Historical trips in the Peloponnese

Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the start of the Greek Revolution, the Morias ’21 program invites you to the Peloponnese, to discover the region through 21 themed tours inspired by the Greek War of Independence

By Morias 21

Gate of Arcadia at Messene by De SinetyMorias 21

People, legends, events, battlefields, hideouts, strongholds, fortresses, tower houses and centuries-old trees… the tour routes offer a rich array of stories and unforgettable sights!

Greek woman pending the outcome of a battle by H. Decaisne,1827Morias 21

Remembrance becomes a destination, and the destination an experience.
To see all the tour routes, visit www.morias21.com

Do not die Avrillon...The Greeks are immortal by G. Galard,1826Morias 21

Three Day Trips from Tripoli

Day 1: “In the lands of the Kolokotronis clan”
Day 2: “The first Spring of the Struggle”
Day 3: “Monasteries of the Revolution” 

Day 1: “In the lands of the Kolokotronis clan”

The route takes us into the heart of the Peloponnese, to places associated with the exploits of Theodoros Kolokotronis and his family. 1st stop, the so-called ‘Seat of Kolokotronis’, a chair-like rock where the Old Man of the Morea is said to have set up his lookout post as Greek forces besieged Tripoli. 2nd stop, Libovisi, the home village of the Kolokotronis clan. 3rd stop, Dimitsana, center of learning of the pre-revolutionary Morea, and also the center of gunpowder production.

Theodoros Kolokotronis.Oil painting by Dionysios Tsokos, 1861Morias 21


Recounting his family roots, Theodoros Kolokotronis makes reference to Libovisi in the very first sentence of his Memoirs: “There was a certain person from Roupaki, who departed and went to Libovisi, his original village, some 300 years ago.”




Day 2: “The first Spring of the Struggle in 1821”

This route passes through three historic locations in Arcadia which are primarily associated with key events of the first Spring of the Revolution, the Spring of 1821: the victory of the Greeks at the Battle of Valtetsi (12-13 May), the Assembly of Kaltezes 20-26 May), at which the Peloponnesian Senate was constituted, and the siege and liberation of Karytaina (27 March).  

Kariofili, end of 18th century, GreeceMorias 21

Kariofili, end of 18th century

Mavromichalis,Portraits of Greeks and of the most famous Phillelenes by Charles Krazeisen,1828Morias 21

After the Greek victories at Valtetsi and Ano Doliana, a decision was taken, on the initiative of the powerful chieftains Petros Mavromichalis and Kanellos Deligiannis, to hold a meeting at the Monastery of Kaltezes which would bring together notables.

Day 3: “Monasteries of the Revolution”

This time we head west, to visit two historic monasteries that played an important role during the Revolution. The abbot of the Holy Monastery of Loukou at the time, Neophytos Tzaferis, was a member of the Filiki Eteria and a key figure in efforts to supply to Greek forces. Another member of the Filiki Eteria, Kallinikos Tsiamouris, was abbot of the Holy Monastery of the Dormition, widely known as the Monastery of Malevi.

Kalamata Sketch by by Th. Weber (original sketch from M. H. Belle), 1860Morias 21

Five day trips in and out of Kalamata

Day 1: “When you go to Kalamata…” 
Day 2: “On the trail of Ibrahim”: Kalamata – Pylos – Schinolakka – Kremmydia - Maniaki.  
Day 3: “In the footsteps of the freedom fighters”: Kalamata – Poliani – Akovos – Drampala – Nafplio.
Day 4: “Illustrious Nafplio…”
Day 5: “The birth of the Greek flag; Dramali’s fiasco”: Nafplio – New Epidaurus – Acrocorinth – Dervenakia.

Day 1: “When you go to Kalamata”: sightseeing in the city

23 March 1821. Kalamata is liberated without bloodshed. In the afternoon, the inhabitants gathered outside the Church of the Holy Apostles, beside the banks of the river Nedonas, where, deeply moved, they attended the first celebratory service held in the  newly liberated town. Also present were their liberators – chieftains, clerics and elders – including Theodoros Kolokotronis, Anagnostaras, Nikitaras, Papaflessas, Petrobey Mavromichalis, along with 2,000 battle-ready Maniots. The Revolution had just begun…  

Day 2: “On the trail of Ibrahim”

The route takes us to villages, forts, battlefields and monuments associated with the military operations of the Egyptian-Ottoman expeditionary force of Ibrahim Pasha during the period he spent in the Peloponnese (February 1825 – October 1828).

The Battle of Navarino 20 October 1827 by by Ch. Langlois,1837,by Ch. LangloisMorias 21

Military operations such as the battles in Schinolakka, Kremmidia, the occupation of Sfaktiria and of Niokastro by Ibrahim, the battle of Maniaki , the naval battle of Navarino 

Day 3: “In the footsteps of the freedom fighters”

We visit birthplaces, secret meeting places, hideouts, bases of operation and fields of battle associated with the lives and exploits of prominent Greek freedom fighters, including Grigorios Dikaios (Papaflessas), Christos “Anagnostis” Papageorgiou (Anagnostaras), Theodoros Kolokotronis , Nikitas Stamatelopoulos (Nikitaras) and Konstantia Zacharia.

Kolokotronis, Greek Portrait, by Αdam Friedel, 1824-1828, From the collection of: Morias 21
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Nikitaras, Greek Portrait, by Αdam Friedel, 1824-1828, From the collection of: Morias 21
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Day 4: “Illustrious Nafplio”

30 November 1822. Nafplio is liberated after a months-long siege, not by storming, but by stealth. One rainy, moonless night, the besiegers learned that the besieged, in a wretched state because of the extreme deprivations and hardships, had left one side of the fortress unguarded. So, 350 Greek fighters, spearheaded by 30 German philhellenes, led by Staikos Staikopoulos, placed ladders against the walls and entered the Palamidi fortress, capturing one bastion after the other without much resistance…

Ioannis Kapodistrias chromolithography. End of 19th centuryMorias 21

Ioannis Kapodistrias

The capture of Nafplio, which, unlike other towns, was never retaken by the Ottomans, was a very important event, “un événement majeur”, as aptly described one-and-a-half months later by Ioannis Kapodistrias in a letter to his brother. 

Day 5: “The birth of the Greek flag; Dramali’s fiasco”

We now head to monuments that commemorate significant events during the first two years of the Revolution: the First National Assembly at Epidaurus (20 December 1821 – 15 January 1822), the surrender of Acrocorinth to Greek forces and the presence of the provi provisional Greek government in Corinth (January – May 1821), the Expedition of Dramali in the Peloponnese and the crushing defeat of his great army at Dervenakia (July 1822).  

Seven Day Trips out of Monemvasia

Day 1: The Rock of Monemvasia 
Day 2: Monasteries of the Revolution: Monasteries of the Transfiguration of the Savior and of Vrontamas
Day 3: In the lands of the Mavromichalis clan: Monemvasia – Gytheio
Day 4: In the mountains of Mani: Areopoli – Stone bridge at Stara – Kastania – Monastery of Our Lady of Healing 
Day 5: Tales of Old Kardamyli 
Day 6: In the footsteps of the fighters: Kalamata – Eva – Monastery of Voulkanos – Ramovouni –Kyparissia
Day 7: Monasteries of the Revolution in Velanidia & Mardaki

Day 1: “The Rock of Monemvasia”

23 July 1821. Monemvasia becomes the first major fortress in the Peloponnese to fall to the Greeks. Completely without hope and having run out of food, the remaining Ottoman defenders – 756 out of some 4,000 when the siege had begun four months earlier –  surrendered to Alexandros Kantakouzenos, agreeing to hand over the fortress on the condition that they would be allowed safe passage by sea to the shores of Asia Minor. 

Day 2: “Monasteries of the Revolution”

We visit historic monasteries that played a key role during the Revolution. The Holy Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Savior at Molaoi was a center for the Greek revolutionaries. The monastery escaped the devastation wreaked by Ibrahim Pasha, but shows signs of deterioration since then. Built at the opening of a large cave, the Old Monastery of Vrontamas was providing refuge to about 300 non-combatants when Ibrahim Pasha invaded the region in the summer of 1825.

Day 3: “In the lands of the Mavromichalis clan”

After a brief stop at historic Gytheio, a harbor of great importance during the Revolution, we head to Areopoli, the hometown and administrative center of the powerful Mavromichalis family of Mani, which played a decisive role in the struggle for independence.

Mavromichalis,Greek Portrait by by Αdam Friedel, 1824-1828Morias 21

Mavromichalis

Day 4: “In the mountains of Mani”

The Mani had long been a center of sustained resistance against Ottoman rule even before the outbreak of the Revolution. The rugged mountainous terrain and hardened inhabitants of the region had kept the peninsula virtually autonomous, despite the repeated attempts of Ibrahim Pasha to conquer it. The route passes through areas of East Mani, places of outstanding natural beauty, associated with significant historical events and figures who were active both before and during the Revolution. 

Day 5: “Tales of Old Kardamyli”

Returning in secret from Zakynthos, where he had lived for many years, Theodoros Kolokotronis landed at Kardamyli in early January, 1821. There, he stayed at the fortified tower of his family friend, Panagiotis Mourtzinos. It was here that Kolokotronis began planning in earnest for the start of the Revolution in the Morea.

Kariofili, end of 18th century, GreeceMorias 21

“…I arrived in Skardamoula on 6 January, going at once to the house of my friend and countryman, Captain Panagiotis Mourtzinos. From 6 January to 22 January, I was employing all my energies at Mani in endeavors to unite different Maniot houses after the usual custom, and we did succeed in uniting them, and took them into the brotherhood.” Th. Kolokotronis, Memoirs

Day 6: “In the footsteps of the freedom fighters”

We now head to places associated with prominent fighters of the Revolution. Ramovouni, birthplace of Theodoros Kolokotronis (1770-1843), Eva, the village where Dimitrios Papatsonis was born (circa 1798-1825), Kyparissia, liberated without bloodshed on 26 March1821 with the decisive contribution of Dimitris Papatsoris (1770-1835) and the Dredes.
 

Battle at the bridge of Alamana, 4th painting, 2nd edition by by Panagiotis Zografos under the guidance of MakriyannisMorias 21

Day 7: “Monasteries of the Revolution”

We visit historic monasteries that played an important part in the Revolution. On the eve of the Revolution, the Holy Monastery of Velanidia was used as a secret meeting place for chieftains of the Morea. It was also where Grigorios Dikaios (Papaflessas) had lhad lived as a monk. The Holy Monastery of Mardaki was chosen by the Filiki Eteria, especially Papaflessas who was familiar with the surrounding area, as a military base for the Greek forces shortly before the Revolution began.

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