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GreekReporter.comGreek newsThe 'Switzerland of Greece': Majestic Lake Doxa

The ‘Switzerland of Greece’: Majestic Lake Doxa

Lake Doxa
The lake is surrounded by mountainous dense forests. Credit: Nikos Laskaridis , CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikipedia

Lake Doxa, which is located in the lesser-known corner of Corinthia, Peloponnese, is a place of astounding beauty that has been dubbed “the Switzerland of Greece.”

It is located at the Feneos Valley; a large, triangular-shaped valley that borders with Achaia, and Arcadia, and is surrounded by mountainous dense forests.

Lake Doxa
Credit: Georgios Pazios, Public Domain

The jewel on the crown is the picturesque artificial lake of Doxa, surrounded by pine forests. Construction of the lake, situated at an elevation of 900 m, near the village Archaia, Feneos, was completed in the late 1990s.

Lake Doxa is one of the most remarkable lakes in the Peloponnese, along with Lake Tsivlos, in Achaia, also in the northern Peloponnese.

The lake is fed and drained by the small river Doxa, which empties into the plateau of Feneos.

Nine stone-built villages are surrounding the lake adding impressive touches to the area’s great beauty. The quiet road that circles the lake is recommended for romantic walks and bicycle rides while enjoying the mountain view.

The church of Agios Fanourios at Lake Doxa in Greece

In the heart of the lake on a small peninsula, you will find the small church of Agios Fanourios. Saint George’s Monastery in Feneos, was relocated to higher ground, north of the lake.

church of Agios Fanourios
The small church of Agios Fanourios. Credit: Georgios Pazios, Public Domain

The monastery; which was founded in the 14th century during the years of the Greek Revolution in 1821, was used as the headquarters of the Society of Friends, led by the abbot of the monastery Nathaniel and with the help of other abbots of the neighboring monasteries.

During the Ottoman occupation of Greece, the monster served as a secret school (κρυφό σχολειό) that would teach the Greek language and history.

The teaching was done by priests. There would be about ten to fifteen students gathered around a priest in the narthex of a church, or in a monastery around a monk, who would be taught only the most elementary Greek.

The area was later used by Theodoros Kolokotronis, the ultimate symbol of the Greek War of Independence, to hold meetings of chieftains from Arcadia and Corinthia.

In ancient times the area was also considered as part of the Arcadian region, and according to Herodotus, known worldwide as “The Father of History”, the river Styx originates near Feneos.

Feneos lies at the foot of Mount Cyllene, the mythical birthplace of Hermes. It, therefore, served as an important cult center for the god, notably during the annual festival of the Hermaea.

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