Mistra

Mistra © David Gill
Mistra © David Gill

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).

Laconia from Mistra © David Gill
Laconia from Mistra © David Gill

It replaced the earlier settlement of Sparta that lies to the east across the Eurotas valley.

Mistra © David Gill
Mistra © David Gill

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 © David Gill
Mistra © David Gill

Mistra was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1989.

Author: David Gill

David Gill is Honorary Professor in the Centre for Heritage at the University of Kent, and an Academic Associate in SISJAC at UEA; Professor of Archaeological Heritage.

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