Student: Vagenas Georgios
University of Patras, School of architecture
Patras is Greece's third-largest city and the regional capital of Western Greece, in the northern Peloponnese, west of Athens. The city is built at the foot of Mount Panachaikon, overlooking the Gulf of Patras.
Patras was one of the first cities in which the Greek Revolution began in 1821; the Ottoman garrison, confined to the citadel, held out until 1828. Finally the city was surrendered on 7 October 1828 to the French expeditionary force in the Peloponnese, under the command of General Maison. After the war, most of the city and its buildings were completely destroyed. The new city was planned under the supervision of Stamatis Voulgaris following orders by Ioannis Kapodistrias.
Patras developed quickly into the second-largest urban centre in late-19th-century Greece. The city benefited from its role as the main export port for the agricultural produce of the Peloponnese.
In the early 20th century, Patras developed fast and became the first Greek city to introduce public streetlights and electrified tramways. The war effort necessitated by the First World War hampered the city's development and also created uncontrollable urban sprawl after the influx of displaced persons from Asia Minor after the 1922 population exchange between Greece and Turkey. In the Second World War the city was a major target of Italian air raids. In the Axis occupation period, a German military command was established and German and Italian troops stationed in the city. After the liberation in 1944, the city recovered, but in later years was increasingly overshadowed by the urban pole of Athens.
I have lived there for almost 21 years. What I notice coming out of its main streets are the neoclassical buildings which exist both central and peripheral of the city. Some of those preserved others not. Other they are used as a shop other as residences other as public services.
But there are also those that over the years have become obsolete and due to lack of maintenance can not be used.
So from the lesson of architectural design I was led to study the coastal front of the city. What intrigued me were the neoclassical and later buildings which are abandoned either because they are earthquake-stricken or because they were never completed.
So I was led to record these buildings on a map that shows the time they were built and how they got old and were either destroyed or badly damaged.