Tripoli, Arcadia, Greece
Aerial view over Tripoli city, Arcadia and the Metropolitan Church of St. Basil in Greece, Europe/ Photo 249309910 © Pilotf18 | Dreamstime.com

Arcadia: Land of myths, history, nature and adventure

Picture-postcard hill towns, dramatic mountains, famous gorges, wetlands, seaside villages, great archeological sites, historic monasteries

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OVERVIEW

Located in the center of the Peloponnese, Arcadia regional unit takes its name from the mythological figure Arcas. In Greek mythology, it was the home of Pan, the god of forests, pastures, flocks, and shepherds.  In modern times, Arcadia is lauded for its heroic fight in the Greek War of Independence. The regional unit is best known today for its stunning nature. Mountains , such as Mainalon, Parnonas and Artemision, rivers (Alfios, Ladonas and Erymanthos), lakes (Taka and Moustou), deep gorges (Lousios) and scenic coastlines with blue pebbled beaches make Arcadia rank among the most beautiful holiday areas in Greece. Medieval castles, Byzantine churches and monasteries, charming traditional villages and the occasional Classical antiquity all await. The epicentre of Arcadia is the capital, Tripoli. Dimitsana, Vytina, Karytena, Ancient Gortyna  are only some other popular destinations of the region.

.AT A GLANCE

Capital: Tripoli Regional unit’s area: 4,419 km2 Regional unit’s population: 86,685 Climate: Hot summers and mild winters in the east, the south. Fall and winter are mostly rainy, except in the mountains to the west and north which are snowy.

.ADMINISTRATION

The regional unit Arcadia is subdivided into five municipalities.

.MUNICIPALITIES 

TRIPOLI    GORTYNIA    MEGALOPOLI   

NORTH KYNOURIA    SOUTH KYNOURIA    



MUNICIPALITY OF TRIPOLI

Area: 1,475.8 km2 Population: 30,912 Website: https://www.tripolis.gr/

.HISTORY

Surrounded by the Arcadian mountains and built at an altitude of 650m in the middle of a valley, Tripoli was established in the 14th century near the ruins of the ancient cities of Pallantion, Tegea, and Mantinea, hence its name Τripolis (three cities). During the Middle Ages was known as Tripolitsa (Dropolitsa). Many different invaders such as Venetians and Ottoman Turks left their marks on the city. It was the capital of the Morea Eyalet (first-level province of the Ottoman Empire) since 1786. The siege of Tripolitsa e (and the ensuing massacre) was a pivotal moment in the Greek War of Independence. After the independent Greek state was established in 1830, Tripoli was renamed and rebuilt and was developed as one of the main cities of the Kingdom of Greece. The modern city is the administrative, economic, commercial and transportation center of central and south Peloponnese and home to an impressive selection of attractions and experiences.

.GASTRONOMY

The Arcadian cuisine is one of the most authentic in all of Greece. Olives, oil, fir tree honey from hives on the slopes of Mt Menalon, walnuts, cheese and choice meats are typical products of the Arcadian land. Try “tsakonikes melitzanes” (baked aubergines) with PDO feta from Vytina and graviera cheese from Tripoli. The golden potatoes of the Tegea plane are also popular. “Delicious Pilafa” are the PDO-protected apples produced near Tripoli.

.WINES & DRINKS

Arcadian Moschofilero wine: Mantineia, on the Tripoli plateau, is one of the best-known wine-producing regions in Greece, which since 1971 have borne the designation PDO Mantineia. The Moschofilero grape accounts for 85% of the grapes in the region.

.POINTS OF INTEREST

Areos central square: The imposing statue of equestrian Theodoros Kolokotronis, a Greek general and the pre-eminent leader of the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire, is here. His bones are still preserved on the base of the monument. The statue was erected in the 70s after sixty years of donations In the square, one of the largest in Greece, you will also find the Judicial Mansion, a preserved historic neoclassical building.

Malliaropoulio Municipal Theater: A beautiful building designed by the architect and two-time Olympic Champion Anastasios Metaxas. Malliaropoulos estate: A listed building of the city built in 1861.

Kostas Kariotakis house: The building where one of the most representative Greek poets of the 1920s  was born, is located in the city center. Kariotakis’ poetry has been translated into over thirty languages.

Matzounio Mansion: The mansion was bought in 1927 by the industrialists Mantzounis brothers, from where it got its name.The building where the library of Tripoli with 20.000 volumes was housed.

Apostolos Kolokotronis house: The nephew of Theodoros Kolokotronis, was a chieftain of the Greek War of Independence and an officer of the Greek army.

Zaharopoulos house: One of the oldest neoclassical buildings in Tripoli, located on Ethnomartyron Street. It was built in 1843 by the architect Stamatis Kleanthis. It is a two-story marble building with lion heads on its exterior.

Streets: The beautiful cobbled street of Ethiki Antistasi and the pedestrian Deligianni Street with their bars, coffee houses and restaurants, are the center of the entertainment in the city.

Archeological sites: Ancient Tegea (10 km SE), Mantinia (12 km N), ancient Asea ruins, (17 km SW).

.FEASTS, FESTIVALS & EVENTS

May 22: Religious celebration and procession in honor of the Martyrs Dimitrios and Pavlos

July-September: The Municpality of Tripoli has established the Cultural Summer Festival a celebration of music, theatrical performances, exhibitions.

September 23: Celebration of the city liberation from the Turks.

.RELIGIOUS SITES

Saint Basil Metropolitan Church: At the homonym square, a reference point for the city. The church’s facade is entirely covered with Doliana marble Dedicated to Saint Basil, it was built on the site of Bekir Pasha Mosque.

Gorgoepikoos monastery: The Byzantine Monastery of the Virgin Mary Gorgooepikoos (10th century) built on the Goula rock in Nestani village is a protected cultural heritage site.The Monastery possesses a famous icon of the Blessed Virgin-Gorgoepikoos, which is reputed to have been painted by St Luke.

Saint Nikolaos Varson Monastery: Twelve kilometres from Tripoli, near the village of Neochori, the monastery with fortified wall, was founded in 1030 AD. Here the relics of the martyrs Paul and Dimitrios of Tripolis are safeguarded.

Saint George chapel: Just 2km from the city, the chapel it is built in a pine tree forest.

Epano Chrepa Monastery: Built during the 11th century in a prominent position above Tripoli at an altitude of 1278 m, the monastery is the highest in the Peloponnese. Beautiful hagiographies and remarkable libraries.

.KEY MUSEUMS

Archeological Museum οf Tripolis: Housed in a magnificent neoclassical building designed by German architect Ernst Ziller which initially hosted the Pan Arcadian hospital, the museum has a rich collection of objects originating from the excavations held in various sites of Arcadia, covering the period from the Mycenaean times up to 2nd century A.D.

Archeological Museum of Tegea: Twelve km from Tripoli this is one of the oldest museums in the Peloponnese (1909) presenting the founding and evolution of Tegea, the most powerful city in ancient Arcadia, and an important religious center. The museum hosts one of the most important collections of the ancient Greek sculpture, namely the sculptural decoration of the temple of Athena Alea (4th century B.C.), a masterpiece designed by the famous sculptor Skopas. 

Museum of War: Housed on the first floor of the Malliaropoulos estate,  in Agios Vasilios square, the museum is dedicated to the struggles of the Greeks.
Through relics and artefacts the visitor is guided from the Greek Revolution of 1821, to the liberation after the German Occupation in 1944.

Copper Museum: An unexpected private museum, created by Tasos Birbilis who has been collecting for many years copper objects. Tools, machines, daily utensils, and intricately crafted objects, all with the common characteristic of being made ​​from copper.

.MAJOR EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

University of the Peloponnese: Tripoli is the flagship campus of the University of the Peloponnese, founded in 2000.

.TRANSPORT

Athens is located 160 km north of Tripolis.
There are daily buses from Athens to Tripoli.
The closest airport to Arcadia is the Kalamata Airport which is located 86km from Tripoli.

.ACCOMODATION

A plethora of accommodation choices to suit all tastes and pockets.


TO DO & TO GO