Tzeria and Kalives, Xechori, Skardamoula / Prastion and Liasinova and the whole Saidona / Are situated at the apron of Far away Elias.                                                                                                                                                                                                               Nikitas Nifakis

Location – History – Monuments: The Municipal region of Exochori includes five villages; Chora, Kolymbetseika, Xechori, Pripitsa and Nikovo. It was called Androuvitsa until 1932. Since then it has been called Exochori, taking the name of the central village.

It is situated at a distance of eight kilometres from the main road Kardamyli – Areopolis at a height of 500 metres.

It was the shire town of the Diocese until 1833 when it became part of the Diocese and Kapetaneia of Kardamyli. Some of the Beides were Tzanis Koutifaris, Michael Troupakis, Panagiotis Bahlebas Troupakis, his son Michael Panagiotis who got the nickname Mourtzinos, Dionisios Troupakis Mourtzinos and Alexandros Kitriniaris.

It was also a shelter of Kleftes and Armatoli (fighters for the Revolution). It is here that Kapetan Zacharias gathers his troops and Theodoros Kolokotronis confers with the Kapetanei of Androuvitsa and Kardamyli as regards the organization of the Revolution of 1821.

The Religious feelings of the residents are expressed is evident through the many churches, more than a hundred. Some of them are in good condition, the rest have either been in ruins or have been completely destroyed by the decay or humans. Aghii Theodori Church was the Metropolitan Church. Aghios Nikolaos church is a stone church with interior marble built-in inscriptions and an ancient signed inscription on the Altar, which has been transferred to Benakeio Museum of Kalamata. It is of a great historical and archeological value.

Taxiarchis church, Aghia Sophia, Prophetes Elias church, Aghios Demetrios church, the church of Sotiros, the Assumption church are fine samples of Byzantine architecture and Art. The church of Sotiros belongs to the Mega Spileo Monastery. It is celebrated on 6th August. There is a manuscript of the Holy Testament, which is believed to be a manuscript of  Evangelist Lukas.

There are also many other notable preserved monuments of the 17th and 18th century. These are the Towers of Fasseas, Kitriniaris, Patriarcheas, Prokopeas, Zerveas and Kourtsounioti. These monuments consist a world treasure, cultural as well as natural inheritance. They need to be protected or else they will be lost forever within the next decades.

Population – Occupation: The Municipal region of Exochori numbers 394 residents (census 1991). Their basic occupation is agriculture (olive-picking) and home cattle breeding.

A few months ago a hotel was founded with the donation of Alexandra Tambourea. Its purpose is to be used as a tourist resort. The building works, though, proceed very slowly since the skeleton of the building has not finished. Such delay cannot be justified since the funds needed are available. We will be watching the proceedings of  the works and will deal with it again in a next issue, if necessary.

The Viros canyon, which starts from Taygetos and ends in Kardamyli, consists a rich in geomorphical elements  formation that create a magnificent scenery.

Transport – Roads – Rural roads: The transport to and from Kalamata takes place once a day by a long distance bus of KTEL Kalamata.

The road network is troublesome since no further improvement has taken place in recent years. The road has been destroyed in many places, while abrupt turns make driving dangerous. There are many holes on the ground that cause great trouble to drivers. There are not luminous little posts.

A few years ago a road joined Exochori with Kardamyli, by – passing Proastion. This road has almost been destroyed  because of the rainstorms.

The road Saidona – Exochori remains one of the promises of the Prefecture of Messinia. It is a sum due of 285.000.000 drs which cannot lapse. The rural roads need repairing, while new ones need to be cut.

Water supply: The area is irrigated by the  springs of Voidonitsa. The quantity of water produced, particularly during the summer months is considered insufficient. This is inexcusable, since there is the capacity of increasing the water supply from surface and underground sources.

Olive-oil cooperative: There is an olive-oil cooperative and an olive-oil mill. Its financial status is very good.

Culture – Sports: On the first fortnight of August many cultural events take place. Races, photo exhibitions, folklore and Byzantine icon exhibitions. The games of tavli (backgammon), Mora  and chess are part of the  fair events  of 15th August.

The historical – Folklore Museum has a permanent cultural presence in the area. The Cultural Association TaygetosΣ shows  remarkable work along with the Cultural Association of Exochori people living in Athens.

We are finishing our article reminding you of the 60.000.000 drs owed to Exochori people for the utilization of  Viros Canyon.

Antonis Roumaneas