A general view of Vordonia

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HISTORY 

 

The name Vordonia was given to the village from the fact that at the older years residents had farms where they were bringing up folks of "vodia" (cows).  It is located at the northwestern foot of Taygetus, where a historical castle is located and even today there are saved on it many historical landscapes.  Such we can call the ruins where our ancestors lived during the years of the Turkish Rule in order to be safe. 

 

Our ancestors had built a reservoir out of "Korasani" (a mix of mud suitable for building), where they collected the waters from the rain for their water supply needs, because they didn't have any springs at the time on that historical landscape.  The reservoir was reserved until the years of the Turkish rule but at the last decades it's traces disappeared because the community of the village didn't do anything to maintain it.

 

A neighborhood of the village

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Another traditional historical landscape is a cage at the north horizon of the castle where the notable people and elders used to live and for that reason all the area around the cave was named "Gerontes" (elders).  That castle was the base point of attack for "kleftes" (thieves) and "amartoloi" (sinners), against our Conqueror, the Turks.  Vordonia was praised for the bravery and heroism of the chieftain, of "kleftes" (thieves) of Laconia - Papakalomoiris - who fought and died historically at the battle of Korinthos against the army of "Dramalis".  Although history doesn't mention him, his offering to the battle was very important.

 

The settlement of Orahos

The settlement of Orahos from Soulina

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Vordonia is made up of the neighborhoods of : Mahalades, Kambo and Noraho (Orahos) that are located in a small plainfield and Panohora, Soulina, Papadianika and Lopesi perched on the surrounding heights.  Panohora is almost attached to Taygetus, at the root of a large pointed rock which from a distance seems like a pyramid.  The Frankish Fort of Vordonia that was destroyed as said  by Mohamed the Conqueror in 1460 used to be placed at the same rock.

 

ZOGRAFOS FAMILY'S MANOR HOUSE

 

The house of Panagiotis Zografos today

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The house of Panagiotis Zografos is located at the neighborhood of Orahos.  He used to be a popular painter who in a unique way represented the recollections and thoughts of Makrigianni, (a politician and army general, fighter during the revolution of 1821).  He was born around 1800.  We are not aware of the first surname the family of "Zografoi" had, not even if they are locals.  What we do know is that they were part of the first families of Vordonia and that they got their surname from their art ("zografoi" = painters) and the long progress they had at it.  We learn about their origin by a phrase stated by "Makrigiannis".  We don't know much information about the house of Panagiotis Zografos although the efforts of the re-searchers, because it was renovated by the new owners.

 

The church of the Presentation of Christ

 

The church of the Presentation of Christ 

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The church of the Presentation of Christ is built at the centre of the neighborhood of Orahos.  It's entrance is adorned with marble carvings, brought from Mystras at the older years.  The wooden icon screen inside the church is compromised of eighteen (18) icons.  These icons are a creation of the priest an icon artist Aristidis Zografos.  At the church there used to be an altar - cloth (a piece of cloth used for the performance of the Holy Liturgy when an altar didn't exist) with sacred representations created by Panagiotis Zografos.  Unfortunately the altar - cloth vanished.

 

The Church of Agios Spiridonas

 

The church of Agios Spiridonas at the settlement of Soulina

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The Church of Agios Spiridonas is located in the north part of the village at the neighborhood of Soulina, situated a few metres away of the house of Linardakis.  Constructed at the late 19th century.  The icon screen of the church is decorated by icons that according to their technique remind us the one of Panagiotis Zografos and are of great sentimental value.  From a brief visit at the church, someone can notice the obvious marks of abandonment so if the residents won't show an immediate sensitivity about this matter the church is threatened of ruinal.

 

Panagiotis Linardakis photo

The house of Panagiotis Linardakis

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The manor house of Panagiotis Linardakis is located at the neighborhood of Soulina.  The manor is three (3) stories high, built of stones with wooden balconies.  It's characteristic are the traditional arches, that give the visitor the sense of wealth and revival of the past.  The house is estimated by historians to be around 200 years old.  Inside of it are traditional objects of great cultural value, such as the dining room that has the shape of four lions engraved at it's base.

 

The inner side of P.Linardakis house

Argaleios from the house of P.Linardakis

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There are also house appliances such as "tetzeris", flasks and "argaleios" (photo 13) along with the paintings made by Iakovidis, which are of great value.  Many of these objects have been stolen.  During the years of the Civil War the house was a shelter for the soldiers.  At that time a bloody fight happened just outside of the house, at the public square of the village where the soldiers killed two rebels.  The first owner of the house Panagiotis Linardakis, was one of the most privileged man of Vordonia and the areas surrounding it.  He owned large rural areas with olive trees and he placed the olive oil he collected into a big egg-shaped reservoir which is at the manor.  At the same time he commerced cocoon.  Panagiotis Linardakis, grandson of the first owner of the house was the Olympic rifle-shooting champion in 1952.  The weapons he owned still exist and are of great value.  His dream to convert a room of the house into a museum where he would place trophies and medals from his competitions never came. 

 

The Frankish Fountain

 

The Frankish Fountain

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The Frankish Fountain (photo 14&15) is located at the neighborhood of Soulina below the manor of Linardakis.  It is a stone fountain with three (3) taps from which crystal water gushes.  During the time of the civil war the soldiers killed two rebels in front of it.

 

The church of the Assumption (Virgin Mary)

 

The church of the Virgin Mary in Soulina

The icon screen of the church

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The church is located at a height just above the neighborhood of Kambos.  It was built in 1826 by parishioners of Vordonia.  The icons that existed are quite valuable and most of them are painted by Panagioti Zografo, though today they are missing.  The wooden icon screen is created with elegance and refinement.  The temple was renovated in 1989.

 

The church of Agios Konstantinos and Eleni

 

The church is estimated to be built between the years 1857 - 1877.  It had significant icons and wall paintings.  In 1930 it collapsed and the only thing that was saved were some icons which were moved and are now kept at the church of the Transfiguration of Christ.  Today, at the location called "Kiribey", only the ruins remain at the destroyed church.

 

Kopanitsa's house and mill

 

Kopanitsa's house in Soulina

Kopanitsa's mill

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Kopanitsas was one of the most privileged people of his time.  He was the older of the village at the years of the Turkish rule.  That was the reason why he owned a large property, which he gained by the time Turks left from the area.  His house is dated from the time of the Turkish rule long before the house of Panagioti Linardaki, the other privileged man of the village, was constructed.  It was made from stone and is in a position where you can have a great view of all the fields.  From a tour of the house we can see traces of the old mill used to grind wheat for flour, also the cloth washing spring where women used to wash the coarse blankets to get them fluffy.

 

The church of Agios Dimitrios

 

The church of Agios Dimitrios located at Panohora 

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The church of Agios Dimitrios was originally located below the Frankish Fort.  It was built in 1712.  During the Turkish rule, it was a warrior's hideout.  It had great icons and wall paintings.  The icons were handmade from the year 1700.  It used to be a cemetery of the greek warriors whose bones where kept in an ossuary near the church.  This church is the oldest of all the churches of the village.  In 1870 it was destroyed and the murals were lost.  Luckily the icons were saved and were initially kept at the central church of "Panohora".  In 1972 by decision of Giorgos Tsene and the area's inhabitants, the church was rebuilt in another  location north of Agios Georgios and icons from the old church were moved there.  Today the old church is located ruined under the shadow of two trees. 

 

The church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Stavrouli)

 

The church of the Holy cross

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It was built according to tradition between 1825 and 1827, on the top of the hill near the mountain.  The icons date to 1780 - 1790 and most of them are embroided by hand and then glued on wood.  Next to the church there is a cross, embedded in - to a tree trunk.  According to tradition the residents of the area placed it there when the tree was hit by lightning and split in two.  As the older residents of the village state someone took the cross out of it's place and tried to take it.  On the road the cross became a monster that scared the trooper and made him put it back to it's place.

 

The Frankish Fort

 

The Frankish Fort

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The fort is built during the period of the domination by the Franks, owned the same time with the castle of Mystras.  It was a shelter for the Greeks against the invasions by the Turks.  The Mystras and Vordonia forts were in constant communication and often organized uprisings against the Turks.  It is located at a notable but hard to reach place.

 

The first thing we meet on our way up to the castle is the church of Agios Dimitrios which used to be the cemetery.  During our way up we came across multiple paths that all lead to the castle and can easily confuse the climber.  Reaching the castle we see the apparent marks of abandonment.  The only thing we can recognize are the abandoned embrasures that remain intact at the passage of time, to remind us of the glory of those years.  As said before, behind the castle was an area called "Gerontes" (elders) where according to tradition was the court of the time. 

 

The church of Agios Ioannis (St. John)

 

Above Vordonia, at the top of the mountain is built the church of "Agios Ioannis".  At the church used to exist an icon painted in a stone by Panagiotis Zografos but today is missing.

 

The church of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary

 

The church of the Presentation 

The inner side of the church 

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This church is located in Panohora and is considered to be very old.  It was destroyed at an unknown time and was renovated back in 1911.  The style of the church is with a cross - shaped dome.  At the icon screen of the church are painted 20 icons.

 

POPULATION EVOLUTION

 

1940

1951

1961

1971

1981

1991

2001

831

881

683

543

474

420

393

 

 

Cultural Events :

 

The church of Agia Paraskeui

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On 26th July is the celebration of "Agia Paraskeui at the neighborhood of   Panohora ".

 

The old Primary School located at Soulina

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On the 6th August is the celebration of the Transfiguration of Christ, at  the neighborhood of "Papadianika".

 

As we look at Soulina from the side of Orahos 

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On the 2nd February is celebrated the Presentation of Christ.

 

 

 

HOMEPAGE