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Megara

Megara ( /?m?r?/; Greek: , Greek pronunciation: [?me?ara]) is an ancient city (pop. 23,032 in 2001) in Attica, Greece. It lies in the northern section of the Isthmus of Corinth opposite the island of Salamis, which belonged to Megara in archaic times, before being taken by Athens. Megara was one of the four districts of Attica, embodied in the four mythic sons of King Pandion II, of whom Nisos was the ruler of Megara. Megara was also a trade port, its people using their ships and wealth as a way to gain leverage on armies of neighboring poleis. Megara specialized in the exportation of wool and other animal products including livestock such as horses. It possessed two harbors, Pegae, to the west on the Corinthian Gulf and Nisaea, to the east on the Saronic Gulf of the Aegean Sea. The Gulf of Corinth or the Corinthian Gulf (? K?, Korinthiak?s K?lpos, in Greek) is a deep inlet of the Ionian Sea separating the Peloponnese from western mainland Greece. It is bounded in the east by the Isthmus of Corinth which includes the shipping route of the Corinth Canal, and in the west by the Strait of Rion, which separates the Gulf of Corinth from the outer Gulf of Patras at Cape Drepano, where the narrowest point is crossed by the Rio-Antirio bridge. The Gulf of Corinth is almost surrounded by the prefectures of Aetolia-Acarnania, Phocis in the north, Boeotia in the northeast, Attica in the east, Corinthia in the southeast and south and Achaea in the southwest. The gulf is one of the most seismically active regions i

Europe. In medieval times, the gulf was known as the Gulf of Lepanto. Here the third Battle of Lepanto was fought in 1571, destroying the Ottoman fleet. In 1772 another Turkish fleet was destroyed by the Russians at the entrance to the gulf. The town of Lepanto is now named Naupactus. The shipping routes between Athens and to the ports of the rest of the world including the Mediterranean ports pass along this gulf. Ferry routes link Aigio and Agios Nikolaos in the western part of the gulf. The Corinth Canal (Greek: ? ? ) is a canal that connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. It cuts through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth and separates the Peloponnesian peninsula from the Greek mainland, thus effectively making the former an island. The builders dug the canal through the Isthmus at sea level; no locks are employed. It is 6.4 kilometres (4.0 mi) in length and only 21.3 metres (70 ft) wide at its base, making it unpassable for most modern ships. It now has little economic importance. The canal was mooted in classical times and an abortive effort was made to build it in the 1st century AD. Construction finally got underway in 1881 but was hampered by geological and financial problems that bankrupted the original builders. It was completed in 1893, but due to the canal's narrowness, navigational problems and periodic closures to repair landslips from its steep walls, it failed to attract the level of traffic anticipated by its operators. It is now used mainly for tourist traffic.