Under the fortress of Kelefa in Agriokabos, on the road to Vytilo across Areopoli, lies a ruined Christian temple devoted to Ai Nikon. This was built on the ruins of an ancient Greek temple, which was covered by prickly bushes. Among this temple, the ruins and the bushes, I discovered an inscription written on a stone, but I could only make out the letters «ΛOA».
On the way to Vitylo, we come across the church of Agios Dimitrios, which is built on an old temple, and ancient broken pillars. Later, we see a fountain called «Favatou» and the church «Agios Sotiras», near which there is the sculpture of an equestrian of the Roman era, as well as the ruins of an ancient temple.
A little bit further, lies Vytilo village. Nowadays, it has 250 families, but it is famous since Homeric times. In the past, it used to have a fortress, the remains of which can be seen in «Ano Chora» and the market. During the Homeric period, the village was situated in the place, which is now called Kato Chora, and was built under rocks, which are of geological interest. There, one can see extant Byzantine constructions as well as a Byzantine temple. Gurgling water sprouts from those rocks, which according to the locals has healing properties.
On one of the rocks, letters from the Byzantine times are carved, but have now become illegible. In Kato Chora, which is full of olive trees, there are no other constructions apart from the monastery of «Dekoulos», which was built around the 18th Cent when Daniel was the Bishop of Mani.
«Karovostasi» is an area, which belongs to the port of Vytilo. In Ano Chora, there is the citadel of Vytilo and other Greek ancient temples on top of which the Christian churches were later built. The most peculiar of all is the temple of Agia Marina, which was built on the ruins of a temple built by Pelasgi, which is still partly preserved.
In the temple of the «Assumption of the Virgin» there are inscriptions on the external part such as «MAINA XAIRE» (We greed you Mani), whereas beneath the inscription a female figure is carved. There are also letters from another inscription, as well as a male relief.
Inside the church, on a half broken marble which is brought from elsewhere along with the stones which have been carved, one can see the inscription of a tombstone which is older than the others. The letters are as follows: « EΠIKTOY XIΛITPΩN AΦIΣTON ETΩN KE»
It seems that this refers to a doctor who died at the age of 25; this is justified by the carved shapes of books and other medical apparatus.
Next to the temple, there is an ancient pillar, which is broken on the upper part. The locals believe that those who have fever can be cured if they swallow dust from the pillar dissolved in water. This superstition in connection to the ruins, leads us to believe that there used to be the temple of Serapida as mentioned in Pausanias, who passed by the area in 150 ac. In the market, there are other constructions and ruins.
In the end of the village, there is the church of Taxiarches. In the entrance, there is the inscription «ΛEΠIΔA XAIPE».
In the southern side, which is full of olive trees and where the primary school is built, many inscriptions were also found. In another temple which is also called «The Assumption of the Virgin Mary» or «Niamista», there is another inscription on top of the entrance and only the letters «ΛAΞE…ΩPΓE» are legible.
According to Pausanias, Vytilo took its name from the hero Vytilos, who came from Argus the city of Amfianakta and was Antimacho’s son.