343 days ago
Long term readers and classical scholars will know that while Constantinople fell to the infidel in 1453, a few outposts of the Byzantine empire held out a bit longer. Among them was Mistras in southern Greece, the Despotate of the Morea which held out until 1460. Its citadel is Mistras: a collection of old churches and abandoned houses on the slopes of a hill near Sparta with a ruined castle on its peak. Lower down, but within the old outer walls, there are monasteries.
1858 days ago
The road to Mistras was an "interesting" drive but it was worth it as we headed round a corner and suddenly saw this great fortress on a hill. This truly is a place you must visit, yet, as we entered the site, there were just six cars in the car park. It is a hidden gem
The site was originally built by the Frankish prince William II of Villehardouin and lies on a spur of Mount Taygetos a few miles from the town of Sparta. Its claim to fame is that it was a Byzantine outpost long after Byzantium itself was in decline and falling. The Despotate of Morea controlled the whole of the Peloponnese between 1348 and 1460 with the Turks over-ran the area.
In part one of this article