Nafpaktos, Latin: Naupactus or Naupactos (Italian, Lepanto; modern Greek, , rarely Epakto), is a town in the nomarchy of Acarnania and Aetolia, Greece, situated on a bay on the north side of the straits of Lepanto. The harbour, once the best on the northern coast of the Corinthian Gulf, is now almost entirely choked up, and is accessible only to the smallest craft. Nafpaktos is the capital of the province of Nafpaktia. The origin of Nafpaktos comes from the two Greek words: ναύς naus ship, boat and πήγνυμι pêgnumi, pegnymi builder, fixer. Distance from Patras is about 15 km NE and about 215 km NW of Athens with the new bridge, the Rio-Antirio bridge which now has access to the Peloponnese in the south with tolls. Other distances are WSW of Amfissa, W of Itea and Delphi, NE of Antirio and GR-5/E55, E of Messolonghi and SE of Agrinio. The Mornos river is a few kilometres ENE where it also is the prefectural boundary with Phokida. Naupactus is an episcopal see. In Greek legend it appears as the place where the Heraclidae built a fleet to invade the Peloponnesus.
In historical times it belonged to the Ozolian Locrians; but about 455 BC, in spite of a partial resettlement with Locrians of Opus, it fell to the Athenians, who peopled it with Messenian refugees and made it their chief naval station in western Greece during the Peloponnesian war. In 404 it was restored to the Locrians, who subsequently lost it to the Achaeans, but recovered it through Epaminondas.
Philip II of Macedon gave Naupactus to the Aetolians, who held it till 191 BC, when after an obstinate siege it was surrendered to the Romans. It was still flourishing about 170 AD, but in Justinian's reign was destroyed by an earthquake. It was again destroyed by earthquakes in 553 and in the 8th century and so on.
In the middle ages it fell into the hands of the Venetians, who fortified it so strongly that in 1477 it successfully resisted a four month's siege by a Turkish army thirty thousand strong; in 1499, however, it was taken by Beyazid II. The mouth of the Gulf of Lepanto was the scene of the great sea fight in which the naval power of the Ottoman Empire was nearly completely destroyed by the united papal, Spanish, Habsburg and Venetian forces (Battle of Lepanto, October 7, 1571). In 1678 it was recaptured by the Venetians, but was again restored in 1699, by the treaty of Karlowitz to the Ottomans; in the war of independence it finally became Greek once more (March 1829).
The town has schools, lyceums, gymnasiums, churches, banks, a post office, a beach, and a square (plateia) located next to the Gulf of Corinth. Residential houses are lined up with the highway.
Today it has about 10,000 people. Residential homes align with the Gulf of Corinth and has a width of about 3 km. It sits on a shoulder of a mountain range of the north while farmlands dominate the western part. The climate is one of the best in Greece. It used to be passed by GR-48/E65 linking Antirrio and Amfissa now it is bypassed to the north at the elevation of 150 to 200 m above sea level. The area isn't forested out of town. The villages are founded around Nafpaktos in the northeast.
The municipality is mainly made up of mountains while much of the fertile land is within the Gulf of Corinth.
In 1990, construction of a bypass of Nafpaktos began but when it was finally paved, the opening was delayed for eight years until demonstrations in 1998 about favoring the opening of the by-pass of GR-48/E65 and was finally opened in the early 2000s.
Division of the municipality
Nafpaktos TV, formerly Lepanto
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