Sunday, 25 March 2012

This is Sparta!

Mythical Sparta, the greatest military force in ancient Greece, today is a city with interesting sights, but also a starting point for excursions into the beautiful surrounding areas and villages.
Modern Sparta is located south of the centre of the ancient town, near the right bank of the river Evrotas in the central part of the southern Peloponnese ( From ancient Sparta the ruins of the temples of the goddesses Artemis, Athena and the god Apollo and the Roman theatre have been preserved.
The lushly green lowland, which extends around the city is filled with olive, orange, lemon trees, mulberries, etc. To the southwest rises Tayget mountain's highest peaks, and rigorous beauty. East of the town rises Mount Parnonas also lushly green.

After the liberation of the country in 1834, the city was rebuilt by order of King Otto, and at an official ceremony on 1st of January, 1857 the authorities were moved from Mistra in the new town, which is the first town in Greece, built according to a city plan: there are wide streets with alleys of trees, wide squares, neoclassical buildings and sewerage.
As for the Spartans, they are still renowned for their courage and for having kept the Greek tradition alive.
Ancient Spartan military tactics

The ancient Spartans were famous for their courage and pride, but also for their martial arts. The famous Spartan upbringing made ancient Sparta quite different from other Greek poleis and showed the terrible military machine of the city.
The Spartans were heavily armed and trained their children from the age 7. The weight of their equipment was about 60 kilograms, as much as a teenager weighed.
Attractions in Sparta
Sparta is the economic and commercial centre of the region and there are many attractions, and it is also an excellent starting point for organizing tours in the area.
The town has a fascinating archaeological museum with finds from the two major sanctuaries of Artemis and Athena, as well as a Museum of the olive (, whose main purpose is to demonstrate the technology of production of olives and olive oil. In the town there are also a State Library and an Art Gallery.
When you walk around Sparta you can see the statue of the legislator Lycurgus, the statue of King Leonidas, and many neoclassical buildings, such as the theatre, the City Hall and the Courthouse.
Also, the city has wild nightlife, which is partly attributable to students and university centres.
Excursions in the vicinity
The remains of the Byzantine city of Mystras, ancient Sparta, picturesque villages and spectacular natural beauty will offer you interesting excursions in the vicinity of Sparta.
Mystras, the Byzantine city of Peloponnesus, which was a spiritual and cultural centre for the area also in the past and which is now included in UNESCO (, is located 6 km northwest of Sparta. Today it is destroyed, although some buildings have been restored like the palaces, and it is a valuable source of knowledge about history, art and culture in the last two centuries of the existence of Byzantium.
It is also worth visiting the picturesque village Anavriti situated on the slope of Tayget with its magic views of the lowlands of the river Evrotas.
Your attention also deserve the villages Hrisafa, Xirokambi, Castries, Kastorio, Pellana, and Georgica.
Tayget which separates the areas Laconia and Messinia, whose peak is hidden in the clouds with its 2407 meters, offers some of the most beautiful tourist and climbing routes (, as in addition to the unique nature, the mountain routs are very well marked, even for less experienced travelers.
A lovely route is Sparta - Kalamata in Tayget where at the border area with Messinian it is worth visiting the natural park Langadas.
More details about Sparta, but also information about where you can stay in the area can be found on the web pages:, and

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