THE RESTORATION OF THE FIRE AFFECTED AREA OF THE MEDIEVAL CASTLE RUINS AT THE TRADITIONAL VILLAGE OF LEONTARI, ARCADIA, HELLAS
Leontari, is a relatively small traditional and historical village of the Peloponnese with 384 inhabitants. It is located in the southwest of Arcadia at an altitude of 540 meters on the northeast side of mount Taygetos, 11 kilometres from the city of Megalopolis and 30 kilometres southwest of the capital city, Tripoli. Rising within the village, a mound houses the medieval castle ruins, and two byzantine churches. The forest fires in August 2007 burnt a section of the village including the pine forest on the mound. The effect of the fires did not scar only the landscape but the inhabitants as well, who struggle to continue living within the region after the damages incurred to their livelihood. Efforts are being made to restore the landscape of the village. The exposure of the ruins from the fire attracted the archaeologists and excavation works are carried out to study and highlight their historical value. A questionnaire survey was undertaken to investigate peoples view on the landscape of the castle ruins prior to and post the fire, methods to restore and increase the visitation of the site and the village in general. Preliminary questionnaire results illustrate that the majority of the inhabitants want the mound restored and access to it improved. Inhabitants did not fear restoring the planting on the mound using the same species before the fire. A proposal to create a botanical garden with native plant species of the region at the bottom of the mound showed that they seemed indifferent to this. Based on the findings of the questionnaire survey and preliminary excavation works a design proposal is under way to restore the mound. Aims of the proposal include the selection of suitable plant species in appropriate locations determined by archaeological findings in relation to views to and from the castle, village and surrounding landscape.
Paraskevopoulou, A.T., Nektarios, P.A., Photinopoulou, P., Nydrioti, E., Stergiopoulos, G. and Labropoulos, P. (2010). THE RESTORATION OF THE FIRE AFFECTED AREA OF THE MEDIEVAL CASTLE RUINS AT THE TRADITIONAL VILLAGE OF LEONTARI, ARCADIA, HELLAS. Acta Hortic. 881, 905-908
byzantine, walls, churches, botanical garden, native plants