Ancient Oiniades was one of the most important towns of ancient Akarnania. According to some historians the city was founded in 6th century BC by the Corinthians. It flourished until the Hellenistic years. The ancient city of Oiniades was built on the north shore of the Acheloos River and 4 km west of the current village of Katochi. It held a strategic position from which both the entrance to the Patraikos Gulf and the motorway between Akarnania and the islands of Lefkada, Ithaca and Kefallonia were controlled. At the same time, it was situated near the estuary of Acheloos and therefore in a position suitable for harbour construction and commercial activity.
The impressive city walls are well preserved. More specifically the fortification towers over an oak-covered hill, known as the Tricarch, are dated at least since the 15th century. Its preservation is impressive and is one of the most characteristic examples of ancient fortification art. At the top of the hill is the Acropolis with a separate enclosure. The walls, about 2,60 m, with a maximum preserved height of 6 m and about 6,5 perimeter, are built along their length along the polygonal system. A separate fortification encompasses its harbor and its harbors, the so-called "fortification or acropolis of the harbour". It includes twelve gates and pillars of different types, with the most remarkable type of gate.
As for the towers, others were built in the polygonal system and others in the pseudo-isodomous table-shaped structure. This element of the coexistence of a polygonal wall with towers of polygonal and pseudo-isodomous bank-shaped walls is found in most of the fortifications of Akarnania. Within the fortification, the public buildings of the Agora (boulevard, gallery, building with houses, temple, Hero) are now visible, which have been investigated in recent years by El. Serbeti, Professor of the University of Athens, the so-called "Building on the Hill", excavated by the American archaeologist B. Powell at the beginning of the last century (1900-1901), the bath of the end of the Hellenistic period, as well as the theatre. Outside the walls, graves have been excavated from the eastern cemetery of the city. The only monument of the area and one of the most imposing of antiquity, due to its very good preservation, are the jungles or the shipyards. The junipers are located at the southwest end of the fortification of the harbour, dominated by the Red Tower, a preserved 10,90 m., And the oblique arched gate, the so-called "gates" (central photography), and the ruins of a second large size and oblique to the tower top that protects it.
Furthermore, there is a large ancient theatre. The construction of it is dated in three periods. First, in the 4th century, was first built by the Athenians who occupied the city. Then, in the 3rd century, repairs were made, possibly by Macedonian Philip II. Later, 167 B.C. the Romans occupy the city and engage in small-scale modifications, which are not visible today. It is a good theatre, carved into the porous limestone rock of the slope. Unfortunately, the deterioration of the rock over the centuries has destroyed part of the pitches. It is considered to be a relatively large theatre, with 23 series of seats. Some stones in the lower row of seats have inscribed inscriptions with an ancient Greek script that has been read. The orchestra is particularly large with a radius as the outer circumference of the plates with 7,65 m. The scene behind the scenes formed a front of 27,70 m. Segments of shelves found around it are Ionic. The scene as it appeared was not elevated but terrestrial and thus provides a perfect view of the orchestra.
The Theatre of Oiniades is built near the Agora in a position that offers stunning views of the surrounding lowlands, the old Acheloos river bed and the coastal areas. The existence of the theatre confirms the acme of this city. The hollow of the theatre, carved in the gray local limestone of the area, is larger than a semicircle and consists of twenty-seven rows of seats, of which only ten are preserved (initially it should have been twenty-nine or thirty). The viewers approached their positions through twelve climbs (now only nine are visible), dividing the hollow into eleven non-friezes. The theatre has very good acoustics and capacity that touches 5.500 viewers. The theatre recognises two building phases, mainly related to reconstructions of the stage building.
The shipyard is a special monument of the area and one of the most imposing of antiquity because of its very good preservation. Shipyards were destined to haul the ships inside, repair and stay for a certain amount of winter. The junipers are located at the southwest end of the fortification of the harbour, dominated by the Red Tower, the 10,90 m., And the oblique arched gate, the so-called "gates", as well as the ruins of a second, also large and oblique in tower tower that protects it. It is a roofed building with a plan view of the 41 m. X 47 m., whose eastern side, about 11 m. Approx., Is almost entirely carved vertically on the natural rock. On the natural rock is also carved the floor. The interior of the building divided symmetrically five columns of seventeen stranded columns. The openings between the colonnades covered the long, elongated roofs with laconic tile. Between the colonnades six sixteenth "aisles" were developed with carved horseshoes and uphill to the depths of the newcomer floors. It is for the ramps in which the ships were dragged into the halls. On the eastern side of the monument there were eleven altogether rectangular pseudo-projections (about 7 m.), which formed twelve chambers, carved vertically on the rock. The piles were used to support, anchor and seal the roof of the monument on this side. The monument, dating back to the 4 century BC, has many architectural elements related to the jetties of Zea's harbour in Piraeus.
Ancient Oiniades (Ancient Greek: Οἰνιάδαι) was a port town on the west bank of the river Achelous and one of the most important towns of ancient Acarnania. Oiniades was first mentioned in the 5th century B.C. It was situated against a hill in the marshes, which protected it from invaders. Its location has been identified to the west of the present village Katochi (Greek: Κατοχή). It was an important port on the route to Corfu as it changed its alliances repeatedly in the course of history. At first, it was a member of the Peloponnesian League, but in 424 B.C. it was incorporated in the Delian League. In the Hellenistic period, Oiniades allied with the Aetolians until 218 B.C. when Philip V declared it free. From 211-189 B.C., during the Roman-Macedonian wars, the city was again under Aetolian control. In Roman times, it lost its strategic importance. However, it was still inhabited in the 3rd century A.D. judging from coin findings.
Ancient Oiniades is one of the many ancient cities in Aetolia and Akarnania that is mentioned in Greek myths and carries a long history. According to these myths, the first settler of the city was Alcmaeon from Argos. However, the city owes its name to King Oineas of Plevrona. Because of its location, (it was accessible by the river where at that time triremes would easily sail towards the city), it was one of the most important cities of Aetolia and Acarnania which fell under the rule of these two areas, interchangeably. In 454 B.C., the Messinians, exiled by the Spartans, occupied the city for one year, while during the Peloponnesian War (341-404 B.C.) the city played a crucial role in the conflicts between the Athenians and the Peloponnesians. In the centuries that ensued, the city found itself in the maelstrom of conflicts between the Aetolians and the Macedonians, until 219 A.D. when it was finally subjugated to Philip the Second of Macedon. The Aetolians, with the help of the Romans, re-conquered it, but in 189 A.D., it was subjugated to the Acarnanians. After 167 A.D., when the Romans prevailed throughout Greece, the city lost its historical identity, and until the 3rd century A.D. it became a small settlement. In antiquity, this fertile plain was Lake Meliti, created by the Acheloos River.
The city was found on the delta of the Acheloos River, with the sea on its south and the lake at its north. It had two harbours, which are interred today. What remains from those impressive structures are the dockyards carved on the rocks.
The walls of the city, which were built in the 5th century B.C., took their current shape in 219 B.C. when the city was conquered by Philip V of Macedon. The walls, of polygonal and at certain points regular masonry, are extended for about 6 km and cover a hilly area on the plain of the Acheloos river area.
The ancient theatre, very well preserved, dates back to the 4th century B.C., built almost on the banks of the Acheloos River, at a distance of only 10 km from the mouth of the river and 3 km from the Ionian Sea and has seen two phases of construction, the latter of which was by the Romans. It had a big orchestra (15 m. in diameter), a skené, or stage, and proscenium of the 3rd century. Its cavea is separated into eight flights of steps and seven rows. Thirty rows of figurines carved on the rocks have been found at the theatre’s eastern part, while at its west, on the lower rows of the figurines, inscriptions of liberating slaves have been engraved.
Thucydides, when describing the battles of the Athenians and the Spartans during the 3rd year of the Peloponnesian War, refers extensively to the unique location of the city, right on the banks of Acheloos, and how the overflowed latter turned the city into a swamp.
Today, a very wide area of about 50 sqm has been filled with accumulated deposits of Acheloos and a lot of the islets of Echinadon, that were interspersed in antiquity, have now become parts of the land. Modern Oiniades is a municipal unit of the municipality Messolonghi. The municipal unit covers an area of 270.899 km2 and its population is about 9.000 people.