Traditional Mountain Villages

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katikia.jpgThe villages are built on hills, slopes and plateaus near running water. At the highest point, usually the church is built and next to it a fountain. The traditional house consists of a ground floor and an upper floor. The cellar is used for storing goods and for keeping animals and the upper floor is the main home. Entering the house is the upper floor with external staircase.

The mountain colonization began in 1600, when cities and plains are deserted due to economic crisis and the cruel Ottoman taxation. The first colonizations were driven for safety and


 protection reasons. The settlements flourished between 1770-1814. The growth continued after

 the liberation, especially between 1840-1880, where the best preserved houses, mansions,

 churches, bridges and fountains, are dated. Also during the same period we find many pre-industrial buildings such as mills etc. By the end of the nineteenth century the abandonment begins while the lowland colonization prevails.


Traditional villages are between Panachaikon and Erymanthos and on steep slopes, near Peiros river, in "Nezerochoria» of Farrai municipality, vilages Kataraktis, Kalanistra, Rodia, Kalanos, Platanos, Laccomata Chrysopigi and others. Villages exist in Halandritsa (mainly stone houses), Platanovrisi, Valmantoura, Elliniko, Kalousi and Koumani east of Erymanthos and Tritaia villages: Agia Varvara, Drosia, Alepoxori, Skiadas, Skoura, Velimachi and Kalentzi. Outstanding architecture can be found at Alepoxori which is made of stone and has been designated since 1976 as a traditional settlement.
However, most mountain villages with a traditional interest, are iin the area of Kalavrita. Throughout the mountains of Helmos numerous of settlements, with a minimum number of people, maintain their traditional character.
kerpinh.jpgOn the east side of the county, at the valley of the river Krathi, there are the "Mastorochoria" of Nonakridas or "Kloukinochoria". North of Kalavrita at Vouraikos valley, within the rare beauty of nature, is village Zachlorou at approximately the same location (always within the municipality of Kalavrita) you find villages Rogous, Kerpitni, Doumena and Skepasto.
South of Kalavrita stand the historical villages of Kertezi and Upper-Lower Lucoi (former Soudena) with excellent preserved settlements, while further south in areas of Kleitoria, Daphne and Psofida, where a dense network of rivers and tributaries cross, are the largest traditional villages in Achaia prefecture. "... On unseen plateaus or steep slopes ..." says Vasilis Christopoulos, "... in lush vegetation or on a dry rock, which often coexist, offering a wide variety of landscapes rich with rare natural beauty...". We mention, major historical villages in Sopoto (now Aroania), Daphne ... and finally Leivartzi and Lechouri ... Starting from the north "trail" of this region we find Armpouna, Planitero, built on a hill where the sources of Aroanios are, vilage Kastria, the magnificent Cave of the Lakes ....and others.


Continuing the "trail" of this beautiful region, further south, across the villages of the municipality Lefkasio, Filia, Lefkasio, Krinofyta, Likouria, Pangrati, where the historic "vine of Pausanias" is, and the villages of municipality of Paion, Skotani (Kokkova) and Amigdalia (Mamalouka). Also in the same municipality, which borders the prefecture of Arcadia, we meet three stone villages, characterized by presidential order as traditional, Paos (formerly "Skoupi"), Dechouni and Vesini, whose inhabitants were transferred and created the village of N. Paos and villages Nasia, Pefko and Hovoli. Finishing the "trail" we find in municipality of Aroania, villages Alestaina and Seires (formerly "Versitsi) with remarkable examples of traditional architecture. All are built by the famous craftsmen of Lagadino who where organized into groups since the Turkish occupation and travelled the villages and built.