Milea

Milea (or Milia) is a mountainous green village of the municipality of Western Mani at an altitude of 550-600 meters on the western side of the mountain of Taygetos. It consists of the settlements Fagrianika, Xanthianika, Sekourianika, constituting its main settlement along with Kato Chora and Kyveleia (or Garmpelia).

The name Milea is firstly mentioned in Venetian document of 1465 and it comes from the fruit tree (apple tree), which is the most reasonable version, or the Homeric word for goats (“mila”) or the abundance of bushy “sfakomilia” (local herb).

Milea became later the seat of one of the seven feuds of Exo Mani and gave shelter to the family of Theodoros Kolokotronis-  the the tomb of his father is in Kyveleia. It was the birthplace of great chieftains of 1821 and other important historical figures.

The modern village of Milea has restored traditional houses with unique decoration and impressive churches such as the one of Metamorphosis (13th century) with its unique majestic tower of 22 meters made ​​by local marble in Gothic style. There are totally more than 70 churches and chapels in the area and the most interesting are the ones of the Assumption of the 12th century with superb mural paintings, Saint Ioannis with paintings of 1706 by Kallergis and Saint Nicolaos with marbles of the 11th century and the old Holy altar.

Just before we get to Milea from Karyovouni, we find on our left side the remarkable cave of Milia. At a small plateau, at an altitude of 1000m, where according to tradition there was an ancient temple of the goddess Athena, the Monastery of Virgin Mary Giatrissa of unknown date, protects the village of Milea and gathers believers from all over Greece in its celebration.

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