The famous Leader of Vandals arrived to Alika during the 5th century, with his fleet. He was the terror of the coastal area during the Byzantine times. He could not imagine that a descendant of Eleftherolakonon (Free-lakones) fighters should beet him and should have to abandon the area ashamed.
How many thousands were our ancestors? To-day we see the abandon-ment of the region, in the Municipal District of Alika there are only 100 residents.
The historical research gives us the result that here there was an ancient Maniatikos settlement – Paliohora. The recent settlement of Alika is mentioned for the first time in the report of the Venice mission on 1571 as Casala Alika.
Alika is the motherland of two important historical families of Mani: Mavromihalaii (Areopoli – Limeni) and Grigorakides (Gythion – Mavrovouni – Agorano etc.).
It deserves to have a look at the ancient Kainipoli located at the settlement Kyparisso at the coastal zone of Alika, the most important town of Eleftherolakones, founded by the Tainarious and was named Tainaros. There, there are two important locations of the ancient times: the edifice of Dimitra and the Temple of Aphroditi. It is considered that from their stones, and at the same place was built the Christian churches of Virgin and Agia Paraskevi. Kainipoli was a religion center of common worship at the ancient times.
The new religion arrived here earlier than at the rest of Mani. Here there are three old Christian churches of 5th – 6th century studied by the Byzantinologist N. Drandakis: the church of Agios Andreas (Alika), Agios Petros and the Convent at Kyparissos. Here we find many war towers and country seats. To this historical and marvelous place we built the new houses of concrete and this is a great discord for the area and must be recon-strutted by stone.
We have to make reference to the set-element which are at the region. Alika, Marathos, Kyparissos, Ai-Filipides, Katanemistika, Tsakalounes, Pano-Alika, Agia-trias, Armyro, etc. The residentsΥ occupation is mainly the cattle breeding, agriculture (olives), fishing, and building construction. During the summer there are many tourist and migrates who come back here for their vacations. That time the watering problem is very important. Certainly, this is not the only problem of the region, for the residents and the visitors too. The roads network has to be developed and there is no sea wall at Kyparissos, etc.
Although these problems, the residents resist to them and to the time and remain at the region working on the stone creating big families – at the primary school of Alika there are 13 pupils – and they wish for the development of the region and a better way of life!
- P. Dimakogiannis