Areopoli: Imposing and imperious


Areopolis, this extremely picturesque town, in the central part of the area of Mani, prefecture of Laconia, has been built on the feet of the mountain Agios Elias. It is a traditional settlement – one of the nicest in Greece – built at an altitude of 250m, 72km from the city of Sparti..

The name of the town used to be Tsimova until 1836, when it was renamed to Areopolis. One possible theory about the origin of the name is that the residents in older years named their town after the Greek god of war, Ares. According to another theory, the name comes from the forceful winds (wind = “aeras”) battering the region.

Due to its location, Areopolis offers a great view to the western parts of the Messinian Gulf.

The central district of the town has been declared a preserved traditional settlement and it is bound to impress you with its architectural style perfectly harmonized with the unique landscape typical of Mani.

Areopoli Map

The glory of the past…
The historical area of Areopolis played a very important role in the Greek liberation fight of 1821. On the very square of the village, on March 17, 1821, the people of Mani raised the banner signifying the start of the revolution against the Turkish occupation. Every year since then, the residents honour the anniversary of the uprising.

The flag of the National uprising in Areopolis was a white one, decorated with national symbols, a relic now on display in the National Historical Museum of Athens..

Areopolis was home of the famous historical family of Mavromihalis, well known for their revolutionary activity during the liberation fight of 1821.
Petrobeis Mavromichalis, Areopoli

In our days, in the heart of Areopolis, on the Square of the Immortals (platia Athanaton), one can still see the rock where the Greek flag was raised. Next to it stands the statue of Petrobeis Mavromihalis.

Through the years, Areopolis developed into a large commercial centre, of central importance for the entire area of Mani.

An enchanting tour…
The wild and, at the same time, captivating natural landscape of Areopolis is harmoniously decorated by the stone-built houses and the majestic stone towers, which give a feeling of pride to the area and create a unique setting that can impress every visitor. The many sights of Areopolis will sweep you to a flashback in the past of the town.

Starting from the centre of Areopolis you can see the statue of Petrobeis Mavromihalis overlooking the Athanaton Square. Walking up the narrow streets of the traditional settlement you can admire the towers of Kapetanakos and Stylianos Mavromihalis, the tower of Kyriakoulis Mavromihalis where a historical and family museum operates today, the tower of Pikoulakis also housing a museum, and the tower of Barelakos.

The area of Areopolis is strewn with many significant churches. Important is the church of Pammegisti Taxiarches, the cathedral of Areopolis, where, on March 17, 1821, the fighters of Mani attended the liturgy prior to commencing the liberation fight and they gave the solemn oath of “Freedom or Death”. When you enter the church the excellent wood-carved chancel screen will impress you. Outside, the multi-story bell tower made in 1836, is a landmark of the area.

Worth visiting also are the churches of Agios Ioannis Prodromos (Saint John the Forerunner) of the 18th century, with excellent frescoes, the church of Agios Athanassios, the church of Agios Nikolaos of 1807, the church of Agia Triada (Holy Trinity) of the 17th century, the church of Panagia (Virgin Mary) and the church of Agios Haralambos.

In the outskirts of Areopolis is located the monastery of Panagia Tsipiotissa, with excellent frescoes of the 18th century..

The unspoiled landscape of Areopolis…
Despite its tourist development, Areopolis has preserved its traditional character. The stone-paved narrow streets and the well-preserved tower-houses are the jewels of this picturesque town.

In Areopolis you can find a choice of accommodation in its many hotels and traditional guesthouses. Also many shops, taverns and restaurants can offer you all modern amenities.

The atmosphere in the area emanates the traditional hospitality of the households in Mani. Areopolis can serve as a unique base for your excursions in the wider area of Mani, such as north to Itilo, Limeni and the castle of Kelefas or south to the Diros cave and the Cape of Tainaro.

Areopolis, a traditional historical settlement in a natural setting of unique beauty, still maintains its traditional character, inviting you to a trip to the past.

Areopoli Photos