasios
Finally, you will end up at the church of Agios Athanasios, one of the oldest churches of Preveza, which was built during the Venetian occupation, at the beginning of the 18th century and it stands out for its rare mural paintings of 1780.
Τhe Public Thermal Springs
To the south, as you approach the sea, there you can find the Public Thermal Springs of the city, very close to the Amvrakikos gulf.
Their traditional name is “Paliosaraga”, which means “old palaces”, as the baths are housed at the old Sarai of Ali Pasha.
Agios Georgios castle
Agios Georgios castle (Yeni Kale), at the southern part of the old city of Preveza, was built by Ali Pasha at the beginning of the 19th century, at the same period of time when he encircled the city with a moat. It is consisted of a sloped peripheral wall, surrounding the interior courtyard. The perimeter wall was reinforced with bastions on its north and south side, at the mouth of the Amvrakikos gulf.
Kiani Akti Beach
A few meters away, there is the Kiani Akti Beach (Blue Beach), which is the closest to the city and really famous for its clean and shallow waters, appropriate not only for families with small children, but also for all those people that would love to swim without moving out of town.
If you arrive there in the evening, you will meet, under the shade of the towering poplars, several of the men of the city, practicing their favorite local game, “abali”. The game was introduced to the city by the Franks many centuries ago, it is played – with small, round, metal balls – and two opposing teams.
Many times during your stroll around the city of Preveza, you will find very high, centenarian olive trees,which is a living proof of the period of the Venetian domination during the 18th century. The Venetians, aiming at the economic developing of the region, they had called the chieftains of Greece that was under subjection, to settle in Preveza, and they were given land, with the obligation to cultivate the land or to plant olive trees. The famous olive grove that was planted, had 140.000 trees and it was the biggest productive project of the region.
Nowadays, although a big part of it has been destroyed over the years, it still remains a very beautiful and integral part of the natural and historic identity of the city.
Pantokratoras castle, not very far from Preveza, was built in the beginning of the 19th century by Ali Pasha, on the basis of a plan drawn by the French engineer Vaudoncourt. It is a five sided polygon, with high walls, a bastion at the waterfront, a moat without water at the north side and another moat with water at the southern part of the castle. Currently, it hosts several cultural events.
At Pantokratoras settlement, there is the church that bears that name. The church’s iconostasis, is adorned with icons, painted by the great popular painter, Fotis Kontoglou, in 1954.
If you follow the Pantokratoras path, you will get at the beach “Alonaki”, where you can swim and then you can have lunch at the tavernas of the region.
Coming back to Preveza, the last afternoon of your trip, you can go shopping and take your coffee on the beach, gazing at the Amvrakikos gulf.
Odysseas Androutsos square
Walk down Androutsos square which is decorated with flowers,the beach road of Preveza and the street underneath of Agios Andreas castle, where you can find the statue of the captain of 1821 Revolution.
For more info about touristic services you can contact the Tourism Office of the Municipality of Preveza, tel: 26820 21078.
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