Kalavryta, the capital of the province
of Kalavryta, is a town that actually belongs to all Greeks, despite the fact
that geographically it belongs to Achaia.
It is the city-symbol of freedom.
The Greek Revolution against Turkish domination started in Kalavryta
in 1821. The Banner of the 1821 Revolution is kept at the historical Monastery
of Agia Lavra. The Holy Monastery
of Mega Spileo, the most amazing shrine of the Eastern Orthodox Church in
Peloponnesus, lies not far
from Kalavryta. The Monastery, built 924 m. above the sea level in 326 A.D. has
been destroyed four times. Nonetheless, the Holy Icon of Theotokos, which according
to the tradition is ascribed to Luke the Evangelist, has always been saved.
During World War II Kalavryta became a target of the German occupation
forces. In 1943 all the male population of the town was executed by the Germans
who in turn burnt all the houses and churches. A huge cross stands as a memorial
of the massacre of Kalavryta on a hill above the tormented town.
In our days Kalavryta is a picturesque town that serves as a starting
point in touring the surrounding areas. The cogwheel train coming from Diakopto
terminates at this point.
At Kalavryta Ski
Centre winter sports fan are offered one of the best ski runs in Greece,
whereas the wonderful Spileo
ton Limnon, a rare work of nature, is only situated 17 kms away from the town.
This is the only cave in the world where ponds are layered on three separate levels.
The visitor of the Kalavryta Metropolitan area is given the opportunity
to admire historical and archeological sites as Ancient
Loussi, Pausania’s vine-branch, the ancient
town of Klitoras, the Castle of Oria, the Chelonospilia, as well as places
of extraordinary natural beauty as the springs of the rivers Ladonas
All around Kalavryta, scattered on the slopes of Chelmos
and Erymanthos, there are
75 villages, most of them built in forests of pine and plane trees. Dafni and Klitoria
are two of the most picturesque small towns of Achaia
with cultural and commercial activities but even natural beauties.
The whole province
of Kalavryta - from Tripotama
to Livardzi and up to the
town of Kalavryta - with its abruptly changing landscape, its idyllic spots, the
characteristic architectural style, and the developing tourist structure constitutes
an area that will attract even the most demanding of the visitors.
This text (extract) is cited March 2004 from the Prefecture
of Achaia tourist pamphlet (1999).