An extensive period from Tefthida to Dimitsana is covered by an endless silence. Latter day Dimitsana actually first appears in a 963 A.D. Patriarchate seal of patriarch Polyeuctus. The text reveals that by 963 A.D. Dimitsana already existed. Historic testimonies refer to the fact that Ioannis Lambardopoulos, the personal philosopher of emperor Nikiforos Fokas, built, on his own initiative, the Philosophou monastery (this refers to the structure named Krifó scholió [Secret School] today, and situated on the western foot of the gorge), the most ancient organized monastic community of the Peloponnese. During the 12th century, the Prodromou monastery was added to the eastern shore of Loussios. The increase of monasteries and hermitages in the Loussios gorge, and in the wider area between the 11th and the 15th century, hint at the fact that Gortynia was gradually becoming established as the core of the monastic way of life during the later Byzantine period.
So Dimitsana’s history during the Ottoman period is thus connected with the monastic activity that developed in the neighbouring area. The Loussios gorge is justifiably termed the ‘Agion Oros’ (the Holy Mountain) of the Peloponnese, as it was home to pre-christian churches, hermit cells and monasteries.
Following the founding of the Greek kingdom, Dimitsana was named the capital of Gortynia and, therefore, became the administrative centre of the wider area. Public and Private Services, banking institutes, and, of course, the market, led to the frequent movement of Gortynia’s inhabitants to the city. Furthermore, the existence of schools, and especially of Secondary Education, drew in children from neighbouring villages, many of which walked all the way to Dimitsana, via bad, rocky roads in order to get an education.
Its progression through time was cut short after 1950, due to internal immigration to the urban areas. Many of the inhabitants moved towards the city of Athens , and towards cities in the Peloponnese, in search of improved working conditions and better social perspectives.
The concept of an identification of the ancient settlement of Tefthis with today’s city, which Pausanias refers to, is confirmed, on the one hand, by occasional archeological findings and, on the other hand, by the ‘resounding’ presence of the castle walls. On his travels during the Roman conquest (174 A.D.), Pausanias came across, among many others, three ancient churches, those of Athena, Aphrodite and Artemis. Its position is defined by the perimeter of the castle. It includes the western and north – western side, beginning from the edge of the rock beyond the small church of Ai Giorgis of Platsa, to the Taxiarhon church, behind the Antonopoulos mansion, and onto the top of the hillock—which has actually kept the name Kastra (Castles).
The walls are almost covered. Only a few of the sections are visible to the visitor. Also, most of them are in yards or appear in home foundations. It is evident that the fortification of the ancient city was carried out in two phases, as the masonry is different. Local tradition refers to them as ‘cyclopean’, but it is obvious from their structure that they belong to an earlier period.
Dimitsana is a superbly preserved city, with tall stone built houses, cobbled streets, numerous churches, historical houses, statues and monuments. The Ecclesiastical museum, the Public Library of Dimitsana, the Dimitsana Greek School, with its rare manuscripts. Just outside the city we find the Open-Air Water Power museum, St. John’s capital, with the spring and the deep-shaded plane tree, the triple arch bridge, the old springs and the numerous religious shrines.