Dimitsana


Dimitsana, (60km from Tripoli), is a typical example of Arcadian architecture. The amphitheatrical construction of the village over river Lousios, on an altitude of 1000m, the astonishing view of Megalopolis` lowland and mount Taygeto, the tall stone built houses and the stone paved lanes create an atmosphere of nobility and charm. With a population of 600 it contains a municipality.

Dimitsana is a preserved settlement with many Byzantine churches. It is the birthplace of Patriarch Grigoriou the Fifth and of Paleon Patron Germanou, whose statues adorn the village today. During the War of Independence of 1821 against the Turks, the General Theodoros Kolokotronis used to run here the largest gunpowder warehouse of Peloponise called “the gunpowder warehouse of revolution for liberation”. The gunpowder mills of Dimitsana –that are still in function- used to supply non-stop the warriors of Roumeli and Moria.

Dimitsanas` library owns rare editions (20000 volumes that were saved amongst many others that were destroyed during the revolution for the needs of the war), condexes and a rich historic record. There are also the Laiko Museum where one will see the saddle of Papaflessa and the sarcophagus of Paleon Patron Germanou bones, the Historic Record, the Laographic Collection (in the library), and the Communitys` Hostel.

Dimitsanas` sights are the six gunpowder mills around the city, the houses of Patriarch Grigoriou the Fifth and Paleon Patron Germanou, the excellent fountain of Mustafa and the Kefalari of Saint Yianni. Of historic interest are also the churches of Saint Euthimio, Saint Georgio and Saint Ioanni.

During antiquity an ancient town called Tefthis was located on the same hummock where Dimitsana is built. The Acropolis of the ancient town used to be on the hill that is above Dimitsanas` houses. Ancient walls made of big stones can be seen in Dimitsana. Findings from ancient Tefthida (inscriptions and burial reliefs) can be found in the local collection located in Dimitsanas` library. At “Kefalari of Saint Yianni”, 1.5 km from Dimitsana, a spot of great natural beauty, one can visit the Open-Air Water Power Museum.

The Byzantine “Monastery of Filosofou” is situated west of Dimitsana, on a riverbank inside a magnificent ravine. It was established in 963 and was dedicated to the “Assumption of Holly Mary”. This is the place were during the period of Turkish Domination the famous “School of Dimitsana” and the “Secret School” were based. In nowadays it is only the nave of the monastery that has been preserved. The monastery of “Panagia ton Emialon” is at a distance of 4km and owns a hostel as well. Furthermore the area of ancient Gortyna, where the sanctum of Asklipiou used to be, is near Dimitsana.


Photos from Dimitsana, p. 1-3 Map of Arcadia

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