Testimonies from Artifacts and Paintings

Stories of the Greek Revolution, 1821 in the geographical region of Peloponnese ("Morias")

By Morias 21

Map of Peloponese by Zaconian, T.C. Lotter edition by Homann Haeres-Old ColouringMorias 21

200 years ago… 1821

Greece is under the yoke of the Ottoman Empire. The embers of rebellion, which had been smoldering for years, were ignited in March 1821 in the Peloponnese, which in the Middle Ages and early modern period was known as the Morea.

Areopoli, the starting point

Kardamyli, planning the Revolution

Kalamata, the first town to be liberated

Tripoli, the historical siege

Monemvasia, a historical victory

Corinth, a strategic passage

Pylos, the historical Navaval Battle of Navarino

Nafplio, the first capital

Filiki Etaireia Flag, National Historical MuseumMorias 21

Society of Friends flag, National Historical Museum

The driving force behind the Revolution was the Filiki Etaireia ("Society of Friends"), a secret organization of patriots with members representing all social and economic classes, from wealthy ethnic Greeks in Europe to simple farmers in the Greek countryside. 

Either FreedoM

The emblem of the Filiki Etaireia served as a type of encoded "membership card". The use of a coded alphabet and "passwords" helped secure the secrecy of the organization.

Or DeatH

 The Morea became the starting point of the Revolution due to social, economic and geographical factors. We follow the history of the Greek Revolution in the Morea, from the organization of the uprising, to the establishment of the Greek State

Petrobey Mavromichalis by Peter Von HessMorias 21

P. Mavromichalis in Aeropoli

On 17 March 1821, Filiki Etaireia member Petros (Petrobey) Mavromichalis along with a number of kapetanei (warband leaders) of Mani proclaimed the Revolution, raising the war flag in Areopoli. 

Kolokotronis helmet, National Historical MuseumMorias 21

Planning the Revolution

In January 1821, Theodoros Kolokotronis, commonly known by his sobriquet “The Old Man of the Morea”, had found refuge from the Ottomans in the Pyrgos (fortified tower) of Mourtzinos-Troupakis, the leading family of Kardamyli, when he planned to liberate Kalamata 

The Liberation of Kalamata, Historical & Folklore Museum of Kalamata by Ev. DrakosMorias 21

The Liberation of Kalamata

 On 23 March 1821, Kalamata became the first major town to be liberated. A celebratory service was held in front of the Church of the Holy Apostles and a document was drawn up, addressed to the European powers, officially declaring the start of the Greek War of Independence.

Church of the Holy Apostles, Kalamata

The Battle of Tripolitsa by P.ZografosMorias 21

Morias 21, "High Mountains"
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The Battle of Tripolitsa

On 23 September 1821, Kolokotronis played a leading role in the siege of Tripolitsa (modern-day Tripoli), which was defended by 10,000 Ottoman troops, the capture of the town being a key strategic objective.

The siege of Monemvasia, Argolikos Archival Library of History & CultureMorias 21

The seige of Monemvasia

On 23 July 1821, after a months-long siege of the fortress of Monemvasia by Greek forces, the Ottomans surrendered after running out of food. The first major fortress in the Morea was now in Greek hands.

The Fall of Acrocorinth, Argolikos Archival Library of History & Culture by Peter Von HessMorias 21

The Fall of Acrocorinth

On 19 October 1823, the Ottoman forces under siege in Acrocorinth surrendered the mountain-top fortress to Kolokotronis, who agreed their safe passage to Thessaloniki.

Battles at Argos and Corinth by P.ZografosMorias 21

Battles of Argos and Corinth

The Battles of Argos and Corinth under the guidance of General Makriyannis.

The Battle of Navarino, Costa Navarino Art CollectionMorias 21

Thirty ships set sail
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The Naval Battle of Navarino

On 20 October 1827, the Great Powers – Britain, France and Russia – in the face of Ottoman intransigence and refusal to abide by the armistice and recognize Greek autonomy, clashed with the Turkish-Egyptian fleet at the Battle of Navarino destroying it and paving the way for Greek independence.

Engraving of Nafplio-Palamidi by Karl KrazeisenMorias 21

Nafplio, a milestone

In late 1822, Greek forces took the Palamidi fortress overlooking Nafplio from the Ottomans. Due in part to its geographical location, Nafplio was named the capital of the Peloponnese and later capital of the newly formed Greek State.

Ioannis Kapodistrias, Argolikos Archival LibraryMorias 21

Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first Governor

On 26 January 1828, Ioannis Kapodistrias was appointed governor of the liberated areas, effectively becoming modern Greece’s first head of state.

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