The historic Bridge of Arta.
|Population statistics (as of 2011)|
|- Area:||436.8 km2 (169 sq mi)|
|- Density:||99 /km2 (256 /sq mi)|
|- Area:||47.973 km2 (19 sq mi)|
|- Density:||570 /km2 (1,476 /sq mi)|
|Time zone:||EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)|
|Elevation (center):||30 m (98 ft)|
|Postal code:||471 00|
Arta (Greek: Άρτα) is a city in northwestern Greece, capital of the regional unit of Arta, which is part of Epirus region. The city was known in ancient times as Ambracia (Ancient Greek: Αμβρακία). Arta is known for the medieval bridge over the Arachthos River. Arta is also known for its ancient sites from the era of Pyrrhus of Epirus and its well-preserved 13th-century castle. Arta's Byzantine history is reflected in its many Byzantine churches; perhaps the best known is the Panagia Paregoretissa (Mother of God the Consoling), built about 1290 by Despot Nikephoros I Komnenos Doukas. The city is the seat of the Technological Educational Institute of Epirus.
- 1 History
- 2 Landmarks
- 3 Technological Educational Institute of Epirus
- 4 Transportation
- 5 Municipality
- 6 Historical population
- 7 Notable people
- 8 Professional sports
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
In 295 BC Pyrrhus of Epirus, king of the Molossians, transferred the capital of his kingdom to Ambracia, which he used as a base from which he attacked the Romans. Pyrrhus managed to achieve great but costly victories against the Romans, hence the phrase "Pyrrhic victory" which refers to an exchange at the Battle of Asculum. In 146 BC, Ambracia became part of the Roman empire and the province of Epirus was renamed Epirus Vetus, to distinguish it from Epirus Nova to the east. The town is not mentioned under the name of Arta until 1082.
In 1204, after the fall of Constantinople to the Crusaders, Arta became the capital of the Despotate of Epirus, which extended up to Dyrrhachium and included all of northwestern Greece and regions of Thessaly and northwestern Macedonia. Its founder was Michael I Komnenos Doukas (1205–1215), relative of the imperial Byzantine family of Komnenos. After brief conquests of the city by the Italian dynasty of Orsini (1318–1337), Serbian Empire (1337–1359), Albanian clans (1359–1416) and Italian rulers (Carlo II Tocco, Leonardo III Tocco), the Ottoman Empire conquered it in 1449 and renamed it Narda. It was occupied by Venetians in 1717 and the French in 1797, but the Ottomans retook it in 1799. The city was eventually taken from the Ottomans and annexed to Greece in 1881 by the Treaty of Berlin.
The modern city is on the site of ancient Ambracia. Remains of the classic era include the ancient walls, the ruins of the ancient temple of Apollo, a small theatre, and remnants of the southwest cemetery.
The castle of Arta was built by Michael II Komnenos Doukas in the middle of 13th century. It is representative of Byzantine architecture and is well preserved. The most important Byzantine church is the Church of the Paregoretissa, that was built during 1285-89 by Nikephoros I Komnenos Doukas and his wife Anna Palaiologina Kantakouzene. The church of Saint Theodora is another fine example of Byzantine architecture. It is dedicated to the protector of Arta and is the only surviving department of the abbey that was founded in the 13th century by the queen of the Despotate of Epirus, Theodora in honour of Saint George, functioning as a nunnery. After the death of her husband, Theodora herself became a nun, and was buried there and the temple is honoured in her name. Other important Byzantine monuments include the churches of Saint Basil (Hagios Vasilios), the Monastery of Kato Panagia, Hagios Vasilios of the Bridge, Panagia Vlaherna, Panagia Brioni in Neohoraki, Saint Demetrius Katsouri in Plisioi, the Red Church in Vourgareli, Panagia of Koronisia in Koronisia and the church of Pantanassa in Filippiada.
- Archaeological Museum of Arta
- Church of the Paregoretissa
- Folk museum 'Skoufas'
- Historical museum 'Skoufas'
- Private folk museum in Kypseli.
- Archaeological museum of Koronisia
Technological Educational Institute of Epirus
The Technological Educational Institute of Epirus (T.E.I.)  has a main campus and its administration seat in Arta and has branch campuses in the three other main cities of Epirus, Ioannina, Igoumenitsa and Preveza. It has four (4) Faculties and thirteen (13) Departments.
Regular bus lines connect Arta with all bigger Greek cities. (bus to Athens departs several times a day and trip takes about 5 hours)
The present municipality Arta was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 5 former municipalities, that became municipal units (constituent communities in brackets):
- Amvrakikos (Aneza, Vigla, Gavria, Kalogeriko, Koronisia, Polydroso, Rachi, Strongyli, Psathotopi)
- Arta (Arta, Keramates, Kostakioi, Limini)
- Filothei (Agios Spyridon, Kalamia, Kalovatos, Kirkizates, Rokka, Chalkiades)
- Vlacherna (Vlacherna, Grammenitsa, Grimpovo, Korfovouni)
- Xirovouni (Ammotopos, Dafnoti, Kampi, Pantanassa, Pistiana, Rodavgi, Skoupa, Faneromeni)
Quarters of Arta
- Agia Triada
- Agioi Anargyroi
- Agios Georgios Glykorrizou
- Kato Panagia Artas
- Pyrrhus (318 BC-272 BC), general and king of Epirus
- Epicrates of Ambracia (4th century BC), comic poet
- Silanus of Ambracia (5th century BC), soothsayer in Xenophon's Anabasis
- Epigonus of Ambracia (6th-5th BC), musician
- Michael I Komnenos Doukas, founder and first ruler of the principality of Epirus from 1205 until his death in 1215.
- Theodore Komnenos Doukas, (died c. 1253), ruler of Epirus from 1215 to 1230 and of Thessalonica from 1224 to 1230.
- Theodora Petraliphaina, canonized as Saint Theodora of Arta; (ca. 1225 – after 1270), consort of Epirus and Orthodox Christian saint.
- Michael II Komnenos Doukas, ruler of Epirus from 1230 until his death in 1266/68.
- Nikephoros I Komnenos Doukas, (c. 1240 – c. 1297) ruler of Epirus from 1267/8 to c. 1297.
- Thomas I Komnenos Doukas,(c. 1285–1318) ruler of Epirus from c. 1297 until his death in 1318.
- Maximus the Greek (1475–1556), monk, publicist, writer, scholar, humanist and translator
- Nikolaos Skoufas (1779–1818), member of the Filiki Eteria
- Georgios Karaiskakis (1780–1827),hero of the Greek War of Independence
- Theodoros Tzinis (1798–1869), fighter of the Greek War of Independence
- Azmi Ömer Akalın, Wāli of Bursa.
- Hoca Ishak Efendi (1774–1835), Ottoman engineer and translator
- Napoleon Zervas (1891–1957), WWII general and resistance leader
- Konstantinos Karapanos (1840–1911),political and archaeologist
- Alexandros Karapanos (1873–1946), politician and diplomat
- Yiannis Moralis (1916), painter
- Antonios Nikopolidis (1971), footballer
- Yannis Anastasiou (1973), footballer
- Arta Prefecture
- Municipality of Arta on GTP Travel Pages (in English and Greek)
- Arta (community) on GTP Travel Pages (in English and Greek)
- Archaeological Museum of Arta (Greek)