Παλαιά Καρδαμύλη, Δυτική Μάνη.
Old Kardamyli, West Mani – Greece.
A Maniot warrior at Mourtzinos Tower in Old Kardamyli.
Mani is one of the foremost traditional regions in Greece and possesses a profuse historical and cultural heritage. Mani lies to the southern part of Peloponnesus, within the administrative authority of Laconia and Messenia. It is a land of stone towers and beautiful beaches. Mani is home of the Maniots (Maniátes in Greek). The Maniots hold themselves to be the direct descendants of the Spartans and through the Spartans the Dorians.
Maniots, known for their martial qualities, were the first to join the Greek liberation movement. On March 17, 1821, the Maniat clan leaders gathered in Areopolis and declared war against the Ottoman Empire. Their flag was white with a blue cross in the center. Atop the flag was the motto "Victory or death". The Maniots were responsible for writing "Victory" and not "Freedom" on their banner, since Mani was always free. At the bottom of the flag was an ancient Spartan inscription, “With the shield or on the shield” (used by King Leonidas I of Sparta). On March 21, an army of 2,000 Maniots under the command of Petros Mavromichalis, Theodoros Kolokotronis, and Papaflessas marched from Areopolis to Kardamyli and on to Kalamata. The Greek War of Independence had begun. By the end of March, the Peloponnese was in open revolt against the Turks and by October 1821 the Greeks had captured Tripolis (Tripolitsa). The Peloponnesian revolt was quickly followed by revolts in Crete, Macedonia and Central Greece.
The Greeks drove the Turks out of the Peloponnese and proceeded to the captured part of Central Greece by 1828. Greece was finally recognized as an independent nation in May 1832. The Revolution is celebrated by the modern Greek state on the 25th of March as the Independence Day.
[ FujiFilm FinePix HS10 ]
© 2012 Jordan Kevrekidis