Therapnes

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The municipal unit of Therapnes includes the villages of Goritsa, Agioi Anargyroi (formerly known as Zoupena), Agrianoi, Kalloni (formerly known as Perpeni), Kefalas, Platana, Skoura, Chrysafa, Zagana and Polydroso (formerly known as Tsintzina).

It bears the name Therapnes since 1869, serving as a reference to ancient Therapne, which was built on the left bank of the Evrotas River. Here, east of Sparta, is the  Mycenaean mansion and sanctuary of Helen and Menelaos.  Remarkable  archaeological discoveries unearthed from Mycenaean tombs in the area of Melathria near Skoura are now on exhibit at the Archaeological Museum of Sparta.

Most impressive is the extensive cultivation of organic olives, particularly in Kefalas, whose organic olive oil and olives have been standardized.  Many residents engage in livestock farming and organic goat breeding. The area’s dairy farm produces a delectable local variety of gruyere cheese.

Chrysafa, the first historical capital of Therapnes, is home to important churches such as St. Demetrios, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, St. Nicholas and St. John the Baptist. The most significant church is Our Lady of Chrysafitissa (1293) with its magnificent murals and fortified tower.  The village of Zoupena served as a center of resistance to German occupation.  As a result, German troops burnt it down in 1944. The village of Agrianoi offers excellent taverns. The mountain villages of Therapnes are considered excellent resort destinations with rushing waters and taverns shaded by plane trees. The village of Tsintzina acts as a base for excursions and hiking trails on Mt. Parnonas.