Ένωση Συνεταιρισμών Ηλείας Ολυμπίας ΑΕΣ ΑΕ

UNION OF

AGRICULTURAL

COOPERATIVES

OF ILIA OLYMPIA

Area of Ilia

Magnificent sandy beaches, unique wetlands, rich and dense forests, hot springs and traditional settlements coexist harmoniously with wonderful archaeological sites, historical monuments and Byzantine monasteries that bear witness to the rich history of Ilia. At a distance of 15 km from Pyrgos, the capital of the prefecture is the Ancient Olympia, one of the most important historical sites of antiquity in Greece and around the world.


General Information

The Union of Ilia-Olympia belongs to the administrative region of Western Greece, which occupies the northwestern part of Peloponnese and the western tip of Mainland Greece. It includes the prefectures of Aitoloakarnania, Achaia and Ilia. Its overall area is 11.350 km2 and covers 8.6% of the total area of the country. It has extensive coastline and the three prefectures are bordering the Ionian Sea and the Amvrakikos’, Patras’ and Corinth’s Bays.

The geomorphology of the region is of a great diversity, as it has mountains with very high altitude (Aroania 2.335 m, Erimanthos 2.222 m, Panachaiko 1.926 m), large lakes (Trichonida 95,8 km2 - + the largest lake in the country, Amvrakia 14,4 km2, Lysimacheia 13 km2, Caiaphas, etc.) and rivers (Acheloos, Pinios, Alpheos, Evinos, Selinountas, Vouraikos, Piros and Glafkos).

In particular, the Prefecture of Ilia, with a total area of 2.621 km2, is 60% ground flat and it is crossed by the rivers Alfeios, Pinios, Erymanthos and their tributaries. The Prefecture is characterized by coastal wetlands (Kotychi, Caiapha) of exceptional natural beauty and ecological wealth. The plain of Ilia is the largest in Peloponnese.


History

The region of Ilia - Olympia has a rich history. The geographical position and natural wealth of the region has contributed to the flourishing of culture and commerce. Archaeological finds, dating from the prehistoric period, were discovered in the region. Nevertheless, the greatest peak of Ilia-Olympia dates in the 8th century BC, due to the glow of the sanctuary of Olympia, the reputation of which was massive. The year 776 BC, was a major breakthrough in the history of the area. Then, according to the tradition, the Spartan Lycurgus made an agreement with the king of Ilia Iphitos to commit ritual celebrations at Olympia. Part of the agreement was that ceasefire will prevail during these celebrations all over Greece. During the5th century BC, the reputation of Olympia was so great, that the area became a political assembly point, where philosophers and artists could find a large audience for the dissemination of their ideas.

During the Macedonian period, Ilia (Ancient Ilida) suffered from much political instability, especially after the death of Alexander the Great. In 191 B.C. the residents of Ilia joined the Achaean League, lost their political independence.

The Roman period was no less turbulent. The constant changes in the throne of the empire affected the life of the region. The sanctuary of Olympia has been particularly favored by the introducing of the roman emperors’ worship in situ. This lasted until the rise of Constantine the Great to the throne (274 AD), who adapted Christianity and threw in disgrace the sanctuary. In byzantine times, the area of Ilia did not have any particular development. In 1204 AD French and Venetian Crusaders, claiming the release of the Holy Lands, conquered most of the country and the region went to the sovereignty of the Franks. Since 1263 AD another turbulent period began, as Franks and Byzantines battled for the conquest of land.

In 1453, the fall of Constantinople resulted in the installation of the Turks in Greece. The development in the area began to recover by the installation of Ottomans (1715 AD), a wealthy turkish family, who settled in Gastouni and promoted trade. A new period of unrest began in 1770 AD. At this year, the landing of the Orlov brothers in Mani with russian fleet rouses the local population and the residents of Ilia and Achaia. Unfortunately, the movement failed and the provinces were destroyed.

After this event, a new era for Greece started.

The Friendly Society was founded in 1814 AD. Great men of Ilia participated in this Society, as Panagiotis Anagnostopoulos from Andritsaina, George Sisinis from Gastouni and Charalambos Vilaetis from Pyrgos.

Since then, a long and arduous struggle for the liberation of the Greek state commenced. The residents of Ilia showed great bravery not only by releasing their own territories but also by helping the other Greek revolutionaries.


Corinthian Currants during 19th - 20th century.

The Corinthian currants are inextricably linked until nowadays with the region of Ilia. Its Intensive cultivation began after the release of the greek state because there was a high demand for the product from the European countries. The port of Katakolo was one of the main points of loading currants in large merchant ships departing to the various ports of the West. In 1870-90 currants was the main export product of the Greek State. The commercialization of currants led Ilia and the other surrounding areas in a strong expertise. As a result, the region attracted people in order to be employed in the production of currants. These conditions formed the strong agricultural character of the area, which was maintained until the Second World War.

The flourishing of the commerce has caused the need for infrastructure in the area in order to facilitate trade. The construction of the railway, namely the line Pyrgos - Katalolo, which opened on February 3, 1883 and was the first across Greece, the construction of the railway line Piraeus - Kalamata and the construction of the local lines Kavasila - Kastro and Pyrgos-Ancient Olympia prove the flourish and the importance of commerce in the region of Ilia.

However, this boom in the region was often overshadowed, due to climatic conditions and the conditions formed by the global market.

In 1890, the crisis in the currants’ market marked the history of the region for many years, constituting a major, if not the most important economic event in Greece, since the establishment of the modern Greek state.


CERTIFICATIONS


AREAS OF ACTIVITIES UNDER THE COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) 867/2008

Under the Commission Regulation (EC) 867/2008 (implementation period 2012-2015), the Union of Ilia – Olympia .. read more

CONTACT US

  • Kokkinou 8 & T.Petropoulou (Central offices), Pyrgos
  • 26210 29973 – 6
  • 26210 35712 (Fax)

AREA OF ILIA

Magnificent sandy beaches, unique wetlands, rich and dense forests, hot springs and traditional.. read more