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Messinia tour in honour of Luc Daels
It's a great tour in one of the nicest spots of Greece: the Peloponnese. It has a great variety in landscapes and interests. From and Ancient Tholos tomb to Frankish Castles used for slave trade, to the protected Osmananga Lagoon with all its fauna and flora.
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The strength of its ancient fortifications excelled all those of the Greek ancient world. Of the wall, some 5 miles (8 km) in extent, considerable portions yet remain, especially on the north and north-west, and almost the entire circuit can still be traced, affording the finest extant example of Greek fortification.
The Holy Monastery is for men only and is celebrated on the 15th August.
On the 20th September the icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary is carried in a religious procession of 20 km, from the church of the Monastery of Voulcano to the church of the Source of Life in Messini in the area of Panigyristra where it is displayed for 9 days for people to pay their respects.
This graben was filled up with river and sea deposits (mainly clay) forming the vertile plain of Messinia. It's also here that the river Nedon found its way between the mountain ranges to the Gulf of Massinia.
Kalamata has developed into a modern provincial capital, with all facilities and amenities, as well as one of the most modern hospitals in Greece.
There are numerous historical and cultural sights to see in Kalamata, such as the Villehardouin castle, the Ipapandis Byzantine church, the Kalograion monastery with its famous silk-weaving workshop where the beautiful Kalamata scarves are made, and the municipal railway park. Another great spot to visit is the church of Agion Apostolon where Mavromihalis declared the revolution. It’s also worth seeing the art collections housed at the Municipal Gallery, the Benaki Archaeological Museum and the Folk Art Museum.
From 1681 on the Venetians ruled Kalamata. In 23 March 1821, Kalamata was the first city to be liberated from the Turkish occupation of as much as over 300 years, by the Greek rebel forces under the orders of generals Theodoros Kolokotronis, Petros Mavromichalis and Papaflessas
Here the "NESTOR" experiment is cunducted and has to to with neutrinos and the past of the universe.
Data, including signals are being transmitted to the shore station in Methoni via a 30 km electro-optical cable laid on the sea-bed. This is the first time that continuous, real-time "physics" data have been obtained from such a depth, and represents a major step towards a kilometre cube neutrino detector.
The NESTOR (Neutrino Extended Submarine Telescope with Oceanographic Research) will ultimately consist of a tower with 12 floors of 32 m diameter.
The populations is estimated to be about 700 animals, (400 sheep and 300 chamoes).
With the Sapientza Treaty in 1209 the island passed in the hands of the Venetians. It has been used as a docking area for the Turks and the Venetians during the third Venetian-Turkish war, and as a base of operations for the Greek fleet in 1825.
The ships that usually sailed near the coast of the island frequently crashed on its rocky coast resulting in the discovery of many important shiprwrecks from all the historical periods.
One of these sank at the north part of Sapientza with its stolen cargo which was the pillars from the Grand Peristyle built by Herod in Caissareia, Palestine, in the 1st century A.D.
Sapientza is a low island with an area of 9 square kilometres, its highest peak being on its north part, Foveri, at a height of 219 m. The slopes of the island climb up in lush greenery, and the crlystal clear waters of the sea, have a unique exotic colour.
The island Sapientz and its neighbouring islands Schiza, Santa Marina belong to the Oinoussai complex.
When the winter winds hit its walls the locals say that you can hear the screams of the prisoners and the unjustly killed in the Bourtzi.
The castle of Methoni occupies the whole area of the cape and the southwestern coast to the small islet that has also been fortified with an octagonal tower and is protected by the sea on its three sides. It's north part, the one that looks to land, is covered by a heavily fortified acropolis. A deep moat separates the castle from the land and communication was achieved by a wooden bridge. The Venetians built on the ancient battlements and added on and repaired it during both periods that they occupied the castle.
In ancient times it was the site of the Battle of Sphacteria in the Peloponnesian war.
In 425BC, during the Peloponnesian War, the Athenians defeated the Spartans in a “commando” raid on Sphacteria Island.
In modern times the bay was the site of the Battle of Navarino in the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire (the forerunner to modern-day Turkey). In 1826 approximately 200 Greek fighters were blockaded there by Ibrahim Pasha's fleet when captain Tsamados set out a daring plan to rescue them. In August 1826 in a stormy night he slipped unnoticed with his ship "Ares" between the Turkish fleet and the castle of Navarino (controlled by Turkish forces then) to the island of Sphacteria and boarded the 200 fighters. While leaving he was noticed by the Turkish sailors and he was trapped between the fleet of 15 frigates and the castle cannons. The battle lasted for 2 hours but they managed to escape. Captain Tsamados, General Santaroza and the Secretary of Interior Anagnostaras were killed in action.
In the castle there was no water and works had to be made that would ensure the continued water provision of the castle. Tanks were built into the castle and two reservoirs that were meeting at the Kamares place and providing water to the fort through pipelines were placed. Apart from the Kamares, there are parts of aqueducts in the region of Cheimarou Xeria and in Ag.Constantine, near the village Handrinos, all, on the way to Kalamata.
The Paleokastro (The Old Castle) offers the majestic views of the Ionian Sea and Voidokilia. The Paliokastro played an important role in all the events that took place in Pylos, but after the enclosing of the pass of Sykia by the Turks, played a minimal role because than started the building of Niokastro in the south of the harbor.
A graben is a depressed block of land bordered by parallel faults. Graben is German for ditch.
A graben is the result of a block of land being downthrown producing a valley with a distinct scarp on each side. Grabens often occur side-by-side with horsts.
This area also belongs to a plateau area of marl.
The palace of Nestoras was discovered in 1939. It is a piece of work dating back to the 13th century B.C. It consists of five main buildings which take up such a large area that it can only be compared, to the palaces of Mycaenae and Tiryntha.
The Palace of Nestor, on the Epano Englianos ridge was excavated from 1952 to 1966 by the late Professor Carl Blegen of the University of Cincinnati. The palace, dating from ca. 1300-1200 BC, is among the best preserved of Bronze Age complexes in Greece. In addition to architecture, excavations uncovered wall and floor frescos, Linear B tablets (the first ever discovered on the mainland!), sealings, jewelry, pottery and other artifacts.
The name Voidokilia means "cow's belly", from the two rocky promontories that define the entrance of it. The beach lies beneath the Old Frankish castle (Paliokastro) and the cave of King Nestor, the ancient King of Pylos, who according to legend, used this cave as a haven for his cattle.
The lagoon is caused by currents in Navarino Bay transporting sediment along the coast and forming a sand spit from Gialova to the Palaiokastro island, cutting off part of the bay to form the Osmanaga lagoon. It was probably at this time that sand transported into Voidikilia Bay, was laid down and began to form the magnificent beach and sand dunes.