One of the projects we arranged was for the Estonian Folk Art and Craft Union to various locations in the Peloponnese and Athens. The theme was getting acquainted with local artisans and folk and traditional crafts.
We chose Leonidio which is one of those areas where tradition is preserved due to its geographical isolation.
The building of Fabbrica has a long and pleated history.
It was founded in 1855 and the construction was completed in 1859. Originally it was built as an elementary school with financial contribution of the inhabitants of Leonidio. For a period of time it accommodated the town hall.
In 1924, in the school building the power plant of Apostolos Kostakis was installed and the next year it provided the electric power to the city, at the time when only few cities in Greece had electricity. In the same building a flour mill and an olive press mill were installed.
Before the war in 1940, the building was sold to new owners and continued its operation. During the Civil War, in October 1948, the Fabbrica was blown up in the fights of the rebels of the Democratic Army on one side and the government armed forces on the other.
It reopened shortly, after its repairs and it was finally closed in 1967, after the takeover of Public Power Corporation. In the 1987 the request to convert the abandoned complex in a cultural center was approved by the Municipality of Leonidio.
In the following years, from 1989 to 1995, mainly with the actions of the Mayor of Leonidio of that D. Tsigounis, the financial support of public and private agencies for the restoration of the old industrial sites was secured and assisted by the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Environment, the Prefecture of Arcadia and the Tobacco Industry G.A. Keranis S.A.
In 2012, under Mayor I. Marneris, the project of Fabbrica has joined the Operational Programme “Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship” which was investment proposal of Municipality of South Kynouria and the Development Agency of Parnonas which have assisted in the restoration of the building, the design and installation interpretation, the supply of the necessary equipment, the development of educational tools and implementation of promotional activities.
The Fabbrica of Culture, as the building is named today in order to preserve its traditional name, started its operation in 2014 as the “Centre for the Promotion of Agricultural History and the Sea Routes in East Peloponnese” under Mayor Ch. Lysikatos, who, as an engineer, played an important role in the design and implementation of the project.