Myths and legends wander in its paths that wrap its slopes with a mysterious aura. The highest mountain of Moria stands haughtily to remind everyone who is the king of southern mainland Greece. A title that rightfully belongs to him since it is the highest mountain range in the Peloponnese. Its peak has a height of 2,407 meters is called Prophet Elias and is the highest point of the Peloponnese, while its majesty covers an area of 2,500 square kilometers between Megalopolis, Evrota and Messinia. A feature of the mountain range is its five peaks (because of these it was called Pentadaktylos during the Byzantine times).
With coniferous forests, ravines, plane trees, crystal clear springs and a dense network of paths, the proud giant invites you to cross it to reveal its symbolism. To whisper to you the stories that are woven into its peaks and ravines. To reveal to you his secret passages and to travel you mentally through the centuries.
The imposing mountain mass, according to the ancient Greek tradition, took its name from the nymph Taygetis, daughter of Atlanta. Taygeti was a local deity of the mountain range and belonged to the Artemis goddess sequence. The myth has two variations. According to the first, Lacedaemon, who was born from the meeting of Zeus with Taygetus and was a hero of the region, gave the mountain the name of his mother. According to the second, Lacedaemon was Taygetus’ wife and their child was Evrotas, from whom the river that flows into Taygetos was baptized.
The majestic term is first mentioned in Rhapsody VII of Homer’s Odyssey, in verse 103.
In ancient times its highest peak was then called Taleton. Like all mountain peaks it was considered a sacred place because it was the closest point to the sun and people believed that it was the most suitable place to hear their prayers to God better.
If you wait until dawn, just before sunrise you will experience a miracle. The perfect shadow of the pyramid, as researchers call it, is a natural phenomenon that you can only see from the top of the mountain. The shadow of the mountain creates when the weather allows, in the morning, an equilateral triangle in the Messinian gulf. It is caused by the refraction of sunlight that is ready to beautify this place.
According to another legend, Lycurgus caused them to solve a riddle in exchange for the princess’s hand. The riddle asked the young people to find the time when the sun rises. The candidates climbed to the top of Taygetos but no one answered. All except the one who identified the time of sunrise with the time when the phenomenon of the pyramid occurs.
Costas Ouranis, a Greek poet, novelist and journalist, wrote about Taygetos: None of the mountains I saw in my life, from Mont Blanc with the eternal deceptive snows we were the wildest Spanish Sierra, never made the impression on me that I felt, that I accepted, I had to say, when from a high turn of the carriage road to Sparta I saw Taygetos in all its imposing height… »