History of Andania

History of Andania
Andania, kedni ( =glorified) as it is mentioned in an epigram, was the first capital of Messinia, established by the mythical King Polykaon.

During the Dorian invasion in the Peloponnese around 12th century BC the region of Andania continues to be epicenter of Messinia and was chosen by the Herakleidai king Cresphontis as his main palace. Until the Second Messinian War (685 – 668 BC), the city flourished and had great religious significance since there the Andanian Mysteries took place, which Pausanias considered second in line of modesty after Eleusinian Mysteries.

It was also the birthplace of the legendary Aristomenis, the second most important hero of antiquity after Achilles according to Sarandos Kargakos. Aristomenis led the uprising against the Spartans and organized unprecedented for the time commando attacks in Lacedaemon having managed to enter unnoticed the most central temple of Sparta where he dedicate loot. But when the war took a negative turn for the Messinians, Aristomenis decided to abandon the naturally unhinged position of Andania and decided to move in the castle of Eira, above the present Kakaletri. After 11 years of siege, the castle fell, Messinia was conquered and the Messinians remained enslaved to the Spartans until the Battle of Lefktra in 371 BC.

By the end of the 2nd century A.D Pausanias meets only ruins of the city.

Andania and its famous water sources.

Pausanias during his tour around Stenyclerian Field, where our Artesian source is today, makes a reference to a spring that gushes water, in the Karnasion grove and a little further down the road towards Kyparissia, he mentions a second source, which he names “Achaia”.

The water wealth of Messinia is also witnessed by an oracle that described Messinia as “tamed by thunders and rain showers”

Andania Location

The location of Andania remains an unsolved mystery to this day. The prevailing versions locate it either Southeast of Desyllas village or in between Konstantinoi and Polichni village.

Pausanias places it “8 stadia” (1,488 meters) west of the Haradros River. Our factory is located at about 2,500 meters.

Etymology of the name Andania

Due to its long history, it is most likely that the name could be of pre-Greek origin and that means that there is no etymology. But if it was named Andania by the Dorians, then it must come from the verb “andano” which means “I am liked by someone”, which makes this name the most suitable for our water.