Tripoli, Greece

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Central square with the Court House, designed by Ernst Ziller
Central square with the Court House, designed by Ernst Ziller
Tripoli is located in Greece
Coordinates 37°31′N 22°23′E / 37.517°N 22.383°E / 37.517; 22.383Coordinates: 37°31′N 22°23′E / 37.517°N 22.383°E / 37.517; 22.383
Country: Greece
Administrative region: Peloponnese
Regional unit: Arcadia
Mayor: John Smirniotis
Population statistics (as of 2011)[1]
 - Population: 47,254
 - Area: 1,481 km2 (572 sq mi)
 - Density: 32 /km2 (83 /sq mi)
Municipal unit
 - Population: 33,785
 - Area: 119.3 km2 (46 sq mi)
 - Density: 283 /km2 (733 /sq mi)
 - Population: 30,912
Time zone: EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)
Elevation (center): 655 m (2,149 ft)
Postal code: 221 00
Telephone: 2710
Auto: ΤΡ

Tripoli (Greek: Τρίπολη, Trípoli, formerly Τρίπολις, Trípolis; earlier Τριπολιτσά Tripolitsa) is a city of about 33,000 inhabitants in the central part of the Peloponnese, in Greece. It is the capital of the regional unit of Arcadia and the centre of the municipality of Tripoli, pop. 47,000.


In the Middle Ages the place was known as Drobolitsa, Droboltsá, or Dorboglitza, either from the Greek Hydropolitsa, 'Water City' or perhaps from the South Slavic for 'Plain of Oaks'.[2][3] The association made by 18th- and 19th-century scholars with the idea of the "three cities" (Τρίπολις, τρεις πόλεις "three cities": variously Callia, Dipoena and Nonacris, mentioned by Pausanias without geographical context,[4] or Tegea, Mantineia and Pallantium, or Mouchli, Tegea and Mantineia[5] or Nestani, Mouchli and Thana), were considered paretymologies by G.C. Miles.[6] An Italian geographical atlas of 1687[7] notes the fort of Goriza e Mandi et Dorbogliza; a subsequent Italian geographical dictionary of 1827 attributes the name Dorbogliza to the ruins of Mantineia (Mandi) and states that it is located north of Tripolizza.[8]

The Ottoman Turks referred to the town and the district as Tripoliçe.


"Maniot revolutionary after the Siege of Tripolitsa" by Peter von Hess.
Statue of General Theodoros Kolokotronis.
Close-up view of the statue of Anastasios Polyzoidis in front of the Court House.
Tripoli's cathedral.

Before the Greek War of Independence, under the Ottoman name of "Tripoliçe", it served as one of the Ottoman administrative centers in the Peloponnese (the Morea Eyalet, often called "pashalik of Tripolitsa") and had large Muslim and Jewish populations. Tripolis was one of the main targets of the Greek insurgents in the Greek War of Independence, who stormed it on October 17, 1821, following the bloody Siege of Tripolitsa, and proceeded to exterminate the Muslim and Jewish populations in revenge.[9][10] Ibrahim Pasha retook the city on June 22, 1825, after it had been abandoned by the Greeks. Before his evacuation of Peloponnese early 1828, he destroyed the city and tore down its walls.[11]

Geography and climate[edit]

Tripolis is located in the center of the Peloponnese, in a broad montane basin at approximately 650m in altitude. Tripolis is surrounded by thickly wooded mountains on all sides, the tallest and closest of which is Mount Mainalon to the northwest. The southwest of the Tripolis basin formerly consisted of wetlands which have now been drained and converted to farmland. Because of its inland location and high altitude, Tripolis has a transitional mediterranean/continental climate with hot dry summers and cold winters. Summer temperatures can exceed 40C/104F (Record max. 44C/112F) and in winter temperatures below −10C/14F have been observed (Record min. -18C/0F). Snow can occur several times between late October and early April.

Its main plazas are aligned with the main street and with a highway linking to Pyrgos and Patras. One of them is named Kennedy, the other is named Georgiou B' (George II). The southern part has its main street named Washington. The main section of the city is enclosed around the castle walls that were built during the Ottoman occupation of Greece. An industrial park has been built in the southwest.

Month Mean min (C) Mean max (C)
Jan: 0.9 9.6
Feb: 1.2 10.5
Mar: 2.5 13.0
Apr: 4.9 17.1
May: 8.2 22.7
Jun: 11.9 27.8
Jul: 14.3 30.1
Aug: 14.5 30.1
Sep: 11.6 26.4
Oct: 8.3 20.6
Nov: 4.9 15.5
Dec: 2.8 11.2

(taken from – Greek National Meteorological Service)


The municipality Tripoli was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 8 former municipalities, that became municipal units:[12]


The municipal unit of Tripoli is subdivided into the following communities:

  • Agios Vasileios
  • Agios Konstantinos
  • Evandro
  • Makri
  • Merkovouni
  • Pallantio
  • Pelagos
  • Perthori
  • Skopi
  • Thanas
  • Tripoli


Tripoli is the seat of the recently founded University of the Peloponnese with two departments of the Sciences and Technology School and one department of the Economics and Administration School.


Tripoli's railway station.

Because of its location at the centre of the Peloponnese, Tripolis is a transportation hub. Corinth is 75 kilometres (47 miles) NE, Pyrgos 145 kilometres (90 mi) E, Patras 144 km (89 mi) NW, Kalamata 65 km (40 mi) SW, and Sparti 60 km (37 mi) S.

Tripoli is mainly accessed from Athens and the rest of Greece through the Corinth-Tripoli-Kalamata motorway, known as the Moreas Motorway (A7). An alternative route is the GR-7 which used to be the main highway to Tripoli before the construction of the motorway. The city is also accessed by GR-74 and GR-76 from Pyrgos and by GR-39 from Sparta.

Tripoli is served by the metre gauge railway line from Corinth to Kalamata of the Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE). The line was renovated and passenger services to Árgos and Corinth, which had been suspended for a few years, were reinstated in 2009. However in December 2010 services ceased again due to the general suspension of railway services in the Peloponnese.


Tripoli is home to the two largest Armed Forces bootcamp centers of Greece, one for the Hellenic Army and one for the Hellenic Air Force

  • 251 Army Training Battalion (Greek)
  • 124 Basic Training Wing (Greek)


In popular culture[edit]

The Siege of Tripolitsa was made famous in the folk (Δημοτικό) song "40 παλικάρια από την Ληβαδειά" (Forty lads from Livadhia)[13]

Historical population[edit]

Year Community Municipal unit Municipality
1981 21,337
1991 22,429 26,432
2001 25,520 28,976
2011 30,912 33,785 47,254

Famous people[edit]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — sister cities[edit]

Tripoli, Greece is twinned with:


  1. ^ Detailed census results 2011 (Greek)
  2. ^ R. M. Dawkins, The Place-names of Later Greece, in Transactions of the Philological Society, November 1933, p. 19–20
  3. ^ George C. Miles, The Athenian Agora, vol. 9, 1962, p 12 (Miles considers "Hydropolitsa" a popularization)
  4. ^ Description of Greece, Arcadia, 8.27.4
  5. ^ Leake, Travels in the Morea, Volume 2
  6. ^ George C. Miles, The Athenian Agora vol.9, 1962, p 12
  7. ^ La Morea, 1687, Marescotti
  8. ^ Nuovo Dizionario Geografico Universale, Cavagna Sanguliani, 1827, page 827
  9. ^ Nevill Forbes, et al., The Balkans (full text)
  10. ^ Theodoros Kolokotronis, Apomnimoneumata
  11. ^ John Hartley, Researches in Greece and the Levant, p 341
  12. ^ Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (Greek)
  13. ^ [1]

External links[edit]