The Citadel Old Kardamili Παλαιά Καρδαμύλη

A place steeped in history

On a wooded rise where tall cypresses and ancient olive trees garner the sky, shaded lanes and stony pathways lead to the mystical setting of the citadel that stands endless guard over the village: a clutch of abandoned fortified tower-houses gathered solemnly around a beautiful Byzantine church. The church and the tower-houses have been recently renovated and remain well-preserved.


During the 19th century, Old Kardamili, or Skardamoula, as the fortress was then called, was the stronghold of the Troupakis-Mourtzinos clan, arch-rivals of the Mavromihalis clan from Limeni, a coastal village further south in the Mani. Both of these villages played important roles in the Greek Revolution of 1821.

The citadel can be reached on foot by leaving the village main street just next to the bridge and following the path that leads up to the arched gateway. You quickly arrive at the 18th century church of Agios Spyridon (Saint Spyridon), whose slender 17 metre-tall bell tower bears ornamental designs depicting the sun and moon, the stars, concentric circles and a double eagle.

Further along, there are more fortified houses and the small chapel of Agios Theodoros (Saint Theodore). As you walk back down towards Kardamili, you pass through enchanting wooded grove and see the last tower-houses that now belong to the descendants of the Troupakis-Mourtzinos patriarchs: the Dimitreas, Petreas and Theodoreas families. The fortified enclave has been converted into a museum.