On the streets of heroes

On the streets of heroes – On the paths of pride

Route description
Μνημεία εντός ΓυθείουStart from Gytheio and drive in the direction of Areopolis. Stop at Germa, the home of Elias Hionakos and Nikolaos Tsotakos, fighters at the War for the liberation of Macedonia from Turkish rule. Your next stop is Areopolis, in the main square of which stands the statue of Petrompeis Mavromichalis, one of the leaders of the Greek Revolution. From Areopolis, continue on the provincial road towards Gerolimenas and follow the signs to Diros. The road ends at Diros beach where the statue of Maniatissa (the woman fromMani) welcomes you. Return to the main road and take the direction towards Koita. Your last stop on this route is the statue of the hero of the Albanian front Konstantinos Davakis at the junction outside Kechrianika.

Information for visitors

The descendants of the freedom fighters annually honour the memory of their ancestors. Visit Areopolis during the three-day celebration of the anniversary of the 1821 breakout of the Greek Revolution, from March 17th until March 20th. If you happen to be in Mani during the summer, take the opportunity and take part in the festivities in Diros, on the last weekend of June, in honour of the heroines of Mani as well as the festivities in Polyaravo, on August 31st, dedicated to the memory of the heroic men of Mani. Both the representation of the oath-taking ceremony of the military chieftains during the three-day events of 17th March and the representation of the repulse the Turkish-Egyptian attack during the celebration in honour of the heroic women bring back images from the glorious past of Mani.

Recreation information

Full of awe and respect, follow the path that takes you back to the years of heroes. Take trips to the beaches of Limeni, Oitylo and Gerolimenas. The flavours of Mani accompany you every step of your way: pies, herbs, salted meats and seafood cooked with oil squeezed by stone from Mani, honey and lalangites. Try lupins, the food that always accompanied the frugal meals of tough local residents…

When visiting this heroic land you come across memorials and monuments dedicated to the memory of those who willingly participated in all the struggles of their homeland everywhere. From the pre-revolutionary movements to the Independence War, and from the war for the liberation of Macedonia and the Balkan Wars to the Second World War, these soldiers and volunteers in the path of sacrifice and honour are bright examples for the younger … The whole of Greece is soaked with the blood of men from Mani. There is a laconic phrase that characteristically epitomozes the kind of responsibility one has if they are born in Mani. “If you happen to be born in Mani, your origin obliges you to be three things: brave, outspoken and honest.”

Point of Interest A

Statue of Petrompeis Mavromichalis in Areopolis

DSC_7932Born in 1765, Petros Mavromichalis, known as Petrompeis, descendant of the historic Mavromichalis family and last ruler of Mani, was destined to play a decisive role in the War of Independence. The chieftain of the army of Mani, on March 17th 1821, he declared the start of the Revolution in Areopolis and then marched against Kalamata which he liberated. He excelled at war and occupied high political positions. Do not miss visiting the Mavromichalis family mansion in Limeni.

 

 

 

 

Point of interest B

Statue of Maniatissa (woman of Mani) in Diros

DSC_7964Facing the sea, with a scythe in her hand and an imposing look, the woman of Mani stands guarding Mani today just like she did back in June 1826, when the troops of the Egyptian Ibrahim Pasha attempted to land on the beach of Diros, in an effort to entrap the men who were fighting in Verga. But they ran into the determined women who rushed to repel the attack, with only scythes and stones as weapons. The part of Diros beach where they threw the lifeless bodies of the Turkish and Egyptian soldiers is named “Mafrovythos”, meaning “black seabottom”.

 

 

 

Point of Interest C

Statue of Colonel Konstantinos Davakis in Kechrianika, Mani

DSC_8313He was a hero of the Albanian front during the Second World War. When the war broke out he arrived at the forefront. Head of the 51st Constitution based in Eptahori, Pindos, he faced the repeated attacks of elite Alpine Division Giulia victoriously. In December 1942, he was arrested along with other officers on suspicion of resistance activity. He died during transportation to Italy, when the ship he was aboard was torpedoed by a submarine of the Allied Forces.

 

 

 

 

Point of Interest D

Memorial of Makedonomachon (Memorial in memory of the fighters at the Macedonia Liberation War) – Germa

DSC_7750In the village Germa, before you arrive in Oitylo, in the churchyard of Agios Nikolaos (St. Nicholas) you can see the busts of the heroes of the war for the liberation of Macedonia, Ilias Hionakos (Capetan Lias) and Nikolaos Tsotakos (Capetan Germas). Both were officers of the Greek army who distinguished themselves in the battles against the Bulgarian guerillas and the Turkish military contigents. Capetan Lias was wounded and captured while Capetan Germas died in the battle of Losnitsa.

 

 

 

 

Point of interest E

Monument to the fallen airmen in Gytheion

DSC_8428At the square, near the Municipal Gardens, at a spot called Perivolaki, there is a monument dedicated to the fallen airmen from Laconia who honoured their homeland with their heroic sacrifice.