Short history of Divri
Divri is comprised of six neighbourhoods: Groustades, Karyanades, Lazarades, Vasileous, Perdikarades, Pera Mahalas (all of which are about 15min away from the central Market the “Agora”) and Amigdali-Barbota, which is an hour away from the village.
Each neighbourhood has its own Church and cemetery. The uphill streets with picturesque bridges in the deep shadows gullies with frigid water linking Agora with the neighbourhoods, while numerous gullies joined at the bottom of the town form the Divriotis torrent, which flows at the Doana Erymanthos tributary of Alpheus river.
At the center of the town under the State Road rises majestically the building of the primary school, which was a donation of A. Syngrou. Above the road near the school is the Cathedral of St. Nicholas the patron saint of the town, which was built on top of an older church, which was demolished around 1925 to avoid accidents happening. The cathedral was built with the support of the Athenian Divri Association as well as from the support of Divriotes from all over the world, and was led under the President of the Association, Nikos Sotiropoulos.
The agrarian region of the town is 44,000 hectares (as per 1963 data), of which 6,200 acres form the residential area, while the agricultural land is covered by 6,800 acres. Also, 12,500 acres are covered by forests and 18,500 hectares are grass used by animals to feed. Divri is approximately 65km away from the city of Pirgos and 80km from the city of Patras. Also, Tripoli is 93km away and Kalavryta is at 60 km.
Divri is located at the Lampeian Mountains and is built amphitheatrically on hillocks, which are an extension of the wooded slopes of the Ascension and Asterion Mountains. This town is known for the authenticity of the traditional folk architecture and the particular color of the settlement. The stone houses are built with hewn stone. The corners of the buildings, the jambs of entrances and windows are carved with distinctive art and care. Most roofs are tiled and a few have limestone slabs. Some houses have wooden balconies with identical mesh, called “hayatia”, which are supported on stone piers (square columns) or wooden beams.
Two and three storey mansions are featured across Divri, with spacious buildings of the last century, resisting upright and uninhabited against the ravages of time passing. Other fine examples of folk architecture in addition to the above mansions, is the Parthenagogio in Agora and the Byzantine church of the Holy Trinity in Groustades, the churches and bell towers of the neighborhoods in Groustades, Vasileoi, Karyanades etc; the fountains Gavrovikos and Moriou, picturesque bridges and some old houses that were built with special care.
These houses of the town reflect the folk art, expressing spiritual growth and the higher level of culture, which dominated in the past and remind us of the glamor and grandeur of the capital of the former municipality Lampeia.
The evocative stillness of the pine tree forest by slightly fragrant breath, the gurgle of crystal water running continuously at the very bottom of the ravine, and the rough nature awe the visitor, while feeling the greatness of the omnipotence of the Creator and the poverty of nothingness.
A few years ago, the ascent to the monastery was laborious and tedious with vestigial, narrow and bumpy street that led there. However, nowadays it can be reached comfortably by car. In this forest glade, where the dusk with violet sunsets of summer and the buzzing of the struggle of the elements in winter stands motionless centuries since its establishment, the favorite monastery Divris. It is not fully known what year it was build; perhaps 15th century or earlier. Its church architecture is a basilica with a gallery, while the inner surface is covered with exquisite paintings, with the hagiography completed in 1667.
Information was taken from historian’s Nikos Anastopoulos’ book ‘I Divri Ilias sto diava ton aionon’ and from valuable information given to us by the publisher and editor of the historic ‘Divri’ magazine and nowadays his blog on Divri, Dr. Sotiris Sotiropoulos.