Stoupa A little history
The Mani, characterized by the Taygetos Mountains and its southern foothills, was up into the 20th century nearly impassible and was an area of retreat for many people fleeing foreign conquerors - the same reasons made this area also ideal for pirates. Because of its unique topography, the Mani was a region almost competely free from state interference and a very distinctive race with its own culture evolved here. Christianity did not gain a firm foothold until the 9th century, however there were some single churches in fortified places much earlier. From the 9th century on, countless churches and chapels were built, many with very beautiful frescos which can still be see today.
The Mani has been populated since Neolithic times. Subsequently Dores, Spartans, Slavs, Franks, Venetians, and Turks among others, passed through the Mani and all left their traces behind. There are not many structures left to see but their descendants live here today.
Over the centuries, none of the occupying powers could suppress the Maniots; they stayed always free, wild, unpredictable and in conflict among themselves - which is expressed in part by the very high Maniotic defence towers. Family feuds extending over generations branded the Maniots and precisely in this region, the beginnings of Greek liberation from 400 years of Turkish subjugation were organized and started.
We prepared some book tips regarding the area.