The Church of Agios Spyridon in Kardamili

Church of Agios Spyridon

At the entrance of the modern Kardamili, above the village, is located the Old Kardamili and the Troupakis – Mourtzinos complex. It is a fortified complex of buildings which used as a place of residence for the Mourtzinos, Petreas, Boukouvalas and Mahlebas families. Inside the complex, we find the famous church of Agios Spyridon, which is the family church of the genus Troupakis and Mourtzinos.

Mourtzino’s fortress

Architecture

The church of St. Spyridon is impressive as an architectural ensemble. It has a multi-story Ionian island bell tower builded based on post-Byzantine style. At the entrance, there is a carved double-headed eagle embossed with a Byzantine emblem.

The bell of the church of St. Spyridon is said to be pirate loot. The north side of the church is identified with the wall of Old Kardamili and the outer courtyard of the Mourtzinos complex.

The main building materials used were limestone and marble.

Mourtzino’s fortress

History

The erection of the church dates back to the period of the Second Venetian Occupation (1685-1715). In January 1821 General Theodoros Kolokotronis come as a guest at the Mourtzino’s residence. With the arrival in Kardamili of the rest of the Maniats with Petrobey Mavromichalis, doxology was celebrated at the church of Agios Spyridon on March 21, 1821. Then they all march to liberate Kalamata on March 23, 1821 and the struggle against the Ottoman empire began.

Mourtzino’s Fortress

The temple of Agios Spyridon along with the other buildings, the tower, the onta, the olive mill etc. is a single building block. Here is clearly shown the function of organizing the daily life of a constantly defending, small society, during the 17th-18th century.

The frames of the openings are adorned with fine art sculptures, some of which are dated back to Byzantine times.

In 1994 it was declared a historic monument by Greek authorities. The period 1999 – 2004 completed the restoration of the section containing the three-storeyed fortified house and converted into a Museum.