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Arla

COUNTY: Achaea MUNICIPALITY: West Achaea

Clear
16.48ºC

Population

100 - 500

Distance from nearest city

10-35km

TL;DR

Escape to the beautiful little village of Arla and take a trip back in time when visiting Gyftokastro.

The local community of Arla, 335 inhabitants, is in the municipality of west Achaea in the prefecture of Achaea. The village built on Movri hill, at an altitude of 194m, slopes gently downwards to the valley of Kato Achaïa, 13km south of Movri village and 32 km southwest of Patras.

The date the village was founded is unknown, but the name Aroula is recorded in various documents from the Frank period in Peloponnese. The name Arla is recorded for the first time in documents of 1700 and gradually prevailed. The region is thought to have been bought by the potentate of Patras and to have been donated as gift to the barony of Achaea. The Frankish leaders, in the 13th century, built a fortress known as Gyftokastro, Egyptokastro, Kastro of Arla or Kastro of Fostaina. Its walls are still extant, but the buildings and the cisterns inside it are in ruins.

In the beginning of the 18th century the Franks gave the region to the Logothetis family from Zante to thank them for their services during the armed conflicts with the Turks in Peloponnese. In the early of the 19th century the presence of 25 families in Arla and its production of wheat are recorded in documents. After the Ottoman empire, its population grew thanks to the migration of people from the villages Vlasia and Vrahni.

On the 15th of August a large traditional fete takes place in the village.