History

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From the depths of history, we can hear the voice of Desfina, the most eastern settlement of the prefecture of Fokida, with the carved tombs, with the endless hospitality of the locals, with the green slopes and the 36 small churches, with the immense and beautiful surroundings, inland or near the coast with flocks of sheep, where the visitor can admire the wonder of natural beauty and harmony.

An area that lives in the heart of Greece, with the old traditions and proud descendants of the brave fighters of the revolution in 1821, who continue to live bearing a great love for their village, passing by the picturesque squares and standing under the age-old olive trees, surrounded by the traditional taverns and coffeehouses of the village. There are plenty of interesting sights in Desfina for the random traveler, for the curious explorer and the historian.

So click the Start button to enjoy a slideshow tour of Desfina, the namesake town of this establishment.

As you can see, Desfina presents many opportunities for a pleasant visit in the village and a tour around the beautiful coasts of the area. The travelers may organize a wonderful vacation, among the villages of Desfina, Itea and Galaxidi, so that they will enjoy all the wonderful seaside locations. We recommend some of the lovely shores found around Desfina, with clear waters for swimming and marvelous beaches for relaxation. All the areas are connected to Desfina with dirt roads.

Potami – Stenos

A wonderful beach with warm and mild climate, an area full of underground, cool waters, that fall to the sea from various spots. The area is offered for tourist development.

Prosakos

A wonderful beach with incredible, majestic natural beauties, a quiet area, ideal for moments of calmness, relaxation and fishing. In Desfina there are plenty of important remains from the ancient eras that help us understand the lives and the various activities of the residents during those periods. The cemeteries of the ancient Greeks were located just outside the settlements, as it is done until today.

Other monuments found in the area include several fortifications, which proclaim a strong military presence in Desfina. They were built with crude rocks and in some cases they included small settlements. The most important can be found in Veresse Bay, in Koublorahi hill, near sykia bay, where we can also find a Mycenaean tomb and in Kastrouli. In Desfina the visitor can also admire the new Prodromos Ioannis Monastery, the continuation of the old monastery, with the remarkable frescoes and also a total of 36 small churches, recently built or renovated.

Fokida

A “Brief Stroll” Throughout Its History, written by Mr. Aggelos Mandas, Councelor of Secondary school Greek Language teachers in Evritania.

Fokida is the region of Greece that is blessed to include in its land the holy place of Delphi; the centre (in Ancient Greek ομφαλός = navel) of the Earth according to our Ancient Greek culture. Place austere but noble, urgent but also hospitable, spreading its “historical roots” long ago to mythical ages.

Fokida’s name was derived from “fokos”, son of Eakos, king of Aeginites, who had conquered the area. According to the legend another Fokos king of Korinthos, son of Ornitionas and grandson of Sisyfus, occupied and gave its name to the area.

It was considered as the natural passage and crossroad in people’s transportations. It was inhibited from several branches of Pelasgi, like Ofionis, Ofeis, Apodoti, Vomeis, Kalleis and from other pre-hellenic tribes like Dryopes, Iandes, Avandes and Aenianes.

During the historic time one of the two great branches of Lokri, Ozoli or Ozales Lokri were the residents of Hesperia Lokrida with Amfissa as the capital town (The other branch, named as Opundii Lokri were spread in the area where nowadays the county of Lokrida lays in the province of Fthiotida). Hesperia Lokrida in the ancient years was extended in the area of the recent Province of Fokida. Lokrian tribes participated in the two great Greek Colonization expeditions (esp. in the second one). It was of high importance and well-known the colony of the Epizefirius Lokri in South Italy (i.e. Lower Italy in Ancient time), where Zaleukus the Lokrian, the famous legislator lived and worked.

During the whole ancient period (the Archaic Age, the Classic Antiquity and the Hellenistic Era) the area suffered from wars. As the climax we could distinguish the three “holy” wars (during the 7th , 5th and 4th centuries), for the occupation of the fertile plain of Kirra, but mainly for the control of the rich and profitable oracle.

In the 3rd century Fokida suffered a great deal from the Gaul’s raid, who were under the commands of Vrenus. Unable to cross Thermopylae, where Aetolis and other Greeks had been defending their land forcefully, sent through Mount Iti a great part of his army to Aetolia for distraction. The bloodthirsty Gauls conquered Kallio of Dorida (in 279 BC), slaughtered the residents, raped the women, massacred the infants. They chose to return through the mountains of the Eastern Evritania. Aetolis , reinforced by the local people and a few Patrasians, urged to assist them, at a place called Kokkolia, in Krikelo, they attacked and slaughtered the Gauls. Vrenus was finally defeated from Fokis and Aetolous, before he had the opportunity to invade Delphi, under a strange chain of misfortunes (as extremely bad weather, earthquakes and running stones), that frightened and exhausted them.

The Oracle of Delphi, dedicated to the God Apollo, was a unique reference point for the whole ancient world, since it was the centre of the Earth “γας ομφαλός” ( ie the Earth’s navel). Still nowadays, it symbolizes the Delphic Idea; the wish for worldwide fellowship, peace and the attempt to keep and improve the humanistic ideals, civilization and culture.

During the period of the Roman occupation in Greece, Fokida was part of a broad county under the name “Achaia”. Amfissa used to be the centre of Fokida, because of its geographic and strategic position. Romans showed an exceptional good will, giving significant civil and financial privileges to the citizens of the town.

The Christian religion prevailed in Fokida after the 3rd century AD. Christian temples were built, Amfissa became the centre of the Bishopric ( the Bishop of Amfissa was mentioned in the 4th Ecumenical Congress in Halkidona in 451 AD) and a number of monasteries were established.

During the era of the Turkish Occupation the monasteries in Fokida, as in the rest Greece, were not only places for worship but also shelters for the Greeks, who were persecuted and depositaries of the Greek and Orthodox identity of our nation. The Monastery Varnakova is one of the best known monasteries in Greece. The ‘eclat that had gained since the post-Byzantine period (it was established in 1077 AD) was proved by the fact that significant personalities from the Dynasty of the Angels were buried there. The remarkable library with the rare collections of books, the Patriarchal scripts, the Turkish firmans, attested to the fact that the monastery played crucial historical and spiritual role at the time. Its work at the spiritual awakening of the enslaved nation was considered of great value. From the famous school, established in the 16th century AD, great teachers and scholars had graduated and founded schools in other areas of Central Greece, or as it was called at the time Roumeli.

The monastery of St Elias in Parnassida became the centre of the Orthodox faith and worship, the cradle of the stimulation of the nation in Central Greece, since the martyr Bishop of Salona ( as Amfissa was called then) Hesaias blessed the army of the Revolution in Roumeli.

In the old monastery of St John the Prodrome, near Desfina, Makriyannis made his unique “agreements” with the Saint.

At the ruined monastery of the Transfiguration of the Savor in Galaxidi, Constantine Sathas discovered the famous “Chronicle of Galaxidi”, which was written in 1703 AD and became a priceless evidence for the history of the town and the area around. In St John the Prodrome in Artotina, still remains the cell where the famous local hero, Athanasios Diakos used to stay as a monk, before he dedicated himself to the country’s liberation.

The monastery of Panassary in Gravia, dedicated to the Mother of Jesus, had been related with the victorious battle which took place there in September 1824. The following year a lot of people from Souli (a martyr place destroyed by the Turks in Hepirus) found shelter there.

In the 18th century AD schools of “ common letters” (ie basic/primary education) were established in towns like Salona, Lidoriki, Galaxidi. All those years of slavery, but in the souls of the people in Fokida remained alive the sparkle of freedom. In 1574 AD the citizens of Lidoriki, Galaxidi and the villages that laid in between, attempted to organize a movement against the Turks that failed and resulted to the massacre of the Notable men of Salona.

The whole area of Fokida became the cradle of many and great guerilla fighters ( in Greek; κλεφτοαρμτολοί / kleftoarmatoli) and leaders of the Revolution against the Turks like; the Bishop of Salona Hesaias, John Makriyannis, Athanasios Diakos, Ulysses Adroutsos, Panourgias, Dimos Skaltsas or Skaltsodimos, Gouras, Adritsos Safakas. The historic event that has become legendary as a symbol of heroic act, self denial, untamed Greek soul, was the fight of Ulysses Adroutsos and his men against the Turkish army in the Inn of Gravia.

During the 20th century the fate of Fokida “walks along” with the rest of Greece. The area offered a lot to the Greek Resistance and Opposition against the Germans in the 2nd World War with the fight of the guerillas in Parnassos, Amfissa and other places in Fokida.

A great number of important personalities came from Fokida like the tutor Alexander Delmouzos from Amfissa, the poet and writer John Skaribas from Santa (Agia) Efthimia, the poet Phoebus Delphis from Delphi, the actress Aspasia Papathanasiou from Kallio, the painter Spyros Papaloukas from Desfina, the painter Spyros Vassiliou from Galaxidi, the folklore writer Dimitrios Loukopoulos, the historian Kostas N. Triadafyllou, from Sergoula Doridas, the poet Luke Kousoulas from Souvala (Polydroso) Parnassida.

This intellectual tradition of the area is being continued with their work in the fields of culture, historic research and generally intellectuality and science, by distinguished people from Fokida.