Destinations, Peloponnese

Monemvasia

Monemvasia, Peloponnese, Peloponeso

Monemvasia

Monemvasia reveals a medieval mystery!

Do not miss the opportunity to explore this mystical stone city, nestled on the edge of a large rock overlooking the sea, and immerse yourself in a unique medieval atmosphere!

Monemvasia (means “one-way”), founded by the Byzantines in the 6th century, is an impressive medieval town situated on the south-eastern coast of the Peloponnese.

Also called “Gibraltar of the East or The Rock“, it was occupied by the Byzantines, Crusaders, Venetians and Turks and became a great port, on the trade route between the Mediterranean and the Levant. Its wealth was increased due to trade in wine, grains, wood, leather, fur coats and cloth.

After the fall of the city of Constantinople, it remained the only bastion of the Byzantine Empire not conquered by the Ottomans. The year 1463 during the Turkish-Venetian war led citizens to make the decision to deliver the city to Venice that occupied it for 100 years.

“Napoli di Malvasia” was the new name used by the new rulers. In 1540 Venice delivered the city to the Ottomans who ruled until the end of the 17th century. The Venetians returned to the end of the seventeenth century and stayed until the year 1715 that the city was again conquered by the Turks until 1821 that the Greek revolution against the Turks brought freedom to Monemvasia.

Monemvasia is a characteristic example of architecture of a city founded by the Greeks, transformed by the Venetians, experts in military architecture and completely restored by the Ottomans. It offers exceptional fortifications commissioned by Ottoman generals and rulers, built by local masons who imitate the art and techniques taught to them by Venetian architects.

As you enter the castle, begin your journey through time.

Stroll through its narrow, cobbled streets, and admire the beautifully restored stone buildings. Try the culinary delights at a good restaurant on the roof of a tower house, and spend a romantic evening in a stone tower.

The “Kastro” (castle) is divided in two parts, the Upper and Lower city.

In the lower part of the city it is worth exploring the ruins of the historical buildings located there.

In the upper part of the city, you will find the remains of ancient Byzantine buildings. A rocky winding road leading to Goulas Fortress which offers an exceptional view of the city!

The church of Saint Sophia in the upper city perched on the cliffs, dating from the 11th century D. C. is a peculiar example of an octagonal church, clearly an architectural form imported from Constantinople and, possibly, sponsored by the emperors of Byzantium. The views of the Aegean are outstanding. On a clear day you can even see Crete.

The church of Jesus Christ, in front of the central square of the city is the metropolis (Cathedral). Built on the remains of an early Byzantine church has an interesting influence from the Venetian period.

Monemvasia is the ideal destination for a romantic getaway all year round. It can be combined with stay in other points of Peloponnese and nearby islands for a truly unique experience.

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