Spend Time at Monemvasia Castle
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When it comes to visiting Greece, there are so many places to visit the it can be overwhelming. There are historical sites all over the countryside, and it is easy to miss them. They are just as much a part of the landscape as some of the more prominent landmarks. However, some of the less prominent landmarks, such as Monemvasia Castle, are also worth visiting. Here’s more information:
Brief History of the Castle
For almost fifteen-hundred years, this castle has stood as a testament to the human spirit. Founded in 583 as a refuge for innocent citizens caught between the invading forces and the Byzantine Empire, it has been the site of many skirmishes and battles. Despite invasions and government overthrows, the people of the city had remained steadfast loyal to their land and the castle.
When thinking of the ancient world when it comes to building, Greece is usually the first influence people recall. The Greeks gave the world the Doric and Ionic styles, the latter of which was so envied, it would be repeated and advanced by the Romans, resulting in the beloved Corinthian style. The Byzantine Empire, also known as the East Roman Empire, evolved the architecture their ancestors had carefully designed – the domes dominated arches, the buildings were structured around and in the landscape, and mosaics replaced the carvings of the past.
Be Sure to Visit the Church
The influence, despite the end of the Byzantine Empire near seven-hundred years ago, lives on in Monemvasia, particularly in the Agia Sofia Church. The church is one the survivors of the ancient world and one of the examples of the Byzantine Greek cross-dome designs which featured the church shaped like a cross with a dome at the middle or end of the cross. The dome evolved from the oculus or eye favored by the Romans in later architecture. Despite the abuse the church endured from eight centuries of invasion and neglect, it was restored in the twentieth-century by Eustathios Stikas.
Monemvasia Castle is a Popular Place to Visit
This castle is definitely worth visiting. Agia Sofia Church remains one of important parts of the Upper Town, otherwise known as the ruins of Monemvasia. Among its notable residents, the ruins of the acropolis remain as a faint reminder of the early days of wealth and prestige in this ancient city.
Among remnants of the ancient world is the local wine, PDO Monemvasia-Malvasia, descended from the medieval Malvasia wine. It can be found in all bars and the restaurant of Monevasia Castle, making it a true treat from the ancient world.
In addition to the gorgeous landscape of Monemvasia and its historical value, is the ease of hiking. Unlike cities that permit driving on most streets, Monemvasia is the opposite. Most streets are historical and restrict ease of driving allowing the hiking enthusiast the possibility to explore the most incredible parts of the castle.
While a long history of war and upheavals remains apparent in the architecture, the present-day of Monemvasia tells a different story – it has become a place of serenity. While in Greece, you won’t want to miss
This post was written by Greek Boston