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The Place

Your Access to the Byzantine Riviera


Suspended on the "blessed plain" as Homer called the Messinian bay, Karoussos Center hovers on Taygetos mountain, in the historical village of Verga, looking over the entire bay.​ The region was the favorite resort for the Byzantines between the two castle cities, Mystras (Sparta) and Monemvasia.  

Verga is located at an elevation of 211 meters, 8 kilometers from Kalamata, and was known by the name Selitsa until 1956. In June 1826, the historic Battle of Verga took place, in which the Maniots, fortified behind the wall of Verga, defeated Ibrahim and so Mani remained unconquered. The wall of Verga looks like a lengthy rod, where the place took its name, because the word 'verga' in Greek means rod.

​The cobbled path of Verga is a presumption of the traditional technique directly related to the memories of the inhabitants of the area, as well as its social, economic, cultural heritage, and cultural development from the middle of the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth century. As a result, the path has been designated as a monument by the Minister of Culture and Sports, following Article 6 par. 1b of Greek Law 3028/2002.

Verga, like the rest of Mani, is of particular architectural interest, precisely because the stone buildings are not isolated and few, but numerous enough to form a distinct architectural style.


The house was built in the late 1800s using the traditional Maniot megalithic structure and a local stone with a thickness of around 0.80 meters.

The late Byzantine fresco painter Yiannis Karoussos purchased the house in 1974 and it is still in his family's possession.

The devastating earthquake that struck the area in 1986 caused critical problems with the two-fold angled roof. The main goal of the renovation was to keep the masonry and the traditional roof.

The reconstruction was done in such a way that not only did not alter the characteristics of the Maniot house but enhanced them. The roof was rebuilt as a quadruple-pitched one with a variety of old wooden beams, while a metal matrix infused with a binder liquid was inserted all around the periphery of the stone masonry to ensure its safety.

The family allocates the house to the Karoussos Archives, to achieve its goals, provided it maintains its good condition.

The Karoussos Archives undertook the complete maintenance, renovation, and preparation of the Maniot house, to serve as a center of educational and cultural activities, as well as a place of hospitality for researchers, members, and friends of the organization.

The operation of the Center includes:

- educational activities at all levels of education,

 - cultural events,

- round tables, meetings, and lectures,

- guided tours to the Center and St. Spyridon Chapel,

- hosting of researchers

- cultural & religious programs

-the Karoussos Club, exclusively for the honorary members of the organization.

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