Lechaina


Lechaina

Infobox Greek Dimos
name = Lechaina
name_local = Λεχαινά


periph = West Greece
prefec = Elis
province = Elis
population = 6334
population_as_of = 2001
population_ref = [http://www.statistics.gr/gr_tables/S1101_SAP_1_TB_DC_01_03_Y.pdf source]
pop_dens =
area =
elevation = 5
lat_deg = 37
lat_min = 56
lat_hem = N
lon_deg = 21
lon_min = 16
lon_hem = E
postal_code = 270 53
area_code = 26230
licence = ΗΑ
mayor =
website =


caption_skyline =
city_

city_

districts =
party =
since =
elevation_min =
elevation_max =

Lechainá (Λεχαινά), also Lechena or Lehena is a town in the Prefecture of Ilia, Greece that is 39 km (previously 37 km) north of the nearby city of Pyrgos and regions of Messenia and Arcadia. It is also located far west of Athens, Greece and 60 km (previously 61 km) southwest of Patras. As of 2003, its population was around 3,300. The dialing code for the region is 30 followed by 26230 with five-digit numbers. Half of the stores and markets line Lechaina's two main streets.

Geography, features, and information

Latitude is 37.93° or 37° 54′ north and longitude is exactly 21.27° or 21° 15′ east. The elevation is between 4 and 5 meters (17 ft) above sea level. Areas along the beachside remain at sea level. The highest point is around 20 m (around 70 ft) to 50 m (160 ft). The length of the community coastline is around 3 kilometers. Originally a few meters less before construction workers raised the land by 10 m prior to the mid-20th century. The length of the roads is 30 to 35 km in total. Fifteen km is paved, including 8 km of federal roads old and new. 2 km of residential streets, and the remainder is surfaced. Its nearest health centre is 14 km northeast outside Lechaina (originally 17 km). The nearest hospital is 21 km southeast in Amalias. The nearest major port is Kyllini, 10 km east (originally 13 km from the centre.) The community area has three stations. A post office is found near the centre of town. Before the 1960s, stone roads were common and only found in Lechaina. The only paved road that exist in the period was on the National Road/Highway in the 1960s before construction began to expand paved roads to the whole area. The average maximum speed limit is 20 km/h on narrowest streets, 30 km/h on other streets, 50 km/h on its roads (except national roads).

There is a local λαϊκή, "laikí" happening most of the weekends near Karkavitsas Street. The market is small and only fifty meters long. An international festival took place from late-July to around mid-August with concert, shows, and festivities.

To its northwest, the beach still known as Lechaina Beach, has a view of the Ionian Islands. They are Cephallonia by Mount Aenos or Ainos; its island chain including Ithaca. The Northern half of the island of Zante can be seen, because a hill which overlooks Chlemoutsi and Kyllene is blocking the southern half of the island. And the land of Aetoloacarnania to the northeast. Distance to Cephallonia (without ferry) is around 40 km, and to nearest point on Aetolia is 30 km.

The beaches north of Lechaina are Lechaina Beach, and Panorama Beach, which has a lot of summer homes and a restaurant, also known to some tourists, and one near the lagoon of Kotychi. It even has an abandoned soccer field which was reopened without turf. Two pristine restaurants are located there. One has a sandy parking lot, the other has a road beside that restaurant.

Camp Lechaina (spelt Lehena before the 1990s) was a big campsite for Northern Elia (Elea). It was shut down in the late 1990s because another campsite on Myrsini Beach was open for business. The East campsite is named Green Camp and is founded directly north. It was also the same business, both built near green forests and blue-water beaches built around the periphery. A factory slightly to the northeast is named "Robico".

Not far from the camp are fertile flat uninhabited plains with farmlands that stretch from outside the municipal boundaries ending up near "thalassa" 'the sea' with coastline. The size is about ten km². A creek named Andravida flows in the middle. Peneus River used to flow on what is now Andravida creek in ancient times and was a swamp region, but some torrential weather or a drought changed the course of the river to the Palaiochori. The swamp was drained to make room for farmland. Today only marshes are left next of Aghios Panteleimonos beach marking the original swampy wetlands, which used to cover 100 by 1000 m, 8 to 10 km² . Many of the houses on Lechaina's north side are close to the forest, but there is one abandoned house and one closed-down building lying in the plains, with no trees. Trees are found mainly near irrigation canals in that area.

The water emptying into the sea is in the order of 100s of m³ to none during Summer weather. Andravida's output during summer months is nearly 6 to 12 m³ every flow, hundreds to thousands every day.

Kotinaiika and Aghios Athanasios (Saint Athanasius) has only about five houses. Tens of people live in that area. Surrounded almost entirely by trees, a small Aghios Athanasios church is founded. Seating only numbers ten to twenty. The actual size is small making one of the smallest churches in the Lechaina area.

An outdoor theatre playing movies is not far from the centre. It is located at Polytechneíou, one block east of Papaphléstreets. A pub located one block north of Papaphléssa Street on Karkavítsas Street is a pub operated from the early 1990s to 1999 or 2000 is "Johnnie Fun". The size is small, about 60 to 80 m².

Aghios Demetrios, a square which includes a church is located in the heart of town. Other squares are located near Myrsini Road and Efzonon, and another one near Al. Mastrovassilis Street. There are two kiosks, a bus stop, a taxi stand, restaurant, bar, and trees standing west. There are two divided streets, one that exist and one that has been converted into a walkway. The city has exactly two walkways, one in the east, and the other completed in the mid-1990s and expanded in the early-2000s with outdoor patios and restaurants. Its main streets are Polytechneiou and Ethniki Antistatheos Streets, even Myrsini Road. Papaflessa Street is no longer considered a main street to the beach because the municipality were turning the street into a walkway to decrease and remove the traffic flow and make it usable to pedestrians. A post office is founded somewhere in the town centre, founded in the mid-20th century.

Lechaina has a railroad station in the east. Two railway tracks run past the station. Lechaina has one highschool, and a school near the road that connects the beach and Lechaina.

East of Lechaina, there is a milk factory operated by Delta, and a famous mud-water "moschoneri" right near the junction of Old Road and road to Melissa (Elia) and Borsi. People come to soothe the body in black mud. Others think it was fun playing in rich dark mud. Another factory is found north of the military airport. A village named Mélissa (from the bees) is to the east, the original name used to be and some still say the name that is no longer named, Zonga (Ζόγκα). The village changed its name somewhere in the 1800s. Its population has been stably growing. The population reached 300 in the latter part of the 20th century.

There are around 5 to 7 railroad crossings in town and the municipality, two with electrical barriers, with flashing red lights when the train is approaching. (One in Arete, and one put up at the beginning of the 2000s in Lechaina, otherwise they were put down, the old-fashioned way.) Others have no railroad barriers.

The principal rivers are Andravida Creek, and Melissos.

Electricity is provided by Andravida to Varda of Lappa by a power generation station located close to 1 kilometer on Myrsini Road.

Alongside is a little village made up of poorly-built old-generation-style houses, and poor income only in a range of .15 square kilometers. Little hamlets of Kotinaiika and Veskoukaiika are nearly covered with forests slightly north of Lechaina. Luxurious houses are built in Lechaina's west side. A number of luxurious homes lined up with the ditchy dangerous irrigation canal.

A small hamlet to the east is Veskoukaiika. The population is about 18, and never reached above 20. The commune size is only 1 km². 1 to 1.5 kilometres of phone line installed beside the stony agricultural road. A few tall pine trees and bamboo sticks are lined to its northwest at a road connecting Lechaina area to Veskoukaiika. East, a road connects Green Camp, and the Kotychi Wetlands. From a road viewing from the west Veskoukaiika cannot be seen because it is covered with groves which dominate land slightly north of the hamlet. Groves again cover east of the small tiny hamlet. Almost 60 to 75% of Veskoukaiika is covered with groves and olive trees. A couple of pine trees lie about 1 km east. There was only one house lying during the 1000s and the mid-1000s, according to some sources. The community was poor before the 1960s. The population has been decreasing, because jobs are found in Lechaina. The population probably has included some minority groups such as Gypsies. There are about 100 to 200 Gypsies living throughout the municipality. Since the 1990s it has been only a visiting spot for summer.

At night, lights from the villages, especially Riolos, can be seen from Lechaina Beach, and even the village of Elis can also be seen. From Borsi, a view of Kentro, Aghioi Demetrios of Elis, Gastouni and southern villages and towns of Southern Kyllini can also be seen. From Melissa of Lechaina, a view of the valley with farms and Borsi is viewed. Mount Scollis and Movri Ranges can be seen anywhere in the area of Lechaina, except for the valleys. During the day, the panorama from Borsi features the Erymanth(u)os/Olonos ranges, the Pholoe mountain range, the Peneus valley and the southern tip of the peninsula of Kyllini is also seen south of the village, especially ancient Elis. Lights from the surrounding village of the southern coast are glowing into the night sky to the municipal boundary. The view of mount Erymanthus or Olonos can only be seen in Lechaina's west side, partial from Aghioi Theodoroi and Melissa, and none east of the Aetorrhache area and even into Borsi and Mount Scollis.

There were 2 Texaco gas stations, one near the junction which is now dominated by Epsilon-Pi, and the other is no longer using the name Texaco; Shell has taken over at the 56th km mark of Patras-Pyrgos Highway. One other factory is also in the NE near where 4 to 5 logs are placed on a surfaced road adjacent to the train tracks and GR-9.

A famous person who lived in Lechania is Andreas Karkavitsas. A street is named Karkavítsas Street (Οδός Καρκαβίτσας "Odos Karkavitsas") in honor of him. The house where he used to live is located on the south end of the street, along with the statue.

Before the 1960s and 1970s, almost all homes were poorly built with stone and wood. Almost the entire section of houses in the city had no hydro, telephone, and some had no water. Around 30 to 40% of these stone-built houses survive in the present day. Safer houses that are made mostly out of granite took over the housing projects. Housing projects continue.

A golf course is about to be built in the northwest which will take up the western half of the community and the municipality.

Lechaina's first supermarket, Enosi Supermarket, was first opened just east of the train tracks and crossing, situated on Polytechneiou Street. The size was only small, around 300 m². It was a small supermarket, but it was not a convenience store, which was more suited to its size. Later, another supermarket named Ilida Supermarkets arrived, east of town centre, to supply a bigger selection (not as big as newer Kronos supermarkets, and Veropoulos/EuroSpar, aka HellaSpar), and size. It was around 500 to 600 m². Elida was a local supermarket like Kronos Supermarkets in Patras. A supermarket with a bigger selection can be found at a nearby Veropoulos and Alpha Beta Vassilopoulos in Pyrgos, and Patras. After the opening of its competitor, Enosi Supermarket was losing business and customers, and it was closed in the late-1990s. Now, the supermarket where is used to be, is now abandoned.

Other small stores are found in tens throughout town. A café is found near the highway, another bakery is lying next to a pedestrian bridge, completed in 2001. Increasing traffic led to the decision to put up an overpass for pedestrians. The concrete barrier for safety reasons was put up later. Its height is 5.9 m in the middle, 5.8 m in the edges. It is the only pedestrian overpass in Elia.

Agriculture

The farms' main production is primarily corn, dominating wheat, pasture, tomatoes, potatoes, some vegetables, and watermelon. State of the art barns have been introduced to replace old-fashioned brick-built barns. There are 10s of barns scattered through its plains.

The history of agriculture was very dominant. Agriculture used to be the source of business, but the erosion of agriculture occurred in the late-20th century, beginning in the 1960 and a major influence in the 1970s and the 1980s. The 1980s saw more than half employed in the non-agriculture sector. Now more than 90% of the town is not employed in agriculture. There are about 1/3 of its municipal habitants remain in the agricultural sector. This was to blame in a loss of village's inhabitants, with low funding agriculture.

History

Mid 20th century, An irrigation project was planned for the agricultural sector of Lechaina. The project changed the agricultural face of the region. A series or paved roads began to operate. It started in Lechaina and federally operated highways or roads and continues with east side routes, Melissa-Kourtesi Roads, and parts of Aristotelous Street in Myrsini.

Late 1989s-early 1990s.: Greece Federal Highway 9, mostly known as the "Patras to Pyrgos Highway" (E55) was creating an extension that will take automobiles away from Lechena. Formed to clear out traffic to Lechaina and other towns in the area. Traffic was causing an interruption to everyday life by pollution, noise and the environment.

1993: An enormous fire wiped out the Eastern half of the municipality. Fire scorched Aetorrachi, Melissa of Elia, and Aghioi Theodoroi. Farmlands, trees, forests, and property were damaged. People were left without power for nearly a week. The fire happened around the evening hour. The fire was quickly put out around one in the morning. This wildfire caused nearly 25 to 40 square kilometers of damage.

Mid-July 2001: A brush fire in Camp Lechaina caused terror to fifteen nearby houses and other houses in Aghios Panteleimons-Lechaina Beach area. It happened around 5 o'clock P.M., late-afternoon. Smoke can be seen as far as five or six kilometers. Fire trucks were trying to spray out the fire and did manage to put it out in ten minutes. The fire was close to wiping out three of the nearby houses. The fire nearly consumed 0.25 km² of land (about five acres). All of the fire happened on an abandoned campground named "Camp Lechaina Beach". It consumed grass and forest. Half of its forest full of trees was burnt. Another about a half a month later was minor. Weeds and garbage was burning only a strip of 100 meters of land when fire-fighters put out the blaze.

A small port in Agios Panteléimonas began planning as early as September 2004 and started construction in 2006/2007, by July 2008, 80% of the port was complete and included an unpaved strip and proposed lights, lights and pavement will be added, completion will be around the end of the year. Its length is 250 m in length and 200 m in width. It became not only the municipal's but northern Ilia's port and one of several in the prefecture.

The town was terrified by an earthquake that occurred on Sunday June 7, 2008 at 15:21 (3:21 p.m. EET or local time). Tens of older homes including some houses with concrete that was mainly constructed in the 1950s and the 1960s, even its secondary school suffered some cracks. The epicenter of 6.7 as some scientists located not far to the southeast that rumbled that area. Many residents evacuated their houses and went close to the entire town and the municipalities.

Population history

Villages

*Agioi Theodoroi
*Agios Panteleimonas/Lechaina Beach
*Katarachi

ee also

*Communities of Ilia

----

Municipality of Lechainá

"See also:"
*List of municipalities in the Prefecture of Ilia
*List of municipalities of Greece

It is also a municipality that has an approximate population of 5,000 to 6,000 people. There are about 105 to 110 persons per km² The town hall is in the north of the town's square (Πλατεία "plateia" in Modern Greek) on Polytechneiou Street (Πολυτεχνείου "Odos Polytechneíou"). It was built around the late-1990s. Before, the town hall was small. It expands from Myrsini Beach and into Borsi and has length of about 2 to 3 kilometers north to south. The width is nearly 20 kilometers. The length of the coastline is within the 7 km mark. 80% of the population live in the towns of Lechaina and Myrsini. About 70 to 75% of the total population is urbanized. Twenty to 25% is rural. Most of the area in the east is hilly. The size of the municipality is about 40 to 50 km². Nearly a quarter of the land is forest, not including Arable ones. The other three-quarters are arable and barren. Grasslands are found in the riverside. About two to four percent are filled with buildings and residential property. Less than one percent is filled with sandy coastline and beaches. There are no hospitals or health centers in the area. The municipality has soccer fields, and basketball courts. There are about less than 1,500 buildings, houses, units, and factories in the area. About 100 to 150 km of barbwire fences are found in the municipality and the remainder is bordered with grass, trees, and bushes.

Most of its creeks and rivers excluding ones from irrigation are mainly dry. The only water flowing in town is in the valleys.

The total length of the area's roads (including residential streets) is 90 to 100 km. Other municipalities of the prefecture don't have roads longer than 25 to 40 km. This is one of the municipalities that has the greatest length of roads, including residential streets in Elia, but not in the Peloponnese or Greece. Sixty kilometers of the roads are paved, fifty-three are locally-maintained or maintained by Pyrgos (not the prefecture), and ten (seven being the GR-9/E55 Patras to Pyrgos Nat'l Road, five being the old GR-9 Pyrgos to Patras Nat'l Road) are federally maintained. The remainder of the roads are locally-used, narrow, treacherous, surfaced roads amounting to 50 km in total. The rest (2 to 3 km) are residential streets. Its longest road is the one that runs from Moschoneri (west of Ag. Theodóroi) up to Borsi which is around 20 km long. Its tall transformer lines are roughly 5–7 km. Stone roads were common in the heart of Lechaina. The first paved road in Lechaina was part of the national highway linking Patras and Pyrgos, followed by the Myrsini Road and residential streets. In the 1970s, only around a quarter of the municipal roads were actually paved. Roads to Lechaina beach were the next step in changing the roads to pavement style for easier driving. This was followed by improvement of the roads going to Myrsini Beach, Dimokratias Street in West Myrsini, Lechaina to Mélissa, and the local streets of villages like Borsi beginning somewhere in the late 20th century. Before the 1990s, Lechaina had only about half of its roads paved. Then came routes from Mélissa to Kourtesi, to Borsi and from Varda to Patras, and even the road out of Mélissa which was paved only in the mid to late 1990s. The latest roads turned from stone and surface to gravel are found to the east and include new residential streets. Also included are roads to the midway of Andravída-Myrsíni. Other roads are nearly unused because there are only few automobiles driving on rural countryside roads.

History of signage on the roads began in the late 1980s. The first signage not federally operated was in Lechaina, followed by signs placed in Kyllini and its roads. The cost for the first signage was about $10,000, signs placed on the road from Melissa to Lechaina put in around 1993 to make driving safer. The average speed limit is 50 km/h on country roads, 60 km/h from Aghioi Theodoroi to near Melissa with the valley, 40 km/h with wiggly curves. There are 200 to 300 m of walkway (not including sidewalks with streets, with patios and isolated from a paved street). Before the 1970s and 1980s, there were no sidewalks until the town hall was built east of the town square. In the 1990s, there were only 100 m of sidewalks. The most-driven roads (excluding federally operated roads and residential community streets) in the municipality are the Myrsini Road and the Myrsini to Myrsini-Beach Road. The least used roads are those in the west or east in the municipality. There are around 4 and 5 km of lighting on streets and rural roads, 10% to 15% of the total distance.

Villages and towns included in this municipality are:

Village or TownPopulationElevationLat. and Long.
Lechaina3,3004 m to 5 m (13 ft. to 17 ft.)37.9° N or 37° 55′ N and exactly or west of 21.2° E or 21° 12′ E
Aetorrháchi/Aetorrhách [e] (Αετορράχη) (Lechaina Side)around 10030 m. (110 ft.)37.9° N or 37° 54′ N and 21.3° E or 21° 18′ E
Agioi Theodoroi* (Lechaina) (Άγιοι Θεοδώροι)around 10015 m37.9° N or 37° 55′ N and around 21.2° E or 21° 12′ E
Ág. Panteleímonos (Lechaina Beach, part of Lechaina) (Άγ. Παντελέιμωνας)less than 100sea level (centre)37.93° N or 37° 56′ N
Arete, Aretí (Αρετή) (near the municipal boundary)around 1005 m37.95° N or 37° 57′ N and around 21.2° E or 21° 12′ E
western Bórsi [Βόρσιον, -ιον] around 20035 to 40 maround 37.8° N or 37° 48′ N and 21.3° E or 21° 18′ E
Kotýchi(on) (Κοτύχι) (near the minicipal boundary)less than 100sea level to 1 m 37.96° N or 37° 58′ 05″ N and around 21.15° E or 21° 09′ E
Mélissa (of Lechaina) (Μέλισσα)around 300around 20 m37.9° N or 37° 54′ N and around east of 21.2° E or 21° 12′ E
Myrsiniaround 1,4004 to 5 maround 37.9° N or 37° 54′ N and around 21.175° E or 21° 10′ 05″ E
Myrsini Beachless than 100sea level (centre)37.2° N or 37° 55′ N and 21.15° E or 21° 09′ E (exact)

:The seat of the municipality is listed first.:The '*' are not communes.

North: Ionian Sea, Vouprasia
West: Kastro-Kyllinis LechainaEast: Oleni
South: Andravida

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