Archive for the ‘history’ Category

A small transcript of my grandfathers memoirs of the 1940-1941 Greek Italian war. As it was written by memory from my grandfather.( The page in the photo is in my own hand writing for a school project of my son).

” We reached the outpost, I was the first i got there. I laid on the left side of the outpost. I was getting shot from the flank as the Italians where shooting the outpost.. WATCH OUT!! they shouted at me from behind, So I didn’t get inside. There where two Sergeants and some soldiers , a sergeant wounded out there dug in. I could see at 200 meters the Italians running down the bushes. I called them to stop, 2-3 stayed and surrendered but the others slowly where trying to slide away. I raised my gun and took a shot, with the second one I got one of them. He fell down and shouted mostly not out of pain but because from the left the platoon of (the later on killed in action) Captain Schina ( He was afraid that they would finish him off). So I shouted out, (because he was yelling something sounding like asking for mercy), “STOP, He is wounded!!” They brought him over and I had shot him on the left side of the head over his eye. I put a bandage around his head and we encouraged him. I told him “For you the war is over

War memoirs 1940-1941 Nikolaos Douralas

Footnote. The Survived Italian soldier came to Athens, Chaidari around 30 years after the war along with his family to thank my granddad. Unfortunately he didn’t find him because he had returned to Koroni and didn’t have the chance to thank him first hand.

Comment: I am proud for the ethics of the Greek soldier in the heat of the battle and more proud that a member of my family acted accordingly.

 

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Greece entered WW2 at 28th of Oct 1940, after the Italians demanded surrender and Ioannis Metaxas answered “NO”. This small word was the united Greek Nation’s answer from the same moment. My grandfather was listed immediately From Koroni to Kalamata and then Athens. The first photo is from Athens (date unknown), the Second is from Albania at the 11th of Nov 1940, just 10 days after the declaration of war. He send my grandmother Dimitra the 2nd photo with a short note on the back. “My Dearest Dimitra I send you my photo for remembering me your husband, Nikolaos Douralas” 1940_Nov_7th

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1st Photo is from Athens before leaving for the Albanian Frontier

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Photo from the Albanian front 1940 Nov 7th

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I would like to celebrate this National Day by remembering those who fought against all odds for our freedom. I hope we get inspired by them today.

Some Photos of the statue of Cervantes at the old port of Nafpaktos / Lepanto from my recent Visit to the Old Port.

Military service and captivity

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Statue of Miguel de Cervantes at the harbour of Naupactus (Lepanto)

The reasons that forced Cervantes to leave Spain remain uncertain. Possible reasons include that he was a “student” of the same name, a “sword-wielding fugitive from justice”, or fleeing from a royal warrant of arrest, for having wounded a certain Antonio de Sigura in a duel.[17] Like many young Spanish men who wanted to further their careers, Cervantes left for Italy. In Rome, he focused his attention on Renaissance art, architecture, and poetry – knowledge of Italian literature is discernible in his work. He found “a powerful impetus to revive the contemporary world in light of its accomplishments”.[18][19] Thus, Cervantes’ stay in Italy, as revealed in his later works, might be in part a desire for a return to an earlier period of the Renaissance.[20]

By 1570, Cervantes had enlisted as a soldier in a regiment of the Spanish Navy Marines, Infantería de Marina, stationed in Naples, then a possession of the Spanish crown. He was there for about a year before he saw active service. In September 1571, Cervantes sailed on board the Marquesa, part of the galley fleet of the Holy League (a coalition of Pope Pius V, Spain, the Republic of Venice, the Republic of Genoa, the Duchy of Savoy, the Knights Hospitaller based in Malta, and others, under the command of Philip II of Spain‘s illegitimate half brother, John of Austria) that defeated the Ottoman fleet on October 7 in the Battle of Lepanto, in the Gulf of Patras. Though taken down with fever, Cervantes refused to stay below and asked to be allowed to take part in the battle, saying he would rather die for his God and his king than keep under cover. He fought on board a vessel and received three gunshot wounds – two in the chest and one which rendered his left arm useless. In Journey to Parnassus he was to say that he “had lost the movement of the left hand for the glory of the right” (referring to the success of the first part of Don Quixote). Cervantes looked back on his conduct in the battle with pride: he believed he had taken part in an event that shaped the course of European history.

After the Battle of Lepanto, Cervantes remained in hospital in Messina, Italy, for about six months, before his wounds healed enough to allow his joining the colors again.[21] From 1572 to 1575, based mainly in Naples, he continued his soldier’s life: he participated in expeditions to Corfu and Navarino, and saw the fall of Tunis and La Goulette to the Turks in 1574.[22]:220

On September 6 or 7, 1575, Cervantes set sail on the galley Sol from Naples to Barcelona, with letters of commendation to the king from the Duke of Sessa.[23] On the morning of September 26, as the Sol approached the Catalan coast, it was attacked by Ottoman pirates and he was taken to Algiers, which had become one of the main and most cosmopolitan cities of the Ottoman Empire, and was kept here in captivity between the years of 1575 and 1580.[24] After five years as a slave in Algiers, and four unsuccessful escape attempts, he was ransomed by his parents and the Trinitarians and returned to his family in Madrid. Not surprisingly, this traumatic period of Cervantes’ life supplied subject matter for several of his literary works, notably the Captive’s tale in Don Quixote and the two plays set in Algiers – El trato de Argel (Life in Algiers) and Los baños de Argel (The Dungeons of Algiers) – as well as episodes in a number of other writings, although never in straight autobiographical form.[9]

Photos By Nikolaos Douralas , Text taken from wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miguel_de_Cervantes#Military_service_and_captivity

I recently uncovered some really old photographs, one that caught my eye is a photo from a Greek American cousin of my late Grandfather. His name was Tom Lyberis, in his 1938 trip visiting home he had contributed financially to the project and had taken part in the building process as well. Here is a photo of the building of the Church of Saint Vasilios, of Vasilitsi Messinia. Here you can see the whole village taking part in the building process of the Church.

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The Church as it is now.
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Πολιούχος του χωριού είναι ο Άγιος Βασίλειος. Προς τιμήν του οι Βασιλιτσιώτες έχουν αναγείρει ένα μεγαλοπρεπή λιθόκτιστο ναό βυζαντινού ρυθμού και μεγάλων διαστάσεων, κατά τα πρότυπο του ναού της Υπαπαντής στην Καλαμάτα. Άρχισε να χτίζεται το 1938 και το χτίσιμό του ολοκληρώθηκε σχετικά σύντομα. Στη θέση που χτίστηκε βρισκόταν άλλος μικρότερος ναός από τον οποίο σώζεται σήμερα μόνο η Αγία Τράπεζα. Από την πλατεία της εκκλησίας έχει ωραία θέα τόσο προς τη θάλασσα όσο και προς το βουνό που ορθώνεται απέναντί του.
Το χτίσιμο του ναού αποτελεί πραγματικό άθλο για τους Βασιλιτσιώτες, αν αναλογισθεί κανείς τη χρονική περίοδο και τις συνθήκες κάτω από τις οποίες χτίστηκε. Τις πέτρες για το χτίσιμο του ναού τις κουβαλούσαν οι άνδρες του χωριού με τα γαϊδούρια τους. Το νερό για το σβήσιμο του ασβέστη και για το φτιάξιμο της λάσπης οι γυναίκες από τη βρύση με βαρέλια που ζαλώνονταν στην πλάτη τους. Όλοι τους βοηθούσαν με ευχαρίστηση σ’ ότι μπορούσε ο καθένας. Έτσι, χάρη στη γενναιόδωρη εθελοντική τους προσφορά, κατάφεραν μέσα σε σύντομο χρονικό διάστημα να ανεγείρουν το μεγαλοπρεπή αυτό ναό, αφιέρωμα πίστης και ευσέβειας στον προστάτη τους Άγιο Βασίλειο.
Εσωτερικά ο ναός εντυπωσιάζει όσο και εξωτερικά, λόγω του βυζαντινού ρυθμού με τον οποίο χτίστηκε. Ο εσωτερικός του διάκοσμος είναι καλός και παρά το γεγονός ότι οι τοίχοι του δεν έχουν αγιογραφηθεί ακόμη, σε εντυπωσιάζει η μεγαλοπρέπεια του. Ο φωτισμός του είναι άπλετος και ο παντοκράτορας από τον τρούλο στη μέση του ναού ες παρακολουθεί παντού.

Πηγή Ελληνικού Κειμένου και σύγχρονης φωτογραφίας : http://vasigoulas.blogspot.gr/

On your way up Philopappos you will pass a small cave which is supposed to be the prison of Socrates, but there is no proof of this, and it is much more likely to have been imprisoned in the state prison in the ancient Agora.

During WWII artifacts from the Acropolis and National Archaeological Museum were secreted here, sealed behind a wall.

Jacques-Louis David:1787
The Death of Socrates
, Oil Painting

The many holes on the surface of the rock (see above) were used to sustain wooden beams. There must have been a two- or three-story structure in front of these caves. It is now known when they were made, nor what was the nature of the building

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socrates prison

socrates prison

socrates prison

socrates prison

Most of the time when we see articles or photos of tourist locations such as Koroni Messinia we see the beauty of those places at summer time. Places filled with crowds of tourists, kids and life. How do these places look  when the crowds are gone and the sun is gone?

Trust me beauty is hidden in every corner.

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Koroni Castle March 2016

Koroni Castle March 2016
Garden of Eden

Koroni Castle March 2016
Wild Beauty

Koroni Castle March 2016
The Cross

Koroni Castle March 2016
Angel

Koroni Castle March 2016
Young Lady,Gone 1918

Koroni Castle March 2016
Dionysios Rallis ,Mayor

Koroni Castle March 2016
Against threatening Sky

Koroni Castle March 2016

Koroni Castle March 2016
Heroes

Koroni Castle March 2016
We LIVE ..IN.. History, WE Breath Free..

Read more in my Flickr Album https://www.flickr.com/photos/ndouralas/albums/72157665854532256
 

Ζευς , Zeus, Jesus .Eternal Athens ,Magic Market

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