IREA (Municipality) ARCADIA
Twenty seven villages and communities constitute the Municipality of Irea with the districts of Agios Ioanis, Arahova, Kakoureika, Kokinorahi, Kokoras, Liodora, Lutra of Irea and Likouresi, Lisarea, Ochthia, Paluba, which is the administrative centre, Pirris, Rafti, Sarakini of Irea, Servo, Chrisohori and Psari. The Municipality is seated in the Prefecture of Arcadia, and holds and area of 144082 square meters. Population: 3059 citizens (according to the 2001 cesnus).
The village of Palouba, the seat of the municipality, is the starting point for tours around the other villages, while visitors may seize the opportunity of tasting traditional foods and relishes at its coffeehouses and restaurants. The road to Zatuna and Dimitsana passes through the picturesque large village of Rafti, where there is a traditional hostel and three restaurants still in operation, while the picturesque country church of Taxiarhes (Archangels) attracts our attention. Agalo is situated close the Rafti, with its picturesque stone-built houses and its high quality dairy products. Three km away from Raftis there is Arachova, where the picturesque villages of Kokoras and Kakoureirka, the church of Agiow Athanasios of Christianoupoli, the "Cave of Lagaftis" and the remains of Aga's Tower House are unfolded before our eyes down the valley of Irea. The village of Palouba is the starting point of a marvelous route to the village of Sarakini, where a visit to the community office with the excellent folk collection, is worthwhile.
In close proximity to Sarakini there is Lisarea; one road from there leads to Ochthia, a village with a lovely view, while the other one lead to Kokinorahi. Moving on from Ochthia, we pass through Liodora, where it's worth having a rest enjoying the traditional raki. One of the major villages of the Municipality of Irea is the one of Servo; it is amphitheatrically built, surrounded by lush vegetation, with many interesting folk heirlooms. The church of Zoodochos Pigi (lifi-giving spring), the church of the Panagia (Virgin Mary), "tou papa to lithari" ("the stone of the priest") next to the church of Agia Paraskevi (St Paraskevi), "o Soros tis Grias" ("the corpse of the old woman") with the ancient tomb and the house of the chieftain Daras in the village are all of special interest; coffee-shops and taverns are open throughout the year.
From Servos, the road leads to Likouresi and Psari, two picturesque villages ideal for tranquil walks. Moving on from Servos, we meet the marvelous canyon of Gura coming down to the village of Kokinorahi (red slope). One of the main characteristics of the municipality of Irea is its exquisite mineral water springs situated in the village of Lutra Ireas (Spas of Irea) and consisting of twenty luxurious cabins and bathtubs; they are considered to be the best in Greece marked out for their healing properties (tel. 0970 25000). Inside the village there are coffee-shops and taverns that are opened throughout the year.
Moving on from the Spas of Irea, the road leads to the villages of Loti and Agios Ioannis. The ancient Irea was once situated in this area, whose remains are nowadays scattered all over. All the villages of the Municipality of Irea offer a unique opportunity of experiencing splendid moments of beauty; also the visitor should by no means fail to taste their wine and local raki, their cheeses and frumenty, all of which are traditional products of the Municipality.
This text is cited Feb 2003 from the Municipality of Irea URL below, which contains image.
LAGADIA (Village) LAGADIA
Lagadia is a very picturesque Arcadia n town. Situated on a mountainous august landscape with fresh water springs, it offers an imposing sight to every visitor. The two and three storey stone houses that are amphitheatrically built on a steep slope create the impression of a stone-built work of art. Furthermore, it is the fatherland of Delegianneon and other chieftains and veterans of the 1821 revolution.
Lagadia is the homeland of skilled craftsmen and artisans who had an excellent knowledge of the art of stone and for generations built houses, churches and schools all over Arcadia, Messinia and the rest of Greece. In this way their reputation was spread everywhere. A strong proof of their talent and fame is the view of the village houses. It is said (Balafouti, "Workmen: Lagadiani") that the tradition of Lagadian stone-artisans dates back to villager-workmen coming mainly from Laggadia. The villager-workmen had gone away to Italy after the victory of Byzantium but years later they returned and settled in Akovo , which is located near Vyziki . At around 1210 a villager-workman who had the position of secretary, stole plans from the Frankish castle of Akovo that belonged to the architects. Since then, Laggadian people preserve and carry on the tradition in architecture. In addition, they passed on their artistry to other capable continuers as the workmen of Kosma Kynourias.
Laggadia is built on a steep canyon on an altitude of 900 meters. The houses that are amphitheatrically built on the slope are facing the ravine. Due to the slope, many of those are designed to have one storey at the one side of the road and three at the other. The Central Square of the village stands on the edge of a deep ravine rich in walnut trees, plane trees and fresh water streams. At this point Thoa canyon begins and stretches crossing a big part of Gortynia and eventually ending up at river Ladona. Laggadia is also known for its developed local weaving mill handicraft. The upper part of the village, Pano Geitonia, apart from having a magnificent view, is unique in picturesqueness. The most important sights are the house of Deligiannis, and the old historic churches of "Agion Taxiarhon" (1805) and "Agion Apostolon" (1845) that are characterized by their peculiar belfries. Especially at the front of Taxiarhon church, one will notice the stone-made artistic belfry, which is equipped with a clock. Some other remarkable stone-made structures are the Gymnasium and many elegant fountains that decorate the village.
To get to Lagadia one must go through Vytina . This road continues towards Ilia passing through Olympia. An interesting route is the one that leads to Tropea and Byziki.
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