Journey – Stemnitsa – Traditional village in Greek countryside

Journey – Stemnitsa – Traditional village in Greek countryside

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Last weekend we visited the heart of the Peloponese and in particular a traditional village called Stemnitsa in the Arcadia region, built on a rough rocky mountainous terrain at an elevation of 1080m. The view as we entered the village was breathtaking – a meandering complex of approximately 500 masonry houses built on hilly cliffs. As we wandered around the streets of the village we came across a number of spring fountains with fresh clean drinkable water. Midst the “center-line” of the village was a channel with plenty of water running downhill. I kept on thinking how lucky can someone be to live so close to clean running water like that, or enjoy a nice relaxing evening on a patio and being able to hear the running water! It was quite clear that this village was once a very lively and rich one. However, at present the vast majority of the houses have been renovated and some are very well kept summer residences.
View of Stemnitsa village in the Pellopponese Greece from the main road.
Another view of the Stemnitsa village. Most houses are made of masonry with pitched roofs.

Partial view of the village

Among the houses there is a public school for gold-and-silversmiths – its door is a great display of craftmanship. The door to any building is one of the key features I always notice. A door can spark one’s imagination about what is behind it and as such, a beautifully crafted door has a lot to say about the work that is being carried out in that school.

The School of gold-and-silversmiths

School of gold-and-silversmiths

Detail of a door at the silversmiths' school

Detail of an entranc door at the silversmiths’ school

An old sewing machine in a house den

An old sewing machine aging with grace in the den of our friend’s house

Most people just travel through this village. But after having spent a weekend there, it became obvious that the pace is a lot slower. The people are friendly and hospitable with an easy going attitude. Consequently, it felt great to unwind, catch our breaths, take in the views, fill our lungs with fresh air and enjoy a relaxing weekend away from Athens. Of course, we owe special thanks to our kind host and friend for his hospitality.