The area is inhabited today and many of the ruined buildings have been restored by the 5th Ephorate. The settlement is surrounded by a U-shaped fortification wall with two gates, one on the east and one on the west side, and a small exit to the sea.
The house of Yannis Ritsos
The famous Greek poet was concerned with classical themes, but he also had a more personal lyricism and style, using simple words in deep thoughts.
The music of Mikis Theodorakis on his long poem "Epitafios" in 1960 was the detonator of the cultural revolution in Greece.
Ritsos was a communist. He was sentenced to spend 4 years in various camps (basicly in Makronisos) during the greek civil war (1945-1949). Between 1967-1971 the military dictatorship exiled him in different islands (as in Yaros).
He died in Athens in 1990 but his poems stayed for ever immortal...
It is a pity that the upper town, larger in size than the lower one, is deserted and much ruined...
Remains of numerous byzantine and post-byzantine buildings are preserved there.
The upper town is not inhabited.
Lost in time
"One of the highlights of Greece"
Monemvasia has been characterized as "the Gibraltar of East", as it looks similar with the western and... original one! It occupies a rocky islet connected to the coast of Peloponnese by a bridge.
It is a fortress in a town or... a town in a fortress! Two settlements were founded since the 6th c. AD, one next to the sea (lower town) and another on the top of the rock (upper town).
Monemvasia was captured enough times by the Venetians and the Turks, due to its strategic importance. The savours of their presence can be easily detected even nowadays.
"A jewel of Peloponnese"
Monemvasia is located 95 km SE of legendary Sparta (about 330 km from Athens), which is the capital of the prefecture of Laconia, one of the 7 prefectures of Peloponnese.
It was the first among the fortified towns of the Peloponnese to be liberated by the Greeks in 1821, at the war for independence.
It is really one of the best places in Greece, you must go there and pass your own opinion too.
It is an alive monument of a byzantine-mediaeval fortress town.
Monemvasia surely deserves even a short visit...