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Aigialeia (Greek: Αιγιάλεια) is a municipality and a former province (επαρχία) of the Achaea peripheral unit, Greece. The seat of the municipality is the town Aigio.[1] The main towns are Aigio, Akrata and Diakopto. The mountains dominate the central, the southern and the western part, farmlands dominate the northern part especially along the coastline and in the hills. Its main rivers are the Selinos and the Bouraikos.

Municipality

The municipality Aigialeia was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 6 former municipalities, that became municipal units:[1]

Aigeira
Aigio
Akrata
Diakopto
Erineos
Sympoliteia

Province

The province of Aigialeia (Greek: Επαρχία Αιγιαλείας) was one of the three provinces of Achaea and was abolished in 2006.
History
Ancient to Revolution periods

The area was known in Homeric times. It was later to include the entire Achaean League. At the time it was bounded by Arcadia to the south. It was annexed by the Roman Empire in 187 AD and many of the cities were destroyed after the Roman Army invaded the area. The area remained Roman until the Empire's split into the East and the West, when Aigialeia along with the rest of Greece became a part of the Eastern Roman Empire, which as the Byzantine Empire survived for the next 900 years. In the 13th century, all of Aigialeia became a part of the Frankish Empire until 1457, when the Turks invaded the area and it became part of the Ottoman Empire. For a brief time in the 1460s and the 1470s, it was ruled by the Venetians before being ruled by the Turks again; the Venetians did not rule again until the 1680s and their rule was ended in the 1730s when the area was reinvaded and restored to the Turks again for the next 90 years. It was affected by the Orlov Revolt from the 1760s until the 1770s, and Turkish rule finally came to an end during the Greek War of Independence. Aigio was the first city to be liberated from Ottoman rule on March 26 and all of Aigialeia later on. Aigialeia finally joined the rest of Greece.

Pre-modern times

The population of Aigio grew from a small town. Its economy boomed and its roads were linked. Its municipalities including Aigio, Diakopto and Akrata were created. Years later, its railway services with the OSE's SPAP line was created in the 1850s and a rack railway to Kalavryta later on. The highway linking Athens, Corinth and Patras was marked and ran into Aigieira, Diakopto and Aigio. However, in the 1910s during the Balkan Wars, its municipalities were dissolved and its low-level administration became around tens of communities.
Modern times

After World War II and the Greek Civil War, most of its buildings were rebuilt as late as the 1950s and the economy boomed again, but residents left the villages for larger cities and abroad. In 1969, the two-lane highway linking Corinth and Patras opened and contains several interchanges. The Aigio Bypass did not opened until 1972; its tolls were removed later on.

Aigio was struck by an earthquake in 1995, damaging several buildings. Its communities were dissolved in 1997 under the Capodistria Plan and its municipalities were recreated.

In 2007 Aigeira was struck by a forest fire (see 2007 Greek forest fires) that began on July 24 and continued through July 27 and consumed almost one-third of the area or about 200 km². Flames were as high as 30 m and smoke as high as 400 to 600 m. Buildings and farmland were also damaged in the villages of Mavriki, Stachthi, Mamoussia, Pteri, Kato Pteri, Ano Diakopto and Zachloritika; about 80% of the areawas affected. Hundreds of fire trucks, helicopters and planes, firefighters and some residents were needed to put out the fire. Cattle were destroyed, several cars were ruined and electricity and hydro were blacked out. Several residents were evacuated. The fire burnt around 100 km² in its first day and later expanded to about 200 km² on the fourth. The fire ended in Kounina and Chatzi in the northwestern part on July 28 and did not the farmlands to the west. The fire disintegrated in the central portion on July 29 and finally ended on July 20. The cause was arson, which was growing in the 2000s across the country especially associated with housing expansion in the Athens area. The arsonists were imprisoned.

Transportation

GR-8/E65
GR-33
Kalavryta-Diakopto Road

Media
Newspapers, fanzines and others

Filodimos - Aigio
Frourio tis Anatolikis Aigialeias
Proti tis Aigaleias - Aigio and Aigaleia
Styx - Akrata

Radio

Radio Aigio - 99.2 FM

Television

AXION - Aigio

Sporting clubs

Anagennisi/Aias Sympoliteias - Rododafni
Aris Valimitika
Asteras Temenis
Diakopto AC - Diakopto - fourth division
Egieas Egion
Olympiakos Aigio - Aigio, fourth division
Panaigialeios - fourth division
Thyella Aigio - Aigio
A.O. Vouraikos Diakopto
A.O. Ziria
Aris Longou - Longos, Achaea

References

^ a b Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (Greek)

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