EVENTS IN SPARTI AND LACONIA

People in Sparti and the wider region of Laconia take great pride in their roots, and they always seek ways to rekindle old traditions or create new opportunities to celebrate all that is good and worthwhile in their land. This includes showcasing local products, commemorating historically significant events, and bringing people closer to sports, art and culture.

The Palaeologeia Festival

 

The figure of Constantine Palaiologos is a highly symbolic one in the collective conscience of the Hellenic nation.Destined to be the last Byzantine emperor, he linked his fate with that of Constantinople, the glorious metropolis he defended to the last drop of his blood, when he fell in battle on May 29, 1453. Present-day Sparta pays tribute to the last emperor and the rest of the heroes by organising an annual festival at the end of May; a cycle of cultural, religious, and athletic events set against the atmospheric archaeological site of Mystras. With springtime kicking in, this time of year is ideal for performances, concerts and children's activities, as well as workshops and seminars on Byzantine history and civilization. The festival climaxes with a series of religious rituals which, even if not one's cup of tea, they certainly offer a unique opportunity for believers and non-believers alike to attend a liturgy at the glorious cathedral of Agios Dimitrios, one of the oldest and most impressive examples of monumental architecture in Greece.

Cultural Summer

 

Since 1988, summers in Sparti have been blessed with this ever-successful cultural tradition. As if to balance the cultural stagnancy of winter, the festival brings together a rich programme including theatre, concerts and various happenings, all taking place at the Sainopouleio Amphitheatre. Tucked in the typical low vegetation of the Peloponnese, the amphitheatre proper is quite a surprise, as it offers excellent views to the verdant nearby hills and mountains. Based on valuable experience gained from the festival's successful past,the festival committee works together with high-profile cultural institutions,theatre groups, musical ensembles and performersincluding the National Theatre, the National Opera, the National Theatre of Northern Greece and the Orchestra of Colours, to stage celebrated works from the Greek and the international repertoire.

Calling to Taygetus

 

The selection of thisparticularly successful and comprehensive series of summer events includes film screenings, theatrical performances, concerts, exhibitions by local artists, music workshops and seminars, hiking trips and other activities bound to impress both the locals and the culturally minded among the visitors. The events take place annually at the end of July, at the amfitheatre of Xirokampi.

Mystras Commercial Fair

 

In his Travelogue, the Turkish explorer Evliya Çelebi reports that, in the mid-17th century, the market of Mystras attracts "as many as 40,000 people". Although we can be quite sure that the fair did indeed exist, this piece of indirect evidence perhaps allows us to place the beginning of this tradition earlier on in the Byzantine era. Today, a modern version is held at the entrance of Neos (=new) Mystras, the village at the foot of the hill, which bears the name of the ancient settlement. The fair, which lasts from 26 August to2 September, is unlikely to help you imagine the atmosphere of the original byzantine fair, though it is a great opportunity to sample local products, mingle with locals, and perhaps attend the religious celebration on 29 August a commemoration of the beheading of St John the Baptist.

Myth

Mystras Virtual Tour

Experience

Mystras Virtual Tour

EXPLORE OUR DESTINATIONS

Athens

Athens, a modern metropolis, a european capital, a nest for all the Mediterranean cultures. Athens, the meeting point of East and West, the harbor of everyone, who still loves passionately life! There are so many different ways to describe and analyse Athens, that any given effort to do a short depiction of the city is nothing but a try doomed to fail. Nevertheless, we will try to underline some of the main characteristics of the city of Athens. Visit Virtual Tour

Crete

Knossos was undeniably the capital of Minoan Crete and is the site of one of the most important and better known palaces of Minoan civilisation. Knossos was inhabited for several thousand years, beginning with a neolithic settlement sometime in the seventh millennium BC, and was abandoned after its destruction in 1375 BC which marked the end of Minoan civilization. It was damaged several times during earthquakes, invasions, and in 1450 BC by the colossal volcanic eruption of Thera, and the invasion of Mycenaeans who used it as their capital, while they were ruling the island of Crete until 1375 BC. Knossos was ruled by the dynasty of King Minos and is connected with thrilling legends, such as the myth of the Labyrinth with the Minotaur. Visit Virtual Tour

Sinarades-Corfu

Known from the Homeric myth, as the mythical island of Phaeacians where the shipwrecked Odysseus was soothed by princess Nausika, Corfu continues to welcome visitors from all around the world. Be a synchronous Odysseus and follow the new destination of YouGoCulture initiative. Having the Central Corfu and its old town which is in the list of the Unesco World Heritage Sites, a journey begins in the history, the traditions and the unique beauties of the island. Visit Virtual Tour

Eleusina

A breath away from Athens, the birth place of Eleusinian Mysteries and goddess Demeter challenges you to explore it! Eleusis or Eleusina, as now known, one of the five sacred cities of antiquity enjoys the privilege of being located only thirty kilometers from the historic Athens. But let me refresh it! It could be the privilege of Athens to have so nearby a city full of life and history! Visit Virtual Tour

Epidavros

Even today’s visitors feel that they are in a sacred place as soon as they set foot in the Asklepieion of Epidavros. The place where healing was a religious mystery. The sick were cured by the god Asklepios in their sleep (enkoimesis) or received from him instructions on the therapy they should follow. From the sixth century BC until the end of antiquity, hosts of people resorted to the Sanctuary of Asklepios in expectation that their prayers for healing would be heard and answered by the god. These were patients and pilgrims who arrived there bringing precious votive offerings from all parts of the then-known world. Visit Virtual Tour

Mycenae

Peering over the plain of Argolis, up there from the heights of the acropolis, one comes to terms with the superiority of the Mycenaean civilization. It reached its heyday in the Late Bronze Age (1350 - 1200 BCE) and then disappeared, leaving to eternity its legendary acropolis, built on an inaccessible, rocky hill between two ravines. The footprints of the Atreidai, the mythical royal dynasty, are visible to today's visitor and inspire awe in an era like ours, in which myth meets the history of the most important period of the ancient world. Visit Virtual Tour

Ancient Olympia

What can be said of Olympia and not sound like a cliché? The significance of the archaeological site is self-evident, even if one is not familiar with the fascinating historical details and the political background, which literally span thousands of years. Known to the world as the cradle of the Olympic ideal, this open-air museum of imposing ruins and unique artefacts tells a story of religious piety, fair play, political ambition, and demonstration of power. All the buildings you can still admire were erected to please the gods and send a message to the thousands of visitors who swarmed to the sacred grounds. Walking around the Stadium, the Gymnasium and the Temples of Zeus and Hera – both instrumental in the ritual and competitive part of the Games – modern visitors will be able to understand why the event remained relevant even when the rest of the Ancient World was long dead. As an added bonus to the splendour of the site, the Museum of Olympia boasts some of the most famous works of art produced in the long course of Hellenic culture. Visit Virtual Tour

Messene

Travelling in the Messenian land from Mount Taygetus to the coast, our glance dives, following the sunlight dipping onto the Messenian plain. From the mountainous volumes to the fertile valley, the olive groves and herbs, we see a landscape of culture, myth, and history, unfold before our eyes. In the heart of the region of Messenia, one town stands out: Ancient Messene. This "blissful plain" as Homer calls it, became a theatre of war and mythical narrations offering a viewpoint on the past and the present. Visit Virtual Tour
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