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In the decade 1975-1985, the Ministry of the Environment designated 51 areas or individual trees as protected natural monuments. Five of them, which were included in the list by decision of 1977, are related to the Argolis:
The itamas of Ktenia, the eight olive trees of Dimaina, the plane tree of Syntagma square, the olive tree next to the church of Panagia in Nafplio and also the palm tree in the “Five Sisters” of Nafplio, of which today only the dried trunk remains stands like a telegraph pole…
The cisterns of Ktenia
On Mount Ktenia, above the village of Kryoneri (Bouga), there is a cluster of 50 centuries-old trees, one of the few of its kind in Greece. According to Pausanias, it is a remnant of an old extensive forest dedicated to the goddess Artemis.
The tree (which is more than 2,000 years old) is known by the common name “itamos”, “tame fir” or “tree of death” because it is poisonous. It grows very slowly and its leaves are the most poisonous part of the whole plant (only its fruits are harmless).
According to Dioscorides, the plant emits poisonous vapors and anyone who sleeps under it can die. Artemis used poisoned arrows of itamo and with them killed the children of Niobe who boasted of her large number of children.
The plane tree of Syntagma Square
Syntagma Square of Nafplio was formerly called Platanou Square. It is of great historical importance as – according to tradition – in the shadow of the huge century-old plane tree, the chieftains destroyed their plans shortly before and during the Revolution.
The eight olives of Dimena
This is a group of eight olive trees in the area of Dimena, with special religious value linked to historical events of the place… They belong to the old monastery of Taxiarches. These trees had been recognized by a Turkish firman as waquf (sacred forest) and for this reason they were not destroyed by Ibrahim.
The olive tree of Agios Anastasios
This is the century-old tree located in the northern part of the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin in Nafplion. There, on February 1, 1655, Saint Anastasios was martyred.
The date palm of Kapodistrias
The 51st of the conservation monuments of nature no longer exists… Or rather there is only a part of its trunk… It is the date palm of Anaplio, the palm tree that, according to legend, Ioannis Kapodistrias planted symbolically in the year the Greek state was created, likening him to the palm tree reborn from its ashes…
The tree was located opposite the “Five Sisters”, in the “Amymoni” mansion, which once belonged to the poet Theodoros Kostouros.
As the archaeologist Christos Peteros reports in the “Nafplia Analekta” of 2009, the tree was cut in two on the night of December 13, 2008. The first wound on its trunk was opened in 1941, during the German stucco bombing. An iron thrown from a sinking ship “injured” it… The tree could not withstand the windstorm of 2008, it was cut at the point of its wound and fell on the road…
Oil painting by Peytier of 1836 showing the date palm
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