The odd thing about the cities of Peloponnese (with the exception of Kalamata) is that they are not tourist destinations for the Greeks. Could it be that we are not used to going on trips in cities but prefer the outskirts? Is it because our culture is depleted in functionality? Or is it that our heavy History took away from the neighborhoods any sample of traditional architecture they may had? Perhaps, it is all the above.
The capital of Arcadia doesn’t stray far from that rule. However, it is a pleasant stop on your way to the villages of Mainalo, Parnonas, Taygetos, or the Arcadian coastline. Nestled on a plateau that gives it the infamous weather, Tripoli spreads among open, lively squares, green groves that other Greek cities lack, and neoclassical buildings that add here and there strokes of architectural grandeur among the modern blocks of flats.
For your strolling you should note down Areos square, one of the biggest and most beautiful squares in Greece, around which gather some of the nicest neoclassical buildings of the city. Interesting are also the Petrinos Square with the Malliaropouleio Theater of the 1910, Agios Vasilios Square with the Metropolitan church above little shops, and of course the lively cobbled road of Deligianni Street, around which is formed the map of the city’s night life.
It is housed on the ground floor of Malliaropoulou House, with the pediments on the windows, on Agios Vasilios Square. It has exhibits from the Greek Revolution of 1821 and from World War II.
Did you know that the famous Greek poet was born in Tripoli? His impressive childhood home, with the wooden windows in the row, hosts today the Rector of the University of Peloponnese.
Seventeen kilometers outside Tripoli there is one of the most impressive caves of Peloponnese- if not of the entire Greece. It spreads in 330 meters, passing by amazing stalactites and stalagmites that are part of a very special tour, which lasts about half an hour. You can find it one kilometer away from the village that is also called Kapsia.
Fourteen kilometers away from Tripoli it was built one of the biggest and greatest (and most unknown to the public) cities of Ancient Arcadia. Being a permanent opponent of Sparta, the city that according to the myth was built by the grandson of Pelasgos of Mantineia, was ruined by the Spartan King Agisipolis in 385 B.C. only to be restored by Epaminondas in 370 B.C. There are few sights saved today in the archaeological site of Mantineia, among which are its ancient theater, the Parliamentary Chamber, parts of the ancient Agora and its walls, and the foundations of the temples of Zeus and Hera.The main reason to come here is the church of Agia Fotini, which is the work of the architect Costas Papatheodorou, student of a major Greek architect, Dimitris Pikionis. It is located right across the archaeological site and it is a peculiar building, as it is half Byzantine and half ancient Greek, looking almost fake in the pictures. So if you want to see close the peculiar architecture and decide on your own if it’s a masterpiece or an atrocity, it worth a visit.