Discover the world-famous town of Monemvasia is often referred to as the “Gibraltar of Greece”. A medieval castle town built on the slopes of a rock.
A walk around the restored lower town, full of cobbled winding lanes and alleyways you will get a feel for its history. All of the buildings whether it be the mansions, Byzantine churches or little boutique shops selling local produce all reflect the many periods this town has been occupied. From medieval times, Venetian, Byzantine through to the Ottoman period. A wander up the zig-zag path takes you to the upper town and fortification with superb 360d views.
Monemvasia, once part of the mainland but separated through a severe earthquake in 375 AD, takes its name from the Greek words Mono and Vasia which mean single passage. It is a fortified town built on 2 levels 1.8k in length and 350m above sea level.
The city was primarily built as a defence city against invaders. However, due to its position, it was well able to defend itself and thereby flourished. It took control of the shipping lanes and emerged as a major city and trading port. So as you can imagine it has over 1500 years of varied history.
Divided into the upper and lower town many of the original house, shops and 40 churches can be seen. However, only 4 of the original churches in the lower town remain. A walk around the restored lower town is like a trip back in time. In the cobbled winding lanes and alleyways, you will get a feel for its history. In the upper town reached by a zig-zag path is the stunning Ag. Sophia. The upper town was protected by the castle walls and inside you can see the remains of the Byzantine houses, public buildings and water cistern.
Not to be missed is the breathtaking views from the top of the castle.