The Library of Dimitsana

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The Library of Dimitsana - Menalon Trail

Walking up the alleyway, in the north-eastern direction that leads to Agia Kyriaki, to the orchard of the church, one comes across one of the oldest libraries still working today; a library known from as early a the pre-revolutionary period, for the services it provided to the famous Dimitsana Greek School,  which was established in 1764.

Firmans of the ottoman rule, manuscripts of codes of the Revolution, ecclesiastic books of the 16th century, school manuals from the period of the Greek enlightenment, documents from the Monasteries of Loussios, are exhibits for the visitors, but are also study fields for research scholars.

With the commencement of the 1821 revolution a large part of the library’s content was used to create cartridges. Kolokotronis wrote in his memoirs: ‘’we had a lack of pencil and paper, so we took those from the library of Dimitsana and other monasteries and we made buckshots’’. The Old Man of the Morea’s answer to the complaints of some Dimitsanites was: ‘Even History ought to be sacrificed in the name of Freedom’.

In 1864, with the establishment of the Public Greek School by the government of Kapodistrias, the Dimitsana Greek School, having worked alongside the public school for a while, finally closed down.

In 1977 the Library of Dimitsana was awarded the golden medal by the Athens Academy, for its vital contribution to the 1821 War of Independence.

Today, the library has over 35.000 books and a reading-room with a PC network. In 2009, the Ministry of Education completed the digitization of 800.000 pages from documents and books, and made these available via the internet.

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