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Kalamata MAPS

KALAMATA
PELOPONNESOS
GREECE

Kalamata, Messinia, Peloponnesos, Greece
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Capital and chief port of the prefecture of Messinia, built in the heart of the Messinian Gulf near the ancient city of Farai mentioned by Homer, 238 km from Athens, the land of Kalamatianos dance and the silk kerchief. Of succulent black olives, honey eyed figs and the sesame covered sweet called pastelli.

The town is dominated by the 13th century castle above it built by Geoffrey Villehardouin. On the north side of the citadel there is a small Byzantine church dedicated to the Virgin of Kalomata (of good eye), from which the town may have acquired its name. From the castle you can survey the expanse of sea below with its sandy and pebbly shores or turn your gaze upon the deep green plain, the "happy land" of the ancients.

The old city is spread out underneath the castle. This is where the Byzantine church of the Virgin Ypapanti and the convent of the Kalograies built in 18th century, where the nuns weave the famous Kalamata silk, are situated.

In 1209 it was proclaimed seat of a barony and held by the Franks up to 1381, when it had been taken over by Navarrese and later liberated by the Paleologues.
Turkish rule followed, except for an interval between 1685 and 1715, when it belonged to the Venetians.

There are many churches in town, the oldest being the historic church of Agii Apostoli (13th c.) where the Greek War of Independence against the Turks was formally declared on March 23, 1821.

Kalamata has an archaeological museum which is housed at the Benaki Mansion and a folklore museum noteworthy for its numerous relics of the War of Independence of 1821, a fine arts museum filled with works by Greek artists and a library containing 60.000 volumes.

Every summer cultural events like concerts and plays put on by the Kalamata theatre are held in the amphitheatre of the castle. In the evening, the town comes alive, especially along the water front which is lined with taverns, sea food restaurants and rotisseries serving local dishes and drinks, fresh fish, roast suckling pig and chicken, sausages, cheese, olives, retsina and raki.


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