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Prefecture: Aitoloakarnania
Province: Mesolonghi

38.38/38°22'51' N lat.
21.428/21°25'45' E long
Population: (2001)
 - Total
 - Density¹
 - Rank



Gulf of Patras
9 m(centre)
about 600 to 800 m
Postal code: 302 00
Area/distance code: 11-30-26310 (030-26310)-2
Municipal code: 0218
Car designation: ME (Messolonghi)
3-letter abbreviation: MES

Mesolonghi (Greek: Μεσολόγγι, Mesolóngi, older forms Messolongi, Missolonghi, Mesolongion; officially "Holy City of Mesolonghi") is a city of about 12,228 people (as of 2001 census) in central Greece.

The city is the capital of Aitoloakarnania and is also the second largest city. It is the seat of the municipality of Iera Poli Mesolonghiou. Mesolonghi is linked and is bypasses since the 1960s with GR-5/E55. The road to Astakos is to the northwest and is also accessed to GE-48 to the east. It is located S of Agrinio, SSW of Karpenisi, WSW of Amfissa, W of the Rio-Antirio Bridge, W of Nafpaktos, E of Aitoliko and SE of Astakos.

The city was founded in the 16th century and is located between the Acheloos and the Evinos rivers. It contains a port on the Gulf of Patra. It trades in fish, wine, and tobacco. The Arakynthos mountains lie to the northeast. Mesolonghi is almost canalized but houses are within the gulf and the swamplands. The Mesolonghi Lagoon lies to the west and is also a swampy area. In the ancient times, the land was part of the gulf. The city had a train station which used to link the railway line linking to Ioannina and became abandoned in the 1980s.


The city is first mentioned with its present name by a Venetian describing the Battle of Lepanto which took place nearby. It was under Venetian rule until 1700.

Mesolonghi revolted against Turkish rule on May 20, 1821. It was a major stronghold of the Greek revolutionaries in the Greek War of Independence. Its inhabitants, led by Markos Botsaris, successfully resisted a siege by forces of the Ottoman Empire in 1822. They also defeated the Ottomans in a second siege in 1823.

Mesolonghi held out heroically against a third siege from 1825 to 1826, before the Ottoman forces captured the town after a sortie by its entire population. On account of its inhabitants' heroism, it was named a "Holy City" - the only city in Greece to have such a distinction.

The famous English poet Lord Byron, who supported the Greek struggle for independence, died there in 1824. He is commemorated by a cenotaph and a statue located in the town.

Historical population

Year Population Change Municipal population
1981 11,375 - -
1991 10,916 -459/-4.04% 16,859

Sites of interest


Messolonghi has a schools, lyceums, gymnasia, churches, banks, a police station, a water tower, a post office, a junior soccer team, and a square (plateia).


External links

See also

Northwest: Aitoliko North: Arakynthos Northeast: Makrynia
West: Messolonghi Lagoon Iera Poli Messolongiou East: Chalkia
  South: Gulf of Patras