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General info about Mystras in Greece

Mystras travel - vacation in Mystras - information for Mystras Greece

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Mystras - Greece vacations

Mystras is a Byzantine wonder at the base of Mount Taygetos in the Pelopennese, a town with a long and amazing history, now documented in the ruins of the town. It is now one of Greece’s most important archaeological and historical sites. The town is a site worthy of a day to ponder the ruins and take in the whole site.

The history of the town is marked by wars, invasions and takeovers. Guillaume de Villehardouin built the fortress in 1249. After the Byzantines won the land back, Mystras was made the capital of Morea. It soon became a refuge for refugees fleeing invasion as well as a place of learning, with the philosophy school founded by Gemistos Plethon attracting intellectuals from all over Byzantium. It remained a haven and place of learning long after most of the country had succumbed to invasion. After the Turkish invasion, the city declined, repeatedly being captured and burned, until it was all but abandoned at the time of Greek Independence.

A tip for exploring Mystras is the start early, take a lot of water, and walk down from the top of the site, meandering through the ruins. From the Kastro at the top of the hill, wander down through the Nafplio Gate into the Small Palace, with its vaulted ceilings and ornate windows. Wind your way down to the Monemvassia gate into the Convent of Periveleptos, with its frescos, which are practically intact. The chapel of Agios Georgios is one of the better examples of the private chapels on the site. The Mitropolis, near the entry to the site contains the site where Emperor Constantine XI was crowned. The archaeological museum is an essential part of any visit. There is much more to see and explore in this amazing town.

Entry to the Mystras site costs 5 Euros, and it is open in summer from 8.00 am to 7.30 pm.

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