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ARTA (Narda, i.e. ἐν Ἄρδα, or Zarta, i.e. εἰς Ἄρτα), a town of Greece, in the province of Arta, 59 m. N.N.W. of Mesolonghi. Pop. about 7000. It is built on the site of the ancient Ambracia (q.v.), its present designation being derived from a corruption of the name of the river Arachthus (Arta) on which it stands. This enters the Gulf of Arta some distance south of the town. The river forms the frontier between Greece and Turkey, and is crossed by a picturesque bridge, which is neutral ground. There are a few remains of old cyclopean walls. The town contains also a Byzantine castle, built on the lofty site of the ancient citadel; a palace belonging to the Greek metropolitan; a number of mosques, synagogues and churches, the most remarkable being the church of the Virgin of Consolation, founded in 819. The streets of the town were widened and improved in 1869. Manufacture of woollens, cottons, Russia leather and embroidery is carried on, and there is trade in cattle, wine, tobacco, hemp, hides and grain. Much of the neighbouring plain is very fertile, and the town is surrounded with gardens and orchards, in which orange, lemon and citron come to great perfection. In 1083 Arta was taken by Bohemund of Tarentum; in 1449 by the Turks; in 1688 by the Venetians. In 1797 it was held by the French, but in the following year, 1798, Ali Pasha of Iannina captured it. During the Greek War of Independence it suffered severely, and was the scene of several conflicts, in which the ultimate success was with the Turks. An insurrection in 1854 was at once repressed. It was ceded to Greece in 1881. In the Greco-Turkish War of 1897 the Greeks gained some temporary successes at Arta during April and May.
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