Leontari – History

At a 540 meters altitude and at a 10 Km distance from Megalopoli is situated the picturesque and historic Leontari, capital of Falaisia Municipality at the North East end of the Taygetos Mountain. According to the tradition it is named after the shape of the Byzantine Castle that from away it looks like a sitting lion.

The most acceptable version though, wants Leontari to be name after Mr Leontari or Leontariou who was a powerful both financially and socially man who settled in the area at the beginning of the 12th century.

Archaeological findings show the today’s Leontari is the ancient Lefktro which was inhabited from the archaic to Hellenistic period. Leontari during the Frankish occupation was promoted to a significant trade and administrative center of the Moria seigniory up until 1391 when it was occupied by the Turks but soon it came back to the Byzantines.

Furthermore, it played an important role in the years of national liberation cause of the Greek people. The Elder of Moreas, a sobriquet for Theodoros Kolokotronis in his memoirs refers in many occasions to the city and its castle that served as a base to the fighters of the 1821 Revolution