Mitsas Memorial

On Sunday 25th September 2022, the community of Ermioni, with the Municipality of Ermionida, unveiled a white marble bust of the Colonel and MP of Ermioni Antonis Mitsas.  The bust was unveiled due to the kind sponsorship of Panagiotis Mitsas, a decendant of the glorious Mitsas family, in the 'Perivolaki' garden next to the Ermioni Museum of History and Folklore in the Old Village.  The new marble bust was placed between the bust of his father, commander and Colonel Stamatis Mitsas, and the bust of his uncle, chieftain Yiannis Mitsas, freedom fighters in the Greek War of Independence.  The event was attended by the Mayor of Ermionida, Mr Ioannis Georgopoulos, who addressed a greeting and reference to the history of Antonis Mitsas, with tribute and gratitude to all the heroic fighters of Greece. 

Antonis Stamatis Mitsas (1832-1897) became famous for his military participation and exploits in the Cretan Revolution (1866-1869) against the Ottoman Turkish occupation of the island.  Antonis and his Souliot friend Takis Zikos, set off for Crete with 485 Hellenic warriors in 1867, in the steamship 'Arkadion' and landed in Ierapetra.  Captain Mitsas remained in Crete for two years, taking part in thirty battles and skirmishes, fighting with unparalleled heroism.  His exploits became famous on the island and his name became synonymous with legend.  Throughout Crete, people celebrated the victories and achievements of Mitsas and his Liapides (dress wearing warriors).  After every positive outcome of battles, the Cretans typically commented: 'We had Mitsa and the Liapides near us, what should we be afraid of?"  Other Hellenic captains fighting on Crete such as Korakas, Kriaris and Mathios hailed the Hermionite captain as a 'brave leader'.  When informed of the death of Captain Antonis in 1897 during the Cretan Revolt, the highest person in the state commented:  "Mitsas was a Colonel of the Hellenic Army who would have died rather than retreat in battle".  The Cretan State was established in 1898 following the intervention of the Great Powers (United Kingdom, France, Italy, Austria-Hungary, Germany and Russia).  The island of Crete was finally intergrated into the Kingdom of Greece on Sunday 1st December 1913.

The original marble busts of Stamatis and Yiannis Mitsas were relocated to their new Museum garden location from the yard of the old Community Store (today's Hellenic Coast Guard Port Authority) in 2000, by the last Mayor of Ermioni, Mr Anargyros Lembesis.