The Mansion of Herod Atticus is one of the most important and most impressive monuments in Arcadia. It is situated in Eva, in Doliana, an ancient town of Kynouria, which has been completely lost, but for a few samples of habitation. The mansion’s location was already known from the 19th century, however it was identified with certainty in 1906 by archaeologist Constantine Romeos.
Herod Atticus, orator, philosopher and politician from a wealthy family, was also a fanatical collector of works of art. From his father he inherited a small mansion in Eva, which he decided to expand and to house his vast collection there, turning it into a sort of luxury museum. The mansion takes up approximately 20,000 m2 and includes a villa, a sanctuary, baths and a large atrium with galleries. The most impressive of all, however, are the mosaic floors; the total expanse of those discovered so far exceeds 1,300 m2. As the excavations and the research continue, it is very possible that others will come to light as well.
Unfortunately, before the regular excavations, a great part of the mansion’s treasures was destroyed due to ignorance, a fate which has befallen a great percentage of our cultural heritage.
Herodes Atticus (103-179 AD) was one of the most significant personalities of the Roman era in Greece. He was born into a rich family, which gave him the freedom to cultivate a multitude of interests and talents: he became an orator, philosopher and politician, while at the same time a prominent art collector, creating one of the most admirable collections of his time with rare and noteworthy works. From his father, Atticus, he inherited a small villa in Eva, Doliana, an ancient city of Kynouria situated close to the Loukous Monastery. Only few remnants of this city survive today. When Herodes completed his studies in Rome and Athens, he moved into this villa, impressed by the region’s rich history. It was the right place to house his rich collection, creating in this way a type of museum for ancient art, which was quite impressive in terms of its quality.
The location of the villa was known back in the 19th century, when English traveller William Martin Leake pointed it out. In the middle of the century, the area was visited by Ernst Gurtius, who noted that the ruins did not belong to some settlement, but to a villa. Archaeological findings were already bountiful in the area; according to the testimony of the monks of the adjacent Loukous Monastery, they would continually uncover antiquities while cultivating their land. The villa was identified in 1906 by Konstantinos Romaios, while systematic excavations started in 1979 by Theodoros Spyropoulos and continue to this day. The findings that have come to light are kept at the Archaeological Museums of Tripoli and Astros.
The Villa of Herodes Atticus covered a large area of 20,000 square metres, the largest villa in the Greek territory, following the Roman architecture style. It included a mansion, an atrium with galleries, a bath complex and a sanctuary. The archaeological findings that have come to light in fact verify the stories that this villa was a true museum. A number of sculptures, inscriptions and architectural parts have been revealed, most impressive of all, however, being the mosaic floors in various areas of the villa, with decoration, scenes and colours of high art. Currently, a large part of these mosaics has been uncovered, and future excavations are anticipated to reveal much more.
The villa unfortunately sustained repeated damage over the centuries, either owing to natural factors, or to raids and barbaric attacks, or even worse, to human indifference. The period of systematic excavations thankfully put an end to the lawless activities taking place in the region. Now it only remains for the villa to reveal its untold treasures lying hidden deep inside the earth.
Parnonas also known as “Malevos” is the mountain range which divides two large counties of Peloponnese, Arcadia and Laconia. The highest peak of Parnonas is called “Megali Tourla” also known as “Kronio” and has 1936 meters altitude. The mountain ends in Laconia at the Cape Maleas, south of Peloponnese. The natural beauty of the mountain and the traditional villages attract many travelers... read more
Peloponnese’s longest river (111km long) has its source in Arcadia and its mouth in the Prefecture of Elis. According to mythology, Apheus was one of the river-gods of antiquity, worshiped mainly in the regions of Arcadia, Elis and Messinia. Son of Oceanus and Tethys, he killed his brother Cercaphus and haunted by the Erinyes, he leapt into the river which was later named after him. Source: www.mythicalpeloponnese.gr [vc_row][vc_column][ivi_nbcaj... read more
The Gorge of Lepida
The gorge of Lepida is one of the numerous, impressive natural formations of Mount Parnon, which stands between the prefectures of Arcadia and Laconia. Its length is 500 metres and it is relatively flat. Two hours are required to cross it, during which visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy the unique natural beauty of the landscape, which is filled with rich flora and fauna and boasts two gorgeous... read more
A great way to discover a new place is actually on two wheels. Arcadia, with its stunning nature, does offer visitors this unique opportunity. The changes in the landscape, the lush vegetation, the dense forests and the hidden traditional settlements are only few of the natural attractions a visitor can enjoy with just a bike and the desire for exploration. Around the city of Tripolis, as well as in the Arcadian... read more
The Ski Center in Mainalo
The Mainalo ski center is situated in the location Ostrakina of the homonymous mountain, approximately 30 kilometres from Tripolis and 162 kilometres from Athens. The roads and consequently the access to the ski centre are easy, making it a very popular destination. It isn’t one of the biggest ski centres; however, it is ideal for families with children, since the mountain is not steep and is perfect... read more
The Monastery of Eloni and the Gorge of Leonidio
The Monastery of Eloni is a pretty old convent in the prefecture of Arcadia, built in the steep slope of Mount Parnon, at an altitude of 650 metres and about 17 kilometres from the town of Leonidio. Due to its exceptional natural beauty, the area around the monastery has been declared as a protected zone and it’s included in the European Network Natura 2000 under the code GR2520005. It has a long... read more