ΧΑΝΔΡΙΝΟΥ – ΣΥΝΤΟΜΗ ΙΣΤΟΡΙΚΗ ΑΝΑΔΡΟΜΗ
Το Χανδρινού Πυλίας αποτελεί σήμερα έναν γραφικό ημιορεινό οικισμό με μόνιμο πληθυσμό 700 περίπου κατοίκων. Στα όρια του σημερινού Χανδρινού υπάρχουν ευρήματα Νεολιθικής περιόδου (θέση “Κοτρωνάκια”), Μυκηναϊκής περιόδου (οικισμός Πλατανόβρυσης, θέση “Τουρλιδίτσα”, θέση “Χίλια Χωριά”), καθώς και Αρχαϊκής περιόδου (θέση “Πλατάνια”). Το 1423 μ.Χ γίνεται η πρώτη αναφορά στο κωνικό βουναλάκι του Αϊ Λια (Sancte Elie), την κορυφή του οποίου χρησιμοποιούν οι Ενετοί της Μεθώνης περιστασιακά ως παρατηρητήριο. Το 1505 δημιουργείται ο μικρός οικισμός της Χανδρινόβρυσης (στο σημερινό “Πέρα κάμπο” του χωριού) από συγγενείς και ακολούθους του Βυζαντινού αξιωματούχου Θεοδόσιου Χανδρινού.
To 1700 ολοκληρώνεται η αναγκαστική -λόγω ελονοσίας- μετακίνηση των κατοίκων της Χανδρινόβρυσης προς τους πρόποδες του Αϊ Λια. Στην Ενετική απογραφή της χρονιάς αυτής, το χωριό έχει μόλις 13 οικογένειες και 52 κατοίκους. Το 1573 επί των ημερών του σουλτάνου Μουράτ Γ΄, οι Οθωμανοί χτίζουν το καινούργιο φρούριο (Navarino) στην είσοδο του σημερινού λιμανιού της Πύλου. Μαζί ξεκινάει και η κατασκευή του λιθόκτιστου υδραγωγείου- μήκους 15 χλμ- από την πηγή του Γκουμπέ- Χανδρινού που έφερνε δια φυσικής ροής το νερό στο φρούριο.
Στα τέλη του 18ου αι., στις πλαγιές του Λυκοδήμου κυριαρχεί -στήνοντας ενέδρες στους Τούρκους – ο αγωνιστής της προεπαναστατικής περιόδου Μαντάς (Νικόλαος είναι το επικρατέστερο για το μικρό του όνομα). Στούς πρόποδες του Αϊ Λια έγινε η συνάντηση του με την όμορφη τσελιγκοπούλα Βλαχοθανάσω. Το όνομά του Μαντά έγινε θρύλος και πασίγνωστο δημοτικό τραγούδι. Από τον Μαντά πήρε το όνομά του ο πολιτιστικός μας σύλλογος και η πρώτη ανεξάρτητη ερασιτεχνική (θεατρική και ποδοσφαιρική) ομάδα του Χανδρινού το μακρινό 1927. Η ποδοσφαιρική ομάδα αποτέλεσε τον πρόδρομο του σημερινού Χανδριναϊκού Π.Σ.
Στις 23 Μαρτίου του 1821 ο τοπικός οπλαρχηγός Γεώργιος Χανδρινός πέφτει ηρωικά μαχόμενος εναντίον Τούρκων του Καντίλ(ι)ασκερίου (σημερινή Πλατανόβρυση).Πρόκειται για την πρώτη μάχη της επαναστάσεως στον πυλιακό χώρο. Το όνομα “Χανδρινού” για τον οικισμό, αντί του μέχρι τότε “Αϊ Λια”, μπαίνει οριστικά στην συνείδηση των κατοίκων. Πολιούχος του χωριού θα ’ναι ο Αϊ Γιώργης. Τον Σεπτέμβρη του 1828 ο Γάλλος στρατηγός Μαιζόν στρατοπεδεύει στον Γκουμπέ.
(Βλπ πάνω την γκραβούρα του Bory de Saint Vincent-”Expedition Scientifique de MoreeAtlas-Sciences Physiques”, από την Γεννάδειο Βιβλιοθήκη) Το 1836 το Χανδρινού, κατοικούμενο πλέον από πρώην ανεβοκατεβάτες Αρκάδες, γίνεται για 4 χρόνια έδρα του βραχύβιου Δήμου Αιγάλεω Πυλίας. Πολλοί Χανδριναίοι πολέμησαν και έπεσαν ηρωικά κατά την διάρκεια των Βαλκανικών πολέμων και στο Βαλκανικό μέρωπο του Α΄ Παγκοσμίου πολέμου, ενώ κατά την διάρκεια της Ιταλογερμανικής κατοχής ανέπτυξαν έντονη αντιστασιακή δράση. Το 1999 το Χανδρινού θα αποτελέσει, σύμφωνα με το σχέδιο Καποδίστριας, έδρα του Δήμου Χιλιοχωρίων Πυλίας (μέχρι και το 2010).
Στο Χανδρινού κάθε χρόνο γίνεται το διάσημο παραδοσιακό πανηγύρι του Προφήτη Ηλία.
Πολιούχος του χωριού είναι ο Άγιος Γεώργιος.
A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE HISTORY OF CHANDRINOU
Chandrinou is a semi-mountainous settlement (320 m. high) with a permanent population of about 700 residents. It is situated in the southern part of the Messinian peninsula, 38 Km. south-west of the city of Kalamata and 12 km to the north of the city of Pylos. It is the principal settlement of the municipality of Chiliochorion- Pylias that also includes the villages: Kremmidia, Furtzi, Sulinari, Mesopotamos, Stenosia, Koukounara and Platanovrysi. The total population of the municipality of Chiliochorion was about 2.900 residents. (* As of January 1st 2011, the former mu- nicipality of Chiliochorion has been assimilated in an enlarged and integrated mu- nicipality, called: Pylou -Nestoros).
Important discoveries have been dated to Neolithic times (middle of the 6th Millenium BC ) in the vicinity of “Kotronakia”. Other sites of archaeological interest in the area of“Tourliditsa” and“Chilliachoria” have been dated to the Mycenaean period (1600-1100 BC ). Located within the municipality’s boundaries lie the famous tholos tombs of Koukounara and the cemetery of Platanovrysi. There are also various discoveries from the Archaic period in the vicinity of “Platania”.
From 1423 the Venetians used the top of the mountain (620 m. high) which overlooks the modern village of Chandrinou, as an observatory to monitor enemy movements. The Venetians referred to this advanced outpost as “Sancte Elie”, possibly due to pre-existing Byzantine chapel dedicated to the Prophet Elias.
It is believed Theodosios Chandrinos a former Byzantine officer from Cappadocia, in 1505 settled with his family in the plain further down the Prophet Elias mountain. This location had plentiful springs which provided a sufficient supply of water for their goats and sheep. This area was named Chandrinovrysi and is on the left side of the modern road to Koukounara. Τhe first restorations to the little Prophet Elias chapel are attributed to Theodosios Chandrinos! The previous year (1504) he had founded the famous monastery of Mardaki in Alagonia.
Between 1689 and 1700, the people of Chandrinovrysi were forced, due to the spread of the malaria epidemic, to relocate closer to the mountain of Prophet Elias.
The second Venetian census (1700) is the first to mention the village “Saint Elias”, with a second name, “Chandrinou”, originating the surname of most of its first 52 inhabitants.
In the latter part of the 18th century, the popular legend Nikolas Mantas, was active in the region around Prophet Elias. A popular traditional “tsamikos” song (“Vlachothanaso”), was named after him. The Turks set a price on his head when he man- aged to steal the money in transit from the Turkish ruler of Methoni to the Turkish ruler of Koroni! Later in 1927, both the first cultural club and the first soccer club of the village were named after Mantas.
The name “Chandrinou” for the settlement was finalised later, by the captain Georgios Chandrinos of the renowned family of warriors from Alagonia, who was killed heroically, in the first battle in the Pylia area after the revolution, -against the Turks who were based in Kandilischeri, on March 23, 1821. The location was later called “Tourkokephala”. The people with the name “Chandrinos” were all moved permanently to the area of Kalamata in the mid 1820’s . This was probably, due to the pillaging of the little mountain by Imbrahim’s troops. Unfortunately the ill-prepared Greek army had lost the Kremmidia battle on April 7 1825 which paved the way for the conquest of the whole Peloponnese by Ibrahim. Nevertheless, some Chandrinou sites like “koumpe springs” and “Tourkoporos” were the ideal locations for the legendary fighter against the Turks, Adam Korellas to set up his famous ambushes!
Following the liberation from Turkish rule, many Arcadian families that had been moving up and down with their cattle for more than 100 years, were finally settled permanently in Chandrinou.
In 1836 Chandrinou became the base of the municipality of Egaleo – Pylias (named after the large mountain “Agia”) which included Kandilischeri, Koukounara, Karamanoli, Milli tou Imbrahim, Lesaga, Αno and kato Kremmidia and Furtzi. The old famous officer in the war against the Turks, Athanasios Karabatsos was elected as the first mayor. In early August 1838, Ath. Karabatsos fought a pitched battle against the Bavarian batallions of Max Feder that marched from Mani to Pylia area to crush the revolt which had been fuelled by the cruel policy of the Bavarian rulers. The old warrior Christos Zontanos offered substantial assistance. Chr. Zontanos was captured by Feder’s troops and was executed. (His reputation assumed legendary dimensions and a traditional “kleftiko” song bears his name!).
At the horrible earthquakes that hit Messinia in 1886 the village suffered devastating damages.
The decade of 1920 was marked by the great personality of the mayor Ilias Ath. Kalivas (“Kalivoliakos”). He was also the director of the local Agricultural Union and used his substantial political connections to ensure that the road to Pylos would pass through Chandrinou. He also provided for a new school building in 1922 and he first fenced the “Platania” area. He also built the “Platana’s” fountain. But his most important act was his initiative and his financial support for the establishment of the first Secondary School in Pylos, by the Greek-Americans of the Pylia area, in 1926.
On August 26, 1935, most of the Chandrinou farmers were active participants in the famous revolt of the raisin’s producers in Pylos. A group of young people from Chandrinou demolished the little wooden bridge of the village, causing the Kalamata police force that had been ordered to suppress the protest, to reach Pylos with a minor delay. This minor delay enabled the instigators of the revolt to disperse and hide.
Many Chandrinou residents lost their lives fighting heroically in the “Balkan Wars”, the expedition in Asia Minor and the 1940 war against the Italians in the Albanian front.
Chandrinou residents developed a heroic resistance, during the occupation against the Axis forces and their collaborators. More and more villagers were daily volunteering for the local resistance organization of E.A.M.-E.L.A.S and taking part in many battles in the Peloponnese! An important member of the Staff of E.L.A.S. was also lieutenant George I. Katsoulis who later authored his famous memoirs.
During the occupation, the Italians maintained a hospital at the location of “Platania”.
On Octomber 25, 1943, six weeks after the Italian capitulation, the Germans had already gathered their unspent ammunition in an open area, 100 m. over the Pisovrysi’s spring, in order to explode it before finally departing from their local guardhouses. Although they had given the villagers due warning, unfortunately 5 young people close to the explosion were killed and 6 more were seriously injured!
One day of early March 1944, two young people from Chandrinou decided to blow up the Liakopoulos’ little bridge, just at the moment the German phalanx coming from Pylos was ready to cross.
On March 29, 1944, a bitterly cold and snowy day, German troops entered the village and destroyed 6-7 houses by burning them down in an act of retaliation. They also gathered all the males in “Platania” and selected about 30 prisoners to take with them in Kalamata! A group of villagers the next day went to Kalamata and succeded in convincing the Germans that the prisoners were not responsible for blowing up the Liakopoulos’ bridge. They also bribed them with olive oil and wheat, and thus nobody was executed.
From Chandrinou was also the great doctor Ioannis G. Papageorgiou. In the 1950s he was the director of the department of pathology in “Ippokrateion” hospital and then in “Laiko” hospital. He was an important person with very important political connections at that time.
In the 1950s the Metropolitan Bishop of Messinnia Chrysostmos Dascalakis founded a children’s camp in “Platania”.
Thanasis Spyropoulos was a great mayor of the village at the decade of the 1960s. He laid new roads into the village, as well as providing ready access to the surrounding fields. At his time the electricity network reached the village and running water supply systems were domestically installed in every village’s house.
Each year on the 19th and 20th of July on Prophet Elias’ day, a popular fest is held at the “Platania”. The last two decades it has been organized by the Chandrinaikos F.C. Many “Chandrinians” from Athens and abroad are present.
The patron saint of the village is Saint George. In the old centre of the village you can find a church dedicated to him which is of historical interest.
Today Chandrinou is a modern village inhabited still mostly by peaceful and creative farmers. They produce the highest quality of the very famous Messinian olive oil and exceptional local red wine. A few of them also produce small quantities of honey of outstanding quality!
Chandrinou is also the birthplace of many remarkable personalities: scientists, great engineers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, singers, wealthy businessmen, as well as high ranking military officers. Greece, a Mediterranean country full of settlements with a long and notable past -such as our Chandrinou-, could certainly expect pros- perity in the unpredictable future!