Dimitsana is a historic village in the Peloponnese, capital of the province of Gortynia in the prefecture of Arcadia. With the implementation of the Kallikratis plan, it is the seat of the Municipality of Gortynia. Its population according to the 2011 census is 342 inhabitants, while in 2001 it had 611 inhabitants. It has been characterized as a traditional settlement.


Dimitsana is built in a mountainous location, on a hill and at an altitude of 946 meters, from the meridian side of which there is a wonderful view of the plain of Megalopolis and Taygetos. It is the seat of the enlarged municipality of Gortynia, while until recently it was the seat of the Municipality of Dimitsana. Its history begins in Homeric times, when in its place was the small Arcadian city of Teuthis.

It is a community together with the villages of Paleochori, Karkalos and the monasteries of Aimyalon - Philosophos, with a total population of 740 inhabitants.

During the years of Ottoman rule, Dimitsana played an important role with the "secret school" and in 1821 with the "Dimitsani gunpowder" that she prepared. It is the homeland of the National Martyr Patriarch Gregory of ED, whose statue dominates the central square of the village, which was donated by Maraslis, and the Metropolitan of Old Patras Germanos, where both houses are preserved.
The museum of Dimitsana, which is housed in the Library, exhibits textiles, looms, folk art items and an archeological collection. Just outside Dimitsana is the Open Air Museum of Hydrokinesis, which aims to highlight the traditional hydropower facilities that used to be very popular in the area.



In the place of today's Dimitsana there was the ancient Arcadian city of Teuthis which had participated in the Trojan War but also in the settlement of Megalopolis. The time period when Teuthis was renamed to Dimitsana is not known. However, the name Dimitsana is considered to be of Slavic origin. Many researchers disagree, while others are in favor of this view as the names of other nearby villages such as Zigovisti, Zatuna, Stemnitsa and others have Slavic roots.

In 963 AD The Monastery of the Philosopher is founded 2.5 km outside Dimitsana. The name Dimitsana is first mentioned in 967 AD. in a patriarchal document related to the Monastery of the Philosopher. In 1764 a wise monk, Agapios, built a library and transported the books from the monastery. The library was constantly growing until 1821, because the Patriarchate gave new books as in Dimitsana there was a theological school that became known as the "Tutoring Center for Greek Letters". The school of Dimitsana operated from 1764 and many metropolitans and scholars graduated from it, among them Gregory V and the German of Old Patras. During the struggle of 1821, much of the library was destroyed because the Greeks needed paper to make cartridges.

Revolution 1821
Dimitsana played an important role in the Revolution both because of the gunpowder mills and because of the important Dimitsanites associated with it. Already in the years before the Revolution, the Friendly Society had managed to establish a successful communication between the core of Tripoli and the wider area of ​​Gortynia, where there were several initiates. On the eve of the Revolution, Papaflessas, after his disagreement with the German of Old Patras and on his way to Messinia, ended up in Dimitsana at the Antonopoulos mansion, which was the groom of Kanelos Deligiannis's sister. There, according to oral tradition, a special swearing-in ceremony was held at the Gospel and a banquet which became known as the "Last Supper". A "conspiracy" was signed after which Papaflessas, dressed in a fustanella, left for Kalavrita. This historic building survives to this day and used to be a place of pilgrimage for various generals. Gennaios Kolokotronis in the elections of 1859 visited his political opponent Ant. Antonopoulos and on his knees kissed the ground of the historic hall, saying "a pious silence befits that hall, as soon as it heard the great message, opera scattered from there and triumphed, made Greece a free kingdom…"

The Dimitsani merchant brothers Nikolaos and Spyridonas Spiliotopoulos (or Spiliotopoulos) owe the reopening of the gunpowder mills and to a large extent the supply of ammunition to the fight. Before the Revolution, they renovated 11 older gunpowder mills and supplied them with raw materials. The gunpowder and materials produced were hidden in safe places and in their own homes. Once, due to local disputes, the secret was betrayed to the Turks and in February 1821, a search was ordered in the house of the Spiliotopoulos, the demolition of five mills and the sealing of the houses of some workers. With the acquisition and deception of the Ottoman agents, nothing suspicious was finally found and the Spiliotopoulos were left undisturbed.


In February 1821 the Turks now had well-founded suspicions about the coming revolution, so they called in Tripoli and arrested several local agents of the Peloponnese. Among them was Archbishop Dimitsana Theofilos who died in prison a few days before the liberation of Tripoli. The Metropolitan of Demitsani, Amyklon and Tripoli, Daniel, was also imprisoned. The national martyrs Patriarch Gregory V and of Thessaloniki Joseph Antonopoulos, who was hanged in Neochori on June 3, 1821, came from Dimitsana. More than 10 people from the Diaspora were initiated into the Friendly Society: Mich. Oikonomou), Zacharias and Athanasios Leonardoi and Panagiotis Diogenidis (brother of Velissarios) in Iasi, Kon. Kokkinos in Ismaili, Elias Manesis in Odessa, the merchant Stamatis Psaroulis in Hydra who in turn catechized his compatriot merchant Andreas Panagiotis Spyliopoulos also in Hydra. P.P. was also friendly. German who was catechized by Antonios Pelopidas on November 1, 1818 offering 5,000 groschen. The abbot of the monastery of Aimyalon Parthenios and the priest Bartholomew, of unknown surname, in Constantinople were also initiated. The brothers Nikolaos and Spyridon Georgiou Spiliotopoulos were catechized by Christoforos Perraivos in Hydra in April 1820 with their representative in Odessa, Antonios Gabriel from Dimitsani. Metropolitan Daniel was catechized on May 1, 1820 by Kanelos Deligiannis and appointed his brother Michael, a monk on Mount Athos, as his representative. From the Andronikos family that had emigrated to Bessarabia, Captain Pavlos Andronikos was friendly. Warm patriots and fighters were Panagiotis Andronikos, an officer in the Russian army, and their brother Ioannis. The first, who died in 1820, had composed a poem that became a revolutionary invasion of the Diaspora, with lyrics in a trochanter such as:

… Wake up children and the time has come,
wake up everything, run now
The Last Supper has come…

Ioannis Andronikos participated in the battle of Dragatsani as a centurion.

Gunpowder has been made in Dimitsana since the time of the first Turkish occupation (before 1684). The operation of gunpowder mills from the Venetian conquest at the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th is testified. Initially, before gunpowder mills were made, production was done primitively in domestic conditions. In the 18th century gunpowder mills were founded on the initiative of Metropolitan Ananias. These were destroyed by the Turks in 1767 and were restored again shortly before the Revolution by Nikolaos and Spyridon Spyliotopoulos who, as Mich. Economou, "they turned their fortune into nitro and sulfur." At the expense of themselves and other friends, probably with money brought by Papaflessas, the gunpowder mills reopened, storing gunpowder for the fight in monasteries, caves and basements. After the outbreak of the revolution the mills increased to 14. The daily production was estimated at 150 okades or even 300-500. In the year 1821, the Spiliotopoulos donated 13,106 rounds of gunpowder, 3,510 rounds of ammunition and 804,320 rounds of ammunition to the Peloponnese alone. In addition to gunpowder mills, gunpowder was also produced in homes. Most of the people of Dimitsana knew this art and were known as "barouxides" while Dimitsana was called "gunpowder depot of the Nation".



Dimitsana is a stone-built settlement with remarkable mansions, most of which are restored today. The settlement is a typical example of Gortynia architecture and is characterized as traditional.

Sights inside the settlement are the Library of Dimitsana, the mansion of Gregory of Ed, the primary school etc. The library is housed in a part of the Dimitsana School. It was founded in 1764 and was enriched with books for 57 years. During the revolution of 1821 part of the books were used to make cartridges as there was a shortage of paper. Today it numbers more than 35,000 volumes, manuscripts and documents. The primary school was built in the period 1898-1910 with a donation from Andreas Syggros. It is a typical example of a two-grade school of this period. It operated until 1930 as a girls 'school and then housed the Psofidos Magistrates' Court.


In the wider area important sights are the old and new Monastery of the Philosopher as well as the Monastery of Prodromos located inside the gorge of Lucius.

Also of interest are Zygovisti, the monastery of Kernitsa and the Monastery of Aimiala, with a great relationship with the region of Alagonia, Messinia, from where a large part of the population came during the Turkish occupation, as mentioned in his book by Agisilaos Kalamaras.

Just outside the settlement is the Open Air Museum of Hydrokinesis, created in 1997 with the restoration of abandoned pre-industrial facilities, which relied on hydrokinesis.