Each double-page spread of Patra Then and Now contrasts a photograph from the collection of Nikos Politis with a contemporary shot of the same scene by Leonidas Kourgiantakis, all in black and white
With its strategic location linking Greece to the West, and an active role in Greek politics, Patra has had an eventful history. The book documents both traces of that past and the evolution of a busy port. Population pressures led to the proliferation of multi-storey buildings, but the city’s signature sea views, arcades, broad piazzas and fountains still delight the eye. Refurbishment – spurred on in part by the city’s designation as 2006 Cultural Capital of Europe – has enhanced public spaces and highlighted handsome neoclassical buildings.
Nikos Bakounakis wrote the introduction to the delights of his hometown and a gazetteer with intriguing details about the places depicted. Fani Constantinou, editor of The Benaki Museum’s Photographic Archive, researched the photographs. A capable translation is provided by Judy Giannakopoulou.
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