"Laconia - Sparta - Mistras - Githio - Monemvasia" Prefecture of Laconia by marka13
Prefecture of Laconia Travel Guide: 288 reviews and 650 photos
Only a few cities have played a more important role in the formation of Hellenic History than Sparta. Sparta, whose population,although small, didn't keep it from becoming the first military power of its time. A city that had beautiful Helen, a symbol of eternal female beauty, as Queen an and also the city that brought up Leonidas, the incarnation of the universal ideal of patriotism.
Sparta, Lycurgus, and Leonidas are names that since have traveled beyond the Hellenic borders and have been naturalized in Universal History. Today they area synonyms of the concepts of bravery, respect for legislation, self-disciple and patriotism.
During the 4th Crusade thee inhabitants of the small at that time, Sparta, which during that Christian period of time had been renamed "Lacaedemonia", abandon the valley and settle on the hill below the shadow of the Castle. They will remain there for approximately 200 years creating the miracle of "Byzantine Mystras" and another 400 years enslaved by the Turks.
Like a replica in miniature of the majestic form of Mt. Tarygetos, Mystra rises above the verdant valley of Eurotas. In about the Mid 13th century mail-coated Frankish knights built watch-towers on this "strange hill", from which they could defend fertile Lacedaemon and control the unruly mountain dwellers of Taygetos. But they were unable to retain their hold on "beautiful Mystra" for long. A Byzantine "Basileus and Emperor of the Romans" regained his throne at Constantinople in 1261 and henceforth Mystra became a center of culture and civilization destined to illuminate the art and spirit of the Byzantine age for the last time.
Nowdays, the board boulevards, the parks, the public buildings and the unique politeness and hospitality of its people make modern Sparta one of the most beautiful cities in Greece and its inhabitants proud that their destiny chose them to live at a place that bore "most manly of the men" and on the soil which "the most woman of the women" once walked.
(info and photo are taken from http://www.laconia.org/Sparti_introduction.htm )
Gythio is a small coastal town on the Gulf of Laconia known as Cranae in antiquity, the port of Sparta. This was the first refuge of lovers Paris and Helen; they eloped here over the Taygetos Mountains from her home in Sparta and set off by ship to Troy. Today, Gythio is the capital of the Mani, the isolated southern fringe of the Peloponnese named after Maina Castle, built by William de Villehardouin in the 13th century, the same gentlemen who gave us the castles at Monembassia and Mystra.
Gythio is noteworthy only as a driving point between Sparta and Monembassia or Areopolis. Tall old houses along the seafront of Gythio overlook a lighthouse on the tiny island of Marathonissi, now connected by a roadway to the mainland. Several faded tavernas , rooms to let, and tourist-worn shops line the seafront to Perivolaki Square, all catering to those who await the ferries to Kythira or Crete. However, Gythio is the octopus capital of Greece, and most seaside cafes serve this tasty denizen of the Gulf of Gythio.
In the Northern part of Gythio, near the entrance of the city there is the theatre, which is the most important edifice of the Roman Age. (It was renovated during those times). The auditorium , which is divided in four parts is well preserved. You can also see the foundations of the first stage wall dated back to the early AD years.
South -east of the theatre there was an ancient agora. Above the theatre, on the top of the 50m hill the Acropolis was situated. Today the remains of its walls are distinguishable.Here there were the temple of Athena and the Gates of Castorides as well as an aqueduct the ruins of which are still preserved.
Paris stayed here with the Beautiful Helen. The Phonenicians set up a work shop for the elaboration of porphyra. Janetakis Tower, the tower of the famous family of the Gregorakedes, is in the middle of the islet ( It houses the Historical and Ethnological museum of Mani). The islet in 1898 was linked with the mainland by a platform.
(info and photo are taken from http://www.laconia.org/gythio.htm)
Go 2 miles out of the port town of Monembassia, over a narrow stone causeway to the "Gibraltar of Greece", and you will find the real Monembassia, one of the most beautiful spots of the Peloponnesian coast. It is a 13th -century Byzantine village, more complete than Mystra architecturally, yet more overrun by flowers too. Tucked away on the south face of a hill, shadowed by an imposing for, is a tiny bit of Paradise.
When you enter the vaulted gates to this walled community, you will be delighted by the charm and tender beauty of the vehicle-free village. Hordes of day trippers mob the few cafes and souvenir shops nestled in grottoes of the original Byzantine dwellings, but at dusk peace returns. On top of the hillside is the 13th century Aghia Sophia, similar in style to the Byzantine church in Dafni. The crystal-clear, inviting Aegean below can be reached by the paths that corkscrew down the hill.
(info and photo are taken from http://www.laconia.org/monemb.htm)
A combination of rocky soil and no rain makes it a very arid region. A region as fierce and rugged as the Mani requires... more travel advice
Achillio is on the oposite site of Porto Cayo. A fortified protected and impressive settlement. If you decide to visit... more travel advice
marka13's Related Pages
Prefecture of Laconia Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Sparta, Mystras, Githio, Ttripoli, Monemvasia"
- "Laconia - Sparta - Mistras - Githio - Monemvasia"
- "Athens to Laconia (Page 10 of The Adventure)."
- "Venetian castles and stunning nature"
- "Laconia - Unforgetable"
- "Laconia, not often visited!"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Prefecture of Laconia
- Hotels in Prefecture of Laconia
- Transportation in Prefecture of Laconia
- Nightlife in Prefecture of Laconia
- Restaurants in Prefecture of Laconia
- Shopping in Prefecture of Laconia
- Warnings and Dangers in Prefecture of Laconia
- See All...
Explore the World
Badges & Stats in Prefecture of Laconia
- 21 Reviews
- 26 Photos
- 0 Forum posts
- 0 Cities
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (3)
Have you been to Prefecture of Laconia?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Prefecture of Laconia
Photos in Prefecture of LaconiaSee All Photos (26)
Top 5 Pages
- Greece Intro, 36 reviews, 53 photos, 6 travelogues
- Prefecture of Laconia Intro, 21 reviews, 24 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination West Mani Intro, 20 reviews, 23 photos
- Athens Intro, 15 reviews, 6 photos
- Plaka Intro, 10 reviews, 11 photos