The Managing Committee of Longos Cultural Society "Lord Byron" organised in cooperation with MATTHEOS-TOURS/Egio an EXCURSION to


on Sunday, February 9, 2020.

Service charge: 17,00 EURO per person

Further information and registration:
    Mrs. Despina Manolopoulou, phone 6984 14 2411
    Mrs. Dimitra Prinou-Tsamtsouri, phone 6976 61 6337
    Mrs. Eleni Ntourou, phone 6974 66 8577




We met at 7 a.m. at the fountain in Longos (Eucalyptus Street) and drove via Corinth to Artemisio, where we took a short coffee break. Continuation to Stemnitsa, where we visited the public goldsmith school.

The next destination was the hydropower open-air museum in Dimitsana. It was also worth visiting the house of Patriarch Gregor V and the restored house of Metropolitan Palaion Patron Germanos.

Lunch in Dimitsana.

In the early afternoon we continued to Vitina. There we enjoyed an afternoon coffee and could buy local products in the village shops.

Return to Longos via Artemisio, Corinth, Egio.

Entry to the hydropower museum was 2.00 euros per person for groups of more than 20 people. The Folklore Museum in Stemnitsa is not in operation and the library in Dimitsana is unfortunately closed on Sundays.





Stemnitsa is a mountain village in the municipal unit of Trikolonoi, Arcadia, Peloponnese, Greece. It was the seat of the former municipality Trikolonoi. Stemnitsa is a traditional settlement and is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Arcadia, due to its picturesque location and its historical churches and mansions. It is situated at the western edge of the Mainalo mountains, above the left bank of the river Lousios, at about 1050 m elevation. Stemnitsa is 6 km southeast of Dimitsana, 9 km northeast of Karytaina, 18 km northwest of Megalopoli and 26 km west of Tripoli. In 2011 Stemnitsa had a population of 191.




Stemnitsa has been identified with the ancient Arcadian city Hypsous. It was already ruined in the 2nd century AD, when it was visited by Pausanias. It was near Thyraion (present Pavlia), Zoetia and Paroria. Hypsous was founded by a son of Lycaon.

In the 7th and 8th century Slavs settled in the Peloponnese. The name Stemnitsa has Slavic roots and means "woodland". After the fall of Constantinople in 1453 the Peloponnese was occupied by the Ottoman Empire. Due to its remote location Stemnitsa served as a relatively safe haven from the Ottomans, and it became a centre of Greek culture and religion. Many old churches from this period have been preserved.[2] The church of Bafero was built in 1185 and the Zoodochos in 1433. The two larger churches are Ai-Giorgis and Agia Paraskevi. The first mention, some say, of the word Stemnitsa, was found in Ottoman taxation documents dated 1512-1515 where the number of families appeared to be about 120. This information was published by professor John Alexandropoulos. In the Grimani Venetian Census report Stemnitsa was shown as the most populous village in Gortynia with 925 people.

Stemnitsa was a shelter for the Kolokotronis clan and other fighters of the Greek War of Independence. After the revolution of March 25, 1821, from the end of May to mid of June 1821, it served as the first seat of the "Peloponissiaki Gerousia", the temporary government of the liberated Peloponnese. The Gerousia met at the monastery of Zoodochos Pigi. Stemnitsa was known for its gold- and silversmiths, as well as other crafts. Since the 1970s, there is a public funded gold and silver smithery school in Stemnista.

Stemnitsa has a folklore museum. It includes various exhibitions regarding the traditional way of Stemnitsa life in the past including how candles were made, a jeweler's workshop, a shoe repair shop and a copper tinning representation. It also houses an extensive selection of Byzantine icons, old costumes, copper- ware, guns and jewelry.

An organization which is responsible for the beautification of Stemnitsa is the Cultural and Beautification Organization "Politistikos kai Exoraistikos Syllogos Stemnitsioton Ypsountas". This organization is also in charge of the local cultural center "The Nikoletopouleion" and of organizing a number of other events which take place during the year, mainly during the months of July and August.

Seven kilometers from Stemnitsa, down by the ravine of the river Lousios one can find the monastery of St. John the Baptist (Prodromos) built, according to some sources, around 1167, on the side of a rock face. It served as a center of faith and education for the enslaved Greeks during the Ottoman rule. About 200 yards below the monastery, is the river Lousios. Near the monastery are the excavations of an ancient hospital built in honor of the ancient Greek god of medicine, Asclepius.

The library of Stemnitsa used to have around 5,000 volumes until the Greek War of Independence of 1821. It is now a monument and is located next to the square.


(left click on photos to enlarge)



The CULTURAL SOCIETY LONGOS "LORD BYRON" thanks the deputy director of the gold- and silversmith school, Mr. Vangeli Bekiaraki, for his friendly guidance.



             Monastery of St. John the Baptist                                                                                               Folklore museum Stemnitsa




Dimitsana is a mountain village and a former municipality in Arcadia. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Gortynia, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. The municipal unit has an area of 110.759 km2. Dimitsana is built on the ruins of the ancient town Teuthis. The population of the village is 342 (2011 census), while it was 611 in 2001. It has been registered as a traditional settlement.

Dimitsana is built on a mountain slope at an elevation of 950 meters. From its southern side a marvelous view of Megalopolis plain and Taygetus is provided. Dimitsana is located 53 km east of Pyrgos, 31 km northwest of Tripoli, 23 km northwest of Megalopoli and 17 km northeast of Andritsaina. The village has a school, a historical library, several churches, a post office, an open-air water-power museum, an open amphitheater, hotels and a square.

At the site of present-day Dimitsana there was, in ancient times, the ancient Arcadian town Teuthis that had participated in the Trojan War, but also in the colonization of Megalopolis.

Dimitsana is a stone-built village with remarkable mansions, most of which are now restored. It is a typical sample of Gortynia's architecture and it is registered as a traditional one. The statue of Patriarch Gregory V dominates in the central square and also the family houses of both him and Germanos III of Old Patras can be seen.

             Family house of Patriarch Gregory V                                                                  Dimitsana

             Chapel of the Patriarch Gregory V                                                                 Dimitsana

Dimitsana's Library contains today about 35,000 books, manuscripts and documents. In Dimitsana's Museum, housed in the Library, there are collections of weaving, looms and handicrafts and an archaeological one. The Elementary School was built 1898–1910, by a donation of Andreas Syngros, and is a characteristic sample of that period. It operated as a girls' school until 1930 and later as county court.

Not far from the village is the Open-air Water Power Museum (1997), created by restoration of abandoned pre-industrial facilities, based on the Water Power. It includes a flourmill, a traditional cauldron, a tannery, a tanner's house and a gunpowder mill.



             Dimitsana: Open-air Water Power Museum


             Dimitsana                                                                                                                            Philosophou Monastery

In the surroundings important sights include the Old and the New Philosophou Monastery and Prodromou Monastery, both located inside Loussios's gorge.



             Dimitsana: House of the Metropolitan Palaion Patron Germanos                                                                                              Dimitsana




Das Dorf Vytina liegt in einem Höhe von 1030 Metern im Mainalos-Gebirge in einem waldreichen Gebiet mit Kiefern, Tannen und Kastanien und ist eines der beliebtesten Ausflugsziele auf dem Peloponnes und in ganz Griechenland. It has 652 inhabitants (2011 census) and formed together with some surrounding villages an independent municipality from 1997 to 2010, which merged into the newly created municipality of Gortynia on January 1, 2011.

According to most people, the name comes from the word "Vythos - Βυθός", because the village was originally built in a hollow. It was probably founded after the abandonment of the ancient city "Methydrio - Μεθύδριο", whose ruins are 5 kilometers away.


Pausanias mentions the city of Methydrio in 174 AD: "Μεθύδριον ουχί πλέον ακμάζουσα πόλιν..". Vytina was probably founded in 350 AD at a distance of two or three kilometres from the present location.

In ancient times Demeter and Poseidon were worshipped here; temple ruins are preserved at the entrance to the village of Magouliana.

In the Greek Revolution of 1821, Vytina was a supply centre for the freedom fighters and thus played a significant role, with the result that it was fired upon seven times by the troops of Ibrahim Pasha.

After the liberation from the Ottoman rule and until World War II, Vytina was the great commercial centre of the area with an important market. There was even a branch of the Athens Bank and a forestry school. Der wichtigste Grund für die Entwicklung des Ortes war das Fehlen von Straßenverbindungen der umgehbenden Dörfer - und als diese geschaffen wurden, war Vytina als Handeslzentrum Geschichte. The ski centre of Ostrakina is a significant factor today. Worth a visit in the area is Argyrokastreo (1450 m altitude) near Magouliana, built on a 100 m high rock in 1205 by the Franks when they founded the Barony of Akowa.

Vytina's main attractions are the Church of St. Tryfonas, built in 1846 mainly from the local black marble in the central square, the two traditional wood-fired bakeries near the main square and the folklore museum. Also worth is a visit of the library with writings and books from the 17th century. Not to be missed: the tree-covered road, which begins almost at the village square and ends at the Tripoli-Vytina national road. The main products are honey from the coniferous forests, meat products from local producers and cheese.


    The Pontians dance in Vytina



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