Tripolis the capital of the prefecture of Arcadia is built on the mount Mainalo at an altitude of 650m. It is renowned for its beautiful parks, the picturesque chapels strewn around the marvelous green landscape, such as the chapel of Saint Nikolaos of Varson, the Epano Chrepas chapel in Mainalo and the chapel of Panagia near Nestani village. Many lovely villages and hamlets (Nestani, Steno, Vouno, Rizes, Alea etc.) and important archeological sites, such as the ancient Tegea and Mantineia, are on the outskirts of Tripolis. On mount Mainalo, there is also the Ostrakina ski resort.
The name of Tripolis comes from the Slavic word “Dabrolija”, meaning “the town with the oaks”. It was a small settlement of nomad Slavs founded in the region between the 8th and 10th centuries AD. In a patriarchal document of 1581 Tripolis is recorded as “Hydrobolitza”, meaning “a water town”. During the Venetian Rule, Tripolis prospered and became the commercial and agricultural center of the region due to its geographical position, in the heart of Peloponnese. But, during the Ottoman empire it suffered a great deal. The last years of the 17th century it became the headquarters of the Pascha. In 1770, after suppressing the Orlov Revolt, the Ottomans punished the Christian inhabitants of the town. Hordes of Albanians came to Peloponnese to reinforce the Turkish troops and they remained in Morea until 1779. The same year, the Sultan subjugated the Albanians with the aid of the Kolokotronis family. In 1807, the son of Ali Pascha of Ioannina, Veli Pascha, came to Tripolis and transformed the town into the most powerful fortress of Turks in southern Greece. On September 23, 1821, the town was conquered by the Greeks and in 1825 the Turks retook Tripolis. After the battle of Navarino on February 9, 1827, Ibrahim Pascha pillaged and burnt the town to the ground.
The most important sights in Tripolis are: 1) The Agios Vasileios plaza with the 19th century cathedral built where once a mosque used to stand. Its marble iconostasis is a work of Ziller. 2) The Areos plaza, where once was the palace of the Pascha. It is surrounded by the municipal park and the equestrian statue of Kolokotronis boasts on its entrance. There is also a marble wall with the names of those who fought and sacrificed their life to free the city from the Turks. It is a meeting point for locals and foreigners. 3) The archeological museum accommodated in a neoclassical building, work of the Bavarian architect Ziller. It contains many incredible findings from the archeological sites of the region, dated from the earlier Christian period until the Byzantine era. 4) The war museum at Agios Vasileios plaza containing impressive uniforms and an excellent collection of weapons used in the Greek War of Independence in 1821. Equally impressive is the death-mask of Theodoros Kolokotronis. 5) The Malliaropouleio municipal theater accommodated in a 1910 historical building was a donation of the doctor and politician Ioannis Malliaropoulos to his hometown. It was destroyed by the Italians during the World War II, but it was restored and now is in use. 6) The Agios Georgios grove near the city which accommodates a zoo with local animals and shops. There is also the Agios Georgios church and a small open-air theater.