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Mystras Destinations Tours in Greece Peloponnese Epos Travel Tours

Mystras Peloponnese Epos Travel Tours

Mystras or Mistras  is a fortified settlement in the district of Laconia. Situated on the slopes of Mt. Taygetos, near ancient Sparta, it served as the capital of the Byzantine Despotate of the Peloponnese (Moreas) from the 13th to 15th centuries, experiencing a period of prosperity and cultural flowering. The site remained inhabited throughout the Ottoman period, when it was mistaken by Western travellers for ancient Sparta. In the 1830s, it was abandoned and the new town of Sparta was built, six kilometers to the east.

Mystras Peloponnese Epos Travel Tours

Mystras Peloponnese Epos Travel Tours

In 1248, William II of Villehardouin, ruler of the Frankish Principality of Achaea, captured Monemvasia, the last remaining Byzantine outpost on the Morea extending his sway over all of Laconia and completing the conquest of the peninsula, which had begun in 1205, in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade. Laconia was incorporated into the princely domain and the young prince built the fortress that came to be known as Mystras.

In 1261, the Nicaeans recaptured Constantinople, putting an end to the Latin Empire and restoring the Byzantine Empire and in 1262, and Mystras became the seat of the governor of the Byzantine territories in the Morea Peloponnese.

From 1348 until its surrender to the Ottoman Turks on 31 May 1460, Mystras was the residence of a Despot who ruled over the Byzantine Morea, known as the “Despotate of the Morea”. This was the city’s golden age; according to the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Mystras “witnessed a remarkable cultural renaissance, including the teaching of Plethon and attracted artists and architects of the highest quality”.

The frescos in the Peribleptos Monastery Church, dating between 1348 and 1380, are a very rare surviving late Byzantine cycle, crucial for the understanding of Byzantine art.

Mystras Peloponnese Epos Travel Tours

Mystras Peloponnese Epos Travel Tours

Mystras was also the last centre of Byzantine scholarship; the Neoplatonist philosopher George Gemistos Plethon lived there until his death in 1452. He and other scholars based in Mystras influenced the Italian Renaissance, especially after he accompanied the emperor John VIII Palaiologos to Florence in 1439.

The last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI Palaiologos, was the despot of Mystras before he came to the throne. Demetrius Palaeologus the last despot of Morea, surrendered the city to the Ottoman emperor Mehmed II in 1460.

In 1989 the ruins, including the fortress, palace, churches, and monasteries, were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site

What to see in the Castle City:

Main entrance, Metropolis, Evangelistria Church, Church of Saints Theodoroi, Odigitria-Afendiko, Monemvasia Gate,   Church of Saint Nicholas,  Despot’s Palace and square, Nauplia Gate, Upper entrance to the citadel , Church of agia Sophia,  Pantanassa, Church of the Taxiarchs, Peribleptos Monastery, Church of Saint George, Aï-Yannakis, Laskaris’ House, Church of Saint Christopher, Church of Saint Kyriaki.

Mystras Peloponnese Epos Travel Tours

Map of Mystras

Useful information about Mystras

Accommodation in Mystras

Best things to do in Mystras

Guiding services and transfers in Mystras

Weather in Mystras

Memorable Tours in Mystras, Peloponnese

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