Stemnitsa: Breathtaking beauty


The picturesque and imposing Stemnitsa is a mountain village in Gortynia, located 45 km west of Tripoli. It belongs to the municipality of Trikolona and it is the seat of the municipality. It is a very beautiful and preserved settlement, amphitheatriacally built on the western slopes of Mainalon, at the foot of Klinitsa at 1.100 meters altitude.

The village of Stemnitsa, Arcadia is aν example  of traditional architecture and it will impress you with its picturesque streets, the square full of life, the beautiful Byzantine churches and  the stone townhouses.

Stemnitsa is one of the most historic areas of Arcadia and has a rich history that goes back centuries. In ancient times in its location was the ancient city of Ypsos. In the 7th AD century takes the name Stemnitsa which means woodland and has Slavic origin.

Stemnitsa played an important role in the Revolution of 1821 as it was the Revolution supply center and many inhabitants were fighters and members of the “Society of Friends”. The area was the seat of the First Peloponnesian Senate and hosted the First Peloponnesian Senate from 27 May to mid-June 1821.

Stemnitsa Map

The villagers were engaged in literature and the arts which flourished. Specifically, Stemnitsa was an important center of Gold and silverwork. Skilled artisans processed gold, bronze, copper and silver and many famous goldsmiths originate from the region.

Even today, there is the Secondary Technical School of Silversmith, where it is taught the art of silversmithing while the shops and the laboratories that are in the town of Stemnitsa are continuing the tradition.

Above the village, the hill “Kastro”(Castle), from where the view to the village and the gorge Loussios is amazing.

In the village there is Nikoletopouleio Cultural Center, housed in the renovated elementary school where are held regional and nation-wide cultural events and conferences.

In Stemnitsa operate many guesthouses and hotels combined with warm and hospitable people, and restaurants, taverns and cafes that satisfy the most demanding visitor.

Stemnitsa is a village that will charm you with its stone tall houses, the natural green landscape, its location between the fir forest of Mainalo and the gorge Lousios that make it an ideal destination for winter holidays, excursions, tours and walks.

Regional Flavours & Products
In the taverns of Stemnitsa you will taste grilled, boiled goat, pies, trachana, bean soup and noodles, delicious lamb, intestines and splenandero. Stemnitsa is also famous for its delicious local sweets like patties, folds and almonds made with nut etc. Buy also honey with the special taste and pasta.

Do not miss the silversmith shops that continue the tradition of Stemnitsa.

Cultural events
Many cultural events are held in Stemnitsa in the summer months. One of these is the events that are on the Anniversary of the Establishment of the First Peloponnesian Senate usually take place at the Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi. The Assumption is celebrated with traditional dances.

Stemnitsa Attractions

Stemnitsa Square: The picturesque square of Stemnitsa is a meeting place for locals and guests where you can relax in a cafe in the square, admiring the view of the slope of Klinitsa and the fir forest of Mainalo.

In the center of the square stands the majestic bell tower of St. George.

Churches: Stemnitsa will enchant you with its many Byzantine churches. It has about 18 churches operating from the post-Byzantine times until today. In the square stands the cruciform church of St. George which is the patron saint of the village. The metropolitan church of the village was built in 1810 and has a wonderful masonry of chiseled stone.

Remarkable are the images that are saved in the temple, after the burning of the Turks, like the images of the iconostasis, work of 1819, of Constantinople Kingdom Caesar, St. George, St. Demetrius in 1769, Zoodochos Pigi with the gold plated silver lining and another of St. George with silver lining. The linings of the icons were made by local craftsmen in 1813 while the fresco of Panokratora in the dome is the work of Fotis Kontoglou since 1813.

Opposite the church is the majestic, multi-storey bell tower of St. George, which designed and built from white hewn stone by Tinios Theotikos in 1877. The bells are the work of local craftsmen.

A picturesque path leads to the Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi of the 15th century, which is built on a rocky hill. In the two-storey cell of the Monastery which still exists, was the seat of the First Peloponnesian Senate from May to June 1821.

The monastery was renovated recently with costs of Urania and Lazarus Efraimoglou and offers great views of the village. The monastery also preserved the church of Zoodochos Pigi, which is cruciform with a dome and it is assumed that was built around 1443. It is one of the most remarkable temples of Stemnitsa.

A remarkable and beautiful church is Panagia the Mpafero of the 12th century. The church is built on the hill of “Castle” location and it is a basilica with semicircular dome. In its precinct is the church of St. Nicholas from the 14th century, and according to legend was renovated in the 16th century.

Another church that will impress you is the Three Hierarchs of the 17th century.

The Watermill of Tsagkourou: The watermill of Tsagkourou, is the only surviving watermill in Stemnitsa, located on the hill of Zoodochos Pigi. Previously, the water for the operation of the mill came from the source “mother water”.

Location Castle and Memorial of Fighters 1821: From “Kastro”(Castle) hill, you will be enchanted bythe view of the village and the gorge Lousios. Here is the War Memorial, a monument dedicated to the Fighters of 1821.

Nikoletopouleio Cultural Center: Stemnitsa has the Nikoletopouleio Cultural Center, housed in the renovated elementary school where are held regional and nation-wide cultural events and conferences.

The Folklore Museum: It is located opposite the church of Three Hierarchs and housed in one of the most impressive three-storey towers in the area, Haji of the 18th century.

The museum was founded in 1985 by John and Irene Savvopoulou and among its exhibits are included collections of modern Greek art, representations of traditional crafts workshops, religious items and traditional costumes from various places of Greece.

Natural Locations: At the entrance of the village there is the location Lakes(Limnes). From there you can enjoy panoramic views of the imposing landscape,  studded with stone Arcadian threshing floors, that will really fascinate you with their traditional architecture. From here starts the path to the church of All Saints and St. Theodore.

Mansions: In Stemnitsa you can admire some examples of traditional architecture like the Oikonomopoulos mansion built in 1887,  the Kousourellis mansion, the City Hall and many other venues that stand out for their excellent arcadian architecture.

The House of Kolokotronis: A short distance from Stemnitsa in Libovisi village is the ancestral home of Kolokotronis, which now serves as a small museum.

Mainalon Ski Resort: In the mountains of Mainalo on the top of Ostrakina at an altitude of about 1770 meters is running a modern ski resort. Since the winter of 2004, the ski center has passed to the private company OSTRAKINA AETE.

Ski Center Mainalo has 8 great ski slopes, a special park for ATV motorbikes, central chalet for coffee or lunch, snowbar, shelter and four ski lifts. Its special position among the firs, the easy access, the great natural beauty and the rich flora and fauna make it particularly attractive.

Surrounding Area

You can see and visit many nearby destinations, which are only a few kilometers from Stemnitsa …

Some of these are the Libovisi, Chrysovitsi, Dimitsana etc.

Dimitsana: The beautiful and historic Dimitsana is amphitheatrically built at an altitude of 960 – 1080m., On the ruins of the great ancient city Tefthis above the canyon Lussius River.

Ancient Tefthis visited Pausanias in 174 AD and according to tradition recorded by the city had sent its own military contingent in the Trojan war with the ruler Tefthi who wounded with the spear of the goddess Athena. Goddess imposed the punishment of which paid an incurable illness in Tefthi. Ruins of ancient city walls are still preserved.

How to get there

Stemnitsa is from Tripoli 42 km and from Athens 240 km.

On the highway Athens-Corinth towards Tripolis turn right to Vytina. After the toll of Nestani and the tunnel of Artemisium in the 56th kilometer, at Karkalou turn left to Dimitsana. The route is scenic and enjoyable. After Dimitsana in 10 km you will find Stemnitsa.

From Tripoli you can take another route. Through Chrysovitsi and crossing the fir forest of Mainalo you can reach Stemnitsa.

Stemnitsa Useful Telephone Numbers (Calling code for Greece 0030)

Municipality of Trikolona
27950 81387
Bus Station Athens
210 5134575
Community Clinic Stemnitsa
27950 81277
Bus Station Tripoli
2710 222560
Health Center Dimitsana
27950 31401-2
Railway Station (OSE) Athens
210 5240646
Police Station Stemnitsa
27950 81236
Railway Station (OSE) Tripoli
2710 222402
Folklore Museum Stemnitsa
27950 81252
Mountaineering Club of Tripoli
2710 232243
Silversmith School
27950 81227
Mainalo Ski Center
6985 063909
Stemnitsa Cultural Center
27950 81237

Stemnitsa Photos