LOCATION, HISTORY AND MONUMENTS
The settlement of Kitries belongs to the Municipal district of Doli, Municipality of Avia, and it is at a distance of about 15 km from Kalamata.
It is a coastal settlement with a fantastic beach and lush vegetation. It was the seaport of Zarnata and base of the Beys of Mani. Five of the eight Beydes of Mani used Kitries at fixed intervals, as their base. Tzanetbeys Koutipharis, 1st Bey of Mani, 1776 – 1779 ( with his fortified palace placed at Skala of Kitries), Mihalbeys Troupakis, Panagiot-beys Koumountourakis, Antonbeys Grigorakis and Petrobeys Mav-romihalis. The church of Agios Konstantinos and Eleni, recently restored, is connected to all the events and situations of the old times. The consecration took place there of the four irregular bishops of Mani from the Metropolite of Zarnata, Gavriil Fragouli for the episcopacy : Anthimo for the episcopacy of Platsa, Ioannikia for the episcopacy of Milea and Kastania, Losif for the episcopacy of Mainis and Prokopio for the episcopacy of Andouvista. Kitries was the place of the pre-revolution discussions and decisions. The National Contract was signed there on March 8th, 1821, with Petrobei, who undertook the leadership of the combat as a result of the decisions of the assembled chieftains and elder Maniates.
POPULATION & OCCUPATIONS
There are about 110 residents in the settlement according to the last census of March 18th , 2001. Their main occupation is fishing because the sea in this area is rich in fish. Olive tree culture is the main seasonal occupation.
ROAD CONSTRUCTION: RU-RAL ROADS
The central road connecting the area to Kalamata passes through built-up areas and in several places it is dangerous because there are many bends and it is very narrow. In the next few weeks a part of the road will be improved with an appropriation of 73.000.000dr. from the European Community subvention programme. The anticipated works are road-widening , technical works and tarmac. There are few rural roads giving access to the farms ; the condition of these will be improved and new ones are anticipated.
The port is not big enough for all the boats. They are planning to enlarge and strengthen it for the protection of the fishing boats so that they will have a safe refuge during the winter storms.
The region receives drinking water from the springs of Pidima. The Water Supply Association of Kalamata and the other Municipalities is planning the construction of a bigger cistern and the renovation of the system in the near future. After this work is finished there will not be a deficiency of water, especially in the summer time.
PUBLIC PLACES – CEMETERY There are only a few puplic places. All the residents want the cemetery moved to a place well away from the houses.
Kitries is an under-developed region needing good, integrated planning to confront its problems. The special characteristics of the region must be carefully retained, though.
We want to thank Mr Avrami Evangelo and Mr Giannea Ilia – Presidents of the Local Council of the Municipal Department of Avia and Doli – for the information provided.