Photo essay: The well of Meligalas Special
Just outside the small Messinian town of Μελιγαλάς in the Greek Peloponnese, the well of Meligala (το πιγαδα) is sited. No signs direct the tourists of history buffs there.
It is a site which is one of shame: the scene of one of the worst massacres to take place on Greek soil during World War 11. On September 15 1944
Greek communist forces ELAS massacred 1,400 civilians and threw their bodies down the well at Meligala.
The massacre stands as one of the most shameful events of the Greek Civil War, and it is no wonder that those who lived through those days hardly speak of them, as old enemies returned to live uneasily in the same environs
The site has been preserved as a memorial to the dead. A massive cross looms over the area. A long square has a church at one end, opposite the now empty bone house. Along the wall the names of the dead, their ages and professions, are etched into marble.
Steps lead down to the well where so many were force marched to their brutal deaths.
Rough hewn crosses mark the graves of the bodies of those recovered from the well. The graves lie in eerie silence.
Judas trees, in full bloom, frame the graves.
The Greek word μελιγγαλα means milk and honey but the pigado of Meligala
will always be associated with the blood of the dead.