Gikas Holiday Club - Epidavros

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Mouria the beginning...

MOURIA......the beginning!

In the 1950's when everything was simple and life had just begun to start over again in Greece after the war, the theatre had also started at the same time as the summer festival of Epidavros with Rontiri in '54 and the grand opening (16/06/1955) of the National Theatre with "Ekavi", starring Paxinou and directed by Minotis. 

Tourism in the area was at a very early stage and infrastructure was minimal. During the rehearsals, the actors and theatrical technicians were spending their time by the sea waiting for the sun to set and temperatures to cool down in order to be able to rehearse. The closest beach to the theatre was that of Ancient Epidavros. In the cove next to the small theatre the actors discovered their  favourite  hideaway under the shade of the mulberry trees. There was a small shack that belonged to Ourania and Nicolas, where they lived with their 4 children (Takis, Iphigenia, Yiannis, Dimitra).

One day after swimming the actors were thirsty and asked Nicolas for some water, but he and Ourania not only offered them water but also food from their table. That is how "Mouria" slowly started. The word "mouria" actually means mulberry tree.

Ourania used milk from their goat, cooked eggs from their chickens and fresh fish Nicolas caught with his boat. They also carried water from the well. Their four children helped by serving.  And so, "Mouria" flourished and became the family business it is today. There is a lot of family history and stories to be told.

Ourania's  traditional recipes were passed down to her daughters and are still cooked to this day with the same love as in the very beginning. Many celebrities have tasted these recipes. Some of them being:  Jean Paul Gaultier,  the Royal couple of Belgium, Ethan Hawke, Kevin             Spacey, Helen Mirren,  Sam Mendes, Bob Wilson,  Luciano Pavarotti, Deborah Warner, Peter Hall, Pina Bausch, Irene Papas, Rena Vlahopoulou, Manos Katrakis,  Maria Chors, Nora Katseli,  Anna Synodinou,  Nikos Kourkoulos,  Alekos Alexandrakis,  Aliki Vougiouklaki, Kostas Voutsas, Dimitris Rontiris, etc.

Whether  famous or not  many people have helped "Mouria" to become what it is today, even if that meant carrying chairs or helping out in the kitchen.

Nicolas and Ourania have passed away and the business is now run by their children and grandchildren. The actors and audience of that time have been replaced by a new generation. "Mouria" still remains a popular meeting point for all those who loved and still love the Epidavros festival.