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Administrative Region : Peloponnese
Regional unit : Messinia

Saidona (Σαϊδόνα) Messinia.

Saidona is a village of Messinian Mani, 54 km from Kalamata, 13 km from Stoupa and is built amphitheatrically at the foot of Taygetos, at an altitude of 600 m on the southwest side of Mount Sotiritsa. It is administratively subordinated to the Municipality of Lefktro.

The first inhabitants are estimated to have settled in the area with the occupation of Greece by the Turks. This is evidenced by the ruins of houses and, above all, by the existence of two monasteries. The first one was built by the monk Samuel, who, according to the tradition, had left Constantinople, celebrates on August 15th and is known as Samouilli. The second one was built at about the same time, as shown by images and relics that are preserved, celebrated on September 8 and is called Vaidenitsa. In 1829, in the election of a representative for the Fourth National Assembly held in Androuvitsa there was a representative of Saidona.

The village has got its name, in its predominant view, from the beauty of the landscape and from the existence of many nightingales (Aydona-San Aydona-Saidona). The Saydonites, as the tradition says, and as it appears from written texts, were progressive people who fought for the general interest and participated in all the struggles of the Hellenic Nation (Balkan wars, Asia Minor expedition, Civil war, dictatorship).

The climax of Saidona's participation in the national liberation struggles is the epic of the 1940s. In fact, during the resistance, one of the first blows to the Mussolini invaders comes from this small mountain village (1942).

In the years that followed, the Saidonites continued the struggle from the lines of EAM until the end of the occupation. Consequences, however, forced them to return to the mountains during the civil war.

After the civil war, the Saidonites returned to their village and, when the state recognized their resistance action in 1984, they built a memorial for their victims at the entrance of the village. Later on, these names were added to the names of the victims of the wider region and every year, on Sunday before the 15th of August, there is a memorial service in this area.

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