Kalamata fell into the hands of the Franks (1209), the Navarrese (1381) and then was liberated by the Paleologues.
The Turkish occupation followed (except for the period from 1685 to 1715, when it was under the occupation of the Venetians)
On March 23, 1821, the Maniates, led by Petrobeis Mavromichalis, occupied the city and proclaimed the Greek Revolution which was to liberate all genus from the Turkish yoke of 400 years.
An area with a long history. Its roots can be traced back to around 2500 - 2000 BC. "Anthia Bathyleimos": her Homeric name. Pausanias mentions: "... the Phares are about a few stadia from the sea. From there, advancing 80 stadia towards the interior of Messinia, you have the city of the Thurians, which they say has the name Anthia in the Homeric epics. "Population of the peak": Etymology of the name Thuria. A name that began to prevail in the area after its conquest by the Spartans (last quarter of the 8th century BC). Through time either independent or under the rule of the Lacedaemonians of Sparta, Thuria was the most important city in the region (until 300 BC) and one of the most important in ancient Greece. There are many and important findings that bear witness to the history of the region: the wall, the temples, the water tank, the tombs, the theater... And the excavations continue. Thuria. The vast greenery, its traditional buildings and its churches make up a unique landscape.
Its untouched natural beauty is a tourist attraction, especially during the summer months. Local holidays and festivals emphasize the traditional character even more. Among these, the most important and original is the artichoke festival. Thuria. You can't "escape" her. It is only 8 kilometers from the capital of the Prefecture of Messinia, Kalamata. It has all the advantages of an area next to the economic, commercial and cultural center, while at the same time maintaining and intensifying its economic and cultural development based on an important agricultural production (oil, olives, apples, walnuts, artichokes and citrus fruits) and a history that dynamically erases its present and future. Thuria, a region without end, where history and tradition are reflected in the daily life of its inhabitants.
" ... Phares are about six stadia from the sea. Proceeding from them eighty stadia towards the inland of Messinia, one encounters the city of the Thurians ...»PAUSANIAS)
The ruins of ancient Messina are spread over a distance of 20 km (30 km NW of Kalamata) in a beautiful natural environment that combines the mountain majesty of Delphi and the riverside tranquility of Olympia.
Ancient Messina is known from the descriptions of the ancient traveler Pausanias.
After the excavations of 1987, until then unknown corners of a city from the most important in terms of size and power in antiquity came to light. The sanctuaries, public spaces and sculptures that come to light are preserved over the centuries in good condition.
The ancient city was not covered by newer settlements, so the sanctuaries of Demeter, the Dioskouri, Artemis Orthia, Achelous etc., temples and shrines in honor of heroes - such as Heracles and Hermes - come to light, almost intact. the Stadium, the Gymnasium, the Asklepiion, the Shrine, the Theatre, the Bouleuterion, the fountain of Arsinoe where the waters of the ancient hourglass spring end. Perhaps the most important thing is that this ancient city - capital of the ancient Messenians - built by the Theban general Epaminondas (370 BC) - operated with the last word of the military technique at the time to withstand the raids of the Spartans. The wall was 9,024 meters long. It had ramparts, strong towers and battlements.
The huge blocks of the wall made of local stone were 4.5 m high and 2-2.5 m wide each. One can even make out traces of chariot wheels on the cobblestones of the city. In 146 BC the city fell into the hands of the Romans and was destroyed in 395 AD. from the invasion of the Goths.
In the area of Ancient Messina, rooted in the slope of the holy mountain, is the village of Mavrommati. It took its name from the mouth of the ancient fountain (Hourglass) and carries the ancient legends, myths and traditions of the entire surrounding area. A museum next to the village houses the priceless exhibits - findings of the excavations.
Not far from the archaeological site of Messina at the top of Mount Ithomi (altitude 802), where Ithomatas Dias accepted the sacrifices and prayers of mortals, the famous sanctuary was founded in AD 726 (during the reign of Leo Isauros or Emperor Andronikos) Monastery of Vulkanos (or Koryfi or Katholiko or Upper Kastritissa). The old monastery has been classified as a protected monument and the new monastery hides surprises for the visitor. The new monastery was built in 1625 and renovated in 1967, it celebrates on the 15th of August and it also has its history. In 1821 it offered help and was a stronghold of the rebels and in 1825 it was set on fire by the Arabs.
The "color" is Byzantine in Meligalas - an important trading center in the times of the Franks and Venetians, with a history dating back to the 11th century. Near Meligala and Neochorio, the visitor encounters the bridge of Mavrozouma, which is linked to legends and traditions.
The Maniates, who had won their autonomy since 1780, also liberated Kalamata from the Turks in 1821 and established the Messinian Senate with Petrobeis Mavromichalis as president. The Maniates always held high offices throughout the Greek Revolution and key positions of military and political leadership, which continued into the later years.
The area gathers monuments from prehistoric times to modern history.
The characteristic local architecture is a point of interest. There are castles and fortresses such as the Castle of Zarnatas in Stavropigi, monasteries such as the Androubevitsa Monastery in Stavropigi, Byzantine churches, remains of ancient sanctuaries and walls, towers of the eminences of Mani and a historical-folkloric museum in Thalames.
Special mention must be made of Kardamili, which has a history of 3,240 years! It is the archaic one, the Kardamili of the Eleftherolakons, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Maniates, the Captains, the Burdgins, which kept its pre-Homeric name for millennia.
It is mentioned in the writings of Homer, Herodotus, Strabo and Pausanias, it was connected with the Trojan War but also with the revolution of 1821, since it was the main center of the struggle and there the revolution was planned by Theodoros Kolokotronis, members of the Friendly Society and many chieftains.
Homer's mention of Cyparissia among the cities of the Peloponnese that contributed ships to the war against Troy and remarkable archaeological discoveries in the city itself, but also in the wider area, attest to its residential development and its significant evolution, from the Mycenaean to and the Roman era.
The silence of the springs and the absence of monuments during the Byzantine period indicates a relative decline, while this period also sees the renaming of the city to Arkadia, which remains a mystery to historians. Following the fate of the rest of the Peloponnese, it submitted to the Franks of the Fourth Frankish Empire, until its final submission to the Turks in 459.
Kyparissia participated in the revolution of 82 by highlighting important fighters and suffered, with the so-called "Battle of Karyouta", a great disaster when Ibrahim's army set fire to the city in May 1825.
Attempting a brief review of the past of Pylos, we note that Strabo and Pausanias referred in detail to ancient Pylos. Nestor, according to mythology, was the son of Niles and Niobe and the oldest hero of the Trojan War. His palace was discovered in 1939. It was built in the 13th century BC. as well as the Mycenaean palaces of Mycenae and Tiryns. Wall paintings with griffins and lyre players, floors with written decorations and a thousand signs with the linear writing B' (old Greek dialect), ruins of an ancient world among the peaceful landscape, the green hills and overlooking the plain and the sea.
In the palaces, apart from the central and side buildings, there were apartments for the king and queen, a courtyard, a throne room, wine cellars, workshops, etc. The palace was destroyed by fire in 1200 BC. with the invasion of the Dorians.
Today's Pylos, which is built on the southern edge of the bay, has its own history that has nothing to do with Nestor's Pylos. When Nestor's Tower was destroyed, its inhabitants settled on the Korifassios cape (on the northern side of the bay). The historic Pylos was founded there where, much later, in the 3rd century, the Franks built the castle Paliokastro or Palionavarino.
At the beginning of the 16th century the Turks built a new town and castle - Niokastro - on the southern side of the bay. The new city was occupied by the Venetians and then again by the Turks. In 1821 the Greeks won again. On October 20, 1827, the British, French and Russian fleets defeated the Turkish-Egyptian fleet of Ibrahim Pasha and the famous naval battle of Navarino marked the victorious end of the liberation struggle.
The Gargalians lived under the occupation of the Venetians and played an important role in the Greek Revolution of 1821. Many experts argue that the area was inhabited from the late Roman times (150 - 350 AD). In neighboring places there are finds from the Proto-Hellenic period (3000 - 2000 BC), the Middle Hellenic period (2000 - 1600 BC) at the Tsoukna and Kanalo sites, and the Late Hellenic period at the Lagou site.
The history of Cyparissia is lost in prehistoric times and its first inhabitants, according to tradition, were the giants who built its castle. In the Homeric years it belonged to Nestor's kingdom along with eight other cities.
Walking around the castle of the giants, one strays into other times, gets lost in the ends of history. When and by whom the centuries-old fortress was built is not completely ascertained. From the study of its walls, it emerged that they were built with a fortification method similar to the other walls of the Mycenaean era (1500 BC). Interventions in the original building were also made during the time of Justinian (Byzantium 6th century AD).
Also, the era of the Frankish rule (1204 - 1430) and the Turkish rule (1460 - 1821).
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou