HARIA

Haria is a village of the local compartment Pyrgos Dirou of Vytilo Municipality with 89 inhabitants (census 2001). It is an original part of Mani that still stands in time. Gifted from nature, Haria with the unique beauties, is a sample of the Maniot architecture with tower estates that combine luxury with the traditional color. The name comes from the word “aria” which means scarcely, in intervals, or a sparsely populated area. It is 5km away from Areopoli and following the road that leads to Viros caves, it is the first village we come across turning right on the main road. The village is surrounded by a rich olive grove that produces the exquisite Maniot olive oil.

Archaeological researches found an old Maniot village with big Byzantine cisterns. Agios Jeorgios church (12th century) is the oldest temple of the area with frescos of 1840.

House estates with towers and tower houses such as Arapakis, in the neighbourhood Arapianika, which has been renovated, is an original sample of Maniot architecture as well as Soubasis’ tower (family with well known handymen such as Grigoris Soubasis) perfectly fit in the uniqueness of the traditional environment. Mihalis Anagnostakos (captain Matapas) originates from Haria. He worked effectively for the successful outcome of the Macedonian struggle. Relevant report of the General Ambassador of Thessalonica to the Ministry of foreign affairs characterizes him as “an example of honest, devoted and competent worker of the national idea”. A good example is the folklore poem for his actions:

“What’s this Matapas?

He is everywhere you go.

Once he is a priest

Then a rebellion and a fisherman”.

He crowned the size of his sacrifices for the freedom of Macedonia with his heroic death fighting again voluntarily as a lieutenant at Doirani battle (23 June 1913).

The inhabitants of Haria strongly resisted against the landing of Ibrahim at Diros (June 1826). They were the first Maniots seen by the Egyptians and they were sleeping at the threshing floors near the haystacks.

This is how the poem by Theodoros Soubasis published at the newspaper “Δημοκρατικός Φρουρός” describes the surprise of the villagers from Hania  at the coming of Ibrahim:

“Over there close to Pyrgaros

at the church of Agios Nicolaos

the priest comes

he looks at Diros

and sees ships with army

there comes Poulakos the priest

with all his clerical

and tolls the bells.

“Listen, all villages

And especially Haria

The army enters Diro!

Call all the villages

And all the Maniot lads

Take your guns

Women take your scythes

And resist Arabia.”

 

“Saint Nicon

Help this day

So that the prayer

Of the saint is held.”

 

Today Haria offers to the numerous visitors a pleasant stay to guest houses fully equipped securing the luxury according to the last word of technology. Indicatively, we mention the guest house “Καταφύγι” and the hotel 4 stars “Castellodi Haria”.

 

Antonis Roumaneas

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