Agios Ioannis (Agiannis) of Kynouria, was the capital of the Greek state in 1822 and offered many and important things in the revolution of 1821.
The historic Astros and Agios Ioannis (Agiannis) are a community.
It is a mountain village built at an altitude of 750 m., 17 km west of Astros. It is administratively subordinated to the community of Astros and the Municipality of North Kynouria. In 1845, the village became the seat of Kynouria Province. From 1834 to 1912, it was the summer capital of the Municipality of Thyrea. The first mention of the village is made in the Chronicle of the Fall of Constantinople by Georgios Sfratzis, in 1453.
Astros and Paralio Astros came from the village of Agios Ioannis, as well as other settlements. Agiannis is advertised for its beautiful mountain climate that renews and invigorates its inhabitants and visitors, has many natural beauties and is only half an hour away from Astros. The mountainous climate, as they typically said “not to be eaten by the plain”, was one of the reasons that the inhabitants were forced despite all the difficulties to have the upper and lower village, they needed both.
From the end of the 80’s, an intense construction activity began in Agiannis, which continues to this day, and mainly concerns the restoration of the old traditional houses. At the same time many new houses were built. Many visitors from all over Greece and Germany buy houses in Agianni. It has developed into the holiday village of Astros and especially in the summer it is a gathering place of the people of Agianni everywhere, but also of vacationers from all over Greece, in the sixties the friends of the village called Agianni “the little Paris”.
Dimitris Karytsiotis built the famous Karytsiotis school, the “university” in pre-revolutionary Greece in 1798 in Agiannis and the branch of the school in 1805 in Astros. His contribution to the Thyreatis Earth and the homeland is incalculable. Pre-revolutionary Greece had many small “hidden” and few open schools. One of the few obvious schools was the famous Karytsiotis School that was built in 1798, 23 years before the Greek revolution and this is of great importance. It was built on the hill Koutri of Agiannis Kynourias and was one of the few “universities” of our pre-revolutionary homeland and its students were from all over mainland Greece and our islands.
Our great benefactor Dimitrios Karytsiotis, a powerful Agiannitis patriot of the Diaspora, found a way to allow the 400-year-old Turkish conquerors to allow the acquisition and operation of the school in Agiannis and in the branch of the Karytsiotis school in Astros Kynourias, which opened in 1805.
The branch of the Karytsiotis school in Astros, has housed the Archaeological Museum of Astros since 1985.
The Karytsioti school played a catalytic role for the local community for many years and even today, since all the people of Agianni with great effort and with every sacrifice wanted their children to learn letters and as graduates “squids” to change their lives, according to the “smart” expectations of their great benefactor Dimitrios Karytsiotis.
General Panos Zafeiropoulos (Akouros).
The people of Agiannites offered many and important things to the Greek revolution of 1821 and the most important of all the people of Agiannites was General Panos Zafeiropoulos (Akouros). responsible for military security in time of war of the National Assembly in Astros., At the beginning of the revolution, under the leadership of Panos Zafeiropoulos, more than 100 inhabitants of Agiannis, participated in battles in Tripolitsa and throughout the Peloponnese. Also under the leadership of Georgakis Digenis, they participated in the battles of Doliana and Vervena.
The “government” of Agiannis
From the beginning in 1821, discussions began between the revolutionaries to make Agiannis the capital of the free Greek state. The Karytsioti school played a primary and decisive role in making Agiannis the capital of revolutionary Greece from August 20 to October 1, 1822. The “government” located very close to the Karytsiotis school of Agiannis was the seat of government. . This period is also confirmed by the Archives of Lazaros and Georgios Kountouriotis (vol. AD, p. 92 ff.).
In 1826 the village was completely destroyed by Ibrahim’s hordes with the same fate as other villages in the area. Ibrahim Pasha also destroyed many churches, such as Agios Vassilios, Agios Efstratios, Agios Petros, as well as the famous School of Karytsiotis. The founding inscription of the famous Karytsiotis School
From Arkades Esmen, Smaragdi Arvaniti
“At the entrance of the village there is the modern church of Agia Paraskevi. Continuing you meet a thicket, the “Koutri”. There the visitor sees a marble slab built into the wall. This is the founding inscription of the famous Karytsiotis School, which alone survived after the burning of the School by the hordes of Ibrahim on July 30, 1826.
After “Koutri”, about 250 m., You can find the central square of the village, with the big plane tree. There is also the church of Ai-Giorgis, post-Byzantine, with a holographic interior. The murals are probably works of the Agiannitis priest and painter Georgios Koulidas. In many of them there are traces of the passage of Ibrahim: swords in the faces of the Saints and the taking out of their eyes.
Descending from Ai-Giorgis square to the lower part of the village we reach the vaulted spring Pigadaki, with the embossed, Arabic script Turkish inscription on a wall slab and date 1100 (1742 AD): “The reizis (officer) Hatzi-Isma , philanthropist and peacemaker, leaves a source of clean and fresh water thanks to the world. For his lively work to say the Fetiha (prayer) “.
A little further down is the church of Agios Ioannis Prodromos, also post-Byzantine. The visitor admires the centuries-old plane tree and the abundant icy water that springs just below the church and flows through four canals. Until about 1960 the water moved four watermills and irrigated the lucrative orchards. Unfortunately, now the place is almost abandoned and the cotton trees have taken the place of the orchards.
We continue east, in the lower village, we pass the old school, the shrine in the place of the church of St. Basil, which was also set on fire by Ibrahim, and we reach the much-sung spring, Soulinari, with the imposing plane tree, decoration for the area.
From Ai-Giorgis square, a road leads to the upper part of the village, and to Lakka, the second square, where the church of Panagia is located, built by the brothers M. Papoulias (or Touri) on the foundations of an older one that was destroyed by Ibrahim From this point one can admire almost the whole village, the wild beauty of the surrounding mountains and the lively green. The road continues and leads to the exit from the village to the Monastery of Malevi and Agios Petros. Leaving Agiannis, a stop is required in Perdikoneri, a spring with excellent and digestive water. The landscaping Association of the village designed the space with seats and shelter, thus creating an ideal place for relaxation and for a walk, especially on hot summer nights. At about 2 km, in the place “Xirokambi”, there are ruins of the Castle of Oria, from the period of Frankish rule, about which many legends, traditions and songs have been told.
Very close to the village, there are the famous waterfalls of Lepida.
The village has excellent taverns, where meat and cheese produced by the breeders of the area are served, as well as the famous Agiannitiko wine, Kokkineli. There is also a traditional guest house with all modern comforts. Relaxing moments you enjoy with a coffee and dessert in the cafes in the square of Ai-Giorgis, under the plane tree, overlooking the mountains. During the summer and mainly in the context of the religious festivals of Agios Georgios, Agios Panteleimon, Agia Paraskevi, Profitis Ilias, Panagia, Prodromos, Agios Dimitrios, traditional festivals are organized – feasts, but also a number of cultural events “. The village has many traditional springs, such as Soulinari, Perdikoneri, Pigadaki, Mousga, Prodromo and many traditional buildings. In winter the inhabitants go down to Astros.
From Arkades Esmen, Smaragdi Arvaniti
From astros – kynouria News, Giannis D. Kourbelis
Collaborators Astros Kynouria News