Tourist Guide Monemvassia

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The founding of the settlement by the Lacedominians was in the 6th Century B.C.  A smaller settlement was created further down and the town slowly developed, which had great strategic value.

After a short papal occupation, it comes under Venetian sovereignty in 1464.  In 1540, the period of the 1st Turkish occupation begins, and the continuing decline that had begun, becomes more evident. In 1690 the town was surrendered to the Venetians. In 1715, the Turks reoccupy the town.

In 1821 it was the first of the fortified towns of the Peloponnese to be freed. The most important monuments and architecture: the settlement of Monemvassia is divided into 2 parts, each of which are located on different levels, and have separate fortifications.

In the upper town, which is uninhabited today, there are remnants of numerous Byzantine, and late Byzantine buildings. Here, Aghia Sofia is located, an octagonal shrine with a dome, which researchers believe is identified with the monastery of guidance of 1150.

The lower town settlement, which is inhabited today, are found buildings which are being restored under the guidance of the archeological service.  It is surrounded by a protective wall, in a Π shape, with two gateways on the east and west with a small exit towards the sea.

The following shrines are found in the lower town:

Elkomenos Christos: Triple covered dome basilica with dome and nave, built in throne and bishops throne.  Important icons of the late Byzantine period in the interior.

Muslim Mosque: Building of the 1st Turkish occupation, which was converted into a Frankish church during the Venetian occupation, to be reconverted into a mosque in the 18th century. Today it houses the archeological collection.

Shrine Panaghias Myrtidiotissas: Single vaulted basilica with dome built around 1700.

Shrine Aghios Nikolaos: Triple vaulted basilica with cupola around 1703

Shrine Panaghias Chrysafitissas: Square room, which houses all of the shrine with a low vault of the 17th century.

In the lower town there are other but smaller shrines such as  Aghios Andreas, or Aghia Anna, Aghios Dimitrios  and many more.

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