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.”
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”.