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The Mani Page 4

Approaching the Mani from Githion

The Inner Mani

map maniApproaching the Mani from Githion one passes olive and citrus orchards Passava is the site of a Turkish castle, formerly a Frankish castle rebuilt during the 18th century by the Turks.

There have been fortresses on this site since Myceneaean times.

The Turks abandoned the castle after a massacre by a Maniot clan in retribution for the arrest and execution by the Turks of their chief.

Though a bit of a steep climb up, the views of both Githion and Vathy Bays are worth it.

The fortress has a nearby twin named Kelefa. The latter has become quite dominated by tourists. Ayeranos has some tower houses, and from there are dirt roads, one of which leads to Skoutari which has a decent beach below it and some Roman remains. Karyoupoli also has a tower house.

The landscape remains fertile after you leave Passava and head towards Areopoli until Mt Kouskouni.

Areopoli, on the peninsula's west coast is the center of the region of the Inner Mani since the modern road made it so, though in earlier times it was more of a gateway.

It's name, which comes from Ares, god of war, was given it due to its having been the place where the Maniot uprising during the War of Independence was declared by Mavromikhalis (black-michael), whose family church was the church of Aghios Ioannis. This church has frescoes in the 'naïve style.

This large village is typically Maniot, with tradesmen's workshops, a bakery, churches and tower houses, the latter with a medieval appearance, but built during the early 19th century.

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