MONEMVASIA - L.Boukouvala - 03


Monemvasia is a huge rock in the sea, where a tongue of land at the base of the rock connects to the mainland. On this rock, in a position almost invisible from much of the surrounding terrain, is a town on two levels, below, the people’s town, and above, the town of the lords.

Monemvasia is an important station in the medieval area of ​​the Peloponnese during the Palaeologian reconstruction of the Byzantine civilization and then during the period of Ottoman domination.

Recall that once, after 1204, (with the conquest of Constantinople by the armies of the 4th Crusade) a special branch of French chivalry flourished in the Peloponnese, an original manifestation of French medieval civilization.

Also, from the wider area of ​​Monemvasia and Mystras come the great families that will rule the last period of the Byzantine Renaissance, parallel to the Italian Renaissance and in constant interaction with it.

Also in Monemvasia was produced for centuries one of the most esteemed wines that circulated and was praised in all the courts of medieval Europe, the famous Malvasia.

While the lower town of Monemvasia has undergone a comprehensive and rigorous archaeological restoration, under a model of reuse, which has not been applied anywhere else in Greece, the upper town (much more important for its large mansions and its great buildings and public facilities such as aqueducts) was plundered for building materials after the end of World War II and remained in the shadows in terms of archaeological restoration and historical research, as well as in terms of research and artistic development.