Greece City: Monemvasia
The main city of the Eastern Coast of the region – Monemvasia (Monemvasia) was founded in the 6th century of our era refugees from Laconia, although the small fishing settlement on this peninsula existed for impertons of centuries.
Impregnable, more similar to the island of rocks quickly turned into a major medieval seaport and commercial center of Byzantium (it is interesting that medieval sources call this area "Earth Slavs"). Franki built a powerful castle here, strengthened the lower city and began to produce the famous liquor wine "Malvasia" (This was how the name of the city was called in their transcription), the Byzantines and Venetians built a lot of rich mansions, and the Turks built the characteristic residential quarters. By the XIX century, the city had the status "The last fortress of Peloponnes", And even today, it is noticeably different in character and appearance from nearby mainland settlements. Now the old city (the Greeks call it just – Castro, that is "lock") Almost deserted, but many historical monuments carefully restored and represent undoubted interest for tourists.
The lower city has once numbered forty churches and more eight hundred houses – an incredible mass of buildings for such a tiny territory! From here and the characteristic urban layout with an entangled network of alleys and narrow streets, almost in untouched by the form that has come down to this day. The only relatively wide street is a little left of the city gate and is now engaged in a whole series of cafes, taverns and souvenir shops, resting to the main square of Platia Tzamiou ("Mosque Square") With an ancient cannon in the center and the largest medieval church in southern Greece – Elkomenos Christ’s Cathedral (built by the Byzantine Emperor Andronik II Comnin in 1293.). The dome-shaped church of Ayos Petros – originally the XVI century mosque, then the Christian temple and then rebuilt with the Turks in the mosque in the XVIII century, – now there is a small Museum of Monemvasia (officially opened from Thursday to Sunday from 8.30 to 15.00, but really works on free graphics, the entrance is free). Slightly down the slope, closer to the sea, the third of the well-known churches of the city – Chrysatis (XVII in.) whose bell hangs right on the old acacia in the courtyard. The north of the cathedral is another small, but a rather characteristic church is a single-oiled basilica-Mirtidiotis basilica (XV-XVIII centuries.) with a beautiful carved iconostasis.
The strengthening of the upper city is also preserved very well, even the entrance doors are trimmed by all the same iron strips as during Venetians. But the internal buildings suffered much stronger – many of them are even impossible to identify now. The most beautiful building within the castle is the church of Ayia Sophia of the thirteenth century (usually locked) not far from the gate. You can also see squat foundations of Byzantine buildings and extensive water tanks, allowed to withstand a multi-month siege.
Around the city
In the Miemmvation itself, there is no place to stop, so most tourists will settle in the village of Village Ether (Yefira). From here you can visit Sparta (direct buses three times a day), relax on the lying little north of a long beach Pori or on a very clean southern shore Castra. On the last, by the way, you can go and snorkeling – right in the sea here are the walls of the ancient city of Epidavros-Limir, in honor of which all this bay is named, as well as the German warship.