Patras is the largest city and main port of the Peloponnese. The city was founded in 1100, but grown into an important port in Roman times. After the Second Crusade became the site of a Roman Catholic archbishop. In 1408 the town was under the rule of
Venice, and in 1460 returned to the hands of the Turks, who destroyed it in 1821. It was then rebuilt in neo-classical style with stacked rectangular streets.
Every spring the city hosts one of the most colorful carnivals in Europe. It includes parades with giant satirical figures in assisting thousands of visitors. Patras is famous for supporting the development of local culture and urban literature; was the European
Capital of Culture in 2006.