Megalopolis, Greece


Megalopolis (Greek Μεγαλόπολη, formerly Megalopolis ) is a municipality in the southwest of Arcadia in Greece with about 7,900 inhabitants. Council is based in the same place where about 5,500 inhabitants. 2011, the neighboring municipalities Falesia and Gortyna were incorporated. The name is composed of gr megali μεγάλη, large ' and polis πόλις ' city ' together. The remaining inhabitants spread over a total of 60 other villages, one of which has no more than 400 inhabitants. Examples are Perivolia and Vrysoules.


The municipality is located in the valley of the upper Alfios and its source rivers Elisonas and Xenilos. The water of the Alfios and its numerous tributaries from the surrounding mountains have been created on the northwest corner of the level to break through the mountains. You load and drain has always been partly wooded and partly farmed fertile and well in the dry, hot summer time long green plain.


1969 and 1990 were put into operation two thermal power plants that are fueled by in-plane open pit mined sulfur lignite. The satellite images ( LANDSAT ) easily recognizable mining areas have destroyed about a third of the level until 2003. The power plants dominate the valley and town in two ways: In the city, level and around the jobs of many people are tied to the power plants. Emissions from lignite are extreme. They are distributed over the whole level and beyond.


Megalopolis is by several road links an important transport hub of the northeast to the west and south. A four-lane highway ( Highway 7 ) through the plane from northeast to southwest is only partially traced out or in operation ( 2006); they should open up the southwest ( Kyparissia, Pylos ) and South (Kalamata ) for the North East (Tripoli, Corinth ) and Athens economically.

A meter gauge narrow gauge railway from Corinth on Tripoli and Megalopolis to Kalamata existed since about 1890. Since 2002 the single track route is overhauled. Since the winding, mountainous topology following route has been maintained, the web has also according to their re- commissioning attained no essential significance for the economic infrastructure of Peloponnese (since 2009 is the Korinthos - Tripoli back in service, the rehabilitation of the route in the further course after Kalamata was completed in late 2009, but so far no re-opening, as of November 2009).

The scenic and ecologically intact areas of the northeast part of the plane that Alfios Canyon near the northern town of Karitena and especially the Lousios Gorge northwest of the levels are important recreational areas for the residents of the cities Megalopolis and Leontari in the plane. They are also of interest for tourism.

Level Megalopolis, Landsat7, GeoCover 2000. View from altitude of 20 km

Megalopolis. Opencast brown coal ( behind town and around power plants)


The ancient Megalopolis was founded 371 BC by the Theban commander Epaminondas with the aim of forming a political counterweight to Sparta. It was built on the banks of Elisson by merging 40 places to Megale pólis. As a new Arcadian Centre, it became the seat of the company founded BC 370 Arcadian Federation. In the summer of 317 BC, the city resisted a siege of the Diadochi Polyperchon (see: Siege of Megalopolis ).

It was around 201 BC, the Greek historian Polybius, birthplace of the famous.

Among the most important ancient remains of the city north of the Elisson is one which in its extent and layout still easily recognizable theater, which was said to have 20,000 seats and thus was the largest known theater, and dating from the 4th century BC native northern Stoa the Agora. This was about 155 m long, now you can see there the only complete monumental Ionic column of the 4th century BC in Greece. The theater should have been the political meeting place of the Arcadian Federation. The excavations also run today, it is attempted the Stoa restore them to their original condition.

Pausanias, Description of Greece, whose books have been preserved, is about the Megalopolis against about 180 AD, that it " has lost its old prosperity, and is to our time mostly in ruins ... "

In the early modern megalopolis fell under Ottoman rule into oblivion.