Η It is really a tough land. There are no vineyards, no orchards, trees, fruits and grass. Only a stony land without earth. Vahos village is located eastern from the village we referred before, half hour away, over the canyon. It is consisted from 100 houses without vineyards and orchards with 300 armed infidel men. The residents carry earth from the villages around to plant maize, to make bread for their food. They steal this earth.
They are black colored, short, with a big head, round eyes, a bulldog voice, prominent ears, thick black hair, broad shoulders, slight figure, thin thigh, wide sole and they jumped from one rock to the other like a flea bite. There are orthodox but they are not interested about their religion. Those who live around Mani, they are afraid at their sight. They do not breed pigs or cows and donkeys, but many goats. Their cloths are made by fine and black color goatsΥ wool. They wear black color cap and on their feet, rustic shoes made by cow and goat leather. Their arms are pintail, sis, harbia and rifles. They get gunpowder from Kithira exchanging it with goats. (….)Θ
This is the description of Vahos village and its residents by the Turkish traveler Evlia Tselembi, on 1670. In the chapter with the characteristic title the vilaeti of Mani, a land of people without faith and mercyΣ he is enjoyable (and obviously afraid and imaginative to his description)! There are written references about Vahos of our days, with its wild flowers, the aromatic plants and herbs (oregon, thyme, sage,… mulberries, prickly pears and fig-trees, … on 1618 in the well-known list, composed during the negotiations between the Duck of Never and Maniates.
The past and today, the history and the present, in the case of this village, as all around the region of Mani are have close ties. you cannot make a step in Mani without walking on its historyΣ! In the region of Vahos, they have found a scripture of the roman period (1st century B.C.). Its name comes from the ancient God Vakho (Dionysos). It is said that Vakhos offered the vineyard, and as the most precious gift he offered Τthe waterΥ to the village.
Vahos village, at the doorway of the Inner Mani, is a picturesque village at the borderline between Prosiliaki (Eastern) and Aposkieri (Western) Mani, as well as the Inner and the nether Mani. Before, it belongs to the Municipality of Karnoupolis, later it became a community of the region Gythion and recently jointed voluntarily to Areopolis, Kelefa and Kouskouni forming the Municipality of Areopolis. Now is a Municipal District of the Municipality of Oitylon.
Let the writer – researcher and lawyer Stavro P. Patrianakos talk about the financial and social life of Vahos of the older times:
There was export of acorn, oregon, olive oil and figs from Vahos, and at the same time Gythion was developing fast. Mystras (or Myzithras) has become an important commercial center and Sparti (during the Otto period and after a some centuries) raised to the first range of the history. There was some commercial activity to Tsipa too (S. Oitylo).
About 1850, Papoulakos (the holly fatherΣ according the elders) passed from Vahos and then, went to Kotronas where he was arrested. During Otto period, to confront the revolts in Mani, some towers was destroyed or cut that means, they abated the height. In Vahos, none of the towers remained to its initial height. There were the towers of Levakos, Panagiotakos, Panagiotounakos, Petropoulakos, Stamatakos, and at Skala the tower of Demoirakos.
On 1861, the second hagiography of the church Agiani Klimatsina, and on 1863 the church Panagitsa of Lakka is built (property of Panagiotakos as a church of Zoodohos Pigi). During this period, many houses are built which exist until our days in a good condition. At the front side the year of construction is indicated.
There is an important number of residents and Vahos is one of the big villages of Mani. The main settlement is (Hora, Klimatsina).
CENSUS: on 1829, from the French delegation, Vlahos 100, Scala 17, Klimatsina 40.
Numbers referred to houses: 1844- Vahos 454 persons, 1861 – -539, 1879 – 577, 1889 – 488, 1920 – 556, 1940 – 580 and 1980 – 120.
On 1880 the old public fountain is built close to the older one. The is an arch and illegible scriptures, drinking trough and reservoir for the garden watering. There was also a plate with a cross and the phrase: ΤJesus Christ Win.Υ
Here was the center of the village. The women came here to take water, they washed their cloths and the blankets, and then, they put them dry all around the rocks of Kakia Skala, they boiled loupina and watered their animals.
Animation center of the village was also Nerodiavasia as well as the central place of the village, Platzari or Skamnia. There, were the most one of the caffeine (there were so many at the village), where could stay only the men and they played cards, drunk and song.
On 1892 they built the church of Virgin (ended on 1895) at the place of the old one. All the residents worked personally to build it.
At the eastern side, close to the church, there is the girls school, propriety of the church. The plot and the house construction are a donation of Ioannis Theodorakos, and the house should be used as residence of the priest.
Donator of the village was Ioannis Stamatakos too, an intellectual personality of the village who offered his property to the hospital of Gythio, to consulate the suffering persons. Nikolaos Petrakos also offered his aid to the village in many ways and Athanasios Tanoaks who, according his will provided with a dowry the poor girls of the village.
Panagiotis Zervogiannakos donated the plot at Platzari and Andreas Syggros built a boy-school. But some children only went to school and even less went to the high school at Acropolis.
Churches of the modern and post-Byzantine times, according the researcher Archeologist and Professor of the University Nikolaos Mandrakes:
Agios Ioannis, Panagia Mesostartissa – which is celebrate the day of entrance of the Virgin in the church – pained with many holly icons. Agios Nikolaos all painted with holly icons too. Agia Kyriaki – the cemetery of the village. Agii Anargyri, a ruined church. Agios Dimitrios ruined too.
The life has to go on in Vahos says Patrikanakos and he exposed his ideas. Here are some of them:
the resolution of some main problems (as to wide the bridge of Stavros and some binds to make wider as well as to put asphalt on the road Stavros – Oitylo. The widening and maintenance of the communal and rural roads, the construction of some places for parking areas and drillings for water) these will permit to the village to survive and to be developed. …….
There are three main locations which need to be reformed: Platzari – the Primary school, Nerodiavasia – the fountain – the small fountain and Agios Georgios and Panagia Kotrona and he place around it.
Among his many proposals, the writer and legist too from Vahos refers that they must built the Gate to the Inner ManiΣ at the region of Stavros. When you pass to the southern area, the visitor can distingue the total change of the environment and the characteristics of the Inner Mani: stone, stone, only stone!