Monemvasia

A medieval town, perfectly restored, has been transformed into a tourist attraction. Its history is breathtaking, the same as the view from its castle.
It has fine wines, too…
The location of Monemvasia defined its course through time. Built on a rocky island, it controlled the most dangerous part of the maritime route connecting Constantinople with the West: the fearsome “Kavo Malia”, today cape Tenaro.
The second key to the city's development was its wine. It was called “Monemvissio” wine from the Byzantines, “Malvazia” from the Franks. It was the most famous and expensive wine in Europe for several centuries.
So, because of its location and wine, the city attracted the attention of the then strong ones. Its walls experienced terrible sieges and the city changed masters several times. The inhabitants fled and came back; its churches were converted from Orthodox to Catholic, then to mosques, then back to Orthodox ones…
In the early 20th century, Monemvasia throbbed with life. Its port served most of the seaborne trade of the western Peloponnese. After the war of 1940, however, the city was deserted.
Fotis Kontoglou wrote around 1950: “There are places in Greece even Greeks themselves do not know, as if they were at the edge of the world. Nobody gets there. They look like haunted and dead. One such is Monemvasia”.
The devaluation of Monemvasia was such that in 1960 its houses came to be sold for building materials! All this until a Swiss professor bought a house and started renovating it. Other foreigners followed him, mainly Germans and French. Two Greek engineers, Alexandros and Charris Kalliga pioneered the faithful restoration of the houses. Within 20 years, the ghost town turned into a top tourist destination.

Must See

Church of Aghia Sofia (Hodegitria)

This is the most famous building of Monemvasia.

Church of Elkomenos Christos

For the temple of Elkomenos in Varossi, there are references since the 12th century.

What to see

Monemvasia

Monemvasia

Church of Aghia Sofia (Hodegitria)

This is the most famous building of Monemvasia. The church was built in the 12th century on the brink of a cliff and was originally dedicated to Panaghia Hodegetria. The Venetians dedicated it to Madonna del Carmine.

Monemvasia

Church of Elkomenos Christos

For the temple of Elkomenos in Varossi, there are references since the 12th century. It was named after a picture of Jesus, “Drawn (Elkomenos in Greek) to the Cross”.

Near Here

Laconia (Prefecture)

Central Square

The old cannons decorating the main square of Monemvasia are remnants of the Ottoman era, and probably even earlier, of the Venetian era.

Monemvasia

Central Square

The old cannons decorating the main square of Monemvasia are remnants of the Ottoman era, and probably even earlier, of the Venetian era.

Laconia (Prefecture)

Monemvasia Archaeological Collection

Something like a museum. Ancient marbles, lintels, utensils, antiques are exposed in a very interesting space next to the temple of Elkomenos. The space was built by the Ottomans on the ruins of the church of St.

Monemvasia

Monemvasia Archaeological Collection

Something like a museum. Ancient marbles, lintels, utensils, antiques are exposed in a very interesting space next to the temple of Elkomenos. The space was built by the Ottomans on the ruins of the church of St.

Monemvasia

Church of Elkomenos Christos

For the temple of Elkomenos in Varossi, there are references since the 12th century. It was named after a picture of Jesus, “Drawn (Elkomenos in Greek) to the Cross”.

Laconia (Prefecture)

Church of Elkomenos Christos

For the temple of Elkomenos in Varossi, there are references since the 12th century. It was named after a picture of Jesus, “Drawn (Elkomenos in Greek) to the Cross”.

Laconia (Prefecture)

Church of Aghia Sofia (Hodegitria)

This is the most famous building of Monemvasia. The church was built in the 12th century on the brink of a cliff and was originally dedicated to Panaghia Hodegetria. The Venetians dedicated it to Madonna del Carmine.

Monemvasia

Church of Aghia Sofia (Hodegitria)

This is the most famous building of Monemvasia. The church was built in the 12th century on the brink of a cliff and was originally dedicated to Panaghia Hodegetria. The Venetians dedicated it to Madonna del Carmine.