It was here that the Greek War of Independencebegan in 1821. The Peloponnesians have almost totally dominated politics and government in Greece since then.
In 2016, Lonely Planet voted the Peloponnese the top spot of their Best in Europe list.
The Peloponnese is a peninsula that covers an area of some 21,549.6 square kilometres (8,320.3 sq mi) and constitutes the southernmost part of mainland Greece. While technically it may be considered an island since the construction of the Corinth Canal in 1893, like other peninsulas that have been separated from their mainland by man-made bodies of waters, it is rarely, if ever, referred to as an "island". It has two land connections with the rest of Greece, a natural one at the Isthmus of Corinth, and an artificial one by the Rio-Antirio bridge (completed 2004).
The peninsula has a mountainous interior and deeply indented coasts. Mount Taygetus is its highest point, at 2,407 metres (7,897 ft). It possesses four south-pointing peninsulas, the Messenian, the Mani, the Cape Malea (also known as Epidaurus Limera), and the Argolid in the far northeast of the Peloponnese.
Two groups of islands lie off the Peloponnesian coast: the Argo-Saronic Islands to the east, and the Ionian to the west. The island of Kythera, off the Epidaurus Limera peninsula to the south of the Peloponnese, is considered to be part of the Ionian Islands.
Olympia is an ancient site on Greece's Peloponnese peninsula that hosted the original Olympic Games, founded in the 8th century B.C. Its extensive ruins include athletic training areas, a stadium and temples dedicated to the gods Hera and Zeus. The Archaeological Museum of Olympia exhibits finds from the site, including a statue of Hermes attributed to the sculptor Praxiteles.
In the second millennium BC, Mycenae was one of the major centres of Greek civilization, a military stronghold which dominated much of southern Greece. The period of Greek historyfrom about 1600 BC to about 1100 BC is called Mycenaean in reference to Mycenae. At its peak in 1350 BC, the citadel and lower town had a population of 30,000 and an area of 32 hectares.
The Corinth Canal (Greek: Διώρυγα της Κορίνθου, Dhioryga tis Korinthou) is a canal that connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. It cuts through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth and separates the Peloponnese from the Greek mainland, thus effectively making the former peninsula an island. The builders dug the canal through the Isthmus at sea level; no locks are employed. It is 6.4 kilometres (4 mi) in length and only 21.4 metres (70 ft) wide at its base, making it impassable for most modern ships. It now has little economic importance.
The canal was proposed in classical times and an abortive effort was made to build it in the 1st century CE. Construction finally got under way in 1881 but was hampered by geological and financial problems that bankrupted the original builders. It was completed in 1893 but, due to the canal's narrowness, navigational problems and periodic closures to repair landslides from its steep walls, it failed to attract the level of traffic expected by its operators. It is now used mainly for tourist traffic.
Sparta (Greek: Σπάρτη, Spártī), is a city in Laconia, Greece. It lies at the site of ancient Sparta. The municipality population in 2011 was 35,259, of whom 17,408 lived in the city itself.
Until modern times, the site of ancient Sparta was occupied by a small town of a few thousand people who lived among the ruins, in the shadow of Mystras, a more important medieval Greek settlement nearby. The Palaiologos family (the last Byzantine Greek imperial dynasty) also lived in Mystras. In 1834, after the Greek War of Independence, King Otto of Greece decreed that the town should be expanded into a city.
In the center of the city there is the Archaeological Museum and in the North West end is the Tomb of Leonidas, also known as Leonidaion and there is a tavern in front of the temple named Leonidas. The city's Cathedral is at the South West end. North of the modern city start the ruins of the ancient Sparta. Entering by the South Gate of the Acropolis, known as Lakedaemonia, there is the Rotunda, the Theatre and the Temple of Athena Chalkioikos to the West and to the North is the 10th Century AC Monastic Church of Osios Nikonas. Exiting the Acropolis by the North Gate there are the remains of the earliest ancient walls, the Heroon and the Altar of Lycourgos, whereas to the East there is the Sanctuary of Artemis Orthia.
The Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil in the South West end highlights the culture of the olive and the technology of olive production.
(Credit - Wikipedia)
Join us on a trip to Central Greece in April or May 2017