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Mystras is one of the last great settlements of the Byzantine Empire. Situated on Mt. Taygetos, near ancient Sparta, it served as the capital of the Byzantine Despotate of the Morea in the 14th and 15th centuries, experiencing a period of prosperity and cultural flowering.
The last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI Palaiologos, was despot at Mystras before he came to the throne. Demetrius Palaeologus the last despot of Morea, surrendered the city to the Ottoman emperor Mehmed II in 1460, only seven years after Constantinople has fallen and the last Byzantine emperor was dead.
The site remained inhabited throughout the Ottoman period, when it was mistaken by Western travellers for ancient Sparta. In the 1830s, it was abandoned and the new town of Sparta was built, approximately eight kilometres to the east.
You can see at the top hill the citadel, below that the “middle town” where there is the great monastery of Pantanassa (the big building with a big church), builded in 1428, the only monastery on the site still permanently inhabited by nuns.
Mystras, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Peloponnese, Greece, Europe
Nikon D700, Nikkor 24-85 mm at 45 mm, 125 sec at f/ 19, ISO 400
© Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos Photography. All Rights Reserved.
Featured in the group “Historic Sites”
Views 511 by December 17, 2014