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Old September 14th, 2004, 11:03 AM   #1
Prometheus
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Peloponnese

The Peloponnese is part of the Greek mainland but all but separated from the rest of it by the Gulf of Corinth. Only the narrow Isthmus of Corinth attaches it to the rest of the mainland -- or used to, until the four-mile Corinth Canal was cut across the isthmus in 1893, making the Peloponnese virtually an island.

Named for Pelops, son of the mythical Tantalos, whose descendants dominated the half-legendary Mycenaean centuries, this southernmost part of Greece is home to an astounding variety of imposing ruins, situated in equally varied and beautiful scenery -- massive mountains covered with low evergreen oak and pines surround coastal valleys and loom above rocky shores and sandy beaches. Over the millennia this rugged terrain nourished kingdoms and empires and witnessed the birth of modern Greece. Ruined Bronze Age citadels, Greek and Roman temples and theaters, and the fortresses and settlements of the Byzantines, Franks, Venetians, and Turks -- endure as traces of these lost realms.

The Northern Peloponnese consists of the Argive peninsula, which juts into the Aegean east of the Isthmus of Corinth and continues westward past the isthmus and along the Gulf of Corinth to Patras and the Adriatic coast. The oldest region is the fertile Argive plain (Argolis), the heart of Greece in the late Bronze Age and the home of the heroes of Homer's Iliad. A walk through the Lion Gate to Mycenae, Agamemnon's citadel, brings the Homeric epic to life, and the massive walls of the nearby citadel of Tiryns glorify the age of might. Olympia, the sanctuary of Zeus, is the site of the famous contests that the Peloponnese gave mankind, the Olympic Games.

In the Southern Peloponnese, those who penetrate the forbidding mountains of the Taygettus range discover not only the forgotten stone towns of Arcadia -- including medieval Karitena -- but also the remote Temple of Apollo in Bassae. Beyond the Taygettus lies Laconia, where the ancient Spartans practiced their famously disciplined armies and where Byzantium's final flourish has left us the astonishingly well-preserved Mystras. Except for the foundations of Artemis's sanctuary and some fragments of Apollo's shrine at Amyclae, nothing remains of nearby ancient Sparta. On Laconia's southeast peninsula sits the inhabited medieval city of Monemvassia, known as Greece's Mont-Saint-Michel. And, at the very tip of continental Europe dangles the Mani peninsula.




Sparta - Leonidas, hero of Thermopylae 480 BC


Sparta







Mystras is a city of Byzantine ruins near Sparta


Byzantine church, Mystras


Monument in the modern village below Mystras


13th Century Frankish Castle above Mystras



Church fresco, Mystras
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Last edited by Prometheus; September 14th, 2004 at 11:11 AM.
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Old September 14th, 2004, 11:08 AM   #2
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Lagadia, like many Greek towns, is perched on the side of a mountain
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Old September 14th, 2004, 11:15 AM   #3
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Bay at Areopoli


Petrobey Mavromichalis (1765-1848) one of the leaders of the 1821 War of Independence





Areopoli
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Old September 14th, 2004, 11:25 AM   #4
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Gythio


Gythio castle


Lighthouse
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Old September 14th, 2004, 11:30 AM   #5
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Artists rendition of Mycenae




Museum







Ancient Mycanae
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Old September 14th, 2004, 11:38 AM   #6
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Nafplio, first capital city of modern Greece







[IMG]




Nafplio castle


Bourtzi castle, just offshore
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Old December 4th, 2004, 04:37 AM   #7
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awsome pics!
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"Men of Athens... Had I not greatly at heart the common welfare of Hellas I should not have come to tell you; but I am myself Hellene by descent, and I would not willingly see Hellas exchange freedom for slavery..." - Alexander I of Macedonia

(Herodotos, 9.45)
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Old December 4th, 2004, 05:57 AM   #8
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Beautiful! One day, im gonna have to explore Greece , from north to south and east to west. There's really so much to see
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Old December 4th, 2004, 11:37 PM   #9
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imazing!!
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