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Kastanitsa

COUNTY: Arcadia MUNICIPALITY: North Kynouria

Clouds
26ºC

Population

100 - 500

Infrastracture

Library, Medical Centre

Distance from nearest city

50-75km

TL;DR

A mountainous village with a great feast during August, the first church built under Turkish rule, a church with ornate icons and many small chapels.

Kastanitsa is a mountainous village at an altitude of 840m with approximately 420 residents. It is built on the slopes of Mount Parnonas and it is 72 km away from Tripoli.

Kastanitsa was inhabited around 1290 and it is formally mentioned for the first time in 1293. Its first residents were Tsakones, consequently Kastanitsa is one of the first Tsakonochoria (Tsakonian villages). It was created after the union of two villages, Pentalona village and Mpezenikos village. On July 27th 1826, the residents crushed the Turkish and Egyptian forces and saved their village from a certain massacre.

Kastanitsa is one of the most beautiful traditional villages of Peloponnese. Many of its stone-built houses are three-storey towers. In the center of the village you will find the church of Metamorphosis of Sotiros (Transfiguration) built in 1780 with an ornate wooden iconostasis from Russia, donated to the church in 1810. You will also find the church of Agios Nikolaos (St. Nikolaos), which was the first church built during the Turkish rule.

The village is surrounded by a forest with chestnut trees and fir trees and it offers the occasion for amazing excursions while observing the rare fauna and flora of the region. In the past, the village was known for its production of lime and its chestnuts, from where it took its name.

On the 5th and 6th of August (feast of the Transfiguration) the village organizes a festival. Other important local feasts are the Feast of the Forest and the Feast of the Chestnut on the last weekend of October. In the surrounding area of Kastanitsa, there are over 15 chapels as well as the ruins of a byzantine tower dated from the 14th century, which was built for the fortification of the area.