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History of Georgitsi

The origin of the name Georgitsi is still debated but the etymological evolution is:
Georgintzi -> Georgitza -> Georgitsion -> Georgitsi
Most historians conclude that the village was named after a wealthy patron named Georgitsis who was given the land as a reward for his loyalty to the state/Empire.According to this colonial provision, the so called “pronoia system”, land was rewarded to aristocratic families to reward military service or other loyalties.
Another theory suggests the village was built by Cretan migrants who fled from their home village named Georgitsi. According to this version when the Ottoman Turks invaded the city of Chania and later burned the old Georgitsi down, some Cretans found refuge in mount Taygetos and there they built the new Georgitsi in memory of their native land.
In 1460 the Despot Demetrios Palaiologos surrendered the Despotate of Morea to the Mehmed II “The Conqueror”. Mehmed should have passed by the villages of North Taygetos on his way to Morea. Since Georgitsi is not mentioned in any historical sources it is believed that by that time it was still a small community. In the 17th century, Georgitsi was the largest and perhaps most populated village in the Laconia county. In historical archives dating back to the Republic of Venice era, it is mentioned that Georgitsians were fined the extraordinary amount of 6687 Venetial Liras as a punishment because they refused to partake in military building works in the Corinth Canal in 1699. This alone is an indication for the size of the village.
Today Georgitsi is a tourist destination. The stone built houses bearing war holes were scattered around different districts of the village in a certain manner, so that they could be both a house and a defence tower at the same time. Maybe this was the reason why Georgitsi was never occupied by the Ottomans. In the northern part of the village there was once a castle which is now ruined. The district still bears the name “Kastraki”, which in English is translated to “Little Castle”.
Another fact of historical importance that Theodoros Kolokotronis, a general and leader of the Greek War of Independence against the Ottomans, brought his mother Zambia Kostaki from Arcadia to Georgitsi to keep her safe during the war. Georgitsi was the homeland of heroes of Greek independence wars; Panayiotis Papathanassopoulos, Panagiotis Giannetakis, Thannasoules Katsaros. Georgitsi also served as a military camp for the Greeks under the leadership of Nekitaras and Apostolos Kolokotronis.

Photos from the flashback through the Georgitsi of the 20th Century event which was held at the Geogitsi School building on 13th August 2016. Photos, videos and a collection of archives showing the daily life, culture and religious ceremonies of Georgitsians were presented.


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