Stemnitsa is a mountainous village of Municipality of Gortyna, Arcadia. Built in Mainalon mountain at 1080 meters altitude is the highest village in Greece and is designated as a traditional settlement. The distance from Athens is 220 km and 45 km from Tripoli. Its population according to 2001 census is 412 residents.
The area is known since antiquity as Ipsous. According to legend, the ancient Ipsous built by Ypsountas, one of the fifty sons of Lycaon king of Arcadia. Reference is made to Ypsountas by Pausanias in his "Arcadia." It is unknown exactly when it was renamed Stemnitsa but allegedly was in the 7th century AD, after the colonization of areas by Slavs, as Stemnitsa means wooded and shady place in Slavic. Flourished during the Byzantine period, when it was known for ”the bells of Stmnitsa”.
In the revolution of 1821 played a leading role. It was the seat of Theodoros Kolokotronis. As a result of its role in national liberation, served as headquarters of the first Peloponnesian Senate and first informal capital of the rebellious Greek nation for a day-May 27, 1821 - the date on which took part in the First Peloponnesian Senate at the holy monastery of Chrysopigi in Stemnitsa. From Stemnitsa came Demetrius Sfikas, fighter of the Greek Revolution of 1821, who had taken part in the famous Battle of Skouleni (17 June 1821), a village in Romania today. Great historical importance have his "Memories" of the events of 1821 in Dacia.
Due to the difficult terrain of the area the people turned to trade and silverwork. In Stemnitsa there is also the High Technical school of silversmith.
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