An imposing Castle Town from the Byzantine Times and an UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated close to Sparta. The Franks began building the town in the mid 13th century but it quickly passed into the Byzantine rule. During the next two centuries, it evolved into a powerful political, military and cultural centre. In 1443, Constantine Palaiologos, who in 1448 was appointed Emperor of the Byzantine Empire, became the ruler of Mystras. He was the last Emperor, the man who in 1453 decided to die like a common soldier on the wall of Constantinople. In 1460, Mystras was captured by the Turks and began its decline. In 1821 it revolved against the Turks and in 1825 it was plundered by Ibrahim’s army. From then on, it remains a ghost town. At Mystras, there is a very interesting museum.

Read more ...

The Archaeological Museum of Tegea houses ancient Greek treasures of immense beauty, which are presented in a masterful way. Amongst the exhibits, the head of Asclepius, a marble relief of Pan, thrones of the Kings and carved marble plates with scenes depicting heroes and demigods. In Tegea stood a temple dedicated to Athena Alea, built by the sculptor and architect Scopas from the Island of Paros. Many of his important works are on display at the museum. Tegea had a population of 40,000, a parliament of 300 men and its own currency. The founder of Paphos, King Agapenor was born there, as was the mythical Pan. Next to the museum there is an imposing outdoor archaeological site. Photographs capture very little of the magical vibes this museum emits.

Read more ...

The Gül mosque is keenly connected to conjectures referring to Constantine Palaeologus's grave.This article describes a wondrous tour in Constantinople to investigate credible information on an exciting scenario regarding the burial ground of Constantine Palaiologos. The information we gathered is astounding! Even though we were wandering around for several hours without finding exactly what we were looking for, we at least had the chance to daydream for a while. To us Greeks, Constantinople is the legendary city of our hearts, where we are allowed to daydream without the risk of being misjudged as stargazers.

Read more ...

1

 The soldiers who defended Constantinople just before the Fall were hopelessly few, because the city's population was small and many young men betook to monasteries in order to avoid the recruitment. When Constantine Palaeologus asked to know about the last general recruitment’s results before the final confrontation with the Ottomans, his close partner Frantzis told him that only 4,937 out of 30,000 men were finally conscripted because the rest of them weren't able to carry arms. The king then sighed and asked him to keep the number secret.

Read more ...

The Acropolis Museum is amongst the most modern in the world. It has a weird energy, which can be accredited to the immense beauty of the statues. The most beautiful statues of all times stand one beside the other and enchant the visitors. The Greeks visit the museum with their children. Classic ancient art is part of everyday life for Athenians. The huge glass surfaces of the building let plenty of light in regardless if it’s winter of summer. Sundays at the museum strongly resemble old-style celebrations. Crowds of visitors’ flock to the museum; a tight squeeze, but a wondrous one.

Read more ...

The four authentic gilded horses decorating Constantinople's race circus."Put the camera down immediately because it is forbidden in this place". The guard's tone didn't take any objections. A few hours ago, when we were among tourists from all over the world at the ground floor of Saint Marcus's temple in Venice, no one prevented us from taking pictures of the place. When we got on the balcony, though, where pieces of art that had been snatched from Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1204 were being kept, after its conquest by the crusaders, we were almost treated as criminals.

Read more ...

The Greeks of Venice fought for ages until they were allowed to build the church of Saint George.

Two blocks away from the popular Saint Mark's square in the centre of Venice, there is the canal of the Greeks (Rio dei Greci), which delimits the homonymous islet (Campo dei Greci). This islet is where thousands of Greek immigrants from Greece and fugitives from the fallen Constantinople (Istanbul) have lived, succeeded and produced a priceless spiritual work for ages.

Read more ...

1b

Tricorpha is a range of mountains in the east section of Maenalus, where the rebellious Greeks used to entrench themselves. The rebels' barricades are saved until today at the tops of two mounds and thrill all the visitors. It takes more than half an hour of uphill trek on a really rugged terrain to go to each one of them.

Read more ...

She left her village as a slave and returned as a lady. (Kallitsa can be seen on the left)

In 1823 an 11year-old girl named Kallitsa, was kidnapped by the Turks from the village Apodoulou in Amari of Rethymnon and was sent to the slave bazaars of Alexandria, Egypt to be sold to the highest bidder. There, she was bought by an English archaeologist who took her with him to England in order to use her as a household servant.

Read more ...

The statue of Kolokotronis in Areos square of Tripolis.

The tomb of Kolokotronis is in the 1st Athens Cemetery, but his bones were transferred to Tripolis in 1930 by Eleftherios Venizelos himself. There wasn’t a Greek who didn't kneel before the horse drawn carriage that carried the bones of Kolokotronis from Athens to Tripolis. Eyes welled up and hearts beat fast. Kolokotronis's bones were placed in a crypt at the base of the Heroes Memorial of 1821, which is in Areos square in Tripolis. This spot was considered sacred and every year, on March 25th, residents used to lay wreaths and organize memorials for The Old Man. Unfortunately, though, in 1942 Italian conquerors defaced the square.

Read more ...

Hagia Sophia is not only a universal monument of great beauty, but also a place of martyrdom.

In the awful morning of the 29th of May 1453 Hagia Sophia was crowded with women, children and elderly people who were attending their last service. When the Ottomans arrived, stirring trouble outside the church the heavy door was bolted. At first they tried to open it by clanking their swords on it and pushing it with their bodies. The door was not budging, until they struck it with heavy wooden beams.

Read more ...

The creator of the Arcadian Museum of Art and History next to the plaster cast of Kolokotronis's face.

Theodore Kolokotronis died in Athens on February 3rd, 1843. His remains were laid out in a church in Athens, so the public could pay its respects. While the great general was on his deathbed, an unknown artist casted his face. This way, the facial characteristics of Kolokotronis, also known in Greece as the “Old Man of the Morea*”, were salvaged. This historical and valuable cast is kept at the Historical and Ethnological Museum of Athens.

Read more ...

1

"I never accepted any payment for my work from a journal or any other printed material. It is unthinkable for me to get paid for writing about Theodoros Kolokotronis”. Nick Papageorgiou spent 30 consecutive years writing about incidents from Kolokotronis's life in the local newspaper "Gortynia". Papageorgiou, a self-taught historian and journalist has written 1,200 short stories about the so called ‘Old Man of the Morea’ to date.

Read more ...
Page 1 of 2