Pylos – Μυθική Πελοπόννησος

Pylos

Pylos is located on the southwestern tip of the Peloponnese and has a population of 2,500 people. It combines the spectacular colours of the Ionian Sea with the fertile Messinian land and boasts one of the safest ports in the Mediterranean. The bay of Navarino and the isle of Sfaktiria -apart from their obvious beauty- remind visitors of this place’s historical fate. The brand new, dazzling town, with its beautiful houses around the scenic port that took its name from the neighbouring Homeric Pylos of the famous King Nestor, was designed after the well-known Battle of Navarino (1827) by the French engineers of General Maison and was inhabited by people from Asia Minor, the Ionian Islands and the rest of the Peloponnese. Niokastro, which stands at the end of the settlement, is one of the most well preserved castles in Greece. With a lovely pine forest and great monuments, the old aqueduct, the Square of the Three Admirals, the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Marine Antiquities, the house of the Olympic medallist K. Tsiklitiras, the “NESTOR” Institute of Astroparticle Physics and other important attractions, historical sites, castles, lovely beaches and wetlands, Pylos is an ideal destination throughout the year, as well as the perfect starting point to explore the nearby area.

Pylos is a radiant, newly-founded town, with beautiful houses built around a small port, resembling a painting. Located at the southwestern tip of the Peloponnese, with approximately 2,500 residents, it borrowed its name from the nearby Homeric Pylos of the famous Nestor, was designed after the famous Naval Battle of Navarino (1827) by the French engineers of general Maison and was inhabited by people from Asia Minor, the Ionian islands and the Morea (the name of the Peloponnese during the Middle Ages). It spreads amphitheatrically on a fascinating landscape painted in the colours of the Ionian sea and the Messinian land, and it opens up like a colourful flower in one of the safest moorings in the Mediterranean, with the island of Sphacteria defining its beauty the bay of Navarino, the great protagonist in its historical fate, in its embrace. Pylos can also be visited on small sea trips.

Bright, white stone houses, with colourful flowers, yards, roofs, balconies, alleys, steps, and in its centre the Trion Navarchon square and the arched ground floors of the surrounding buildings, palm trees and most of all, lush plane trees which offer shade to the inhabitants and the visitors during their time of rest, with the fish taverns promising and delivering exquisite seafood creations.

High up on the hill rises the church of the Dormition of the Theotokos (“Kimisis tis Theotokou”). At the port stands the well-preserved Town Hall and near it, looking proudly toward the sea, the renovated two-storey house of the Olympic medalist Kostis Tsiklitiras, which will house in the future the Library-Art Gallery of the Municipality of Pylos. The preserved Old Gymnasium houses the “Nestor” Institute for Astroparticle Physics, of the National Observatory of Athens, where one of the most important scientific experiments worldwide is being carried out.

From the edge of the settlement one can easily access the castle, one of the best-preserved fortresses in Greece and an excellent sample of fortification architecture from the 16th century onwards. Niokastro was built by the Turks in 1573 and was completed during the time when the Venetians dominated the area (1686-1715). During the following conflict periods it was renovated, altered and added to. It has an imposing front gate, strong bastions, turrets, a hexagonal acropolis, the Museum of Underwater Archaeology and the noteworthy collection of

René Puaux, which is housed in general Maison’s quarters. The church of the Transfiguration of the Saviour (“Metamorfosis tou Sotiros”) stands in the centre. A walk around Niokastro reveals the magical view to the bay of Navarino and the open Ionian sea.

Niokastro, with its amazing pine forest and monuments, the old aqueduct and the important sights, the historical sites (Nestor’s palace), the castles (Paleokastro), the beaches (Voidokilia, Gialova) and the habitats (Gialova), they all make Pylos a proud destination and a great starting point where one can set out for excursions to the nearby areas.

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