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Artemisia (Greek: Αρτεμισία, before 1927: Τσερνίτσα - Tsernitsa) is a mountain village in the municipality of Kalamata, Messenia, Greece. As of 2001, it had a population of 291 for the village and 310 for the municipal district. It is situated at 860 m above sea level. Many of its residents live there only during the summer months.
It is located in the west part of Taygetos on the GR-82 (Pylos - Kalamata - Sparta) between Kalamata and Sparta. Its nature consists mostly of green pines, walnuts and chestnuts and the village has many running waters and taverns.
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Location and transportation
The village has about 9 km of paved road, 5 km of gravel road and has about 8 km of hydro and phone lines.
Geography and location
Artemisia is a village and a municipal district in Kalamata. Until 1927, the village was named Tsernitsa (Τσερνίτσα) or Tsernitza (Τζερνίτζα). According to the 1991 census, the village had 339 inhabitants and 310 according to the 2001 census. From 1835 until 1912, it was part of the municipality of Alagonia with the name Tsernitsa.
The six villages included in the former municipality of Alagonia were: Alagonia (Sitsova), Artemisia (Tsernitsa), Karveli (Koutsava), Lada (Upper Koutsava), Nedousa (Megali Anastasova) and Piges (Mikri Anastasova).
It is built on the location of ancient Denthaliatis that has several historic sites; among them the temple of Limnatian Artemis in Volimno, the monastery of Mele (Μελέ), the castle of Mele and Kato Chora (Κάτω Χώρα). The monastery of Mele housed a medieval school and the school of the national benefactor Petros Dimakis, who visited the region in 1854. The school of Dimakis offered education to notorious members of the administration that flourished after Kalamata's liberation.
It is the easternmost Messenian point in the Kalamata-Sparta trail, founded at the 23rd km from Kalamata and 34th km from Sparta and has a junction with buses that unite the two cities.
Artemisia is the largest village of the wider geographic area along with the Pera, Rogkozonitsa and Volimnos crosslands, marking up an area of 38,797 hectars, slightly smaller than that of Kalamata and nearly double than that of the other villages. Artemisia is located in the central part of the municipality, surrounded by other villages (Alagonia, Pigi, Lada and Karveli, Mikri and Megali Anastasova, Sitsova and Koutsava).
As a result of the Slavic invasion, Artemisia was named "Tsernitsa" (meaning "an area with many mulberry trees"). The village was previously located in Kato Chora, the ancient Denthaliatis, where only gardens and ruins are to be found nowadays.
Artemisia is mentioned for the first time in the verses of Homer. In ancient times, Artemisia was united with Kato Chora and Meles, constituting the settlement of Denthalioi, famous for its vineyards and the wine of Denthe (Δένθη) (the wine's name can be traced back to 800 BC). During the same period of time, there was also the settlement of Limnai in the Volimnos area, a religious center for Messenians and Lacedaemons that attracted pilgrims from everywhere in Peloponnesus. Since the settlement was considered holy both by the Messenians and the Lacedaemons, it consitituted a point of dispute and one of the motives of the Messenian Wars.
The area of "Pisina Choria" (literally meaning "the villages behind the mountain") in the Taygetos' area of Kalamata, with the help of the Mardatsi monastery and Sideroporta played a strategic role during the Greek War of Independence, using the monastery of Velanidia as a base for military operations. Kolokotronis, Nikitaras and Papaflessas on 23 March 1821 set out from the aforementioned villages, joining their forces with the Mavromichalis clan from Mani, in order to liberate Kalamata.
- De Facto Population of Greece Population and Housing Census of March 18th, 2001 (PDF 793 KB). National Statistical Service of Greece. 2003.
- Name changes of settlements in Greece
- [...]ἔστι δὲ ἐν τῇ μεσογαίῳ κώμη Καλάμαι καὶ Λίμναι χωρίον: ἐν δὲ αὐτῷ Λιμνάτιδος ἱερόν ἐστιν Ἀρτέμιδος... Παυσανία Ελλάδος Περιήγησις, Βιβλίο Δ', 31,3.