Polish military in the uniform of a lancer of the cavalry. Early 19th century.

 

SHP visited recently the historic community of Peta in the prefecture of Arta (Greece), and met the particularly dynamic mayor of the wider area, Ms. Rozina Vavetsi. The municipality of Peta (municipality Nikolaou Skoufa), has taken many initiatives during the recent years to highlight the contribution of the Philhellenes during the Greek Revolution.

In this context, SHP visited the wider area, the battlefield of Peta, the city, and of course, the monument of the Philhellenes.

The most moving moment was that of the visit to the church of Agios Georgios (St George), located in the central square of Peta. In this sacred place, one of the most heroic moments of the war for the liberation of Greece took place after the end of the battle of Peta, on July 16, 1822.

When the Philhellenes were surrounded by thousands of enemy forces, after the betrayal of the Chieftain Bacolas, fifteen Poles of the battalion of the Philhellenes, led by the Polish officer Mierzewski, fortified themselves in the church of St. George and fought for a long time with incredible bravery.

The church of St George in Peta (Arta, Northern Greece)

The battle was fierce. In the end, when the church was surrounded by the Turks, the Polish heroes came to fight body to body, inflicting terrible losses on the enemy. Finally, they climbed to the roof of the church, and continued to fight from there.

Polish officer in the uniform of the cavalry. Early 19th century.

Polish soldier in infantry uniform. Early 19th century.

The cowardly enemy realized that he could not defeat the brave Polish Philhellenes, who fought with the bravery, passion and sense of self-sacrifice of Leonidas and the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae. So in the end the Turks set fire to the roof of the church, to give a heroic end to these fearless fighters, who have now passed into eternity.

Greece and the Greeks will always be grateful to these heroes, and their sacrifice will constitute a permanent bridge of friendship and cooperation with the friendly people of Poland.

SHP will honor the contribution of the Polish Philhellenes in a special event that will be organized next year.