Monastery of the Birth of Theotokos, Ampelaki, Arcadia, Peloponnese
A historic land, enriched with legends, traditions, battles, as well as the artistic quests of its inhabitants. It has an intense and continuous presence from antiquity to the Byzantine and modern historical periods. Monuments that testify to this presence are scattered over the entire land of Arcadia.
In Arcadia two mountain-ranges branch off, those of Menalo and Parnonas. Arranged on their slopes there are the enchanting hamlets of Arcadia and the holy Arcadian monasteries, invaluable treasures over the centuries! Its centre and the characteristic plateau of Mantineia are dominated by historic Tripolitsa.
Ladon River, Arcadia, Peloponnese
Its rivers, Ladonas, Alfeios and Lousios, flow quietly under the stone bridges and along their "fjord-like" colourful banks! The southeast coast of the province embraces the dreamlike sea with the absolutely clean sands, places for tourists' relaxing holidays…
Undoubtedly, three-fourths of Greek myths have Arcadia as their origin or their setting! The first ancestor of the Arcadians is considered to be Pelasgos, who was the first man, the founder of the human race. The son of Pelasgos was Likaonas, who built Likosoura on the holy mountain of the Arcadians, Likeo, which is considered to be the most ancient known city in the world! Always according to mythology, Likaonas had fifty sons and a daughter, the very beautiful Kallisto, with whom Zeus fell in love. Nevertheless, the jealous Hera transformed Kallisto, who was ready to give birth, into a bear and when the child was born it was named Arkas, that is, "child of the bear". Then, even the land where Arkas was born changed its name and started being called Arcadia instead of Pelasgia or Apia (land of the pears).
Lycosura, Arcadia, Peloponnese
Moreover, Arcadia had its own god, Pan, the god par excellence of the Arcadians who was the symbol of music and love. Arcadia was always considered to be the paradise on Earth of the shepherding and carefree life, the area of bucolic relaxation and absolute freedom. Thus, in the European countries after the Renaissance, the phrase "Et in Arcadia ego"(I also lived in Arcadia) that was found written on Poussain's painting "The Shepherds of Arcadia" dominated as an epigram on the grave of a shepherd in Arcadia. From there on, the name of Arcadia contributed to the formation and the dissemination of the famous "Arcadian ideal", of the "cult of Arcadia", which means nostalgic contemplation and reference to the mythical society of the Arcadian shepherds.
The Arcadian Ideal -"Arcadianism" - became a worldwide movement and embraced human nature itself, emphasizing the relationship between human existence and the natural environment.
Climbing, Leonidio, Arcadia, Peloponnese
With its main characteristics being the simplicity of the landscapes, the authenticity of the people and their traditional hospitality, Arcadia and its people go on with their journey through time.
This is our Arcadia: it is the tranquil force that inspires over time and provokes you with its beauty.
It challenges and invites you to get to know it.
Only then will you understand the beauty hidden inside it. Welcome to Arcadia...
Astros, Arcadia, Peloponnese