Pátrai (päˈtrā) [key] or Patras pəträsˈ, pătˈrəs, Lat. Patrae, city (1991 pop. 153,344), capital of Akhaía prefecture, central Greece, in the Peloponnesus. It is a port on the Gulf of Pátrai, which connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Ionian Sea. Pátrai is a commercial, industrial, and transportation center that ships currants, tobacco, wine, olive oil, and sheepskins. There is paper and textile manufacturing. A university is there.
The city was allied with Athens in the Peloponnesian War and became (3d cent. B.C.) a leading member of the Second Achaean League. It led a revolt against the Macedonians in 218 B.C. but sank into insignificance before the Roman conquest (146 B.C.) of Greece; it was revived (late 1st cent. B.C.) as a Roman military colony by Augustus and soon flourished as a port.
Pátrai was conquered by the French nobleman Geoffroi I de Villehardouin in 1205 and was included in the Latin principality of Achaia. The city was captured by the Ottoman Turks in 1458, passed to Venice in 1687, and was retaken by the Turks in 1715. It was destroyed (1821) in the Greek War of Independence and was rebuilt on a rectangular pattern by Count Capo d'Istria in 1829.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.