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FULL MOON OVER THE MESOLOGGICapital of the prefecture of Etoloakarnania, with 18.000 residents according to the last inventory, Mesologi is an unexpectedly enchanting city. Built in the entry of Patraikos gulf, between the outfalls of rivers Evinos and Acheloos, next to the lagoon that constitutes an important water biotope, with rare flora and fauna, centre of fish and salt production, it is not only a city with a heavy historical heritage, but also a modern city with intense spirituality and freshness that is brought by the young students of the city?s technological institution (TEI).

There are a lot of versions regarding the name of Mesologi. The poet Palamas names it Misologi. S. Trikoupis - historian, man of letters, rhetorician and politician (also the first Prime Minister of Greece in the government of Kapodistrias) - supports that the name derives from "mesou-loggos" (middle of shrubbery), whilst the prevailing version is that of the lawyer Telemachos Kwstakis, who supports that it derives from the Italian "mezzo-laghi" that means ?between lakes?. And indeed Mesologi was built on three islands that communicated with small crafts and canoes and for that reason it was called small Venice in 1650.

The first contact of the visitor with the Holy City of Mesologi (as it was nominated on the 22d of April 1937 with the decision of Georgios B?, that instituted the last Sunday before Easter as the day of national celebration for the anniversary of the Exodus), is the Eastern Gate that is also the entry of the city - whose walls were built during the reign of Otto - and meets the Garden of Heroes.

Walking in the alleys of the city you discover small treasures, such as old picturesque coffee shops, that fortunately evolution left intact. Monuments that remind us of another time, where coffee and ouzo together with some titbit - tomatos, olives, cheese, and perhaps even some wild artichoke - made the discussions over the "solutions" for the big problems of Greece grow.

Centre of the city is the square of Markos Botsaris with the old town hall which now is the Museum of History and Art. This museum hosts portraits of chieftains and philhellenes, old coins, medals and arms, authentic gravures of 1837, works of Friedel, busts of the five Prime Ministers (Spiridon Trikoupis, Zinovios-Zafeirios Valvis, Dimitrios Valvis, Epameinondas Deligiorgis and Harilaos Trikoupis), authentic paintings and copies of famous painters, both Greeks and foreigners, whose main subject is Mesologi. Besides artists who created masterpieces influenced from the sacrifice of Mesologi were not a few, in Greece but also in the rest of the world.

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Additional Photos by NICK IFANTIS (ifanik) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1825 W: 52 N: 3687] (21679)
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