Preveza

Promenade of Preveza
Promenade of Preveza

Preveza is a town in the region of Epirus, northwestern Greece, located at the mouth of the Ambracian Gulf. The Aktio-Preveza Immersed Tunnel, the first and so far only undersea tunnel in Greece, connects Preveza to Aktio in western Acarnania.

Preveza is a commercial harbor and tourist hub, with a marina, two cinemas, an open theater, many clubs, taverns and cafes, benefiting from its proximity to the nearby Aktion National Airport and the nearby island of Lefkada, a major tourist destination. 

 

History of Preveza

In antiquity, the area of Preveza was inhabited by the Greek tribe of the Cassopeans, part of larger tribe of the Thesprotians. Their capital city was Cassope. Near the site of modern Preveza in 290 BC King Pyrrhus of Epirus founded the town of Berenikea. Today it is believed that Berenikea lies on the hills of the village of Michalitsi village. The Ambracian Gulf near Berenikea was the site of the Naval Battle of Actium, on 2 September 31 BC, in which Octavian's forces defeated those of Mark Antony and Queen Cleopatra of Egypt. Ancient Nicopolis was built nearby by Octavian to commemorate his victory. The ruins of the ancient city of Nicopolis lie 7 km north of Preveza.

Nicopolis continued under Roman and later Byzantine rule, experiencing brief periods of Bulgarian rule in the 10th century. According to one theory, modern Preveza grew around a military outpost built in the 9th century by the Bulgarians, following their conquest of Nicopolis.

 

Street of Preveza
Street of Preveza

The city was first attested in the Chronicle of Morea (1292). However, Hammond places the foundation of Preveza much later, at the end of 14th century, possibly by Albanians. After 1204, it came under the Despotate of Epirus, the Second Bulgarian Empire, the Serbian Empire and the Despotate of Arta. It then came under Venetian rule until captured by the Ottomans. The Ottomans refunded Preveza probably in 1477, with a subsequent strengthening of the fortifications in 1495.

Following the Treaty of Campo Formio, where General Napoleon Bonaparte decreed the final dissolution of the Venetian Republic, Preveza - like other Venetian possessions in Greece and Albania - was ceded to Revolutionary France. Small French Army forces, consisting of about 280 Grenadiers, arrived in Preveza under the commands of General La Salchette.

The period from 1798 to 1822 is called the 2nd Ottoman Occupation Period, when it was under the rule of the semi-independent Ali Pasha Tepelena. Following his death in 1822 at Ioannina, Preveza entered into its 3d Ottoman occupation period, i.e., a rule more directly controlled from Istanbul, until the year 1912 when the city joined Greece.

Along with the rest of Greece, Preveza was occupied by Italy (1941–1943) and Germany (1943–1944) during World War II. After the departure of the Wehrmacht from Preveza, in September 1944, an episode of the Greek Civil War known as the Battle of Preveza took place, lasting for 16 days and finally Preveza got its independence. 

 

Must-see places in Preveza

View to Ionian sea from Preveza
View to Ionian sea from Preveza

Preveza is a commercial harbor and tourist hub but in the town are not many historical and cultural attractions. In the town you can visit marina, two cinemas, an open theater, many clubs, taverns and cafes, Venetian clock tower of Preveza from Venetian times and the Seytan Pazar – a traditional bazar in streets of Preveza

In Preveza and near of it you can also visit many churches, like St.Charalampos Church, St.Barnabas Church, St.Abassos Church, St.Elias prophet church, Madonna Church of Foreigners; fortresses of Lekatsa, Pantokrator, St. Andreas, of St. George and of Reniassa (or Despo).

 

 

Wall of ancient town Nicopolis
Wall of ancient town Nicopolis

Worth visiting are the ruins of the ancient city Nicopolis, which was built by Octavian to commemorate his victory among Mark Antony and Queen Cleopatra of Egypt. The ruins of the ancient city of Nicopolis lie 7 km north of Preveza.

Cassope was an ancient Greek city in Epirus, today in the Preveza regional unit. Cassope is situated on the south-east slopes of the Zalongo Mountain, near the village of Kamarina. First settlements on site are known from the Paleolithic, however the prominent city of Cassope was founded in the middle of the 4th century BC and it was destroyed by Roman forces in 177-176 BC.