Kastania

Kastania or Kastanea or Megali Kastania is one of the oldest and most picturesque mountainous villages of Mani. It is located at an altitude of 560 meters under the peak of Mavrovouna of Taygetos, 50km at southeast of Kalamata and 15 km away from Kardamyli. The village is almost invisible as it is built between three slopes of Taygetos in a naturally fortified location with few and narrow roads.

The five- storey tower of Captain Dourakis is in Kastasnia and it was shelter for Theodoros Kolokotronis during the great persecution of klephts (1803-1806) before going to Elafonisos in 1806.

A remarkable feature of Kastania is the stone rooftops of houses in color of natural stone in the area while the fountain under the huge walnut trees on the village square is a point of reference especially during the warmer summer months.

Kastania has the most Byzantine churches in Mani, many of which have excellent hagiographic material. The most notable of these are Saint Georgios (13th century) at the entrance of the village, the Holy Apostles, Saint Petros (12th century), St. John the Baptist (11th-12th century), Saint Nicolaos Trikampanos (13th-14th century), the patron of the village, Virgin Mary, and the restored church of Assumption (11th century) on the square that celebrates on August 15th making doxology and feast.