Dimitsana

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Dimitsana
Δημητσάνα
Dimitsana.jpg
Location
Dimitsana is located in Greece
Dimitsana
Dimitsana
Coordinates 37°36′N 22°3′E / 37.600°N 22.050°E / 37.600; 22.050Coordinates: 37°36′N 22°3′E / 37.600°N 22.050°E / 37.600; 22.050
Government
Country: Greece
Administrative region: Peloponnese
Regional unit: Arcadia
Municipality: Gortynia
Population statistics (as of 2001)[1]
Municipal unit
 - Population: 1,337
Other
Time zone: EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)
Elevation (center): 950 m (3,117 ft)
Postal code: 220 07
Telephone: 27950
Auto: TP
Website
www.dimitsana.gr

Dimitsana (Greek: Δημητσάνα) is a mountain village and a former municipality in Arcadia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Gortynia, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit.[2] It is built on the ruins of the ancient town Teuthis. Its population 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 m. 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,[3] an open amphitheater, hotels and a square.

History[edit]

Dimitsana1.jpg

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.

In 963 Philosophou Monastery was founded 2,5 km far from Dimitsana. The name of the town is first recorded in 967 in a Patriarchate's document related to Philosophou Monastery. The first gunpowder mills of the town were built under the guise of home industry in the middle of the 18th century from bishop Ananias Lakedaimonias, who paved a revolt against the Turks. In 1764 the movement was revealed and Ananias and his partners were killed. In the same year Agapios, a wise monk, built a library, where he moved the books of the monastery. The library was growing up constantly until 1821, as the Patriarchate offered new books and there was operating a seminary, known as Φροντιστήριο Ελληνικών Γραμμάτων (Tuitin Centre of Greek Literature). A lot of bishops and scholars graduated from it, among them Patriarch Gregory V of Constantinople and Germanos III of Old Patras, their houses have survived in the town.

Ιn the Greek War of Independence Dimitsana played an important role with its gunpowder mills, but during the war a large part of its library's books were destroyed, as Greek warriors used their paper in the 14 gunpowder mills, that worked day and night, supplying them with gunpowder. For this reason Dimitsana has been called "the Nation's powder keg".

In 1960 Dimitsana's population was about 2.000, but a lot of people have since then immigrated to the United States, Australia and elsewhere.

Sights[edit]

Dimitsana is a stone-built village with remarkable mansions, most of which are now restored. It's a typical sample of Gortynia's architcture 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.

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.

View of Dimitsana from the north
Family house of Patriarch Gregory V in Dimitsana

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

Subdivisions[edit]

The municipal unit Dimitsana is subdivided into the following communities (constituent villages in brackets):

Notable people[edit]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ De Facto Population of Greece Population and Housing Census of March 18th, 2001 (PDF 793 KB). National Statistical Service of Greece. 2003. 
  2. ^ Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (Greek)
  3. ^ Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation description of the museum

External links[edit]

See also[edit]