Megalopolis, Greece

Megalopoli (Greek: Μεγαλόπολη) is a town in the southwestern part of the regional unit of Arcadia, southern Greece. It is located in the same site as ancient Megalopolis (Ancient Greek: Μεγαλόπολις). When it was founded in 371 BC, it was the first large urbanization in rustic Arcadia. Its theater had a capacity of 20,000 visitors, making it one of the largest ancient Greek theaters.[2] Megalopoli has several schools, shops, churches, hotels and other services. The population of Megalopoli in 2011 was 5,779 for the town proper.

Megalopolis drachm
A silver triobol of the Arcadian League from ancient Megalopolis. The head of Zeus on the obverse, Pan seated on the reverse.
2011 Dimos Megalopolis
Megalopoli municipality
Lignite Mine Megalopolis
Lignite mining near Megalopoli
Megalopoli

Μεγαλόπολη
Skyline of Megalopoli
Megalopoli is located in Greece
Megalopoli
Megalopoli
Location within the region
2011 Dimos Megalopolis
Coordinates: 37°24′N 22°8′E / 37.400°N 22.133°ECoordinates: 37°24′N 22°8′E / 37.400°N 22.133°E
CountryGreece
Administrative regionPeloponnese
Regional unitArcadia
Area
 • Municipality722.6 km2 (279.0 sq mi)
 • Municipal unit331.5 km2 (128.0 sq mi)
Elevation
430 m (1,410 ft)
Population
 (2011)[1]
 • Municipality
10,687
 • Municipality density15/km2 (38/sq mi)
 • Municipal unit
7,890
 • Municipal unit density24/km2 (62/sq mi)
Community
 • Population5,779 (2011)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
222 00
Area code(s)27910
Vehicle registrationTP

Geography

Megalopoli is situated in a wide valley, surrounded by mountains: the Taygetus to the south, the Mainalo to the north, the Tsemperou to the southeast and the Lykaion to the west. Its elevation is 430 m above sea level. The river Alfeios flows through this valley, coming from the east and flowing to the north, passing south and west of the town. Its tributary Elissonas passes north of the town. The large lignite deposits around Megalopoli are being exploited by open-pit mining. The Megalopoli Power Plant, 3 km northwest of the town centre, has produced electricity from this lignite since 1969.

The A7 motorway connects Megalopoli with Kalamata and Tripoli, replacing the Greek National Road 7. The Greek National Road 7 connects Megalopoli with Pyrgos via Karytaina and Andritsaina. The railway from Corinth to Kalamata passes 4 km south of the town. Megalopoli is 24 km southwest of Tripoli, 41 km north of Kalamata, 45 km northwest of Sparti and 68 km southeast of Pyrgos.

History

Megalopolis is known for its ancient ruins situated northwest of the town centre, on both banks of the river Elisson. The ruins include an ancient theatre that used to hold up to 20,000 people and was 30 m (98 ft) tall. Other landmarks include the Thersileon with 67 pillars and a temple (11.5 m × 5 m or 38 ft × 16 ft). Herodotus reported the ancient belief that the Megalopolis area was a battleground of the Titanomachy. The foundation for this apparently was the presence of lignite deposits, which are prone to catch fire in summer and can smoulder and scorch the earth for weeks (Zeus is supposed to have slain the Titans with lightning bolts; see also below), coupled with the presence of fossil bones of prehistoric elephants and rhinoceroses.[3] Herodotus informs his readers that the bones of "Titans" were exhibited in various places in the surrounding area at least since the 5th century BC.

The city was founded through a synodical of twenty to forty neighbouring communities between 371 and 368 BC by the Arcadian League in an attempt to form a political counterweight to Sparta. Megalopolis was a member of the Arcadian League after its foundation until the dissolution of the federation in 362 BC. In 331 BC, Megalopolis was invaded by the Spartans and there was a battle with the Macedonians that came to Megalopolis' help. In 317 BC at the start of the Second War of the Diadochi, Polyperchon, the new Regent of the Macedonian Empire, besieged Megalopolis which had sided with his enemy Cassander.[4] The siege failed.[4] In the 270s BC, Aristodamos the Good, managed to take control over the city as a tyrant backed by Macedon. In 235 BC, the second tyrant of the city, Lydiades, gave up control over the polis and the city became a member of the Achaean League. In 222 BC, the Spartan king Cleomenes III burnt down the city but it was rebuilt in the years after the destruction. As a member of the Achaean League, Megalopolis had a profound influence on the federal politics and it was the hometown of several notable Achaean statesmen and figures such as Philopoemen, Lykortas and Polybius himself. The city remained populated under the Romans but by the 6th century it was almost completely abandoned. The nearby village of Sinano (Σινάνο), situated south of the ancient city, was renamed Megalopoli after Greek Independence.

Municipality

The municipality Megalopoli was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following three former municipalities, that became municipal units:[5]

The municipality has an area of 722.629 km2, the municipal unit 331.498 km2.[6]

Subdivisions

The municipal unit of Megalopoli is subdivided into the following communities (villages within the community in brackets):

Province

The province of Megalopoli (Greek: Επαρχία Μεγαλόπολης) was one of the provinces of the Messenia Prefecture. Its territory corresponded with that of the current municipality Megalopoli, except the municipal unit Gortyna.[7] It was abolished in 2006.

Population

Year Community Municipal unit Municipality
1920 1,776
1961 2,235
1981 4,875
1991 4,646 8,888
2001 5,114 8,657
2011 5,779 7,890 10,687

Notable people

  • Cercidas (3rd cent. BC), Cynic philosopher and poet
  • Philopoemen (253–183 BC), general and statesman
  • Polybius (c. 203–120 BC), historian
  • Leonidas Zervas (1902-1980), Greek chemist

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Απογραφή Πληθυσμού - Κατοικιών 2011. ΜΟΝΙΜΟΣ Πληθυσμός" (in Greek). Hellenic Statistical Authority.
  2. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, Book VIII, Chapter 32, retrieved 2018-11-03
  3. ^ Lorenzi, Rossella (March 31, 2011). "Prehistoric Fossil May Have Inspired Greek Myths". discovery.com. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica XVIII 68,2-72,1.
  5. ^ Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior ‹See Tfd›(in Greek)
  6. ^ "Population & housing census 2001 (incl. area and average elevation)" (PDF) (in Greek). National Statistical Service of Greece. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-21.
  7. ^ "Detailed census results 1991" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 3, 2016.  (39 MB) ‹See Tfd›(in Greek) ‹See Tfd›(in French)

External links

Chirades

Chirades (Greek: Χιράδες, locally known as Kyrades) is a mountain village in southwestern Arcadia, Greece. It is located in the mountains on the border with Messenia, at about 800 m elevation. It is 2 km east of Souli, 4 km south of Paradeisia, 6 km northwest of Tourkolekas and 14 km southwest of Megalopoli. In 2011 Chirades had a population of 80. Chirades suffered damage from the 2007 Greek forest fires.

Choremis

Choremis (Greek: Χωρέμης) is a village and a community of the municipality of Megalopoli, Arcadia, Greece. Since the 1970s it is situated on the left bank of the river Alfeios, which was rerouted for the lignite mines further east. It is 3 km northwest of Tripotamo, 4 km south of Thoknia and 5 km southwest of Megalopoli. The community consists of the villages Choremis and Apiditsa (pop. 32 in 2011).

Chranoi

Chranoi (Greek: Χράνοι - Greek pronunciation: [xraˈni]) is a village in the municipality of Megalopoli, southwest Arcadia, Greece. It is located in the mountains on the border with Messenia, at about 500 m elevation. It is 4 km west Paradeisia, 5 km southeast of Isaris, and 13 km southwest of Megalopoli. Chranoi had a population of 137 in 2011. The railway from Corinth to Kalamata passes through the village.

Gefyra, Arcadia

Gefyra (Greek: Γέφυρα meaning "bridge") is a settlement in the municipality of Megalopoli, Arcadia, Greece. It is situated near the right bank of the river Alfeios, 4 km south of Megalopoli and 5 km north of Leontari. Gefyra had a population of 30 in 2011. The Greek National Road 7 (Corinth - Tripoli - Kalamata) passes south of the village. There are large open-pit lignite mines to the northwest of the village. There are two beautiful churches: St. George in the village square, and St John at the eastern edge of the village.

Isaris

Isaris (Greek: Ίσαρης) is a village and a community in the municipality of Megalopoli, Arcadia, Greece. It is situated in the mountains west of the Alfeios valley, at about 750 m elevation. It is considered a traditional settlement. It is 2 km east of Vastas, 5 km northwest of Chranoi and 11 km southwest of Megalopoli. Its population in 2011 was 86 for the village, and 140 for the community, which includes the small villages Petrovouni and Chrousa.

Isoma Karyon

Isoma Karyon (Greek: Ίσωμα Καρυών) is a village in the municipality of Megalopoli, Arcadia, Greece. It is situated in the eastern foothills of mount Lykaion, at 470 m elevation. It is 2 km northwest of Kato Karyes, 6 km south of Karytaina and 8 km northwest of Megalopoli.

Karatoulas

Karatoulas (Greek: Καράτουλας) is a village in the municipality of Megalopoli, Arcadia, Greece. It is situated on a hillside in the southwestern foothills of the Mainalo mountains, at about 750 m elevation. It is 2 km northwest of Vangos, 3 km southeast of Lykochia and 9 km northeast of Megalopoli. Karatoulas had a population of 28 in 2011.

Lykochia

Lykochia (Greek: Λυκόχια) is a village in the municipality of Megalopoli, Arcadia, Greece. It is situated in the southwestern foothills of the Mainalo mountains. It is 2 km northeast of Pavlia, 3 km northwest of Karatoulas, 7 km southwest of Chrysovitsi and 11 km north of Megalopoli. In 2011 Lykochia had a population of 121.

Makrysi

Makrysi (Greek: Μακρύσι, before 1927: Σιάλεσι - Sialesi) is a village and a community in the municipality of Megalopoli, Arcadia, Greece. It is situated on a hillside on the left bank of the river Elissonas, at 496 m elevation. It is 3 km northwest of Mallota and 3 km northeast of Megalopoli town centre. The community consists of the villages Makrysi and Kato Makrysi. Kato Makrysi is situated at 450 m elevation. Zacharias Barbitsiotis, an anti-Ottoman insurgent defeated the Turks in Sialesi in the 1780s.

Mallota, Greece

Mallota (Greek: Μαλλωτά) is a village in the municipality of Megalopoli, Arcadia, Greece. It is situated on a hillside, 1 km northeast of Rapsommati, 2 km west of Palaiochouni and 5 km east of Megalopoli. Mallota had a population of 46 in 2011. The Motorway A7 (Corinth - Tripoli - Kalamata) passes south of the village.

Nea Ekklisoula

Nea Ekklisoula (Greek: Νέα Εκκλησούλα meaning "new church") is a village in the municipality of Megalopoli, Arcadia, Greece. It is situated near the southwestern foothills of the Mainalo mountains, at about 450 m elevation. It is 2 km southwest of Trilofo, 2 km east of Soulos and 4 km north of Megalopoli town centre. Nea Ekklisoula had a population of 39 in 2011.

Paradeisia, Arcadia

Paradeisia (Greek: Παραδείσια, before 1924: Κούρταγα - Kourtaga) is a village and a community in Arcadia, Greece, and a part of the municipality of Megalopoli. The community consists of the villages Paradeisia and Fanaiti. Paradeisia is 4 km east of Chranoi, 4 km west of Veligosti, 4 km north of Chirades and 11 km southwest of Megalopoli.

Perivolia, Arcadia

Perivolia (Greek: Περιβόλια, before 1926: Ρουσβάναγα - Rousvanaga) is a village and a community in the southwestern part of Arcadia, Greece. It is part of the municipality of Megalopoli, located in a rural area 3 km (2 mi) south-east of downtown Megalopoli. The Greek National Road 7/E55 (Corinth - Tripoli - Kalamata passes southeast of the village. The community consists of the villages Perivolia and Vrysoules.

Plaka, Arcadia

Plaka (Greek: Πλάκα) is a village in the municipality of Megalopoli, Arcadia, Greece. It is 1 km south of Soulos, 3 km northeast of Thoknia, 3 km southwest of Nea Ekklisoula and 4 km northwest of Megalopoli. The Greek National Road 76 (Megalopoli - Andritsaina - Krestena) passes east of the village. The Megalopoli Power Plant is located to the south and a large open-pit lignite mine is to the west.

Rapsommati

Rapsommati (Greek: Ραψομμάτη, also Ραψομμάτης - Rapsommatis) is a village within the municipality of Megalopoli in the western part of Arcadia, Greece. It is situated on a hill, 1 km southeast of Mallota, 2 km southwest of Palaiochouni, 3 km northwest of Anemodouri and 5 km southeast of Megalopoli. The Moreas Motorway (Corinth - Tripoli - Kalamata) passes north of the village, through the Artemisio Tunnel.

Soulos

Soulos (Greek: Σούλος) is a village in the municipality of Megalopoli, Arcadia, Greece. It is situated on a hillside, 1 km north of Plaka, 2 km southeast of Katsimpalis, 2 km west of Nea Ekklisoula and 5 km northwest of Megalopoli. The Greek National Road 76 (Megalopoli - Andritsaina - Krestena) passes east of the village.

Thoknia

Thoknia (Greek: Θωκνία) is a village in the municipality of Megalopoli, Arcadia, Greece. It is situated near the confluence of the rivers Alfeios and Elissonas, at about 360 m elevation. It was named after the ancient Arcadian city Thocnia, that was located in the area. Thoknia is 2 km east of Kato Karyes, 3 km southeast of Kyparissia, 3 km southwest of Plaka and 5 km northwest of Megalopoli. Thoknia had a population of 36 in 2011. The village is surrounded by open-pit lignite mines.

Tripotamo, Arcadia

Tripotamo (Greek: Τριπόταμο meaning "three rivers", before 1927: Δεδέρμπεη - Dedermpei) is a village in the municipality of Megalopoli in the southwestern part of Arcadia, Greece. It is situated on the right bank of the rerouted Alfeios river, near its confluence with two smaller tributaries. It is 3 km southeast of Choremis, 3 km northeast of Neochori Lykosouras, 4 km northwest of Veligosti and 5 km southwest of Megalopoli. There is a large open-pit lignite mine to the northeast.

Vangos

Vangos (Greek: Βάγγος) is a village in the municipality of Megalopoli, Arcadia, Greece. It is situated in the southwestern foothills of the Mainalo mountains, at about 800 m elevation. It is 2 km southeast of Karatoulas, 4 km east of Trilofo, 6 km northwest of Kerastaris and 8 km northeast of Megalopoli. Vangos had a population of 47 in 2011.

Places adjacent to Megalopolis, Greece
Regional unit of Arcadia
Regional unit of Argolis
Regional unit of Corinthia
Regional unit of Laconia
Regional unit of Messenia
Subdivisions of the municipality of Megalopoli
Municipal unit of Falaisia
Municipal unit of Gortyna
Municipal unit of Megalopoli
Former provinces of Greece
Attica
Central Greece
Central Macedonia
Crete
Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
Epirus
Ionian Islands
North Aegean
Peloponnese
South Aegean
Thessaly
West Greece
Western Macedonia

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