Zygovisti

 

Zygovisti is a mountain village in the prefecture of Arkadia. It is built at an altitude of 1,160 meters on the slopes of Mainalos and is one of the most mountainous settlements in the Peloponnese. It has been declared a traditional settlement. Zygovisti belongs to the municipality of Gortynias and its population according to the 2001 census is 142 inhabitants, who are engaged in agriculture, animal husbandry and construction. It is 6 kilometers from Dimitsana.

 

History

It was founded by the Kontogiannis family, who came from Messinia, around 1700. The surrounding area is characterized by exceptional natural beauty, with the main features being the fir-covered slopes of Klinitsa and the ravine of the Lousios river. In Zygovisti there is a marble monument in the shape of an open book which is dedicated to the 200 "Immortals" of Zygovisti who were the bodyguard of Theodoros Kolokotronis during the revolution of 1821. According to the historian Photakos "the enemy never saw the backs of the Immortals". On the outskirts of the village, in a ravine above the Lousios river, is the monastery of Panagia Aemialou.

According to tradition, three thieves, relatives of the Elder of Moria, were trapped and killed in the Linos of the monastery, perhaps after the monk's betrayal. Linos has been restored and next to it there are three cypress trees planted in memory of the fallen young men.

Pausanias, in his "Arkadika", places Zygovisti in the Sanctuary of Callisti Artemis and in the tomb of Callistos! It was first inhabited by the family of Kontogiannai, who, in 1608, founded, near Zygovisti, the Monastery of Emyalon! The central church of the Monastery was built in 1630, while the Metropolitan Church of the village of the Transfiguration of the Savior with its elaborate wood-carved icon was built in 1810 and, indeed, within 40 days! The building of the Kapodistrian school built in 1830 is also worth preserving!

The village had an important role during the Revolution of 1821, as its inhabitants were among the first to follow Theodoros Kolokotronis, who used them as his bodyguards under the name "Immortal Corps": in their honor the central square of the village is called Immortals Square , in which there is a marble monument.

 

Population
The population of Zygovistion experienced stability in the period 1879 - 1940 but after the war it decreased significantly. In the last three decades it has been relatively stable.