stemn5.jpg (45252 bytes)Stemnitsa or Ypsous is a picturesque mountainous village and one of the most beautiful in Arkadia and Pelloponnese. It is located 45km away from Tripoli and is amphitheatrically built on the slope of the firry Mount Menalo on an altitude of 1000m. The stone made houses that are built with the traditional Gordinian architecture, offer an attractive sight. Being an ideal location for winter vacation it is today a resort center.

An impressive characteristic of Stemnitsa is the 18 Byzantine churches that still operate. The most distinctive amongst them are Zoodohou Pigis (15th century), Tris Ierarches (17th cent.), Saint Nikolaos (14th cent.) and Panagia Bafero (12th cent.).

In Stemnitsas central square one can see a belfry made of carved stone and the beautiful belfry of Saint Georgio church that dates back to 1877 and is made of white stone.

A rich laographic museum housed by Hatzi Mansion (18th century) contains representations of traditional workshops occupations. Moreover, a renewed Elementary School houses the Nikoletopoulio Spiritual Center.

Stemnitsa contains the municipality of Trikollonon and has one hotel and some rooms for rent that can accommodate the visitors. The last few years important meetings of regional and panhellenic range are organized here.

It was during the Byzantine period when the handicraft of belfry construction flourished in the area and as a result Stemnitsa thrived. In the summer of 1821 Stemnitsa was appointed as the capital of Greece but only for one month. The First Peloponnesian Senate conferred here in a cell of Zoodohou Pigis monastery.

The village used to be the center of jewelry and silvery. Many famous jewelers come from here and the important Technical School of Silvery (two years course) still operates, housed in a beautiful and well preserved stone made building (Tel.No 0030-71-81227). Stemnitsa is also famous for the local traditional sweets (bourekia, diples etc.) and pasta, which are of very good quality and are available in central shops.

Nearby, built on a rock in an amazing settlement, is the Byzantine monastery of Timiou Prodromou known for the significant icons of 14th and 16th century and the important library. Furthermore on a short distance are the Springs of the Immortals where according to Paussania little Dias had a bath.

Stemnitsa is 6km away from Dimitsana. The road continuous towards Tripoli following a beautiful route through the firry mount Menalo. On the way we meet the village Helliniko from where one can visit Ancient Gortyna and Xrysovitsi.

Photos from Stemnitsa, p. 1-3

Map of Arcadia