Mystras

The most peculliar castle town in Greece

Myth

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THE CASTLE OF MYSTRAS

The small castle stands atop the hill, 240 metres above the central gate.

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THE CHURCH OF EVANGELISTRIA (OUR LADY OF THE ANNUNCIATION)

Being the funerary church of the castle town, EvangelistriBeing the funerary church of the castle town, Evangelistria is simpler, humbler, and more elegant than the nearby Mitropoli.a is simpler, humbler, and more elegant than the nearby Mitropoli.

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AGIOS DIMITRIOS, THE ORTHODOX CATHEDRAL

Agios Dimitrios, usually referred to as the Mitropoli (an orthodox cathedral) was the first church to be built inside the castle, shortly after it was handed over to the Byzantines.

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THE MONASTERY OF VRONTOCHI

Keeping to the same route, the Monastery of Vrontochi emerges, imposing and massive, among the cobbled streets and the surrounding nature, which seems to a point to have regained its rightful place within the town.

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PERIVLEPTOS

Almost perched on the external walls to the southeast of the castle, Perivleptos may well be more lavishly decorated than any other church in Mystras, also boasting the best-preserved artwork.

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MONASTERY OF PANTANASA (OUR LADY QUEEN OF THE WORLD)

The impressive church of Pantanassa is the monastery's Katholikon the central church where all the fathers of the monastery assemble for Mass.

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AGIOS NIKOLAOS

This post-Byzantine church was built in the 17th century, together with numerous other churches and monasteries in the wider area (e.g., the monasteries of Gola, Zerbitsa, Agios Dimitrios etc.).

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PALACES

The palaces, recently restored to reflect their previous glory, belonged to the two families of the Despots of Mystras, Kantakouzinos and Palaiologos.

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THE CHAPELS OF AGIOS GEORGIOS AND AGIOS CHRISTOFOROS

Only a short walk from the Central Gate, the two chapels have been carefully restored.

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THE GATES OF MYSTRAS

There were three gates in total in the external courtyard of the castle wall, each of them uniquely built and decorated.

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THE MONASTERY OF AGIA SOPHIA ZOODOTOU

Upon entering the castle through the Central Gate, Agia Sophia [not a saint, as commonly misinterpreted, but a church dedicated to the Sophia (Greek for "wisdom") of God] is the very first building to greet the modern visitor.

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MYSTRAS MONUMENTS

Mystras may be the most peculiar of all Greek castle-towns.

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Arts & Crafts

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EVENTS IN SPARTI AND LACONIA

Local festivals and traditional celebrations, whether long-established or more recent, are still going strong all over Greece especially over the warmer part of the year, that is from May through October.

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MUSEUMS IN SPARTI

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Experience

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THE BEACHES OF MANI

Mani is, indeed, a land of many faces.

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THE SPARTATHLON

The event is one of particular importance for the social and cultural life of the city.

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MONASTERIES IN SPARTI

The monasteries of the area are located, in their majority, in mountainous areas, not unlike many of the older settlements in the region of Mani.

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THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF SPARTI

The Archaeological Museum of Sparti is the first purpose-built regional museum of Greece, in the sense that it was designed and constructed from scratch for the purpose of becoming a museum.

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VATHIA AND GEROLIMENAS

An Outdoor Museum of Architecture and the Gate to Hades

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AREOPOLI

Hard as it may be to pinpoint the single place where the Greek War of Independence started in the spring of 1821, there seems to be a consensus according to which it all started in Areopoli. 

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LIMENI

The part of Mani known as "EksoMeria" (=outer side) may belong to both regions of Messenia and Laconia, though the people inhabiting the numerous villages and the virtually invisible traditional settlements are the inhabitants of Mani at heart this peculiar region of exquisite beauty defines them.

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ITYLO

Tucked away at an altitude of 240 metres, Itylo is the beating heart of Mani, still standing out as one of the most beautiful villages in the region.

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GYTHIO

The Neoclassical Surprise

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STOUPA

At 45 kilometres from Kalamata, Stoupa is one of the most interesting seaside villages in the Messenian part of Mani.

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CONTEMPORARY SPARTI

The new beginning for the creation of everything that the visitor encounters in every step they take on the streets, squares and neighbourhoods of modern Sparta, goes back to 1834, when under Otto's order and with the establishment of the plans of the Bavarian architect Staumfert, the rejuvenated Hippodamian Plan of urban layout was implemented again, complying with the architectural tendencies of the developed European countries of the early 19th century.

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KARDAMILI

In Areopoli, you get the chance to explore the Laconian part of Mani. In Kardamili, one has the opportunity toget to know the Messenian part.

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EVROTAS

Apart from being a source of life, a resource of gigantic significance and a rare aquatic habitat for the region of Lacedaemon for thousands of years, the River Evrotas is above all a symbol of historical and natural continuity between ancient Sparta and the modern municipality of Sparti.

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TAYGETUS

Among the impressive mountains of the Greek mainland, all sung by the folk muse, equally admired and feared for their wild beauty and treacherous, steep cliffs, Taygetus stands out as the most awe-inspiring.

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PARNON

Welcome to the sacred mountain of Kronos, father of Zeus; indeed, the titan who represents the oldest phase of Greek prehistory was systematically worshipped in this alpine territory, even after the advent of the Olympian Gods.

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MANI

Close to the western most part of continental Greece, yet not that far from the capital and many significant places of interest, Mani is one of the regions still preserving the impression of what the country used to look like, say, a century ago, in its purest traditional form. 

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THE MUSEUM OF MYSTRAS

The Museum officially opened its doors to the public in 1952; today, it is housed at a two-storey building within the north courtyard of the Metropolis.

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LUXURIOUS RESIDENCES

Only three such residences exist in the entire town, but the prosperity and good taste of the families they belonged to can be seen even in the sometimes scant remains of the original structures.

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Gastronomy

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OLIVE AND OLIVE TREE

Food for the body and the mind

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LOCAL PRODUCTS AND GASTRONOMY

Resting in the arms of Taygetos and Parnon, the valley of the River Evrotas enjoys the privilege of an exceptional microclimate, which is ideal for the cultivation of vegetables and fruit.

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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

Delphi

Situated in continental Greece on Mount Parnassus, Delphi was considered to be one of the most important cities of ancient Greece. It was believed to be home to the goddess Gaia, or Earth, and later to Apollo after slaying Gaia’s son, the snake Python. The Pythian games—similar to the Olympic Games—were held here every four years to honour Apollo’s slaying of the Python dragon. 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

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

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
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