Ano Doliana


Ano Doliana (or Doliana) is a mountainous, historic settlement in the province of North Kynouria in Arcadia, which belongs to the local community of Doliana. In winter it is inhabited by a few inhabitants, as most spend the winter in Kato Doliana and many return to it during the spring and especially during the summer months. In the 2011 census it had 90 inhabitants. It is characterized as a traditional settlement, according to the relevant legislation of the Ministry of Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works.

In recent years, Ano Doliana has experienced remarkable mild tourism development, with a significant number of visitors, especially on winter weekends.


Location and geography
The settlement is located in the southern surroundings of the Tripoli plain. It stretches at an altitude between 950 and 1,050 meters and is built amphitheatrically on the northern slopes of Mount Parnon, with a northern view, spread over two neighborhoods and surrounded by ravines and small waterfalls. The panoramic view from the point is of special value, as it looks like a balcony overlooking the plateau of Tripoli and the plain of Mantineia, with the visual horizon reaching the mountains Mainalo, Artemisio, Helmos and Erymanthos.

It is at a distance of 175 kilometers or about 2 hours from Athens, 20 kilometers (25 minutes) from Tripoli and 33 kilometers (35 minutes) from Astros.

The village is overgrown with chestnut and plane trees, while a natural forest with fir trees starts from its northeastern end. The cherries thrive in the area, while there are also sour cherries. You will also see apple trees, junipers, walnuts, oaks, gourds, but also some hazelnuts and pears, in a spectacle that is especially interesting in autumn, with the alternation of colors in the foliage of deciduous trees.

The area also has various species of mushrooms.

Finally, at the entrance of the village and more specifically in the settlement of Kouvli, at an altitude between 700 and 800 meters, there are extensive vineyards.

The fauna of the area consists of a variety of epidemic birds such as: goldfinches (nerids in the local dialect), blackbirds, sparrows, finches, crows, gulls, flowers and lizards. Also, from the category of migrants are: turtledoves, nightingales, swallows, sycophagous and hoofed in summer, but also chewing gum and red-necked (chipmunk in the d. D.) In winter.

Mammals include hares, ferrets (bald eagles) and bats. In recent years, wild boars have appeared, while even more recent is the presence of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), as they have re-entered Parnonas, after their disappearance from the area in the early 20th century.

Also thrive reptiles such as snakes (vipers, asters, tree lizards and others), contaminants and lizards (or gusto in t. D.). Finally, arthropods such as scorpions and spiders are often found.

The village was used in the past as the primary residence of the Dolianites, who were mainly engaged in animal husbandry and for this reason had settled in the mountains. Kato Doliana was used as a secondary settlement, to which the inhabitants migrated during the winter months to protect the animals from the cold and snow. At the same time, mountain pastures were given time to rejuvenate. However, with the modernization of life and the shift of the main occupation of the inhabitants from animal husbandry to the cultivation, mainly of olives, the roles of the two settlements were reversed. Over the years and due to this abandonment of its role as a basic settlement of the inhabitants, it managed to maintain its picturesque character intact, avoiding the extensive human interventions of modern times.

The peak of Ai-Lia that dominates above the village, due to its high altitude (1,390 meters) is used as a telecommunications hub with signal transmitters for OTE, television (ERT, Digea), radio (ERA etc.) and mobile telephony of the wider area. It is accessible by a 4 km long road that starts from Doliana. At this location, on the 20th of July of Prophet Elias, residents gather in the church of the same name located above the village, at an altitude of 1,300 meters and perform a eulogy.

Etymology / origin of name
There are three different versions of the origin of the name of the settlement.

According to the first etymological version, the name has Slavic roots, which is true of several place names in the area, which took their name after the spread of the Slavs in the 6th century in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. Spread which led to their descent and settlement as far as the Peloponnese and especially in the mountains, as they were shepherds in the vast majority.


The Slavs used to give names according to the geography or flora of each location. Thus, Dolina (Cyrillic: долина) means valley and the word Doljane (in Latinized Slavic) refers to "inhabitants of the valley". In addition, the word dol refers to a place in a ravine, a place low and more specifically in Croatian and Slovenian it translates as the local adverb "down" or "slope".

Also, from the search of the etymology of -same root- Doliani Ioannina, similar conclusions emerge:
Ioannis Lampridis writes that "Doliani" means "gorgeous place" and "downhill".
Alexandros Katharios notes that the name of the village is "Slavic root meaning downhill and it is indeed this village on downhill as land".
Christos Fitsios claims that "the name Doliani is etymologically Slavic and means descent".
The Associate Professor of Linguistics of the University of Ioannina Konstantinos Ev. Economou informs us that Max Wassmer considers that "γει produces the place name from the Slavic dol" the valley "and Doljane" the inhabitant of the valley "…". He points out, however, that the village "is located in a ravine for this reason and the word dol is used here with its original meaning" the hole, the pit, the ravine ", so this is how the characterization of the village by Ioannis Lampridis is justified.

In addition, communities with the names Doljane and Doljani exist in all the states that until 1992 constituted Yugoslavia.

According to the second etymological version, bibliographic references speak of a name with Greek roots, derived from the word deceit, meaning it as a group of people who, driven by misfortunes suffered in another place, came to settle in the area. In this version, which gathers probably less chances, it is claimed that the settlers who came to settle in Arcadia, came from Doliana, Ioannina. More specifically, that from 1684 onwards, residents of the wider area of ​​Ioannina, were forced to move to the Peloponnese either by force or voluntarily due to hunger and hardship. That year marked the beginning of the Fifth Venetian-Turkish War (also known as the War of Moria) which took place between the Venetians and the Ottomans from 1684 to 1699 (with the former victors later). Thus, Francesco Morosini, Doge of the Most Peaceful Republic of Venice between 1688 and 1694, brought residents from Epirus and other places as laborers to pick olives, as the plague had decimated the local population.

The third version comes from the historian and academic Nikos Vei. According to him, an Arvanite from Doliana, Ioannina, had settled in Tripolitsa, Moria. During his stay in the capital of Arcadia, however, he killed a rich and important Ottoman, so he was forced to take refuge with his family in the dense Malevos to escape. He ended up in the location of today's Ano Doliana, to which he gave the name of his distant homeland. In this version only the origin is explained, therefore for the etymology of the name we return to the first version.

It is worth clarifying that in the case of the first version, this nomenclature based on the geography of the place, there is no connection between the Dolians of Arcadia and those of Ioannina, as well as two places with the same geographical configuration, in this case mountain villages built on a slope. , could have received the same name by coincidence.

The addition of the local adverb "Ano" was later adopted, probably by the settlers themselves, in order to meet the need to separate the mountainous settlement from the lowland - Kato Doliana - in their daily reports.


Ancient quarries
Northwest of the community, in the places "Alepotrypes" and "Psofiaika", there are ancient quarries dating from the archaic-classical era and produce the homonymous local marble of Doliana, which is white, with a tone of blue or light blue. The deposit, classified according to geotectonic zone, belongs to the Marbles of the Exterior Metamorphic Zone, a category which includes three provinces: Mount Parnon, Sagia Mani and West-Central Crete. It is one of the highest quality marbles of the Peloponnese, presenting similarities with the Pentelic marble of Attica, although it does not reach the quality characteristics of the latter. It was most commonly used as a building stone and less frequently in sculpture.

Among others, the following was used:
In the Temple of Artemis Knakeatidos, four kilometers from the settlement of Mavriki in Arcadia, at the current location "Psili Korfi" or "Psili Rachi" of Mount Marmarovouni, at an altitude of 1,250 meters. [35] Built around 540 BC, it was discovered in July 1907 by archaeologist Constantine Romeo, while it was already partially destroyed. It was a temple built entirely of marble, one of the oldest of its kind and possibly the first. It was identified with the temple of Artemis of Knakeatida, which is also mentioned by Pausanias. Today, in the construction site, almost nothing of it survives, except for individual architectural material from various parts, which made it possible to represent it to a large extent.
In the construction of the Temple of Apollo Epicurus, erected in the second half of the 5th century BC (420-410 BC) and in particular the: Ionian capitals, Corinthian capital, carved metopes of the outer frieze of the main temple, bases of the Ionian frieze in interior of the mosque, foundations and roof tiles.
In the Ancient Temple of Aleas Athena in Tegea, built in the 4th century BC, which came entirely from Doliana marble. According to Pausanias, it was superior to the other temples of the Peloponnese in all its construction and size. Exhibits from the Temple are in the Archaeological Museum of Alea Tegea, which was renovated and reopened in 2014 and in 2016 received a "Special Commendation with the highest recognition for outstanding achievements" from the Jury of the European Museum Forum in San Sebastian, Spain, during the competition for the promotion of the European Museum of the year.
In the large complex of sculptures of Despina and Dimitra's mother, in the sanctuary of the ancient Arcadian city of Lykosoura, which was created by the sculptor Damofon of Ancient Messina. Both goddesses are seated on a throne and are surrounded by the goddess Artemis and Titan Anytos, Despina's adopted father. Parts of the sculpture are on display today at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.
At the Temple of Poseidon and Athena Sotiras at Vigla, Arcadia.

In Ancient Olympia, mainly in statues.
In Ancient Epidaurus.
In the Villa of Herod of Attica, as well as in tombstones and votive columns of the wider area.
In the Metropolitan Church of St. Basil of Tripoli, which was founded in 1855 and inaugurated 29 years later, in 1884. Its covering is entirely of Doliana marble.
It is also probable that it was used at the Mantineia Base.

Modern marble quarries still exist today near the settlement, along with the ancient ones that have been preserved.

Modern Era
The first written reference to Doliana is made in the year 1700 (probably on December 23) in an enumerated letter of a "John, resident of Tripoli" which states:

"I am seven hundred to them and a thousand years to my salvation, the first Dolian to be married ..."

Doliana was declared a Municipality for the first time in 1834, with L. Konstantinou as mayor. The seal of the Municipality of Doliana depicted a sheepdog playing its flute under a tree, probably in the courtyard of the church of Panagia Kouvliotissa. This seal passed to the Central Patriotic Association "Doliana Kynourias" as a continuation of the history of the Municipality and is still the seal of the Association.

Greek revolution
On May 18, 1821, during the Greek Revolution, the village was given the so-called Battle of Doliana. In this particular battle, Nikitaras, who was holding Ano Doliana with 300 men, managed to repel 4,000 Turks who were attacking with artillery. That day he also received the nickname "Turkophagus" which accompanied him later, because according to tradition many Turks fell from his hand. A statue has been erected in his memory at the entrance of the settlement and specifically in the area "stream of Tsakonas", the main theater of the battle.