Kyveleia or Garmpelia (its old name) is one of the five settlements of the mountainous village Milea (Milia) of Western Mani along with Fagrianika, Kato Chora, Xanthianika and Sekourianika. It is located on the west side of Taygetos at an altitude of 510 meters in the middle of one of the paths that leads from ancient Sparti to Messinian coastline. It was a station for resting from the long trip of two days.

Kyveleia became later known for the tower of Giorgakis Kyvelos, captain of Milia. It was actually the seat of one of the seven feuds of Exo Mani. The father of Theodoros Kolokotronis, Konstantinos, who was killed after Orlov Revolt in 1780, was buried in the area.

Kyveleia took its modern name by the blood relation of all residents who bear the surname “Kyvelos”! This phenomenon is explained by the fact that male children in Mani traditionally inherit the parental house and stay in the village creating family next to their parents, while girls leave the village following their husband’s place of origin.

The monastery of “Panagia Giatrissa” is on the top of Taygetos, in a small plateau above Kyveleia at an altitude of 1000 meters. According to tradition, it succeeded an earlier ancient temple of the goddess Athena and it celebrates on September 8th.

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