TSIKKALIA

Tsikkalia is built on top of the hill Saghia with amphitheatric view towards Akrotainaro. Tsikkalia is a beautiful traditional village in Mesa Mani.

It was part of the communities Mountanistika, Marathos, Katrafi, Sychalasmata, Xerolakos that extends to Alika. Now it belongs to Vytilo Municipality and is represented by a 3 members council.

In the area, menhirs, old towns, the so called Palaiochores, as well as Byzantine temples, such as the deserted Aghios Konstantinos of the 11th Cent and Aghii Asomatoi have been traced. All these prove human presence since the depths of the centuries.

Tsikkalia is mentioned in written files since 1618. In 1844, 248 souls are recorded by the census, whereas they are increasing in the following ones up to 1940 and 1951 when the population countdown begins… Greece and countryside have paid dearly both the urban pull and the civil war (1944-1949).

Despite the population decrease and the neglect by the central authorities, Tsikkalia endured due to the help of two active representatives: the Community and the Cultural Association in Attica. The results are obvious even to the hasty visitor. New roads, walking areas, benches, tree planting. A neat village.

In summer 1996, it was the unveiling of the memorial Ηρώο for those who died in the national fights. It was the initiative of the president at that time, who is now president of the Cultural Association, Mr Mich. Panaghakos. The community counselors L.Spernovasilis and G. Magouras helped to the erection, too, whereas many of our compatriots took part in the feast. The doctor, Jiorgos V. Loukakos gave the main speech, who is now the president of the Association of Businessmen in Vytilo and east Mani, «Η Μάνη». He emphasized that Greece of today is the work of those who went to Ankara, Aghios Stefanos, Tzoumagia, Monastiri, Tepeleni, Visti… Maniates were always present and in the front line.

In Tsikkalia and the neighbouring villages, there are the families Theodorakakos, Ferentouros, Kalkatzakos, Loukakos, Katsfathos, Spernovasilis, Magouras, Labrinakos, Zilakos, Kyriakakos, Grigorakos, Spyridakos, Moschovolakos, Papadodimas, Georgopapadakos, etc. The journalists Panos Loukakos (vice Mayor of Athens), Kyr. Zilakos and Kyr. Theodorakakos originate from Tsikkalia. Also the poet Zoi Zafeiropoulou-Spernovasilis lives here permanently. Pan and Vas. Loukakos originate from Tsikkalia, the lawyer-legal counselor and director in OTE respectively. The judge of court of appeal Lefteris Roidis is also connected to the place.

There is a major problem and the Association has already pressed charges. This is the grazing of the cows in the burnt land of the area. As it is known, Tsikkalia was completely destroyed by fire in 2000 where 25000-30000 trees were burnt. It is outrageous in such places to put the law in secondary position and to demean the area.

Summing up we would like to mention the churches: Aghia Kyriaki (1876), which is the central church of the village (feast 7th July), Aghios Konstantinos (in the cemetery), Sotiras (Kotrafi), Panaghia, Aghios Nicolaos (Xerolakos) and many others.

J.P. Dimakogiannis

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