Patra: The Face of the City combines photographs by Dimitris Talianis with texts by noted Greeks who are connected to Patra.
It highlights the picturesque without overlooking the shabby. There is much to admire. Despite the encroachment of modern construction and the depredations of earthquakes and economic reversals, Patra still possesses a considerable stock of fine houses and public buildings as well as scores of colorful old shops.
The writers examine various aspects of Patra, past and present, but certain themes recur: the city’s privileged location and port, early economic development, cosmopolitan outlook and its prodigious output of influential politicians.
The photographs, often contrasted with early 20th century postcards, record Patra’s elegant old buildings, wrought-iron balconies, beautifully decorated ceilings, its signature arcades and steep stairways, fountains, squares and the port, as well as disused factories and dingy train lines in a panorama of the city designated as Cultural Capital of Europe in 2006.
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