Monuments of international cultural heritage
The archaeological site of Ancient Messini, which impresses the visitor with the well preserved and unusually high findings, the Castle of Methoni, which is one of the most impressive castles all over Greece and the Castle of Koroni with its huge gates, an indication of gothic architecture, have all been included in the national list that has been submitted to UNESCO (tentative list) in order for these buildings to be included in the category of Monuments of International Cultural Heritage.
A dedication to the God of the Sun
In the UNESCO World Heritage list the imposing temple of Apollo Epicurius which has been characterized as a “second Parthenon” has already been included as early as 1986. This temple is situated 48 km away from Kyparissia in Bassae Figaleias which belongs governmentally in Ilia Municipality. The temple, which was constructed in the second half of the 5th century B.C. and was dedicated to Apollo as an indication of gratitude on the part of the citizens of Figaleia for saving them from a plague during the Peloponnese war, is absolutely impressive and a visit to it should not be missed!
The miracle of Morias
In a two hour distance from Kalamata two more unique destinations of international recognition have already been listed in the UNESCO World Heritage list. One of them is the archaeological site of Mystras, the well known “miracle of Morias”. This “dead” Byzantine Town that lies in a 6 km distance from Sparta was built in 1249 by William II Villeahardouin. It was conquered by the Byzantines, the Turks, the Venetians ,it was evacuated in 1832, but it still enchants today with its history and its mediaeval remnants and palaces.
The homeland of the Olympic Games
The second destination of great and international value is the archaeological site of Ancient Olympia, one of the most imposing destinations all over the world. Ancient Olympia was inhabited as early as the prehistoric era and was the most sacred place of Ancient Greece dedicated to Jeus. The place where the Olympic Games were held beginning from 776 B.C. (they were banned in 394 A.D. as they were considered to be pagan) impresses with the wealth of its monuments and its incomparable natural beauty.
• Apollo Epicurius
• Ancient Olympia