Garden of the Heroes

Central Greece

Just inside the Gate of Exodus, where Ottoman forces massacred escaping Greeks in 1826, this memorial garden contains a prominent statue of Lord Byron (look for the inscription BYPONA). After Byron died, his embalmed body was returned to England for burial in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire, but his lungs lie beneath the statue.

The Garden of the Heroes was established by Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first Greek head of state following independence. Translated, his decree, engraved here on a marble slab, reads: '…within these walls of the city of Messolongi lie the bones of those brave men, who fell bravely while defending the city…it is our duty to gather together, with reverence, the holy remains of these men and to lay them to rest in a memorial where our country may, each year, repay its debt of gratitude'.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Central Greece attractions

1. Museum of History & Art

0.41 MILES

The ground floor of this neoclassical mansion on the central square holds a fine collection of Byron memorabilia. Treasures range from statues and…

2. Diexodos Museum of Literature & Art

0.48 MILES

A local lawyer restored this beautiful 19th-century mansion as a labour of love. The gallery within displays paintings and historical artefacts, and hosts…

3. Church of Agios Andreas

18.58 MILES

Seating 5500 people, this church is one of the largest in the Balkans. Tradition holds that the Romans crucified St Andrew here in Patra (on the diagonal…

5. Apollon Theatre

18.8 MILES

This nineteenth-century neoclassical theatre building designed by Ernst Ziller is a landmark on the main square of Patra.

6. Roman Odeion

19.04 MILES

Patra was an important Roman city and this brick-built odeion (small theatre), built in the 2nd century AD, is one of several remains scattered about the…

7. Archaeological Museum of Patras

19.09 MILES

This fabulous museum should be shouting its existence from its space-age rooftop. Its exhibits comprise regional objects from prehistoric to Roman times…

8. Kastro

19.19 MILES

Patra's castle stands on the site of the acropolis of ancient Patrai. The Romans were the first to build a fort here around AD 550, but the present…