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FIRST PAGE   Attractions / Destinations   Monuments   Towers
TAIGETOS MOUNTAIN TURKOSPILIA SFAKTIRIA KALAMATA CASTLE OF PILOS PILOS KORONI MESSINIA METAMORFOSI SOTIROS - PILOS PILOS CAVE OF VASILIKI STOUPA STOUPA TAIGETOS MOUNTAIN TAIGETOS MOUNTAIN TAIGETOS MOUNTAIN
THE TOWERS OF MANI
 
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Troupaki - Mourtzinis Tower
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TOWER OF KAPETANAKIDON
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TOWER OF KOUMOUNDOUROU

The historic area of the Peloponnese around Taygetus, Mani, is well known for its towers, many of which still exist. Built with natural materials of the area, they are perfectly harmonized with the landscape.

It is considered that Mani’s towers already existed in the Byzantine period, however, the older ones were not that solid and they used to collapse, especially because of earthquakes. The Towers that had been built from the 18th century and later on are thought to be more solid. Their construction continued to take place until the end of the 19th century.

The architecture of the Towers is unique in Greece, while their resemblance to respective buildings in Italy, suggests the Venetian influence. They are high, stone-built, multi-storeyed buildings, with strict lines and a few, small windows. The purpose of their construction was the protection of the residents of the area from each time’s intruders. In some cases, their height was equal even to 20 meters; the height was interwoven with the social status of the owners. All traditional festival and customs used to take place in the Towers, which are considered to have still survived in the centuries due to the successful construction of the Towers that protected the residents. Nowadays, there are still many stone-built towers throughout Mani.

THE TOWER OF TROUPAKIS- MOURTZINOS

In the area of the Messenian Mani, one of the most important Towers is the Tower of Troupakis- Mourtzinos, in Kardamyli. Built in 1807, it consists of a series of buildings, which are still preserved.

It is the fortress that belonged to one of the most powerful families in the area, which had been occupying authority positions for years. Th. Kolokotronis had been hosted many times in this Tower when, in 1821, he came to the area from Zakynthos. The organizing procedures for the onset and the conquest of Kalamata took place in this Tower. The Tower of Troupakis- Mourtzinos consists of four levels and it has a cistern, a forge, an embrasure as well as defensive infrastructures. Among the buildings that are found in the interior part of the Tower, there is also the Temple of Saint Spyridon, which had been built earlier.

The Tower is currently a museum, which is housed in the main residence. It notably includes supervisory material and some genuine objects. Next to the central entrance of the castle, there is the Temple of Saint Spyridonas, with its impressive dome and its high bell tower.

The Tower is a typical sample of the architecture of the Messenian castle-town.

THE TOWER OF KAPETANAKIDES

The Tower of Kapetanakides is built on top of a hill, named Petrovouni, at Sotirianika. It is in a very good condition and it is a representative sample of the architecture of Mani.

The family, to which the Tower belonged, was one of the families that participated in the Revolution of 1821. The imposing fortress is table-shaped and it consists of three floors. The main Tower is on the east side, it can be easily accessed and it offers a panoramic view of the Messenian Gulf. The buildings of the main residence and a small church of Prophet Elias do still exist.  Inside the castle there are underground cisterns and defensive infrastructures, just like in the majority of the Towers of Mani.

The Tower is just 13 kilometers away from the city of Kalamata.

THE TOWER OF KOUMOUNDOUROS

In Kampos village, there is the Tower of Koumoundouros, which was built after 1830. The owners were ancestors of Alexandros Koumoundouros, the subsequent prime minister of the country, whose family house is considered to be this very Tower.

The Tower is mostly stone-built and its architecture has a rather defensive style. There is an embedded windmill in its interior part. Next to the Tower of Koumoundouros, there is a Mycenaean chamber tomb, which is attributed to the son of Asclepius, Machaon, and dates back to 1250 B.C. Consequently, a visit to Kampos village is of double historical significance.

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