Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

If you like it, why not share it? Thanks!

Kalamata, Messinia. Second largest city of the Peloponnese, Greece.



Kalamata Messinia, Peloponnese, Greece
Kalamata
Messinia, Peloponnese,
Greece


Living in the Peloponnese, we’re never stuck for somewhere to go, we have ancient ruins on

 our doorstep, and we’re no more than a few hours’ drive, from some of the most visited

 ancient and archaeological sites of Greece.

I’ve visited just about all the “Must see” places and towns of the Peloponnese, and yet, 

incredibly, I had never been to Kalamata.



Kalamata Messinia, Peloponnese, Greece
Kalamata
Messinia, Peloponnese,
Greece


When MGG (My Greek God), informed me he had business to tend to in Kalamata, I 

enthusiastically said I would join him.

Kalamata, capital of the Messinia region, is the second largest city of the Peloponnese, 

after Patra, and lies at the foot of Mount Kalathi.

 Kalamata was first mentioned by Homer (Greece’s first epic poet, and author of “The Illiad 

and “Odyssey”) as Phara, an ancient city, built where Kalamata Castle stands today.



Castle of the Villehardouins in Kalamata

"The castle of Kalamata  dates back to the Byzantine period, but its current form is based on great reconstruction by the franc prince and founder of the principality of Achaia , Geoffrey Villehardouin, in the early 13th century.
 Modifications on the castle of Kalamata were made ​​by the Venetians who occupied the city since 1685 until 1715.
At the steepest point of the top of the hill, there is a tower, with vaulted water reservoir, where they have found ruins of a temple.
 An inner fortification wall surrounds the top of the hill. 
Because of the earthquake of 1986, ​​many parts of the castle of Kalamata were characterized as dangerous, so the center is no longer visited, visitors can wander only around the interior of the castle and the enjoy lovely view over the historic center of Kalamata." 



The Phara mentioned by Homer was of no importance, rather a one horse town, and

 Kalamata wasn’t mentioned again until the tenth century, when, after the fourth crusade, in

 1205, it was conquered by the Franks, and remained under Frankish rule.

From 1481 to 1685, Kalamata, and the rest of Greece, was occupied by the Ottomans.

In 1659, during the war between the Ottomans and the Venetians, the Venetians took 

Kalamata, and The Venetian Republic ruled Kalamata from 1685 as part of the

 "Kingdom of the Morea".



Looking out over Morea Kalamata Messinia, Peloponnese, Greece
Looking out over Morea
Kalamata
Messinia, Peloponnese, Greece



Under the Venetians, Kalamata, was fortified, developed and thrived economically.

In 1821, Kalamata, was the first city in Greece to be liberated from the Ottomans, in the 

Greek War of Independence, and taken over by the Greeks, under the command of 

generals Theodoros Kolokotronis, Petros Mavromichalis and Papaflessas.




Petros Mavromichalis raises Messinia in revolt,  by Peter von Hess.
Petros Mavromichalis raises Messinia in revolt,
 by Peter von Hess.



However, in 1825, the invading Ibrahim Pasha, destroyed the city.

  


Ibrahim Pasha
Ibrahim Pasha



After the invasion of  Ibrahim Pasha, Kalamata was rebuilt and became one of the most

 important ports in the Mediterranean, 

 the second-oldest Chamber of Commerce in the Mediterranean, after that of Marseille,

 exists in Kalamata.




The port of Kalamata today
The port of Kalamata today



After WWII, Kalamata was more or less neglected, as was most of the Peloponnese, the 

emphasis being given to the development of Northern Greece.

This resulted in the decline, of the once rich port, and there was no development 

whatsoever, during the 70s and 80s.

After a severe earthquake destroyed Kalamata in 1986, local authorities took a no-holds-

barred stance, rebuilding, and doing all they could to bring the forsaken city of Kalamata, 

capitol of Messinia, back to its former glory.




Kalamata Messinia, Peloponnese, Greece
Kalamata
Messinia, Peloponnese,
Greece


There's plenty to do and see in Kalamata, the views from the Castle of the Villehardouins 

(Mentioned above) are breath-taking.




Kalamata Marina Messinia, Peloponnese, Greece
Kalamata Marina
Messinia, Peloponnese,
Greece


Take a walk around the scenic marina,or, visit one of the numerous, important churches.




The Church of the Holy Apostles,  is where Mavromichalis declared the revolt against Ottoman rule in 1821.
The Church of the Holy Apostles,
 is where Mavromichalis declared the revolt against Ottoman rule in 1821. 




The Church of Ypapanti. Kalamata. Greece
The Church of Ypapanti

The Cathedral of Kalamata is called "Ypapanti tou Sotiros" or "Presentation of the Savior".

 The cathedral is one of the largest of Messinia, built in 1839 and consecrated in 1873.
 The layout is  traditional Byzantine style and it houses the ancient and miraculous icon of the Panagia.
Annually on 2nd February, it celebrates the Presentation of the Lord into the Temple. It also celebrates on the Apodosis of Pascha, 
which is a moveable feast day celebrated the day prior to the Holy Ascension.
 It was on the Apodosis of Pascha that the wonder working icon  of the Panagia was discovered.
The Panagia Ypapanti is the Protectress of the City of Kalamata.



At the  Kalograion Monastery, of Saints Constantine and Helen, nuns weave the famous, 

hand-printed, silk, Kalamata scarves, from silk, produced from silk worms raised there.




Kalograion Monestary Kalamata
Kalograion Monestary Kalamata





Silk workshop at the Kalograion Monastery, Kalamata
Silk workshop at the Kalograion Monastery,
Kalamata




The famous, hand-printed Kalamata silk scarves
The famous, hand-printed Kalamata silk scarves



Kalamata boasts a one-of-a-kind railway museum.

Train engines and carriages are exhibited outdoors, among the lush, green, Kalamata 

scenery.



Railway Park Kalamata
Railway Park
Kalamata


The day for our Kalamata trip, didn’t dawn well, the wind was howling and the rain was pouring.


It was the kind of day to spend indoors, reading a good book, or, generally just potter around.


MGG had an appointment in Kalamata at ten in the morning, so, at eight thirty, we were on the road

The weather was becoming progressively worse, at one point I thought we would have to stop, we could hardly see through the rain.



On a wet road to Kalamata Messinia, Peloponnese, Greece.
On a wet road to Kalamata
Messinia, Peloponnese, Greece.


Despite the filthy weather conditions, we arrived safely in Kalamata and dashed from the

 car, to the nearest coffee shop, the rain was torrential, an umbrella was of no use at all, and

 would have been whipped away in seconds by the gale force wind.  

My plan yesterday had been to walk around Kalamata, snap a few pictures, and visit the 

interesting sites and landmarks, and of course, stock up on the famous Kalamata olives, 

said by some, to be the best in Greece.



Kalamata Olives
Kalamata Olives



 Kalamata olives have been awarded the status of PDO (Protected designation of origin, a 

European Union law passed in 1992 to protect the names of regional foods.)


If grown elsewhere, this variety of olive is called Kalamon


The roads and pavements were awash with rain water, it was thundering and lightning, it 

was impossible to go anywhere.




A wet and windy Kalamata Messinia, Peloponnese, Greece.
A wet and windy Kalamata
Messinia, Peloponnese, Greece.



I suggested that, after MGG, had seen to his business, we return to the square where we

 had coffee, find a good restaurant, have lunch, and do a bit of people watching.

We couldn’t let the day be a complete wash out!

Do you know? I’ve since been back to Kalamata, twice, both times, again, it poured

with rain.

My three visits to Kalamata, were all in the winter months, and, apparently, Kalamata is 
known for its wet winters.


I will get to see Kalamata in all her glory,

 my next trip, will be in the height of summer!




If you like it, why not share it ?...Thanks!