|Statue of Nikotsaras||Monument in Giannota||The statue at the square||Nikotsaras|
Nikotsaras (Nikos Tsaras 1768-1807)
Nikotsaras is the most known “armatolos” of the region Of Thessalian Olympus. (current locations: Katerini, Larisa, Agia, Kalampaka, Litohoro, Platamonas, Meteora. Trikala, Karditsa, Tempi, Elassona, Volos, Farsala). Unfortunately information about his initial activity at the start of revolution is not sufficient. It is known that in the early 19th century he left the arms and became thief. And was recognized as a leader of all the thieves of Thessaly and South Macedonia. (Katerini, Alexandreia, Veroia, Chalkidona, Platy, Meliki, Messi, Aliakmonas). And had active action to the rest Macedonia (current locations: Kallikrateia, Kastoria, Florina, Kozani, Veroia. Naousa, Grevena, Edessa, Giannitsa, Chalkidona, Alexandreia, Thessaloniki, Lagadas. Michaniona, Poligiros, Moudania, Serres, Sidirokastro, Kilkis etc.)
From his letter to Con. Balaro it is obvious that his willingness to liberalize the nation passes from the individual to the collective level. So in November 1806 went to Hydra, Spetses, Argos, Nafplion, and took from Lazarus Kountourioti citizenship papers and found in the Ionian island of Zakynthos (and kefalonia, Argostoli, Sami) Russians for help (who had just declared war on Turkey).
In April 1807 Nikotsaras with his boat began to collect soldiers from Northern Sporades. (Alonissos, Skopelos, Skyros, Skiathos). But Turks required the islanders to destroy their boats to avoid the use the use of rebels. So Nikotsaras went to Katerini and possibly passing Trikala- Larisa- Volos- Almiros (or another version of Agrinio and Arta). In order to pass through Aliakmonas and Loudias to reach to Neurokopi and Drama and in the wider region. (current region of Drama, Kilkis, Serres, Nea Zihni, Xanthi, Kavala, Thessaloniki, Halkidiki). But finally, he did not succeed because there were many Turks in the region and he had a small expeditionary team at his disposal and the distance was large.
What is known is that Nikotsaras campaigned, fought against Turks and went to Paggaio Mountain, to Eikosifoinoussa (there people refysed to help him). Then went south and after 20km reached to the town Prava. To the bridge Pravi a 3days battle with Turks was done and Nikotsaras with his soldiers rained a sword and went towards to Chalkidiki. (Folk song of that period can and a Turkish cemetery in the area can confirm this battle). In retaliation, the Turks sacked the monastery of Agios Dionysios.
Nikotsaras with 50 others found refuge in the monastery Esfigmenou on Mount Athos. From there they returned in late July in Skiathos, Skopelos, raised the greek flag on ships that came and started the attacks. In one such attack on Kassandra peninsula(current locations of Ouranoupoli, Stauros, Asprovalta) Nikotsaras was killed on July 10, 1807. Kostis Palamas said: “Karaiskakis was the Achilles of modern Greece and Nikotsaras was Achilles of enslaved modern Greece. Therefore it is no coincidence that we have data about Nikotsaras which lead us to the “Agio oros”.
There were investigated some travel manuscripts texts referred to his hidden treasures. Some texts were correct and some others were distorted. Things are even more difficult by the fact that there was some
kind of coding in those texts. Which were not obvious and certainly could not be detected by copies but only from the originals that the monks took care to keep well hidden. What the researchers believe to be original were copies written by hand later. These papers were released later and some were sold at high prices…