Just to open up the legs and pay homage to one of Greece’s hero cities, I decided to ride from Nafpaktos to Mesolongi and back (90km).

Photos of the ride at the bottom.

Mesolongi is a small city located in western Greece. It is situated near the Gulf of Patras and is famous for its historical significance in the Greek War of Independence. Mesolongi played a crucial role in the war and was the site of a heroic struggle that is remembered to this day. Let’s take a closer look at the history, sights, and things to do in Mesolongi.

History

Mesolongi was founded in the 16th century and quickly became an important center of commerce and trade. It was also a strategic location due to its proximity to the Gulf of Patras, and as a result, it was frequently targeted by various armies throughout its history. However, the city’s most significant moment came during the Greek War of Independence in the 19th century.

In 1821, the Greeks rebelled against their Ottoman oppressors and fought for their freedom. Mesolongi was one of the cities that joined the revolution, and its citizens played a vital role in the war effort. The city was besieged by Ottoman forces for over a year, but the Greeks held out against incredible odds. Despite being outnumbered and outgunned, the defenders of Mesolongi refused to surrender and fought bravely until the bitter end. The siege ended in April 1826 when the defenders made a daring escape through the Ottoman lines, but not before suffering great losses. The battle of Mesolongi became a symbol of the Greek War of Independence and is remembered to this day as a heroic struggle.

Sights

One of the most prominent landmarks in Mesolongi is the Garden of Heroes, which is dedicated to the defenders of the city during the Greek War of Independence. The garden contains statues of famous Greek leaders and fighters, including Lord Byron, who fought and died in Mesolongi. Another important monument is the Holy Cathedral of Saint Symeon, which was built in the 19th century and is one of the city’s most beautiful churches.

Mesolongi is also famous for its lagoon, which is a protected wetland area that is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Visitors can take a boat tour of the lagoon and observe the many species of birds and fish that live there. There are also several museums in Mesolongi, including the Historical and Folklore Museum, which contains exhibits about the city’s history and culture.

Things to Do

One of the best ways to experience Mesolongi is to take a walking tour of the city’s historic sites. Visitors can explore the Garden of Heroes, the Holy Cathedral of Saint Symeon, and other important landmarks. Another popular activity is to take a boat tour of the lagoon, which is a great way to see the city’s natural beauty.

Mesolongi is also famous for its food, and visitors should make sure to sample some of the local cuisine. Some popular dishes include fish soup, stuffed squid, and fried eel. The city also has several cafes and bars where visitors can relax and enjoy a coffee or a drink.

Old National Road
View to Rio-Antirro Bridge
New Highway seen from Old National Road
Provisional Evinos Bridge with the village of Galatas on the right
Mesolongi Plain
at the Garden of Heroes
City Gate in Mesolongi
Markou Botsari Square

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