Mantinea. Ancient city of Arcadia known by Homer, who characterizes the city Erateini means happy .Mantinea was surrounded by a wall with a stone background and superstructure of mud brick . The length was 3.942 m At this there were 122 towers of approximately 5 meters . Around the wall was dug trench which collects the waters of the river serpent and Arna fountain , near which Rhea gave birth to Poseidon. At the gates distinguished residues bridges and gates leading to secret paths respectively .
Inside the wall were :
- The ancient theater of Mantinea ( Roman era ).
- The temple of Zeus the Savior.
- Heraion with statues of Praxiteles.
- Altar of the Sun.
In excavations by archaeologist Fouzer (1887-1889) discovered a large part of the buildings and the ruins of the ancient city. From ancient theater survives the entire scene, while works of Praxiteles kept in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. Also ruins of the temple of Zeus, Bouleuterion and the market.
The church Agia Fotini stands on the original architecture, which is an alloy of various styles, from traditional Greek architecture to the Byzantine architecture, like the décor of Scriptural referring to classical antiquity.The precinct of the temple is decorated with ancient constructions inspiration and monumental.
Inside the Kapsia cave, discovered human bones. According to the report of the Ministry of Culture, “the cave was used by humans during the Neolithic and Hellenistic times, but in the 4th-6th century AD.”Colorful stalactites and stalagmites formations create unique beauty and stunning reflections inside the cave. The route here reaches 330 meters.
In mountain located above the springs of Elissona and named Pianovouni (mountain of Pan), is the so-called cave of the God Pan.
According to local legend, the goat-footed God Pan is living in this cave and his flute fills with sounds the gorgeous gorge sources of Elissona. Also, the etymology of the name of Piana allegedly connected with God Pan.
In Dimitsana you will find a particularly worthwhile Public Library, which also houses the archaeological collection of the region. Pay a visit the Museum of Water Power to see in what ways man tames the water to his advantage as upon a centuries-old plane tree announced as a natural monument. If you descend into the gorge of the river Lucius, you can visit the historical monasteries Philosopher, Baptist, Aimialon and reeds.
Then you pay a visit to the equally historic Stemnitsa. Therein lies the stone building of the School Goldsmith, Panagia Baferos and a Folklore Museum. Stroll to the shops with ornate jewelery, walk to the village with the amazing view, but for God’s sake, do not forget to eat baklava and kadaifi than traditional labs.
Limbovisi: After a spectacular journey through the firs to reach the home of Kolokotronis and Arkoudomera lair of Theodoros Kolokotronis.
Tegea was the most important city in ancient Arcadia. Founded by Tegeas , son of Lycaon and grandson of Pelasgos. The city was destroyed in 395 AD by the Goths and so came the final decline.
In the city was standing the temple of Athena Alea , work of Parian sculptor Scopas , in which there was an ivory statue of Athena , the statues of Asclepius and Hygeia , and the teeth ERIMANTHOS boar , which were transferred to Rome when the city was annexed to Roman Empire. The name “Alea” according to legend , came from the namesake grandson of Arcas , who had built the temple of Athena , who was the patron of Tegea. The temple does not exist anymore, but parts of it were used for the construction of the Christian church of the Virgin Mary, located near the site.
In the city of Tegea was made the decision to carry the flame in the Olympic Games. The museum of Tegea houses the first Olympic Torch.
Next stop Astros where we will see the Archaeological Museum with artefacts from the villa of Eve (Herod Atticus) and the Venetian fortress.
Today the villa of Herodes Atticus is one of the richer archaeological monuments in Europe. The wealth of architectures, sculptures and mosaics findings are surprising. The Villa is a huge building and urban complex of over 20,000 sq.m.It was built according to the principles of Roman architecture and urbanism.
The layout of the buildings actually lies in agreement with typical buildings of the villa of Hadrian emperor in Tivoli, whom Herod wanted so to express his gratitude for imperial favor he enjoyed.
Then we ascend Parnonas through a scenic route from chestnut trees, and we reach the village Agios Petros. We make a stop in St. Peter to admire the architecture and great views.
Next stop Ano Doliana known for their off-white marble quarries. From this lovely stone the whole village built. Here you can sample local delicacies and sweets. Filled with images and clean air will take the way back to the hotel.
A mountainous traditional village the beautiful Andritsaina maintains several stone houses with tiled roofs, samples of remarkable architecture. Taps with running water, cobbled streets and quaint alleys complete the picture of Andritsainas.
Important attraction of Andritsaina is the Public Library , the most important of our country. It is a kind donation ( 1838 ) of Constantine’s Agathofronos Nikolopoulou ( 1786-1841 ), who had in Paris, in the 19th century, a remarkable private library. The Library has rare books dating from the 16th century until the Late Years (books historical , scientific, philosophical , social , etc.), manuscripts of great value collections heraldry, documents of historical importance, rich archive of 1821 greek revolution.
The Library hostes a large part of the spiritual wealth of France from the Renaissance onwards ( the priceless essay of well-known representatives of the Enlightenment Jean Jacques Pouso with handwritten corrections to Encyclopaedists Jean Le Pon d’ Alamper ) . In the Library are exposed plaster casts of the frieze of the temple of Apollo at Basses.
Next stop special the temple of Epicurean Apollo , located in the ” Basses “. The “second Parthenon”, which is built in a prominent position, was recorded in 1986 in the World List from Monuments Cultural Legacy. It was made by Iktinos, the architect of the Parthenon, the temple dates back to between 430 and 410 BC. It was built by the inhabitants of the neighboring Phigaleia, who dedicated it to the Epicurean Apollo to please him that exempt them from plague during the Peloponnesian War.
The Temple, architectural masterpiece, which combines harmoniously the Doric, the Ionic and Corinthian order, built with local limestone and has been the subject of many studies. The sculptural decoration of the temple is a target of “antiquities” who were active in Greece in the early 19th century. The twenty-three relief slabs forming the frieze are now in the British Museum.
Ten of these sculptures (of northern and western side of the temple) are on the Centauromachy (battle between the Lapiths and the Centaur), twelve (of eastern and southern side) the Amazonomachy (battle between the Greeks and the Amazones) and the latter depicting Apollo and Artemis on a chariot (rushing to help Lapiths in their struggle against the Centaur).
Next we take the way back to Athens.
Alternative Tour Options:
There are so many other things to see in this area. Keep in mind that your driver is at your disposal, so if you would like to adjust the proposed itinerary at all, just let him know!
What Makes this Tour Unique?
- This is the only tour which covers all the most important sites of Arcadia.
- Arcadia is historical land which has a strong and continuous presence from ancient to Byzantine and younger historical times.
- On this tour you can study the continuity of all Greek history.
- Allows you to tour Arcadia with a local driver able to show you the real face of the region.
- The ski resort of the Mainalon mountain operates during the winter depending on weather conditions. It has four lifts (one baby lift) snowpark for children, snowboard park, restaurant and coffee shops.
- The ideal time for rafting to Lucios and Alfios river is April and May.
- Comfortable shoes recommended due this trip.
Did you Know?
- The temple of Epicurean Apollo Rotates around its axis at 50.2 seconds,as much is the annual precession of the equinoxes in order to constantly see the same astral point.The slope is formed artificially, the temple was placed on it following the north-south axis unlike other temples.To achieve temple sliding they placed on the plate a layer of clay and pebbles sea and above these layers placed the foundations of the temple.
- The astral point constantly targeted by the temple is Sirius, the star of Canis the origin of the God Apollo, according to mythology.
- The goat-footed god Pan is not only skillful dancer but also an excellent musician. The sound of his flute is the reason for the start of dance, bringing together Nymphs, the Graces and the Hours, fascinated by the sweet sound of the reed flute of Pan.
- Pan was in love with Syringe, but she feared his physical malformation and she run away on the shore of God Ladon (the river), begging him to save her from Pan. Ladon tranforms Syringe in reed.
Expressing his disappointment Pan, cut reeds of different lengths and connecting them with wax, creates the flute, the syringe, the musical instrument of shepherds.