Mystras or Mistras is a fortified town and a former municipality in Laconia, Peloponnese, Greece. Mystras is situated on the slopes of Taygetos Mountain, near Sparta. Mystras served as the capital of the Byzantine Despotate of the Morea in the 14th and 15th centuries, experiencing a period of prosperity and cultural flowering. Mystras is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In late 1248, William II of Villehardouin, ruler of the Frankish Principality of Achaea, captured Monemvasia, the last remaining Byzantine outpost on the Morea. This success was soon followed by the submission of the restive Tsakones on Mount Parnon, the Slavic Melingoi tribe of Mount Taygetos, and the inhabitants of the Mani peninsula, thereby extending his sway over all of Laconia and completing the conquest of the peninsula, which had begun in 1205, in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade.
Laconia was incorporated into the princely domain, and the young prince passed the winter of 1248–49 there, touring the country and selecting sites for new fortifications. He decided to built the fortress that came to be known as Mystras, near his residence of Lacedaemon (ancient Sparta), on a spur of Mount Taygetos.
In September 1259, William of Villehardouin was defeated and captured, along with many of his nobles, at the Battle of Pelagonia, and to be set free in exchange the cession Mystras and others. The handover was effected in 1262, and henceforth Mystras was the seat of the governor of the Byzantine territories in the Morea.
From 1348 until its surrender to the Ottoman Turks on 31 May 1460, Mystras was the residence of a Despot who ruled over the Byzantine Morea, known as the "Despotate of the Morea". This was the city's golden age when Mystras witnessed a remarkable cultural renaissance, and attracted artists and architects of the highest quality.
The frescos in the Peribleptos Monastery Church, dating between 1348 and 1380, are a very rare surviving late Byzantine cycle, crucial for the understanding of Byzantine art.
The site remained inhabited throughout the Ottoman period, when it was mistaken by Western travelers for ancient Sparta. In the 1830s, it was abandoned and the new town of Sparti was built, approximately 8 kilometers to the east.
In 1989 the ruins, including the fortress, palace, churches, and monasteries, were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
How to visit Mystras
We at Monterrasol Travel welcome you to see Mystras during multiday private car tour. Contact us if you would like to customize your tour to Mystras.
We have developed several tours that visiting this beautiful place. But, if you have a special conditions or any from these tours fit you, please do not hesitate to contact us, we can organize a tour exactly as you would like. And remember, we have no problems to take you from almost any place where you stay, hotel or private accommodation.
This off-season balanced tour is aimed for people who interesting in the history of Greece, to walk that ancient historical places where are roots of culture of our civilization. During this tour we will visit 6 places that are on the list of UNESCO. Many other we going to visit places now expecting to be on UNESCO list; such places are prepared, available for public for fraction of cost, and are on so called UNESCO tentative list.
This 14 days tour will allow you to meet amazing south Balkans countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, and of course beautiful Greece. The route will pass through Trebinje, Podgorica, Durres, Ioannina, Nafpaktos, Olympia, Sparta, Nafplio and other towns. We will see old castles, monasteries, archaeological sites, and amazing coastal line. At summer time we will stop on beaches to take a rest, refresh and enjoy the crystal clear water.
This off-season tour is for people who would like to get to know deeply the history of Greece and walk that ancient historical places where are roots of culture of our civilization. Around the world such places are on the list of UNESCO. And many other places now expecting to be on UNESCO list; such places are prepared, available for public for fraction of cost, and are on so called UNESCO tentative list.
During this tour we going to visit main UNESCO places and UNESCO tentative list places, located in Greece mainland. Greece is so rich with history that visit all UNESCO places in one tour will take very long time. Because of that we, Monterrasol Travel, created this tour to be able to visit the main UNESCO places in one tour.
In this tour we will travel 15 days by Adriatic coast of Montenegro and Albania, and discover Greece mainland and Peloponnese. Meet during the tour ancient monasteries and castles, enjoy amazing beaches, touch stones of old places in 3 countries.
Discover Greece in big 15 days tour. During this all seasons Greece tour from Igoumenitsa, we will visit most of main attractions of Greece mainland and Peloponnese peninsula. Prepare yourself for beautiful beaches, old castles and monasteries, , and ancient archaeological places. Visit Delphi oracle, say hello to Sparta and king Leonidas.
tour destinations: Corinth, Diros, Epidaurus, Kalamata, Methoni, Monemvasia, Mycenae, Mystras, Nafplio, Porto Kagio, Sparta
Greek Peloponnese round tour in 15 days. Visit all main attraction of Peloponnese peninsula and see castles, ancient places, beaches. Travel Peloponnese with Monterrasol and visit Sparta, Corinth, Mycenae, Epidaurus, Monemvasia, Methoni and other places.
Balkan route from Dubrovnik to Athens in 16 days. Visit Bosnia, Montenegro, pass hills of Albania, and discover fortresses and ancient towns of Greece. Bosnian old towns and monasteries, Montenegro oldest monastery, hills of Albania, and discover greek fortresses, beaches, monasteries and archaeological sites.
This off-season tour is focused on people who would like to get to know deeply the history of Greece and walk that ancient historical places where are roots of culture of our civilization. Around the world such places are on the list of UNESCO. And many other places now expecting to be on UNESCO list; such places are prepared, available for public for fraction of cost, and are on so called UNESCO tentative list.
During this tour we going to visit most of UNESCO places and UNESCO tentative list places, located in Greece mainland. Greece is so rich with history that visit all UNESCO places in one tour will take very long time. Because of that we, Monterrasol Travel, created this tour to be able to visit the most of UNESCO places in one tour.
From 1 Feb 2019 we load on our site the description of new place: Monemvasia, Greece. We have visited this beautiful place few times and we definitely like to be there, and we are welcome you to have a trip there with us!
Monemvasia is a town and a municipality in Laconia, Greece. The town is located on a small island off the east coast of the Peloponnese. The island is linked to the mainland by a short causeway 200m in length. Its area consists mostly of a large plateau some 100 meters above sea level, up to 300 m wide and 1 km long, the site of a powerful medieval fortress. The town walls and many Byzantine churches remain from the medieval period.