Messolonghi is the capital of the prefecture of Aetoloakarnania and has approximately 13,000 inhabitants. It is built between the lagoon of Messolonghi and the one of Kleisova at the estuary of Evinos and Acheloos river.
According to the dominating opinion the name of the town is a combination of Italian words mezzo and langhi (Mezzolanghi) or messo langhi (Messolanghi) meaning "town between two lakes”. The first written reference of Messolonghi dates back to the 16th century. From 1804 to 1820, this historical town was under the command of Ali Pasha of Ioannina. The most remarkable event was the heroic Sortie (April 10th 1826) of its inhabitants after a siege by the Turks lasting several months. The Sortie of Messolonghi has marked the Modern Greek history. It remained under Turkish control until 1829. Afterwards, began its reconstruction process. In 1937 Messolonghi was named “Sacred Town”.
It is a town of glorious cultural and historical past, as it was the birthplace of authors Kostis Palamas, Miltiadis Malakasis and Antonis Travlantonis as well as important politicians such as Prime Ministers Spyridon and Charilaos Trikoupis, Dimitrios and Zinovios Valvis and Epameinondas Deligiorgis. Nowadays, Messolonghi is a major fish-production center. There are interesting examples of traditional architecture in Messolonghi. It is located 250 km NW of Athens and 510 km SW of Thessaloniki (via Amfissa-Nafpaktos).