Monemvasia

Monemvasia: The fortified lower town on the rock

Monemvasia: The fortified lower town on the rock

Monemvasia is a fantastic place, a fortified Byzantine town full of zigzagging alleyways perched on a 300m high rock connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway. A walk through the streets (and there’s no other way to get through them because of their narrowness) is like going back hundreds of years, though perhaps the cafes and craft shops weren’t as plentiful in medieval days!

Back then, the inhabitants were a religious lot and the town contains over 40 churches, including at the top, the Agia Sophia. The top was also used for farming.

Monemvasia: One of the many Byzantine churches in the walled fortress town.

Monemvasia: One of the many Byzantine churches in the walled fortress town.

The rock had mixed fortunes with spells under Greek, Venetian and Turkish control. In recent years there has been much restoration and it is to be hoped the restorers don’t go too far and remove the mystique of the place.

The town is split in to two parts, the lower and upper towns. so there’s plenty to see for the less fit though the views for the top reward those who are prepared to stretch their legs and walk to the top of the rock.

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