The Pinios Dam is the largest dam in Greece and one of the largest in Europe.
Lake Pinios is an artificial reservoir created after the construction of a dam on the river of the same name. It is located in the prefecture of Elis. Its area is 19,895 sq. km, and this is the largest lake in the Peloponnese.
The construction of the dam began in September 1961 under the leadership of Konstantinos Karamanlis, the project was implemented in 1968, embodying one of the myths of Ancient Greece – the exploits of Hercules.
Sixth labor of Hercules: Augean stables (“Η ‘Κόπρος του Αυγείου”)
According to legend, the huge stables of the king of Elis, Avgii, which contained 3,000 oxen, had not been cleaned for many years. Clearing these stables of manure in just one day was the sixth labor of Hercules.
The Augean Stables is an ancient Greek myth about the sixth labor of Hercules. The hero was instructed to clear the barnyard of King Avgii from manure. The ruler of Elis was the son of the radiant sun god Helios, who endowed the offspring with numerous herds of bulls. There were many other divine gifts in Elis. Hercules begged for a tenth of the herds as a reward for his work. Augeas agreed, although he did not believe in success. Hercules managed in one day: he broke the opposite walls, diverted the waters of the Alfea and Pinios rivers to the barnyard. Augeas deceived the great hero. After many years, Hercules returned to take revenge, and killed the king. At the same time, the Olympic Games of 776 BC were established. This is a myth that you can cope with any trouble, find a way out of any situation.
Settlements that were abandoned
With the filling of the dam with water, the village of Xenyes, located at the bottom of the lake being created, was flooded, and the settlements of Paleochora, Agia Anna and Suli were also empty.
The water of the artificial reservoir is used to irrigate the valley along the Lappa-Amaliada-Kardama. A special environmental study has been prepared in order to exploit the development potential of the area surrounding the Pinios dam.
Despite the fact that 60 years have passed since the construction of the dam, the artificial lake Pinios and the dam are a tourist destination, despite the apparent desolation of the area.