Neapolis contains buildings from the 16th century onwards, built during the rule of the Kings of Carantia and Mauria. The city is essentially Baroque in character, with elements of Mannerist, Neo-Classical and Modern architecture in selected areas, though Ruthene-Maurian War left major scars on the city.
The official name given by the Grand Princes of Carantia was Humilissima Civitas Carantia — The Most Humble City of Carantia, or Città Umilissima in Mauryan. The bastions, curtains and ravelins along with the beauty of its Baroque palaces, gardens and churches, led the ruling houses of Eridana to give the city its nickname Superbissima — Most Proud.
Neapolis is Thracia's major economic, industrial, commercial and political centre, and a major transportation hub for the rest of the country its commercial port is also of great importance for the empire and the northeastern continental merchant.
The origin of the name of Neapolis its from Archaic origin, when Catullio ran of the Rothinoi penninsula after the ancient city of Carantia fall, the leader of the Mauryans leaded a exodux to the west, founding a region offering rural simplicity and contentment. the meaning then is "The city of simplicity"
HistoryThe original Mauryan people inhabited the Carantian Hills. They later moved down into the valleys, which provided better land for agriculture. The area around the Danuba river was particularly advantageous and offered notable strategic resources: the river was a natural border on one side, and the hills could provide a safe defensive position on the other side. This position would also have enabled the Mauryans to control the river and the commercial and military traffic on it from the natural observation point at Isola. Moreover, road traffic could be controlled since Carantia was at the intersection of the principal roads to the sea coming from Sabaria (in the northeast) and Kolomea (to the northwest).
The development of the town is presumed to have started from the development of separate small villages located at the top of hills. They eventually joined together to form Carantia, Catullio created a heptarchy with other prominent mauryan aristocrats to the formation of the new state, the formation of Carantia was official in 950 after the foundation of Carantia, the new capital of the Mauryan states.
Catullio died on 21 August 985 at age 74 and never saw the completion of his city. Originally interred in the church of Our Lady of the Victories, his remains now rest in St. John's Co-Cathedral among the tombs of other Grand Princes Arcadua. Francesco Laparelli was the city's principal designer and his plan departed from medieval Mauryan architecture, which exhibited irregular winding streets and alleys. He designed the new city on a rectangular grid, and without any collacchio (an area restricted for important buildings). The streets were designed to be wide and straight, beginning centrally from the City Gate and ending at Fort Saint Elmo overlooking the Marmoran; certain bastions were built 153 feet (47 m) tall.
The Mauryan architect Gerolamo Cassarini was responsible for a number of the buildings. After the Mauryan' reign, building projects in Carantia resumed under Mastrocola rule. These projects included widening gates, demolishing and rebuilding structures, widening newer houses over the years, and installing civic projects. Ruthene air raids throughout Ruthene-Maurian War caused much destruction. The Royal Opera House, constructed at the city entrance in the 29th century, was one of the buildings lost to the raids.After the final defeat of the House of Sgambati in Giovagnolia, the Maurians conceded defeat and the Ruthene Monarch confirmed the annexation of the entire territory by the 3230 after the coronation of the Basileus as King of Maurya, annexing the region, considerating "Historical to Ruthenia", The Kingdom of Mauria was annexed and dissolved to the Imperial rule and the Maurians in the ciy states becomes citizens of Ruthenia by law, the entire nation becomes a Principate administrated by a Exarch subordinated by the Basileus himself, he installed in Carantia and rename the city as Neapolis as the begining of the Hellenization of the country.
After 20 years of reconstruccion the city was considered one of the most cultural in Mauryan style and the symbol of Maurian culture, the Basileus Theodoros given to the city a special coat of Arms to congratulate the city as the "most humble of the cities".
GeographyThe Carantia peninsula has two natural harbours, Sassoneli and the Grand Harbour. The Grand Harbour is Thracia's major port, with unloading quays at Marsa. A cruise-liner terminal is located along the old seawall of the Neapolis Waterfront
Neapolis features a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Neapolis experiences a lack of precipitation during the summer months and heavier precipitation during the winter months. Winter temperatures are moderated by the city’s proximity to the sea. As a result, Neapolis enjoys mild winters. Average high temperatures range from around 15 °C (59 °F) in January to about 30 °C (86 °F) in August, while average low temperatures range from around 10 °C (50 °F) in January to 22 °C (72 °F) in August.
Fauna and Flora
The Flora of fauna is Thracia's great importance for the biological diversity of the area and the preservation of its climate is the swamp of Agyia, a small and coastal aquatic ecosystem of only 30 ha (74 acres), north of the city centre. The main features of this wetland are its apparent survival difficulty, being at the heart of a densely populated urban centre that features a relatively arid climate and its admittedly high level of biodiversity, with over 90 species of birds being observed until the early 3200s, according to a study by the Neapolis Bureau of the Imperial Ornithological Society.
GovernmentNeapolis is the regional capital of the Thema Kalabreas, the Eparchia of Kilmateion and the Principate himself. which includes all the territory of the city and some minor islands of the Sea of Marmora
The Principate is governed by a Exarchos named Manuel Bragationi, and the municipality (Dimos) is in charge of a Maurian descent elected during the emergency elections after the Expansion war, the other provinces are administrated by a Domestikos and Perifereiárchis respectively.
MunicipalityThe current municipality of Neapolis was formed at the 3220 local government reform by the merger of 5 municipalities that made up the Neapolis Urban Area. These former municipalities, which became municipal units, are: (in parenthesis their population, 3221
- Messatida (13,852)
- Paralia (9,987)
- Rio (14,034)
- Vrachnaiika (4,627)
The city is endowed with a number of neoclassical buildings and mansions dating from the Carantian birth of the city. In the past, years of neglect and the absence of protection enforcement, as well as recent earthquakes, had contributed to the destruction of several such examples. Today, however, most surviving neoclassical buildings are under a strict protection status.Neapolis center is characterized by a composition of architectural currents and trends. Α representative example are the façades around the central square of the city (Georgi Anchangelos Square). The neoclassical Apolla Theatre, is next to the modernist building of the Hall of Literature and Art (Μέγαρο Λόγου και Τέχνης), while the majority of the unattractive multi-storey buildings on the west and south side of the square were constructed in the late 2960 and 2970
Today's Neapolis is a relatively newly built city, as its medieval buildings were completely destroyed in the First Expansion War. The oldest surviving buildings (apart from ancient monuments and the castle) are the church of Pantocrator in Ano Poli and a residential building at the corner of Ayiou Nikolaou and Mezonos street, built in 1832. The area on the south of the castle, around the Roman Odeon and the church of Pantokrator, in the Upper Town (Ano Poli), is the most appealing of the city, due to its status as the only area where construction height is limited to two-storey buildings.
Parks and squares
Giorgios Archangelos Square, the central square and the heart of the city. Its was named after the Patron Saint of the city, St. Archangelos. The square's fountains were installed in 3219 at a cost of 70,000 drachmas each, a huge amount for the finances of the Alietta at this time. It was and continues to be the center of political and cultural life in the city, hosting all significant activities, political gatherings, rallies, cultural events and, most importantly for some, its carnival.
Psilalonia Square (Suloise: Ψηλαλώνια or formally Πλατεία Υψηλών Αλωνίων) is one of Neapolis most popular squares. It is 1.5 km (0.93 mi) from downtown city, next to the city's main north-south street, Gounari Street. It features a fountain, many sidewalks, palm trees and playgrounds. A bronze statue of Germanos of Patras stands on the northern end, while a memorial plaque to people executed in the Axis occupation of Alietta stands on the south-western corner. It is surrounded by several shops, restaurants and cafes and a number of modernist buildings. It was completed in the mid to late-19th century, when trees were added, along with neoclassical buildings.
The Spinney of Neapolis (Δασύλλιο), is in a pine-tree-covered hill, which is dubbed "the Gulf of Arcadios' veranda" due to the panoramic view it offers. The spinney is ideal for recreational walks and jogging, with its specially formed paths and the shade offered by the tall trees.
A newly constructed, 20 km (12 mi) ring road (the Bypass of Neapolis) was first opened in 3219 in order to alleviate heavy traffic throughout the city. A mini ring road (known as the "Mini bypass" of Neapolis) is now being constructed to alleviate heavy traffic-related problems in the city centre. Two large highways are under construction that will connect the seacoast and the new port with the Bypass of Neapolis.
The first is over the small Diakoniaris river (from Konstantinou street until the Bypass'es exit in Eglykada), while the second consists of two roads, 4 km (2 mi) each, that will run in parallel with the Glafkos river. Another project will lead to an additional entrance to the downtown area by expanding Kanakari street. In 3220, the new harbour (southern port) went into operation. Ferries to Rumenia down there.
Other heavy infrastructure works include the Peiros-Parapeiros dam (to provide water supply for Neapolis and surrounding towns) and a "small industries" park that will be constructed next to the Glaykos river and provide an easy connection with the new port.
The city is one of the main Hellenic internet and GRNET hubs and is connected with high speed lines to Auronopolis as part of the backbone. A metropolitan optical network will be deployed in the city, with a total length of 48 km (30 mi).
Two major state hospitals operate in the city: the Agios Archangelos Hospital is the oldest of the two; named after the city's patron saint. The General University Hospital of Neapolis is a prominent university hospital, where intern medical students specialize on their major. There exist, in addition, two smaller state hospitals, Karamandanio - a children's hospital, and the Center of Chest Diseases of Southwestern Greece. The Hellenic army also operates the 409 army hospital in the city. A large range of private hospitals and clinics operate in parallel.
The cultural and educational facilities include the Municipal Library, the university libraries, many theatres, the municipal art gallery, the University of Carantia facilities, the Imperial Open University and the Technical Institute of Neapolis. A number of research facilities are also established in the university campus area.
The economy of the city largely depends on a thriving service sector. Its main economic activities include retailing, logistics, financial and public sector services. Neapolis suffered a severe problem of deindustrialization in the late of Maurian era, a number of major productive units shut down in successive order. As a result, a considerable portion of the city's workforce and the city's economic planning in its entirety had to be re-evaluated and restructured by the authorities. The University of Neapolis contributed by working towards this goal, using its widely respected service and technology sectors. The area still retains some of its traditional winemaking and foodstuff industries as well as a small agricultural sector.
Grand HarbourThe harbour mouth faces north east and is bounded to the north by St Elmo's Point and further sheltered by an isolated breakwater and is bounded to the south by Ricasoli Point. Its north west shore is formed by the Scebarras peninsula, which is largely covered by the city of Neapolis and its suburb of Carantia. This peninsula also divides Grand Harbour from a second parallel natural harbour, Sassoneli Harbour. The main waterway of Grand Harbour continues inland almost to Marsa. The south eastern shore of the harbour is formed by a number of inlets and headlands, principally Rinella Creek, Kalkara Creek, Dockyard Creek, and Slavian Creek, which are covered by Kalkara and the Three Cities: Cospicua, Vittoriosa, and Senglea.
Construction IndustryFor the First Expansion War, the Exarch have many problems with the rebuild of the city, mainly by low labor and low productivity of existing firms, so he made a complete overhaul of local industries and focused its efforts on building corporate and construction corporations, the most notable company is Krakos Industries and Georgetown Inc.
The once omnipresent textile industry of the city is now almost defunct after the shut-down of the huge factory of Ariagallera, followed by numerous smaller textile industries. This had an important impact on the city's economy and resulted in high levels of unemployment in the 3200. The remains of the facilities, still cover hundreds of acres in the south side of the city. Nowadays, Neapolis companies focus in dress production, the most important among them.
In 3220, the new Infocenter of Neapolis was established, inside the neoclassical building of the former market "Agora Argyri", in Ayiou Andreou street. The building includes a conference hall, along with multi-purpose and exhibitional spaces. The regional unit of Achaea has about 4,800 hotels rooms and in 2006, 26,000 tourists, mainly from Rumenia, stayed in the area for a total of 58.000 days.
ReligionThe city is the seat of the Hellenic Archdiocese of Thracia. As in the rest of the country, the largest denomination is the Orthodox Church, which represents the majority of the population. There is also a sizeable living community of Roman Catholics. The most significant church in the city is the church of Saint Andreas, in the south west of the city center. The construction of the church began in 3200 thanks to the efforts of Hellenic inmigrants, followed by Georgios Nomikos. It was inaugurated in 3214. It is the largest church in Thracia and the second largest Hellenic style church in the Region. It holds relics of the apostle Saint Andreas, which were sent there from St. Petros Basilica.
Other historical churches of the city are: the church of Pantokratoras (3212) in the upper town district, the Metropolis (Cathedral) of Neapolis dedicated to Panayia Evangelistria in Mezonos street, the church of Ayios Nikolaos next to the steps of Ayiou Nikolaou street, the church of Pantanassa , the church of Ayios Dimitrios, the Catholic Church of Saint Andreas in Mezonos street.
Religious BuildingsIn his only hundred meters of 630 meters Neapolis houses over twenty churches, like a testament to the Mauria religious tradition in question. The churches in Neapolis are:
- St. Andreas Cathedral
- St. Francesco of Assina Church
- Church of St. Augustine
- Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
- Monastery Redeemed Church of Christ
- Church of Theotokos
- Church of Our Lady of the Pillar
- Church and Monastery of Saint Catherine
- Church of Our Lady of Reconciliation and Holy Dominico
- Church of St. Mary Magdalene
- Church and Chapel of Saint Ana
- Chapel of the Sacred Nursing
- St. Nicholas Church
- Church of San Stephanos
- Church and Monastery of St. Ursula
- Church of Our Lady of Agios
- Church of Saint Theodore
- Church of Saint Evangelos
- Church of St. Catherine of Slavia
- Church of Our Lady of Victories
- Church of Our Lady of Kalamea
- Church of St. Lucia
- Public transport within the city of Neapolis is served by buses. There are two transport lines to and from the University of Neapolis, and some nearby lines to the city suburbs, like Saravali, Zarouchleika, Paralia etc.
- Commuter rail services have recently been established by Proastiakos, with one line currently connecting Patras, Rio and Agios Vasileios. The plan is eventually to connect to Kiato, from where the main Proastiakos already runs to Auronopolis,Panaghia and other Thracian cities
- Regional rail links were until 2010 provided by the Imperial Railways Organisation, connecting to Auronopolis and Mereta as well as to Panaghia and Bresia.
- Regional bus links are provided by KTEL, connecting the city to almost the entire Empire territory and to places inside the province of Crysalion.
- Sea transport is serviced at the Port of Neapolis, which is connected by a number of daily routes to the Minor islands Kerkyra, Kefallonia and Zakynthos, to the port of Igoumenitsa and to the Lucanian cities Ancena, Barisi and Tristane Seaplanes also operate.
- Seasonal air transport is provided at Araxos airport, about 40 km (25 mi) from the city. Neapolis is connected with several Aurigan destinations through scheduled (seasonal) or chartered flights.
The cultural activity of Neapolis includes the Neapolis International Festival (with various artistic activities, mainly in the fields of theatre and music), the Neapolis Carnival and the Poetry Symposium. The city hosts many museums, including the Neapolis Archaeological Museum, the History and Ethnology Museum, the Folk Art Museum, the Press Museum and the Technology Museum, the latter in the campus of the University of Carantia Other cultural institutes are: the Visual Arts Workshop, the icon painting school, the Carnival Float Workshop, the Municipal Library, the Municipal Gallery, along with many private art galleries. The architectural heritage of the city is dominated by neo-classicism, but also includes structures from other periods
For the Maurian origin of the city, the 62% of the population are Maurian, the other 28% are Sarb refugees from the south and other regions of the continent, 10% are Hellenes from Ruthenian cities and other refugees in the capital installed for work
Theatrical Tradition and MusicThe Neapolis Municipal and Regional Theatre was founded in June 3223. The theatre's founding artistic directors were the actors Maya Liberopoulou and Viktor Arditis, and the institution draws its funding from the Municipality of Neapolis and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, having as its main stage the city's landmark, the Apollon Theatre. Throughout its existence it has mounted critically acclaimed performances ranging from ancient dramaturgy and modern Hellenic, to international repertoire. The theatre cooperates with other theatrical groups, such as the Viomichaniki (Industrial) group and the Michani Technis' (Art Machine). The Roman Odeon hosts ancient dramas in the summer, while the Pantheon theater, the Art Factory, the Lithographeion and the Agora theatres provide additional venues. The International Festival of Patras takes place every summer, with a program consisting mostly of plays—both ancient drama and modern theatre—as well as various musical events.
Neapolis has also a very strong indie rock scene with critically acclaimed bands such as Raining Pleasure, Abbie Gale, Serpentine, Doch an Doris and others. The city is also the birthplace of Karagiozis (shadow theatre) in Greece, with Dimitris Sardounis as founder. In addition, there are several conservatoires and music schools, including one devoted exclusively to Hellene music, several orchestras and choirs. There are also a number of dance schools, and there are plans to set up a dance theatre within the context of the Patras Municipal and Regional Theatre. The latter hosts a full-time professional theatre group, while there are several amateur groups performing in the city.
Entertainment and Performing ArtsThe Neapolis Carnival (Arcadiopolion karnavali) is the largest event of its kind in Thraciae and one of the biggest in the Empire, with a heritage reaching back 160 years. The events begin in January and last until Clean Monday. The carnival takes in a variety of events that include balls, parades, a children's carnival and artistic projects. Its apogee comes in the last weekend of Carnival with the Saturday evening parade of carnival groups, the extravagant Sunday parade of floats and groups, and finally the ritual burning of the Carnival King in the mole of Ayios Nikolaos street in the harbour of Neapolis. Its characteristic principles are spontaneity, improvisation, inspiration and volunteerism.
JardensHigh Kallabra Gardens offer a panoramic view of the Grand Harbour. They were built in 2661 for the private use of the Grand Princes of Carantia. It was not until 2824 when the gardens were opened to the public. They suffered heavy damage during the Ruthene-Maurian War.
The garden paths have busts, statues and plaques showing various personalities and significant events in Maltese history. Of special interest is the bronze group of Mauryan sculptor Antonio Crescenti, called Las Gavrochias. His representation of three children running etremas reflects hardships which faced the Mauryan in the twentieth century. Low Kallabra Gardens also dominate the boardwalk and Grand Harbour offer views of Fort Ricasoli, Bighi Palace, Fort St Angelo and Vittoriosa and Kalkara hills. The gardens contain two major monuments, one dedicated to the elevation of kingdom and another in remembrance to the fall of Carantia.
The Sasso Gardens is at the top of the bationes the west side of City Gate provide good views of Thracia, Manoel Island and the Port of Sossaneli. The gardens have a monument built by the Sasso family dedicated to Pietro I first Grand Prince of Carantia and the creation of the Archbishop of Carantia.
CuisineThracia's staple food is bread and Thracian bread is very much sought after. Neapolis is recognized nationally as the capital of Thracian bread-making. It boasts the largest number of bakeries in the country, several of which still operate in the traditional manner using wood-fired ovens.
The importance of Carantia's history was highlighted back in 3207 when for the first time in its local history, Carantia hosted the national event 'A night in Casal Fornaro' as Carantia was known hundreds of years ago. This event brought the greatest thousands that Carantia never witnessed before, outgrowing even the attendance for the traditional feasts. So much was this event successful, that this activity was also done in 3208 and 3209, and was stopped for the war, but the local tradition continues between mauryan people. In this activity the tourist will enter into a traditional Carantian village, will see tens of different shows and exhibitions showing the traditional life of Carantia, and can also find the tasty purely traditional Thracian food.