Mystras - Peloponnes

Mystras - Μυστράς, the former Byzantine town, lies on the Peloponnese, Greece, directly besides Sparta.

The fortress was founded in 1249 by Frankish Crusaders, but already in 1259 it was taken by Byzantine troops. Below the castle, the town developed rapidly in the following years to a Byzantine cultural center, inhabited by about 30,000 people. Most were from the nearby Sparta, because the town was not easy to defended.

Mystras Peloponnes
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Highlighted in the town which leads in spirals down into the valley, is the despot palace which will be restored in recent times. It was the most representative buildings of the Byzantine Empire outside of Constantinople.

Ruins of Mystras
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One of the monasteries is still inhabited today. The sacred buildings with its well-preserved frescoes and the philosophy as a center of the culture, consolidated the reputation of Mystras far beyond the Peloponnese. In 1770, the Albanian mercenaries Ottomans already devastated the city but in 1825, during the Greek War of Independence, it was destroyed so strongly that a reconstruction seemed no longer sensible. The inhabitants relocated again in the newly constructed Sparta. Since 1989, Mystras belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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