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Harry's Peloponnese Guide: Kalavrita Village Achaea Prefecture Page 1

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Kalavryta Page 1

Kalavrita is a small little village nestled in some very scenic country. It was here that the Nazis massacred all the male population of the village in retaliation for partisan activities during WW II. It should be mentioned that since 1962 the German government has endowed schools in Kalavryta, in what seems to have been an obvious act of atonement for the atrocities committed there. More on that below.

war dead memorial road signs - good luck finding the cave lakes - I couldnt and I tried hard!Kalavryta (which means 'beautiful springs') is known both as a beautiful mountain resort to which visitors can travel with the famous rack and pinion/narrow gage railway from Diakofto (a dramatic and beautiful train ride through spectacular countryside), and also as the site of one of the ugliest massacres, of World War II, with one of the two town clocks (on the Metropolitan church) still fixed, almost 60 years later, at the hour of the tragedy, 2:34 pm (See below).

Kalavryta is situated at 756 meters/2479feet altitude on the Voraikos river at the foot of Mt. Velia and is the chief town of its eparchy and seat of a bishop. Its population is around 2500. It is an especially appealing place in summer with its fresh air and cool mountain springs. In ancient times it was called Kynaithes, and its inhabitants were noted for their wildness, irreverence, and independence. The Aetolians destroyed the town in 220BC, but was revived under Hadrian. During the early 13th century it fell to Otto de Tournai, and in 1301 passed to the barons of Chalandritsa.

An area to the southwest of the town has been identified as the Classical Alyssos, and about one hour to the east of the town stand the ruins of 'Tremola' or the 'Kastro tis Orias', the second name related to the beautiful daughter of a Chalandritsa baron, Katherine Palaiologos, said to have committed suicide in 1463, rather than fall into Turkish hands. In modern times Kalavryta disputes with Kalamata the claim of being the first town liberated during the Greek War of Independence.

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