The town of Mistra lies on the western edge of Laconia. It was founded by the Franks in 1249. In 1348 it became the centre for the control of the Morea (or Peloponnese).
It replaced the earlier settlement of Sparta that lies to the east across the Eurotas valley.
The town contains a number of fine Byzantine churches. And at the top of the site is the Kastro, containing some of the original Frankish defences.
Mistra was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1989.