Nafpaktos; view from the fortress.
Nafpaktos; view from the fortress.
Naupaktos is located in Greece
Country Greece
Administrative region West Greece
Regional unit Aetolia-Acarnania
Municipality Nafpaktia
 • Municipal unit 159.9 km2 (61.7 sq mi)
Highest elevation 3 m (10 ft)
Lowest elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Municipal unit 19,768
 • Municipal unit density 120/km2 (320/sq mi)
 • Population 31594
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 303 xx
Area code(s) 26340
Vehicle registration ME

Nafpaktos (Greek: Ναύπακτος) is a town and a former municipality in Aetolia-Acarnania, West Greece, Greece. Nafpaktos is situated on a bay on the north coast of the Gulf of Corinth, 3 km (2 mi) west of the mouth of the river Mornos. The harbour is accessible only to the smallest craft. It is 9 km (6 mi) northeast of Antirrio, 18 km (11 mi) northeast of Patras, 35 km (22 mi) east of Missolonghi and 45 km (28 mi) southeast of Agrinio. The Greek National Road 48/E65 (Antirrio - Nafpaktos - Delphi - Livadeia) passes north of the town. It is the third largest town of Aetolia-Acarnania, after Agrinio and Missolonghi.

The 1571 Battle of Lepanto, in which the navy of the Ottoman Empire was decisively defeated by the Holy League assembled by Pope Pius V, is named for Naupactus under the Italian form of its name.

Since the 2011 local government reform, it has been part of the municipality of Nafpaktia, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit.[2]


  • Name 1
  • History 2
    • Antiquity 2.1
    • Middle Ages 2.2
    • Ottoman rule and modern period 2.3
  • Ecclesiastical history 3
  • Residents 4
  • Landmarks 5
  • Subdivisions 6
  • Nearest places 7
  • Historical population 8
  • Media 9
    • Television 9.1
  • Notable people 10
  • Gallery 11
  • Twin cities 12
  • Sports teams 13
  • See also 14
  • References 15
  • Sources 16
  • External links 17


The name Naupaktos means "boatyard", from ναύς (ancient Greek naus, meaning "ship") and πηγνύειν (Ancient Greek pêgnuein meaning "to build"). It was later Latinized as Naupactus. In the Byzantine period, the name became Epachtos (Έπαχτος), while the Venetian term was Lepanto and the Ottoman Turkish İnebahtı. The ancient name was revived in the 19th century.



In Greek legend, Naupactus is the place where the Heraclidae built a fleet to invade the Peloponnese.

In historical times it belonged to the Ozolian Locrians; but about 455 BC, in spite of a partial resettlement with Locrians of Opus, it fell to the Athenians, who peopled it with Messenian refugees and made it their chief naval station in western Greece during the Peloponnesian war. Two major battles were fought here. In 404 it was restored to the Locrians, who subsequently lost it to the Achaeans, but recovered it.

Philip II of Macedon gave Naupactus to the Aetolians, who held it till 191 BC, when after an obstinate siege it was surrendered to the Romans. It was still flourishing about 170.

The Roman playwright Plautus mentions Naupactus in his comic play Miles Gloriosus as the destination of an Athenian master (Pleusicles) who is on a diplomatic mission to the city.

In 551/2, during the reign of Justinian I, the city was destroyed by an earthquake.[3]

Middle Ages

The town and its hinterland were hit by an epidemic coming from Italy in 747/8 and almost deserted.[3]

From the late 9th century, probably the 880s, it was capital of the Byzantine thema of Nicopolis. At the same time, its bishopric was elevated to a metropolis. During the 9th–10th centuries, the town was an important harbour for the Byzantine navy and a strategic point for communication with the Byzantine possessions in southern Italy.[3][4]

A rebellion of the local populace, which led to the death of the local Constantine VIII (r. 1025–28).[5] In 1040, the town did not take part in the Uprising of Peter Delyan, and although attacked by the rebel army, alone among the towns of the theme of Nicopolis, it resisted successfully.[5] The history of the town over the next two centuries is obscure; during the visit of Benjamin of Tudela in 1165, there was a Jewish community of about 100 in the town.[5]

Following the dissolution of the Byzantine Empire after the Fourth Crusade, it became part of the Despotate of Epirus.[5][6] Under its metropolitan, John Apokaukos, the see of Naupactus gained in importance and headed the local synod for the southern half of the Epirote domains.[7] In 1294, the town was ceded to Philip I, Prince of Taranto as part of the dowry of Thamar Angelina Komnene. The ruler of Thessaly, Constantine Doukas, attacked Epirus in the next year and captured Naupactus, but in 1296 handed most of his conquests back to the Angevins, and Naupactus became a major Angevin base on the Greek mainland.[8] In 1304 or 1305, the Epirotes recovered Naupactus during a war with the Angevins, but handed it back when peace was concluded in 1306.[9]

The Venetian fortress.

In 1361 the town was captured by the Catalans of the Duchy of Athens.[5] In 1376 or 1377 it fell to the Albanians under John Bua Spata. Apart from a brief occupation by the Knights Hospitaller in 1378, Naupactus remained in Albanian hands until 1407, when Paul Spata, wedged between the expanding lands of the Count of Cephalonia Carlo I Tocco and the Ottoman possessions, sold the town to the Republic of Venice.[10]

After 1449, the town was an isolated Venetian exclave in Ottoman territory, as the Ottomans completed their conquest of the rest of Epirus and Aetolia-Acarnania.[11] The town was important to Venice, as it secured their trade through the Corinthian Gulf, and the Republic took care to erect strong fortifications to secure its possession.[5] In the end, the fortress fell to the Ottomans in 1499, during the Second Ottoman–Venetian War.[5]

Ottoman rule and modern period

The Battle of Lepanto, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich/London.

Under the Ottomans, Naupactus was known as İnebahtı and was the seat of a Turkish province, the Sanjak of İnebahtı. The mouth of the Gulf of Lepanto was the scene of the great sea battle in which the naval power of the Ottoman Empire was nearly completely destroyed by the united Papal, Spanish, Habsburg and Venetian forces (Battle of Lepanto, October 7, 1571). In 1687 it was recaptured by the Venetians, but was again restored to the Ottomans in 1699, by the Treaty of Karlowitz. It became part of independent Greece in March 1829.

Naupactus suffered damage from the 2007 Greek forest fires.

Ecclesiastical history

The metropolitan see of Naupactus depended on the pope of Rome until 733, when Leo III the Isaurian annexed it to the Patriarchate of Constantinople.[12]

Under Frankish rule, there were about 20 archbishops in the 14-15th centuries. The city remains a titular see of the Roman Catholic church.[12]

The see was attached to the Church of Greece after the Greek War of Independence. It was suppressed in 1900, replaced by the see of Acarnania and Naupactia, whose seat is at Missolonghi.[12]


View of the port.

Today the population is about 19,768 people according to the 2011 census. Residential homes align with the Gulf of Corinth over a length of about 3 km (2 mi) and a width of about 1 km (0.6 mi). The port divides the beachfront in two parts. The Western part is called Psani, while the Eastern part Gribovo. Naupactus sits on a shoulder of a mountain range on the north while farmlands dominate the western part. It used to be on the GR-48/E65 linking Antirrio and Amfissa; now it is bypassed to the north at the elevation of 150 to 200 m (492 to 656 ft) above sea level. The bypass has contributed significantly in lowering the number of heavy trucks passing through the narrow streets of the town.


  • The port and castle provide the main attraction for the town. Shops, cafes and bars dot the immediate area, while a cafe is also located within the castle walls
  • The port also includes monuments commemorating the Battle of Lepanto (1571), and there is also a statue of the Cervantes by the Mallorcan artist Jaume Mir.
  • A small water park is located just past the western portion of the beach near Psani
  • Nafpaktos is also home to a local museum
  • The Fethiye Mosque, the city's largest Ottoman-era mosque
Panoramic view of the port.


Houses by the port.

The municipal unit Naupactus is subdivided into the following communities (constituent villages in brackets):

Nearest places

  • Antirrio (west)
  • Katafygio (Katafigio): One of the traditional villages in Orini Nafpaktia (mountainous Nafpaktia).
  • Ano chora (north): One of the traditional villages of Orini Nafpaktia
  • Kentriki (north): One of the traditional villages of Orini Nafpaktia
  • Aspria (north): One of the traditional villages of Orini Nafpaktia
  • Chomori: One of the traditional villages of Orini Nafpaktia
  • Elatovrisi or Elatou: One of the traditional villages of Orini Nafpaktia with famous natural spring water.
  • Skala: Village found in the hills minutes from the town centre; overlooks the town itself
  • Skaloma: beaches
  • Hiliadou: Part of the strip of beachside villages outside of Nafpaktos (Hiliadou-Monastiraki-Skaloma); sandy beach makes it a popular destination for residents of Nafpaktos and tourists
  • Klepa: One of the villages in Orini Nafpaktia
  • Platanos

Historical population

Year Town population Municipality population
1981 9,012 -
1991 10,854 15,045
2001 12,924 18,231
2011 19,768 31,594



Notable people

  • Agelaus (3rd century BC), politician
  • John Apokaukos (died 1233), Metropolitan of Naupactus from 1200 to 1232
  • Prime Minister of Greece
  • Hierotheos (Vlachos) (born 1945), Metropolitan of Nafpaktos and Agios Vlasios


Twin cities

Sports teams

The emblem of Nafpaktiakos Asteras F.C..

See also


  1. ^ "Απογραφή Πληθυσμού - Κατοικιών 2011. ΜΟΝΙΜΟΣ Πληθυσμός" (in Greek). Hellenic Statistical Authority. 
  2. ^ Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (Greek)
  3. ^ a b c Veikou, Myrto (2012). Byzantine Epirus: A Topography of Transformation. Settlements of the Seventh-Twelfth Centuries in Southern Epirus and Aetoloacarnania, Greece. BRILL. pp. 466–468.  
  4. ^ Nesbitt, John W.;  
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Gregory, T. E. (1991). "Naupaktos". In  
  6. ^ Fine, John Van Antwerp (1994). The Late Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest. University of Michigan Press. p. 65.  
  7. ^ Fine, John Van Antwerp (1994). The Late Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest. University of Michigan Press. p. 115.  
  8. ^ Fine, John Van Antwerp (1994). The Late Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest. University of Michigan Press. pp. 236–237.  
  9. ^ Fine, John Van Antwerp (1994). The Late Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest. University of Michigan Press. pp. 239–240.  
  10. ^ Fine, John Van Antwerp (1994). The Late Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest. University of Michigan Press. pp. 352, 356, 401.  
  11. ^ Fine, John Van Antwerp (1994). The Late Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest. University of Michigan Press. p. 544.  
  12. ^ a b c  "Lepanto".  



External links

  • Municipality of Naupactus