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Areopolis

Southwest of Gythio, this semi-mountainous village is the center of Itilos in Laconia. Dryalia, Lagokilio, Limenio and Omales also belong to Areopolis. Placed on the southeast side of Laconia, on the small peninsula that separate the coves of Limenio and Diros, awashed by the Messenean Gulf, on the slopes of the last hills of Taygetus.

In the past it was called Tsirova and was recognised as a municipality in 1912. Areopoli is one of Mani’s oldest vil- lages, capital and historic center of Itilos and home of the famous family of Mavromichalis. Historical buildings are preserved, among them the Church of Taxiarhes, in which the family of Mavromichalis made the declaration of revo-lution against the Empire of Ottomans in the 17th of March in 1821. As a monument of the sacrity of the revolution, a rock with a hole in the center is saved, where Petrobeis Mavromichalis fastened up the flag of the revolution. Areopoli has a long and important history. In 1826, the town was used by the fighters as strategic base and a center where they gathered the necessary for their battles. You can visit a Church Museum which has heirlooms from those times.

Areopoli means “the city of Aris”the god of war according to mythology and it was named by Othon, the first king of modern Greece, showing this way his appreciation to the Mavromichalis family. Nevertheless, when the Bavarians were planning to destroy the castles of the area (which were for ages bases for fighters and bunkers), the people stood up in what history named the insurgency of Mani. The insurgency was finally a success and the castles remained un- touched. During the 19th century the population in Areopoli turned themselves to education and industry, lots of them immigrated, mainly in America, due to the infertility of the ground.