In the northwest section of Peloponnisos, covering 2.991 Klm2, divided in 31 municipalities and capital town Kalamata, urban life outnumbered by agricultural,we find ourselves in Messinia, one of the most important cultural and civil centers of the Helladic ground since the BC ages.According to Mythology, Messinia was named after Messini, Polykanoas’ wife, who was the first king of the country. Archeological excavations brought out to light a number of findings which reassure the inhabitation of these grounds during the early prehestorical era and that significant civilazation was formed during the Mycenean ages.
The court comlex of Pylos (nowadays the spot is called Upper Egliano),Nestor’ s palace and its 105 quarters (burned down by the Dorians when they descented), the temple of Epicurian Apollo in Vassae (Dorian peripteral temple, made of local limestone and built by Ictinus, the architect of Parthenon, during the 5th century BC), all declare the long course of this place throughout the ages.
Messenean history is full of non – stopping battles for dominance. Laying in one of nature’s most strategic spots had always been alluring in to conquerers. The west and north sides are awashed by the Ionian open sea and Messenian Gulf, while on the east and south side the mountains of Taygetus, Tetrazio, Lykodemos, Lykeo and Kontovounia overhang, creating a protective plegma against intruders. The products of the Messenean earth, as wellas the beautiful landscapenand the richious flaura and fauna (due to the rivers og Neda and Pamisos) had also been reasons for outcomers to claim rights on the rulement of the state.During the 8th century BC (when towns were considered independent and autonomous states) Spartians’ expansionist policy blew off the Messenean civilazation and after a number of battles subjugated Messinia under their command.
At that time the capital of Messinia was Pylos and king was Nestor. The natives, mixture of Achaeans and Dorians were scattered around under the Spartian yoke of slavery.The complete subjugation to the Roman Empire comes at 146 BC and up to 1205 AC periods between war,peace and truce march along.
By 1205 AC, Messinia belongs to the Franks of Achaia, except from the towns of Methoni and Koroni which in 1245 AC came to the hands of the Venetians.In 1498, the Ottomans march on the Messenean ground .
For a brief period of time (1688-1715), Venetianstake control but the Ottoman Empire strikes back.At the 22nd of March in 1821 (the beginning of the Greek revolution against the Ottoman Empire) fighters from Mani and Messinia under the orders of Petrobeis Mavromichalis, liberate Methoni and Koroni. (Methoni was a known center of trade and cultural mixture during the Middle Ages and the castle of Methoni indicate the welth and power of this small city).One of the most important battles for the liberation of the country was the sea battle tat took place at the cove of Navarino in 1827, which finally came in favour of the Greeks, having the help of the French fleet. You can reach Messinia by car, train or plane from Athens.