Gythion

About the Port

The ancient town of Gytheion or Gythium is now known as Gytheio and is in the former municipality of Laconia in the Peloponnese area of Greece. The ancient port was destroyed in the 4th Century AD by an earthquake, marauding Visigoths or a combination of both - there is no consensus about this. In Roman times the port exported purple dye, porphyry and antique marble. The city was well-to-do and had an Acropolis and a theatre.

The town grew rapidly as a result of the arrival of refugees during the Greek War of Independence (1821-1829) and it had a population estimated at 2,000 in 1910 and 4,717 in 2011.

Its main attraction as a port of call for cruises is it's proximity to the ancient Greek city-state of Sparta 25 miles to the north which it served as the major seaport.

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Gythion - Google Earth [6]

Arrival and Departure

Moldavia arrived in Gythion today Thursday 13 August at 07:00 and will sail for Bizerta this afternoon at 13:00.

The next leg of our journey to Bizerta is about 610 nautical miles and we expect to arrive at about 07:00 Saturday 15 August.

Gythion Port Leaflet

P&O provided a leaflet about Gythion as an introduction for visitors which is reproduced below.

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Gythion Port Information Leaflet [1]
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Gythion Excursion Notice [1]

Photos and Souvenirs from Gythion

Mystras - Palaces of the Despots

Mystras (also known as Mistras or Myzithras, is a fortified town in Laconia, Peloponnese, Greece on the edge of Mount Taygetos and near the ancient Greek state of Sparta. It is approximately 25 miles as the crow flies from Gythion. It was the capital of the Byzantine Despotate of the Morea in the 14th and 15th Centuries and remained populated throughout the Ottoman Period. It was abandoned in the 1830s and a new town Sparti built nearby. The history of this region is so complicated that I am not even going to attempt to summarise it.

The album postcard below shows the Palaces of the Despots at Mystras.

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Postcard view of the Palaces of the Despots [1]

The modern photo below shows the same place in 2018. Some of the palaces have been virtually rebuilt rather than preserved. It is difficult to understand how this was allowed to happen to such a historic site.

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Modern photo of the Palaces of the Despots showing rebuilding work on many of the sections [2]

The album photo below is captioned 'The road through Sparta to Mystra'

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The road through Sparta to Mystra [1]

The album photo below is captioned 'Through Mystra - Sparta'

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Road through Mystra [1]

The album photo below is captioned 'The Spartan Valley'. I suspect this was taken from Mystra looking towards Vasiliki but am not sure.

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The Spartan Valley [1]

Pantanassa Monastery

The album photo below is captioned 'Pandanassus - Gythion' and shows the lady named elsewhere as 'Poppy' sitting next to a column. The correct name of the place is Pantanassa Monastery which is in Mystras.

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Photo of Poppy at Pantanassa [1]

The album photo below is captioned 'Colonnade at Pandanassus' and must be the Pantanassa Monastery as in the previous image.

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Colonnade at Pantanassa [1]

The album postcard below shows the entrance to the colonnade at the Pantanassa Monastery Church and is looking in the opposite direction to the previous image - i.e. from beyond where the man is standing.

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Entrance to colonnade at the Monastery Church at Pantanassa [1]

The photo below is a recent one. The dome over the colonnade seems to have been rebuilt with terra cotta tiles whereas in 1936 it seems smooth. Mystras has more than its fair share of philistines.

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Entrance to colonnade at the Monastery Church at Pantanassa [3]

The album postcard below shows another view of the Pantanassa Monastery Church.

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View of the Monastery Church at Pantanassa [1]

I have been unable to locate a modern photo with the same viewpoint but this shows the same area from a different angle.

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Modern view of the Monastery Church at Pantanassa [4]

Peribleptos Monastery

The Peribleptos Monastery was founded between the years 1365 and 1374 by Manuel Kantakouzenos the first despot of Mistra and his wife Isabelle de Lusignan and dedicated to 'The All-seeing Virgin Mary'. It is located at the southeastern edge of the city and was constructed as a distyle cross-in-square church, which as everyone will know, means that the dome is supported by two columns on the west and the wall of the sanctuary on the east.

The two postcards below show the Peribleptos Monastery at Mystra as it was in 1936.

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The Peribleptos Monastery [1]

The recent image below shows the monastery from a different viewpoint. It seems to have been restored more sensitively than some of the other old buildings in the area.

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The Peribleptos Monastery in 2018. [5]

Image Credits

  1. From the website owner's album from the voyage
  2. By courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
  3. By courtesy of Pinterest
  4. By courtesy of the Mythical Peloponnese website
  5. By courtesy of the Greece.com website
  6. By courtesy of Google Earth