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SpiliArticles: Spili, the beautiful village…

«Sweetly coming out from the mountain the moon over Spili
and sparkles on the water and gives it thanks».

spiliSpili, a large village in Rethymno. It is the capital of Agios Vasilios municipality. It is located on the main road in the center of Rethymno Prefecture, 27 km from Rethymno and 20-25 km from the southern beaches (Ag.Galini, Plakias, Preveli, Damnoni, Skinaria, Ammudi, Triopetra, Ligres, Ad. Paylos). Another 35-40 km parts you from Phaistos, Gortyna, Messara, Matala in the east, Fragokastelo in the west, as well as Psiloritis at 20 km above Spili.

After 8 km you will find, in the village of Lampini, the Byzantine Church ( Lady of Lampini, 14th century).

Spili is ideal for excursions

It occupies a fairly large, rather oblong, 16 square kilometer area, with weighted average altitude 430m.

It is a semi-mountainous traditional village, built at the foot of Mount Vorizis (930m height), which got its name from its geographical position, which is rooted north. Mount Vorizis is an extension of Cedar (Kedros) Mountain.

Spili today has 800 residents along with the neighboring village, Dariviana, with which they constitute a community.

The Mediterranean character of the climate

The “temperate Mediterranean” climate with cool summers and rich rainfall ensures ideal temperatures from 14 °C to 29 °C during summer, generally throughout the island.

Because of the soil terrain, Crete is divided into three main regions with different climatic conditions: the north coast, the south coast and the mountainous areas.

Spili comes under the mountainous area. Your stay here in the summer will be cool and pleasant. In the autumn you will see the nature changes. Visit us during winter. You’ll find snow on mountain tops and the streets of our village and temperatures low but bearable. The rich flora of our region in the springtime will excite you with its colors and perfumes.

The history of our home

«We will find it there, built below the high mountain
the humble Panochori and the bottom village».

spili2 Spili, the place of ours, has a history of 1000 years or so.

No wonder, then, that residents are proud of their ancestry. There are many versions about the origin of the name of the village.

The most likely is that it comes from the many caves (spilia) in the area around it and mainly the cave located in the northwest part of the village, near the location Peristeres, also called Schisma.

Another version of the origin of its name is due to a “cave” view you see from it. The existence of Spili, according to a tradition, dates from the Second Byzantine period. There is not, however, evidence to prove this, only five surviving churches, whose paintings are purely Byzantine style and according to the historic St. Spanakis are buildings of the 10th century.

What is certain is that at the Venetian era – and for that there is ample evidence – Spili was in life and very mature. Besides, the emblem of Spili, the fountain with lions’ heads, is a Venetian symbol. The village in that season consisted, as today does, of two settlements, Panochori and Katochori. Samples of Venetian mansions you can still see today, as some have been restored, especially in Panochori where Venetians lived. Historically Spili from the hands of the Venetians passed into Turkish hands. There were constant struggles and revolutions by the locals trying to crack the Turkish tyranny because their proud soul and the sense of freedom they possessed would not let them stay silent.

Generally villagers took part and gave their lives in all the struggles of our nation (the Balkan Wars, Mikra Asia, Albanian front). During the German occupation, the villagers’ participation in the insurgency was maximal. However, the village was not destroyed by the invaders, as reported, because it was protected by the senior German officer who, without knowing his status, the villagers treated when injured from the fall of his plane along with other German soldiers. So maybe that explains why the village at that time had reached the peak of its glory, numbering about 1000 inhabitants. There certainly contributed to it, that it had become the capital of the province.

By the end of the many wars, Spili, like all the Greek countryside in general, gradually began to decline, coupled with the continued migration of children, who set sail to find a better life. The negatives were mitigated by the filling the vacant metropolitan seat of Lambis and Sfakia by the inspired and dynamic Metropolitan Rousochatzaki Isidore (1956-1968), who with a determined effort, regenerates the village.

The villagers felt encouraged so, they stopped fleeing and after the coming of the electric lighting in the village, new horizons were opened ahead and began its progress, which continues today.

And just to live, even mentally, the whole history of our place, you have to visit us ! Memories will revive by visiting places that bear the imprint of history of so many years! We are expecting you, to remember it together, because the history of a place is its culture!


Historical Data of Initial Recognition

  • Community Spili, Decree 26/1/1925, Government Gazette A’ 27/1925
  • Headquarters: Spili.
  • Initial settlements: Spili, Karines, Dariviana.
  • Current settlements: Spili, Dariviana.
  • Attachments: The settlement “Dariviana” wasdetached from the Community Lambini, Decree 12/3/1940, Government Gazette A’ 97/1940.
  • Excerpts: The Settlement “Karines” was recognized as a Community, Decree 6/9/1925, Government Gazette A’ 260/1925. The settlement “Dariviana” was annexed to the Community Lambini, Decree 12/1/1931, Government Gazette A’ 12/1931.
  • Population: (1928): Spili 823, Dariviana 136, (1940): Spili 826, Dariviana 149, (1951): Spili 765, Dariviana 123, (1961): 723 Spili, Dariviana 102, (1971): Spili 789, Dariviana 107, (1981): Spili 657, Dariviana 89.

Former Presidents of the Community from 1926 to today:

  1. Louloudakis George Nicholas from 17/1/1926 to 10/4/1927.
  2. Haralambos Stefanos Stefanoudakis from 11/4/1927 to 1/9/1928.
  3. Damvakakis Gregory George from 2/9/1928 to 9/9/1929 and from 30/3/1968 to 31/12/1972.
  4. Kapetanakis Antonios Polydoros from 1/9/1930 to 31/8/1931.
  5. Emmanuel Vasilios Tatarakis from 1/9/1931 to 31/8/1932, from 1/4/1934 to 31/12/1934 and from 3/9/1944 to 31/12/1945.
  6. Konstantinos Georgiou Vryllakis from 1/9/1932 to 30/3/1934.
  7. Savakis Zacharias George from 1/1/1935 to 31/12/1935 and from 18/6/1943 to 2/9/1944.
  8. Tzanakakis Ioannis Constantine from 1/1/1936 to 31/12/1936 and from 28/5/1947 to 30/4/1951.
  9. Kalogridis Ioannis Alexander from 1/1/1937 to 17/6/1943.
  10. Kourkoulos George Paylos from 10/9/1929 to 31/8/1930 and from 1/1/1946 to 27/5/1947.
  11. Kalogridis Alexander Stylianos from 20/5/1951 to 31/12/1952 and from 17/5/1959 to 15/8/1964.
  12. Savakis Manousos Stefanos from 1/1/1953 to 31/12/1953.
  13. Tatarakis Emmanuel Ioannis from 1/1/1954 to 11/3/1959.
  14. Prokopakis Prokopis Michael from 16/8/1964 to 9/1/1968.
  15. Brillakis Ioannis Stavros from 1/1/1973 to 30/9/1974.
  16. Tzanakakis Ioannou Angelos from 1/5/1975 to 31/12/1978.
  17. Louloudis Stephanos Demetrios from 1/1/1979 to 31/12/1986.
  18. Emmanuel George Koumendakis from 1/1/1987 to 31/12/1998.

Primary school

The archives of the Primary School of Spili, show that it was first opened, during the school year 1899-1900, as a Two-Grade Elementary School of Spili.

The first teacher’s name that is found is Kounoupa Evangelia.


Source: http://www.spilicrete.gr

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