Skoutari is an extremely beautiful historical settlement of the Eastern Mani. Now it belongs to the Municipal Department of Municipality of Gythion.
It is said that its name comes from the Latin word scutum which means ΤshieldΥ, as it was protecting the bay because of its place. Some others say that it was so named by the residents who came from Skoutari opposite to Konstantinoupolis.
An historical research referring to the area, says that here there were two towns: Asini and Vordoni mentioned by Stravonas too. It is possible that these two towns were sunk by the big earthquake of the coastal zone of Mani on the 4th century A.D.
The foundation of the new village Skoutari is up to the 18th century. That time the area is under the dominance of Grigorakis great family. The foreign travelers make reference to the village as an important export port and as a refuge of corsairs and pirates.
The Byzantine temple of Agia Barbara (of 12th century) proves the human existence permanently at this picturesque golf of Skoutari. Some other churches of the village, most of them belong to the families, are Agios Spyridon, Ai Giannis Prodromos (Saint John the Baptist), Agia Triada (Holly Trinity), the central church of Virgin Maria. A very impressive characteristic of the village is the churches which are adjacent: Agios Haralabos & Ai Dimitris, Agios Nikolas & Ag. Stylianos, Ai Giannis & Agia Paraskevi, etc.!
Skoutari became famous because of two recent events: the first is the Paliopyrgos [the Old-tower] – there took place the sacrifice of Kalkandides on 1770, from the Turkish -Albanian hordes of Hatzi – Osman. The impressive ruins of the tower in the center of the village prove that here took place an important battle against the hordes, the brave resistance of Maniates.
Here is also an important place of the recent history of our country. The sacrifice of Kalkanides from Skoutari, is the first holocaust of the Greek people during the Turkish occupation (then there are Kougi – Souli (1803), Messologi (1826), Arkadi (1866) etc.). Here is the motherland of Sotiris Stavrianakos who was killed fighting against the Turks invaders in Cyprus, on 1974. His widow, Maria Stratakou, coming from Skoutari too, was never married again, honoring the memory of our Hero with their two daughters.
There is a very active Cultural Association of Skoutari Bordona (President is Potis Kopsaheilakos, Vise-President is Grig. Kavoulakos, G. Secretary Geor. Ladakakos, treasurer is Chr. Petsiniagas). This time they collect money and the goal is to honor the hero Sotiris Stavrianakos at the village where he was born (we must notice that the camp of EL-DY-K in Cyprus is named ΤCamp of Captain Sotirios Stavrianakos). For further information you can call at the tel. 53.17.619, 82.28.050 and the fax is 59.85.326.
The Association organize manifestations, every year in August and there are swimming and games, boat-torch races, book – painting and photo exhibition, etc. These days they are restoring the traditional source Kampouri and that will cost 1, 5 million drachmas!
Skoutari has the privilege to have a very active representative, municipal counselor elected at the Municipality of Gythion and he tries to satisfy the most important demands of the village: the electrically lit street to the beach (1 km), widening and asphalt covering from the cross road Agios Konstantinos to the village (6, 5 Km), reparation of the road to Kotronas, cleaning of the three gullies to the sea, a police station during the summer, etc.
Finally, we must note that Skoutari and the villages around it are an attractive point for the Greek and foreign tourists in summer. The village is under a continues development.
There is also a Primary School with one teacher and a rural Medical Centre.
Georgios P. Dimakogiannis