Messinia - Culture

There are ancient findings in every corner of Greece. Nowhere else, though, is there such a well-preserved ancient city like Messini. In many areas there are Byzantine and medieval castles, but not like those of Methoni and Koroni. Many cities in the country played an important role in the Greek Revolution. Few, however, gave it the impetus that Kalamata did. Few places in the world also keep the tradition as they do in Western Mani. These and many more make up a versatile landscape, which paint the final picture of the culture of Messinia. Ruins of thousands of years, are scattered throughout the Messinian land, impressive vaulted tombs, the great Palace of Nestor, and even the tombs of the legendary Dioscuri in Kardamili. Museums are the best guardians of the culture of Messinia, places no visitor should miss. Historic monasteries, churches of a unique architecture and Byzantine monuments like Agios Charalambos in Kalamata, compose a significant part of the religious culture of the region. The city of Kalamata is a "living" monument of the culture of Messinia, and it will win you over the moment you lay eyes on it: neoclassical buildings, the old town, the imposing castle, the railway station and many other places, each leaving its own sign on the face of the city. Niokastro in Pylos, the Castle of Kyparissia, the Monument to the Fallen Greeks in the battle of the island Sfaktiria, the Old Kardamili, the Vardia ("shift") of Demetreons, and the impressive towers of West Mani, are all elements that make up the culture of Messinia and cause the admiration and interest of tens of thousands of visitors.
  • Zoumpouleio Hall

    In Zoumpouleio Halla in Kalamata, a renovated neoclassical building of 1905 houses the Municipal School of Dance and is base of the International Dance Festival of Kalamata.

  • Vaulted Tomb of Voidokilia

    The Vaulted Tomb of Voidokilia of the Mycenaean period is believed to have belonged to Thrasymedes, son of the legendary King Nestor. There were found quite rich offerings.

  • Vaulted Tomb of Kaplani

    Between the villages of Kaplani and Zizani, at the top of the hill Vigla lies the Mycenaean vaulted tomb with a diameter of five meters.

  • Vardia (the Greek word for “Shift”) of Demetreons

    The Shift (Observatory) of Demetreons was built in the 18th century, over the old port of Kardamyli to guarantee the better surveillance of the area.

  • Underwater Telescope of Neutrino

    At the seabed of Methoni outside Pilos, a pioneering project and experiment relevant to the astroparticle physics is performed and an underwater telescope of neutrino is installed.

  • Town Hall of Kalamata

    The City Hall of Kalamata is housed in a neoclassical building in early 19th century on the pedestrian sreet of Aristomenous. It is one of the buildings “ornaments” of the city.

  • Tower of Patriarcheas

    The Tower of Patriarcheas is located in the village Prosilio, in West Mani, and it belongs to the widely known traditional architecture of Towers in Mani that used to prevail in the 19th century.

  • Tower of Mourtzinos

    The Tower of Mourtzinos in Old Kardamyli dates from the 17th century

  • Tower of Mavrikos

    The Tower of Mavrikos was built in 1814 in the village of Malta, West Mani, by the primate of the village, Mavrikos.

  • Tower of Koumoundouros

    The Tower of Koumoundouros, in which Alexander Koumoundouros was born, is located at the village Kampos, West Mani.

  • Tower of Kapetanakides

    The Tower of Kapetanakides is at the village of Sotirianika, in West Mani, and it was built in the late 18th century.

  • Tower of Houseas

    The Tower of Houseas is located at Proastio, a village of West Mani, and it is estimated to have been built in the early 19th century.

  • Tower Goudeli

    Goudelis Tower is located at the village Kariovouni in western Mani and it has been classified as a historic monument.

  • Theatre of Messini

    The Ancient Theatre of Messini, one of the largest in antiquity, was restored and re-opened its doors to the public after "silence" of 1700 years.

  • The Tower of Kitriniaris

    The Tower of Kitriniaris is located between the villages of Eksochori and Saidona, in West Mani.

  • The Tower of Kapetanakides at Mills

    At Mantinea, in West Mani, the Tower of Kapetanakides is still preserved at the location of the Mills that could turn by the water.

  • The tombs of Dioscuri

    The tombs of Dioscuri are situated in a path through the gorge of Viros, 10 minutes from Old Kardamyli.

  • The residence of Tsiklitiras

    The House of the Greek Olympic champion Kostas Tsiklitiras, at Pilos. has been recently restored and turned into a museum which presents the collection of the philhellene Rene Puaux.

  • The Old Factory of Kardamyli

    The Old Factory of Kardamyli with a beautiful view towards the harbor, used to serve as olive mill, as Kernel olive oil factory as well as soap factory.

  • The Museum of Mourtzinos

    The Museum of Mourtzinos is housed in a residence of three floors, in the Tower of Mourtzinos in the old Kardamyli.

  • The Historical – Folklore Museum “Androuvista”

    The Historical - Folklore Museum "Androuvista” of Eksochori is located in West Mani and includes a rich collection of objects from the area .

  • The Aqueduct of Pilos

    The Aqueduct of Pilos, one of the most important public works of the Ottoman Period in Messinia, covered the needs for water at Niokastro.

  • Square of Ypapanti

    The Square of Ypapanti is just below the castle in the old city of Kalamata. There stands the Metropolitan Church of Ypapanti

  • Square of March 23

    In the Square of March 23 there is the historic church of Agioi Apostoloi, where according to tradition, the Revolution started on 23 March, 1821.

  • Small Church of Taxiarches

    The small church of Taxiarches is located 4 km away from the city of Kalamata.

  • Small Church of Great Archangels

    The small church of Great Archangels is located 4 km away from the city of Kalamata

  • Sanctuary of Pamisos

    River Pamisos in Messinia was worshiped in ancient times for its healing powers. The Sanctuary of Pamisos was in the village of Agios Floros.

  • Sanctuary of Ithomatas Zeus

    The Sanctuary of Ithomatas Zeus was on the top of Mountain Ithomi in Messinia, in the place where the Convent of Voulkano is built today.

  • Sanctuary of Artemis Limnatida

    The Sanctuary of Artemis Limnatida is located on a plateau at northeast of the village Mavrommati. There are found the foundations, the altar and the pedestal of the statue.

  • Sanctuary of Apollo of Korythos

    Buildings of successive building phases that have been excavated in the region of Agios Andreas of Loga, are identified with the Sanctuary of Apollo Korythiou Peloponnese-or.

  • Railway station of Kalamata

    The Railway Station of Kalamata, at the junction of Railway Station and Franzi streets is an example of industrial architecture, built of stone.

  • Railway Park

    The Railway Park of Kalamata is the only outdoor museum of its kind. It spreads across an area of 54 acres just 5 minutes from the city center.

  • Port of Kalamata

    The port of Kalamata was once the commercial and financial center. Along the port there are still some buildings that recall the glamour of yesteryear.

  • Philharmonic Band of Kalamata

    The Philharmonic Band of Kalamata was founded in 1890 and is housed in an old mansion on Ypapanti street in the historic city center.

  • Paleocastro

    Paleocastro that dominates the northern part of the bay of Navarino was built in the 13th by the Franks. It offers an incredible view of Voidokoilia beach and the lagoon of Divari.

  • Palace of Nestor

    The so-called Palace of Nestor is the most well-preserved Mycenaean Palace in Greece. It is located in Messinia, 4 km south of the village of Chora and 14 km from Pylos.

  • Old town of Kalamata

    The old town of Kalamata is located around the area of the Castle and there you can find many interesting buildings, museums, art galleries and many cafes.

  • Old Kardamili

    Old Kardamili, situated above the new settlement, is a well-preserved castle town with tower houses.

  • Niokastro

    Niokastro of Pilos is one of the best preserved castles in Greece. It was built in 1573 by the Turks to protect the southern entrance of the harbor.

  • Myrsinochori

    Two vaulted tombs of the early Mycenaean period have been excavated in Myrsinochori at Routsi. One of them was found intact.

  • Mycenaean settlement in Antikalamos

    A small part of Mycenaean settlement was revealed in Antikalamos, with particular importance. It is the first to be revealed near the city of Kalamata.

  • Municipal Theatre of Kalamata (Regional Theatre of Kalamata )

    The Municipal Theatre of Kalamata that was founded in 1984 has two stages, the central and the new one. It has presented numerous Greek and world plays.

  • Municipal School of Music of Kalamata

    The Municipal School of Music of Kalamata is housed in a traditional neoclassical building of 1860s, near the square of Ypapanti in the Castle.

  • Municipal Gallery ” A. Tassos ‘

    The Municipal Gallery "A. Tassos" in the center of Kalamata presents paintings, sculpture, printmaking and ceramics of famous artists of the '80s.

  • Mpourtzi

    Mpourtzi of Methoni is connected to the castle with a small arched stone-paved bridge. It was built in 1500 as an independent, small fortress.

  • Monument to the Fallen Russian Sailors

    The Monument to the Fallen Russian Sailors is at Sfaktiria, a small island near Pilos and it is dedicated to the Russian sailors that lost heroically their life at the Battle of Navarino.

  • Monument of warrior from Mani

    The monument of Warrior from Mani was erected on beach of Verga to commemorate the historical Battle of Verga in 1826 in which people from Mani repulsed Ibrahim.

  • Monastery Panagoulaki

    The monastery Panagoulaki is an monastery for old calendarists near the town of Kalamata.

  • Monastery of Velanidia

    The Monastery of Velandia got its name from the ancient oak that stood near the monastery until the earthquake of 1884, when it was felled

  • Monastery of Vaidenitsa

    The abandoned monastery of Vaidenitsa in western Mani is built in a ravine between villages Exochori and Saidona. It dates back to the 17th or 18th century.

  • Monastery of Sidiroporta

    The Monastery of Sidiroporta got its name from the heavy iron door installed by the founder of the Bishop Parthenios Methonis.

  • Monastery of Savior

    Inside the Gorge of Viros in Western Mani there is the Monastery of Savior of the 14th century, that is abandoned today. The Church organizes a big feast on August 6th.

  • Monastery of Samuel

    The Monastery of Samuel in Western Mani is a ruined castle-monastery built in a ravine on the western slope of the peak Sotiritsa in Taygetos.

  • Monastery of Prophet Joel

    The Monastery of Prophet Joel is located in Fares of Kalamata, to the east of the city center.

  • Monastery of Prophet Elias

    The cells of the Monastery of Prophet Elias were used for hosting indigent tuberculars and psychiatric institution "Prophet Elias"

  • Monastery of Mardaki

    The historic monastery of Mardaki became a refuge for kleftes and armatoloi in 1821. Every 15 and 23 August the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary, work of Evangelist Luke is exposed to pilgrimage.

  • Monastery of Gardiki

    The monastery of Gardiki was base of Papaflessas for the liberating struggle of 1821.

  • Monastery of Exaltation of the Holy Cross

    In the Monastery of Exaltation of the Holy Cross you will find a unique workshop with six old looms.

  • Monastery of Dimiovia

    The Monastery of Dimiovia is located at the foot of Taygetos. It houses the icon of Virgin Mary Dimiovitissa.

  • Monastery of Androumpevitsa

    The Monastery of Androumpevitsa is located in West Mani, one kilometer away from Stavropigio, built between 12th-13th century and today serves as a nunnery.

  • Monastery Mele

    The church of Timios Prodromos or Monastery Mele has recently been restored by the Archaeological Service.

  • Monastery Lykaki

    The Monastery Lykaki is inside the Gorge of Viros in Western Mani above Kardamyli. It is a building of the 14th-16th century that now has been recaptured.

  • Monastery Karaveli

    The Monastery Karaveli near Petrovouni of western Mani was a fortified monastery of the 14th century with defensive enclosure, battlements and of course the church.

  • Monastery Kalograion

    The Monastery Kalograion in the center of Kalamata is dedicated to Saints Constantine and Helen and is the place where the famous handkerchief of Kalamata is made.

  • Mills in Messinia ” Evagelistria”

    The huge abandoned industrial building that dominates on the port of Kalamata, hosted since 1926 the Mills of Messinia "Evagelistria."

  • Military Museum of Kalamata

    The Military Museum of Kalamata shows through uniforms, war and photographic material, the military history since 1821 to the present day.

  • Lignite mine at Chomatero

    The lignite mine at Chomatero, in Messenia, started its operation in 1916 and gave work to many local residents.

  • King George Square

    King George Square is the central square of the city, one of the busiest spots. Important events and celebrations of the city take place here.

  • Ketseas Tower

    Ketseas Tower is located at Kato Doloi in western Mani.

  • Kapitsinou Tower

    Kapitsinou Tower is located in Mani, at the village Dell. It has 5 floors and very simple architecture. Special positions for rifles are its main characteristique.

  • International Dance Center

    The International Dance Center of Kalamata was founded in 1995 for the development of dance creativity in the city. It is the organizer of the International Dance Festival.

  • Historical and Folklore Museum of Thalames

    The Private Historical and Folklore Museum of Thalames, is hosted in a tower house and incudes exhibitions of important documents of the social and rural life in the area.

  • Hill range Ellinika

    The hill range Ellinika is 11 km away from Kalamata and an extensive cemetery of chambered Mycenaean tombs and many valuable findings came to light next to Ellinika.

  • Gallery of Contemporary Greek Art

    The Gallery of Contemporary Greek Art in Kalamata hosts works of great Greek artists such as Egonopoulos, Fasianos, Tsoklis, Mytaras, Halepas, etc.

  • Folklore Museum of Voufrada

    The Folklore Museum of Voufrada is housed in the old building of elementary school in the village Milioti. It includes items from the daily life of modern times.

  • Folklore museum of Kalamata – Mansion Kyriakou

    The Folklore Museum of Kalamata is housed in the Mansion Kyriakou in Kalamata, a two-storey building of the 19th century. It was founded by local “Society for the Dissemination of Letters,” the purpose of collecting archival material and objects of the Revolution of 1821, and the preservation and promotion of objects of modern culture in the region.

  • Folklore Collection of Mani

    The Folklore Collection of Mani is located in the village Platsa of western Mani. It includes more than 700 objects of the popular culture of the region.

  • Derezea Tower

    Derezea Tower is located in the village Thalames on the road from Kardamyli to Itilo.

  • Customs Office ( Ntouana )

    Central location in the port of Kalamata holds the Customs Office Square, where there is the building complex of Customs Office (Ntouana).

  • Cultural Center of Kalamata

    The Cultural Centre of Kalamata, on Aristomenous street, is housed in a neoclassical building of 1912, next to which it a new part of modern construction was built.

  • Church og Agioi Anargiroi in Nomitsi

    The Church of Agioi Anargiroi is one the most important monuments of Western Mani.

  • Church of Ypapanti

    The church of Ypapanti is the Metropolitan church of Kalamata that celebrates on February 2nd, but the rituals last 14 days.

  • Church of Transfiguration of the Savior in Nomitsi

    The church of Transfiguration of the Savior is 55 kilometers away from the city of Kalamata.

  • Church of Transfiguration of the Savior

    The Church of Transfiguration of the Savior is in Fagrianika of Milia and is 60 kilometers away from the city of Kalamata.

  • Church of Saint Nicolaos of Fragolimni and Saint Athanasios of Tzane

    The "Twin" church of Saint Nicolaos of Fragolimna and Saint Athanasios s of Tzane is located to the west of the square of Frangolimna.

  • Church of Mikroi Taxiarches

    The Church of Mikroi Taxiarches belonges to Benakis family and since 1916 is a dependency of the Monastery of Velanidia.

  • Church of Agios Stratigos in Pyrgos

    The Church of Agios Stratigos is in Pyrgos of Western Mani and 56 kilometers away from Kalamata.

  • Church of Agios Spyridon in Kardamyli

    The Church of Agios Spyridon integrated in the fortress set of the Tower of Mourtzinos is 37 kilometers away from the city of Kalamata.

  • Church of Agios Petros in Kastania

    The Church of Agios Petros in Kastania is 52 km away from the city of Kalamata.

  • Church of Agios Nicolaos in Platsa

    The Church of Agios Nicolaos with its exquisite frescoes is 54 km away from the city of Kalamata.

  • Church of Agia Sophia in Gournitsa

    The Church of Agia Sophia is located in the homonymous village of Western Mani and is 42 kilometers away from Kalamata.

  • Central Public Library of Kalamata

    The Central Public Library of Kalamata was founded in 2004 and contains approximately 11,700 titles of educational, cultural and informational content.

  • Castle of Zarnata

    The Castle of Zarnata is located in the northwest frontier of Mani, between the settlements of Campos and Stavropigio. It is estimated to have been built in the 17th century.

  • Castle of Pidima

    Castle of Pidima is located on a hilltop outside of the village Pidima in Messinia. It was built by the Byzantines in 1300 to control the valley.

  • Castle of Pera

    The Castle of Pera was built in the years of Venetian rule and is on the hilltop with panoramic views above the village of Agia Sotria near Petalidi.

  • Castle of Methoni

    The Castle of Methoni is the most characteristic sample of Castles in Greece. It covers an area of 93 acres and ends at the Fort Mpourtzi.

  • Castle of Kyparissia

    The history of the Castle of Kyparissia is lost in mythology and the “Giants”, that are said they built their castle on this hill. Its stones were enormous, some with length of 4m. and width of 1.64 m and others with a length of 1.38 m and a width of 1.80 meters and so the Castle was called “Castle of the Giants.”

  • Castle of Koroni

    The Castle of Koroni is one of the most famous castles in Greece. It was built in the form we see it today by the Venetians, in the 13th century. It is the only castle in Greece that continues to be inhabited until today.

  • Castle of Kalamata

    The Castle of Kalamata was built in the early 13th century. Due to the earthquake of 1986 it cannot be visited inside but only perimetrically.

  • Castle of Androussa

    In the Castle of Androussa of 13th century there are still today a series of walls, the cannona and the watchtower. The space is also used for cultural events.

  • Castle Lefktro

    The castle of Lefktro was built during the Frankish Rule, at the exact same location where was the ancient city of Leuctra used to be, above Stoupa, in Mani.

  • Bridge of Mavrozoumaina

    The oldest bridge in operation in Europe is the bridge of Mavrozoumaina, outside the village on the road of Neochori , to the road to Meligala , and was built in 369 BC and by reconstructions over the centuries is used to our days. Parts of the ancient bridge, such as the foundations and the lowest part are still visible today.

  • Bridge of Agios Polycarpos (Lagou Hani)

    The stone bridge with six arcs of Agios Polycarpos, in the region of Lagou Hani, in western Taygetos, was built in 1901 and unites the two banks of the river Nedontas.

  • Benakio Archaeological Museum of Kalamata

    The Benakio Archaeological Museum was closed in 2008 and the building now houses the archaeological museum services of Messinia and the exhibits were transferred.

  • Bastogefyro (Bridge)

    Bastogefyro is a stone bridge that was built in 1950 on river Pamisos near the village of Plati. It is not used as the bed of the river has changed.

  • Avenue of Navarino

    The Avenue of Navarino, the coastal road of Kalamata, is one of the busiest parts of the city, an ideal place for walks, coffee, food and of course, diving.

  • Artistic Municipal School

    The Artistic Municipal School of Kalamata is housed in a neoclassical building on Navarino street and it includes classes of painting, sculpture, printmaking and ceramics.

  • Aristomenous Street

    The heart of the city of Kalamata is along Aristomenous street with coffee houses and shops, that crosses the old and the modern city and ends at the port.

  • Archaeological Museum of Pylos

    The Archaeological Museum of Pylos, known also as Antonoupouleio by its donor, hosts exhibits of the region from the Middle Helladic to the Roman times.

  • Archaeological Museum of Messinia

    The Archaeological Museum of Messenia is housed in the old market in the center of Kalamata. It includes exhibits from prehistoric to Byzantine times.

  • Archaeological Museum of Chora

    The Archaeological Museum of Chora is one of the best museums in relation to the Mycenaean findings. The number of gold objects available is very impressive.

  • Arcadian Gate

    The Arcadian Gate was one of the two entrances of ancient Messini and is an impressive monument preserved in good condition.

  • Ancient Thouria

    The ancient Thouria was one of the most important cities in Messinia of classical times. The ruins lie scattered in a very large area.

  • Ancient Thalames

    In the ancient city Thalames in western Mani, the ancient oracle of Pasiphae used to operate.

  • Ancient Source Klepsidra

    The Ancient Source Klepsidra which supplied with water ancient Messini, is in the village Mavrommati and gurgling water runs constantly since antiquity.

  • Ancient Messini

    Ancient Messini is one of the most impressive archaeological sites, with many buildings to survive at very high altitude and in very good condition.

  • Ancient Lefktra

    Ancient Lefktra were above the current location of Stoupa and further relative information are available from Pausanias.

  • Ancient Fares

    Ancient Fares is in place of the current castle of Kalamata. It was an important center during the Late Helladic (Mycenaean) Age (1580-1120 BC).

  • Alexandrakeio Nursing Home

    The Alexandrakeio Nursing Home is located at northeast of the church of Ypapanti in the historic center of Kalamata. It was donated by the great benefactor of Kalamata, Alexandrakis Spyridon who was born in 1807 in Cabo Avia of Mani and died in 1871 in Kalamata. In his will he left the huge for that time sum of 2.797.800 drachmas for the establishment and operation of Alexandrakeio Nursing Home. Since 1877 it offers care and support to elders who resort to it in order to live decently in the last years of their lives.

  • Agios Nikolaos of Ephesians

    The church of Agios Nicolaos of Ephesians is located on Squareof Frangolimna at short distance from the cemetery of Kalamata.

  • Agios Nicolaos Flarios

    The church of Agios Nicolaos Flarios was built on the ruins of the church of Agios Nicolaos Xenon in the center of Kalamata.

  • Agios Ioannis Prodromos

    Agios Ioannis Prodromos is considered the oldest parish church in Kalamata.

  • Agios Georgios

    Agios Georgios was the first cathedral in Kalamata after its liberation on March 23rd, 1821

  • Agios Elias Ardounis

    The church of Agios Elias Ardounis was built on the site where Elias Ardounis became a martyr on January 31st 1868.

  • Agios Dimitrios of Arcadians

    Agios Dimitrios of Arcadians is located near the square of Kalamata and dates from the 19th century

  • Agios Dimitrios

    Agios Dimitrios at the foot of the hill Tourles is a recognized ancient monument.

  • Agios Charalambos

    The church of Agios Charalambos is considered one of the most important Byzantine monuments of Kalamata.

  • Agios Andreas of Loga

    Agios Andreas of Loga is one of the most important Byzantine monuments in the area, built in the 9th-10th century.

  • Agioi Apostoloi

    The agonists of 1821 gave oath of loyalty to the revolution in the church of Agioi Apostoloi in Kalamata.

  • Popular Library of Kalamata

    The Popular Library of Kalamata is the largest and most important of the Greek region. It is on the 5th floor of the Cultural Center of the city.

  • Museum of Ancient Messini

    The Museum of Ancient Messini in Mavrommati is located in the village near the archaeological site and houses significant findings from excavations in the area.

  • Agios Georgios

    Agios Georgios is a picturesque village situated at the foot of Gkiona at an altitude of 240 meters.

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