Ancient Messene Messíni
Ancient Messene lies on the slopes of Mt Ithómi (798m/2,618ft), 30km/19mi northwest of Kalamáta, which dominates the landscape of Messenia.The site of the ancient city, at the village of Mavrommáti, is reached from Kalamáta by way of the modern town of Messíni (30km/19mi). Visitors coming from the north should turn off the main road from Megalópolis at Tsoukalaíika into a road on the right which leads via Lamvaína to Mavrommáti (19km/12mi from Tsoukalaíika).In the three wars (740-720, 660 and 464-459 B.C.) in which Sparta, Messene's powerful neighbor to the east of the Taygetos range, sought to gain control of Messenia Mt Ithómi was the last refuge of the Messenians.
Address: Mavromati, 24002 Meligala, Greece
Always opened on: Assumption Day - Christian (Aug 15), Óhi Day - Greece & Cyprus (Oct 28)
Useful tips: Open air site, permanently open.
Mavrommati - Voulkano Monastery
From Mavrommáti a road runs east to a saddle in the hills, beyond which stands the fortress-like Voúlkano monastery (17th C.). From the saddle a track winds its way up to the summit of Mt Ithómi, with a ruined monastery occupying the site of the acropolis; the climb takes an hour.Mavrommáti is a village beside the ruins of ancient Messini.Near the village is the Monastery of Voulkanos. The monastery stands amid dense trees. It was probably first built in the 16th century near the sanctuary of Ithomatas Zeus, because at its foundations can be seen fragments of Doric columns.The interior of the monastery church has superb murals, as do the different chapels of the monastery. The newer monastery was built in 1712 on a lower slope of the hill.
Messene - Temple of Asklepios
From the east end of the village of Messene a path descends to a rectangular area which was formerly thought to be the agora. Recent excavations have brought to light, in the center of the area, a Doric temple of Asklepios of the Hellenistic period, with 6 x 12 columns. Adjoining it on the east are a small theater (assembly room), a propylon and a hall; to the west are several cult chambers, including one dedicated to Artemis Orthia.
Messene - Arcadian Gate
From the west end of the Temple of Asklepios a path runs up to the north, past the site of the theater, to join the road from Mavrommáti to the Arcadian Gate at the small local museum. Of this monumental north gate of the ancient city there still survive nine courses of dressed stone. On the outer side of the gate are two square towers flanking a forecourt, and inside it is a circular outer ward with a diameter of 19.7m/65ft. On either side of the gate, but particularly on the west side, the course of the walls, with their towers and wall-walks, can be traced in the hilly surrounding country.
More Ancient Messene Pictures