Perched high up in the steep hills, halloed by the idyllic pine tree
forest of Agia Anni, Kranidi supervises from above the entire peninsula of Ermionis.
Located in a most charismatic position, in the midst of the peninsula's plains,
Kranidi today,- the capital of Ermionis- is built on the boundaries of the ancient
city of Masitos, which also included the area of today's Kilada as well as a section
of the near by community of Fourni.
Kranidi acquires its recent name in the beginning of the 16th century, but it has been inhabited since the 13th, when the Byzantine emperor Andronikos II allotted the area to Theodoros Nomikopoulos. Its name is possibly credited to another version of the word Koronida which was the name of the small islet of Kilada.
With its permanent residents occupying themselves with agriculture and cattle breeding but also with commerce and shipping, Kranidi started to develop around the chapel of Agios Ioannis - the Metropolis of Kranidi today- and reached a great economic peak which allowed it to have a leading role in Greece's effort to overthrow the Turks and win back its independence. Kranidi took part in the revolution with a part of its fleet, soldiers and material goods needed. It is the birthplace of the great monk and fighter of 1821's revolution Paparsenis Krestas who, as the leader of the battalion of Kranidi participated in the battle and freed Palamidi. During the civil war in 1823, Kranidi will become the seat of the Executing Committee for a few months.
After the revolution and until the beginning of the 20th century, Kranidi owned a large commercial fleet. But the weakness of its people to respond to the challenges of the time and to replace their boats with steam -driven ones, led commercial activities to a deadlock.
Irrefutable proof of its economic flourishing is the traditional and characterized as preservable settlement with its impressive mansions resembling- not by coincidence- those of Spetses. The sweet-smelling yards, the freshly painted walls and fountains, the rooms and old balconies, all create a unique sensation. The characteristic buildings of the local architectural style like the Town Hall and the Library, the five big churches of the 19th century- the most important one being the Metropolis of Agios Ioannis- the Well of Pyrgos, the three fully restored windmills and the traditional oilmills, make you feel as if you have traveled back in time. Wherever you look, you will see small white chapels embracing the city. One is located at the top of Agia Anna's hill offering a great, panoramic view and the chapels of Agios Ioannis Theologos at Artiki and of prophet Eliseos are also worth seeing. The most important one of all though is the Byzantine chapel of Agia Triada in the area of Pikrodafni. It was built in 1224 by "lord" Michael Mourmoura deputy of the Franks in the area. The church has the shape of a cross and its saddled roof valuable murals have survived until today.
This text is cited Oct 2002 from the WebSite of the Prefecture of Argolis
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