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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
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