Religious Monuments

Church of St. Nicholas, Platsa

agiosnikolaos-platsa_smThe Church of St. Nicholas now has the form basilica with a dome without splint (but preserved traces of the west side). The three aisles ending in three semi-circular arches on the eastern side and covered by round arches. The dome is octagonal and has four windows and four niches, currently clogged than one socket. The appearance of the church is heavy and austere exterior.

The masonry consists of massive, chiseled, greyish limestone from the nearby quarry in the north and the south aisle but has undergone repairs from a height and on. Strict impression due not only to lack of exposure and the absence of ceramic decoration, which is limited to a simple dentil crowning three niches and the gable of the east side.

The architecture of St. Nicholas has many important archaic elements that led to be dated to the 10th century, and even likened the megalithic monuments of Mani, but newer surveys rank him in the monuments of the 12th century. Inside, interesting presents a big lettered verse inscription painted on a horizontal band in the central aisle. Its content is roughly as follows: «The church was unknown which saint it was dedicated, it was built 200 years ago since the renovator who was Constantinos Spanis the tzaousis of Drongos of Meligkon ie military commander mountain area of ​​Taygetos, along with his wife the tzaousina Maria. Spanos dedicates church in Christ and in return asks relief from his mistakes. »
The date of creation of the world 6846 the renovation between 1337/1338.

The family of rare, as indicated by the sources, is the most famous among Meligkous, Slavic tribe that had settled in Taygetos from the 9th century. Two other inscriptions are preserved in the south aisle (the first in the apse bears the date 1343/1344 and the second above the western entrance to the year 1348/1349) show that required a long time to complete the decoration of the south aisle, which is dedicated to Saint Nicholas and the wall painting, contributed financially many persons, priests, monks and laymen as Demetrius Skarztiotis. Small part inscription is barely visible in the arch of the north aisle is dedicated to the Virgin.

The church retains almost its entire painted decoration in the center and south aisle, but in the northern missing at least half murals. In the nave dominates the apse the Prayer, which is the most spectacular show around the temple and a singularity in the iconographic program as shown in place of the Virgin Mary. Christ, form primitive appearance removed from the ideal of classical beauty, while the figure of John the Baptist with long, unruly hair reflects a more genteel tradition and the Virgin with coarse features removed from the standard Byzantine type. In the south aisle of the 15 scenes that illustrate in detail the life of St. Nicholas of great interest to the art of the era.
The high level of painting temple of Mani and especially the presence of several classical data supports the hypothesis that the painters had come from Mistra. Remarkable is the sculptural decoration of the iconostasis of the three aisles. The motifs-limniskoi, sirikoi wheels, buttons and stylized animals are characteristic of the Middle Byzantine era. Particular anakamptomeno acanthus leaf emerging from «tile» is a matter occurring very often in sculptures of Mani. Complex colonnettes with double loose knot right and left of the Royal Doors help dated sculptures of the temple, which are spolia, in the late 12th century.

Church of Transfiguration, Nomitsi
The small church of the Transfiguration located in the village of Nomitsi. It belongs to the type of simple cruciform church with a dome and is dated to the last quarter of the 11th century, making it one of the oldest Byzantine churches in the area. Today it serves as a funerary temple of the settlement. First to describe the monument were the scholars Traquair early century o Megaw in 1932-1933, while systematic study presented by Professor Nicholas Drandakis 1985. As a whole retains its original form, without missing arbitrary interventions, mainly in western and southern side.

The temple is known for the elegance of its construction, the rich and original sculpture and ceramic decoration, interesting frescoes. Drive south ends in a three-sided apse and two semicircular niches parabemata, while the octagonal dome belongs to the type of so-called»» Athenian. It is built in cloisonné masonry with limestone sporadically marmarolithous and pieces of brick in single or double row without extreme care. The few windows are double-light, framed by brick arches, as are brick and jagged peaks under the roofs. Features are ceramic decorative facades of such letters, diamond tiles, bottlenecks used and sections by carved. In combination with the absence krepis, stone cornices or frames on windows, reinforced the dating of the temple in the last two decades of the 11th century.

The frescoes inside are two phases. From the oldest mural, about the same time with the construction of the church, not preserved many elements. The newest phase dating to the mid 16th century, a time when few specimens found in painting. On the west wall above the door, partly ruined inscription commemorates the restoration of the church by local families. The imagery includes scenes from the Twelve and individual saints. Important for their thematic sculptures are suffixes of the columns supporting the dome, dated to the 11th century, where besides the usual patterns of the cross and acanthus rendered scenes inspired by legends, hunting scenes and animals fighting. The marble temple of the 12th century, with the end petalomorfi the Beautiful Gate is an indication of originality in the art of local marble.

Based on the information architecture of the monument is part of a group of temples dating from the same period, as is Saint Theodore the daddy and the Commander Charoudas in East Mani, who although they do not share the same type, distinguished himself rich ceramic decoration. However, directly associated with St. Demetrius in place two wells of Platsa, which presents resemblance to the sculptures. The original subjects of impost located in Agios Nikolaos thanks to East Mani, while very rare for Greece is petalomorfo bow marble screen. The frescoes of the second layer are reminiscent stylistically not very far apart, the décor, the newest church of St. Theodore or Dormition of the Virgin in the neighboring village of Proastiou and late phase in the painting of St. Nicholas in Kampinari.

The Church of the Transfiguration is an excellent example of a Byzantine church as a whole, which enriches our knowledge of the local medieval architecture, sculpture and painting, while illuminating history of the region and especially the settlement Nomitsi, and reduces its inception in an early age.

Agia Paraskevi, Doloi
Agia Paraskevi, built in the style of the free cross, located at deceit and acted as one of the first underground schools. Particularly elaborate the west and east sides and the drum of the dome decorated with recessed panels. The church’s interior is richly decorated with frescoes of the workshop of the painter Panagiotis Benizelou and executed according to an inscription of 1698. In wall-set recognizes no least two different painters who worked simultaneously. The two craftsmen coexist and confront clarity, each with its own characteristics and its own style, the representation of Deisis the iconostasis, the absence left part has executed the first and most skillful painter and certainly led the workshop and on the right the helping. The painting of Agia Paraskevi is an indicative set of painting both the prevailing trends in the post-Byzantine painting ace and the way you work and organizes workshops.

Agios Spyridon Kardamili

agios-spiridonas-kardamili_smIntegrated into the fort complex Mourtzinos Troupaki, which also is part of the fortification is the church of St. Spyridon imposed throughout the whole with the impressive high-rise tower and exquisite reliefs. Single-arch domed Basilica, built on the south side and the dome in ashlar using as building materials mainly limestone and marble stone, while other aspects are built from agrolithodomi. The frames of the openings are adorned with sculptures of exquisite art, some of which date back to Byzantine times and are in second use. Saint Spyridon along with the rest of the buildings – the Tower of Troupaki, a mezzanine floor, the mill etc. – Is an impressive set, which detects no witnesses of the organization of everyday life of a small, closed society of 17th-18th century defensive organization which however contain a few foreign influences.

Church of St. Theodore, Campos

agioi-theodoroi-kampos_smIn the village of Campos, on the main road, stands the Byzantine church of St. Theodore, preserved in very good condition. In the church of St. Theodore’s ancient inscription of the 5th century and later other relics.

It was built in 12th AD century and the same technical and season with the Byzantine church of the Holy Apostles Kalamata. It is decorated with Byzantine frescoes and icons and restored in 1968.

Church of the Archangels, Tseria
In Tseria find the church of the Archangels, built in 1836, with its splendid tower, which was built by Panagiotis Karamaneas in 1844 and carved iconostasis.

Saint Peter, Kastania

agios-petros-kastania_smIn the northern part of the village Kastania, on a little rock, we find the church of St. Peter. It’s a simple temple with four columns later narthex and an even newer, high-rise, bell, bell tower. The facades of the building constructed in the feature cloisonné, while special interest is the sculptural decoration of the temple.

Remarkable is the bejewel, rectangle, embossed, marble door frame connecting the narthex to the church, which is crowned by a marble plaque, which bears the deer, between two birds, torn griffin. The church can occupy a place among the monuments of the 12th century, compared with similar dated precisely from the region of Mani. The temple inside walls are covered with 13th century frescoes.

Church of St. Nicholas, Sotirianika
The church of St Nicholas was built in the Byzantine era, around the 17th century. The interior is decorated with beautiful frescoes, which unfortunately have been worn by the passage of time. The north wall depicts the Second Coming, while the opposite is depicted Garden of Eden and the Crucifixion of St. Demetrios and George. Around the church are ruins, among them an arch, which is speculated to be part of another church in the Late Medieval Period.

Church of Agia Kyriaki Sotirianika
The church of Agia Kyriaki was built in the late 13th – early 14th century. Restored by the 5th Department of Byzantine Antiquities and of great archaeological interest. The facades are simple with simple ceramic decoration. The interior is decorated with exquisite frescoes. The most important is the one that depicts three soldiers Saints – Saint George, St. Demetrius and St. Theodore – pedestrians, a rare feature for churches of Mani, where they are usually mounted.

Church of the Assumption, Megali Mantinea
The Church of the Assumption, is classified as a historical monument by the Ministry of Culture. Compacted cross with an octagonal dome. On the west side rises pyrgomorfo spire, while arched niche grows above the entrance door. The drum of the dome consists of shallow blind niches, resulting in double curvature arcs with lighting lockers. On the south side of the monument, attached newer outbuilding. Inside, preserved temple from the early 19th century carved and painted decorations almost intact. The church was built around the mid-18th century, according to the 1750 date that stands built on the west side.

Monastery of Prophet Elias, Kentro
Located in North Settlement and has been designated as a historical monument, with a surrounding area protection radius 15metron, the boundaries of the precinct. It ruined – today – the catholic monastery belongs to the type of barrel-vaulted, domed, single chamber vasilikis.Sto inside the temple saves relics painted decoration, which is folk art of the 18th century. The wooden iconostasis bearing architrave inscription dated 1774.

Church of St. Nicholas, Exohori
Is classified as a historical monument because it has a built screen and a built altar, covered by a portion ancient inscribed marble slab and frescoes in the apse, the iconostasis, dating no sign of the intention in 1709.

Church of St. Basil, Thalames
It is classified as an Ancient Monument with a surrounding area of ​​50 meters around him. It is a cross Byzantine church with spoon – outdoor – apse sanctuary and dome Athenian type. On the western side is attached one room, vaulted, road building covered with a pitched roof. The temple has two phases frescoes. The first is the 13th century and the second the years of Ottoman rule.

Church of St. Constantine, Thalames
Characterized as a historical monument, with a surrounding area 50m around him. This is one room, domed church with semi-hexagonal apse exterior and gabled roof. Walls are covered with Byzantine frescoes popular style. Above the door on the western wall there octave dedicatory inscription, which mentions the date 1699.

Church of Prophet Elias, Thalames
It has been declared an Ancient Monument because it is cross-shaped domed temple, rare typological variation. The church today is a cemetery while older was – probably – Catholic monastery. Inside are frescoes, which according to the stylistic characteristics dating back to the 13th century.

Church Assumption of Mary, Platsa
Featured Historical Monument, with protection zone of 30 meters around him. It is a cruciform church of large dimensions. According to the inscription, the temple is built in 1835 and was restored in the late 19th century. On the facades of the temple have sculptures walled spolia (parapets, cornices, architraves sections), which date back to the 12th century.

Church of Prophet Elias, Platsa
Featured Historical Monument, with protection zone of 30 meters around him. This one-bedroom, stone, tiled temple and the murals that can be dated in the 18th century. Of particular interest is the church floor, which adorn plaques with stylized folk-inspired themes.

Church of Constantine and Helen, Proastio
It has been declared an Ancient Monument, with 10m protection zone around the grounds of the church. The temple is open plan with vaulted stone built and tiled roof. The temple can be dated to the 13th-14th century and is full of Byzantine frescoes folk art.

Church of Agios Spyridon and Saint Basil, Proastio
Featured Historical Monument, with a surrounding area of 20 meters around him. This free running twin temple, whose two aisles covered with a single roof. The north aisle is dedicated to St. Basil and retains its original housing with barrel-vault. The south aisle is dedicated to Saint Spyridon. According to the inscription over the door on the west wall of St. Spyridon, as well as an inscription on the south wall of St. Basil, the temple was built and decorated in 1753-1754. The paintings, folk style, is the work of Reader Dimangelaki from Koutifari.

Monastery «Virgin Androumpevitsis», Campos
The monastery is located in Campos Androumpevitsis Abia, near the public road from Kalamata to Areopolis Githeio. It was built during the period between 12th to 13th century and was the seat of the hierarchs Zarnata.

In 1790 the monastery endure afflictions during the revolution of Mani led Orlov brothers, sent from Moscow by Catherine the Great in its fight against the Turks, rulers of the region from 1715 to 1821. In previous years, the monastery and the area was under the rule of the Venetians (1687-1715) and again earlier in the Turks and formerly under the Franks, who came early XIII century, after the conquest of Constantinople by the Crusaders ( 1204). After the unfortunate revolution Orlov, the monastery was abandoned and seems deserted.

At Free Greece, Moni held for the centennial historical Tzanetaki family, that received the estates of the abandoned monastery and the nearby castle Zarnata.

The church, however, the youngest of the Abbey (1704) was left standing, and the oldest (IB-XIII centuries). Semi-deserted, which was restored by the Archaeological Service of Sparta, during the decade of 1970. Then made systematic efforts to renovate the cells, auxiliary and other areas of the quadrangle building complex of the monastery, and in 1978 re-established by Presidential Decree and functioned as Nunnery, becoming since then cultural center of the region.

Then cleaned images and frescoes of the monastery, which was officially declared a preserved archaeological site.
The monastery belongs administratively to the Prefecture of Messinia Ecclesiasticall, however, belongs to the Bishopric of Mani.

Sources: http://odysseus.culture.gr/h/2/gh20.jsp, www.im-manis.gr, http://listedmonuments.culture.gr/