Oinountas

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The municipal unit of Oinountas includes the villages of Vamvakou, Varvitsa, Vassaras, Voutianoi, Vresthena, Theologos, Koniditsa and Sellasia. This region is the entrance to Lakonia and has been inhabited since antiquity. An age-old oak forest, known in ancient times as Skotitas, still stands today.

In the so-called ‘Fonemenoi’ area of Varvitsa, stone piles have been unearthed and reflect the Herms that Pausanias (2nd century AD) identified on the borders of Lakonia.

Sellasia, formerly known as Vroulias, took its name from an ancient settlement on Palaiogoulas hill that still stands today. The neighboring valley, where the Oinountas River flows, is the site of the deadly battle between the Spartans and the Macedonians which took place in 222 BC. In this battle, the Spartans were defeated and thus, the great reformation of the Spartan Kings Agis and Cleomenes came to an end.

Remnants from Byzantine times include the Monastery of St. Anargyroi and Vresthena with its diocese. Another important Byzantine monument is the central church of Koniditsa, the Prophet Elias, dating back to the first half of the 11th century. The community of Megali Vrisi flourished in the 15th century.

The villages of this region offered noteworthy support in the struggle against the Turks. After all, the village of Varvitsa is the birthplace of Captain Zaharias.

The area is included in the “Ecological Park of Mt. Parnonas and the Moustos Wetlands”.  Both mountain shelters of Mt. Parnonas are located in this region. From Vamvakou, visitors can enjoy the beautiful path to the Holy Monastery of Agia Kyriaki, which has been declared a historic preserved monument. Near tou Vamvakou are the two mountain shelters of Parnon. The shelter at the “Arialalou” site at an altitude of 1,484 m and the shelter at the “Arnomoussa” site at an altitude of 1,420 m, often hosting climbing clubs, which cross the beautiful mountain through specially shaped paths.