The town, however, first started to develop around that tower, and it grew into a very important commercial hub in the heyday of the currant and sultana trade. As so many other towns and ports along the Peloponnesian coastline, Pyrgos faced great hardship when said trade declined. Today, it is an interesting accommodation option for those who want to explore the wider region of Olympia.
Having replaced the old tower, the central square is the heart of local living, always teeming with people who gather at the old cafés for a snack and a chat; Kentrikon is the oldest among them itsmagnificent interior looks like an urban living room of the 19th century while the area of the Eparcheion offers great views to the plain of Pyrgos. The Town Hall, built with a donation by local benefactor Giannis Latsis, is the most impressive building on the square, and a hub for the arts and culture in the wider region of Ilia. In general, the neoclassical buildings around the town are not to be missed, as many of them have allegedly been designed by the famous Saxon architect Ernst Ziller and his disciples.
The Municipal Market was indeed designed by Ziller in 1890; it covers an entire block and is quite unique in that each of its four symmetrical facades is decorated with different architectural elements. Having served as the town market until 1960, it was gradually abandoned and then restored before reopening as the new Archaeological Museum in 2013. Just a short walk from the central square, the Apollo Theatre is another listed building which followed the town's rise and fall. Built in 1880, it fell in disuse after 1960; refurbishment works started in 1987, and today the theatre is once more at the epicentre of the cultural life of Pyrgos.
An interesting stay, however, must be complemented and underlined by moments of calm and a glimpse at the good life. The famous, picturesque port of Katakolo and the dozens of kilometres of sandy beach, dotted with cute seaside cafés and restaurants serving fresh seafood and local delicacies, will provide the ideal setting and a lighter aspect of a history-rich stay in the area.