Pyrgos is the capital of the prefecture of Ilia, has 23.300 residents, and is 310 km from Athens.
The prefecture of Ilia is an ideal tourist destination as it combines amazing beaches (Kyllini, Kouroutas, Kaiafas) and rich archaeological interest. The ancient city of Olympia and the temple of Epicurean Apollo in Vasses are of the most important discoveries of the classic period, as in Olympia took place the ancient Olympic Games while in Vasses, the temple appears to rotate along with the earth axis!
The visitor can see a lot of interesting sights and in the city of Pyrgos, mainly neoclassic buildings, churches and monasteries with historical importance. The current city hall accomodated in the Latsio Municipal Mansion, the Municipal Market, the Hospital and the buildings of the National Bank of Greece are beautiful samples of neoclassic buildings.
A little outside the city one can visit the monasteries of Virgin Mary Eisodiotissa (6 km.), Zoodochou Pygi and Virgin Mary Kremasti (11 km.) of great religious interest.
Finally, in Epitalio 7 km from Pyrgos are the ruins of the ancient city from the hellenic and roman periods. On a hill near the village were found prehistoric relics. Here is placed the ancient city of Thyron or Thyroussa mention by Homer. A little further 17 km from Pyrgos are the ruins of the ancient city Oleni inhabited at the Mycenean period.
Pyrgos appears as a city in 1687, after the end of the Venetian-Turk war. The founder of the modern city, Tsernotas build on the Eparheio hill a big tower (pyrgos is the Greek word for tower) so the city took its name from that.
During antiquity important center was town Ilis who was the supervisor of the Olympic Games.