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Location of the Peloponnese in Greece.

The Peloponnese or Peloponnesus (Greek: Πελοπόννησος, Pelopónnisos; see also List of Greek place names) is a large peninsula (technically an island since the 1893 construction of the Corinth Canal) and region in southern Greece, forming the part of the country south of the Gulf of Corinth.

The peninsula is divided among three distinct peripheries of modern Greece: most of the Peloponnese and parts of the West Greece and Attica peripheries.

Contents

Geography

The Peloponnese covers an area of some 21,549 km² (8,320 square miles) and constitutes the southernmost part of mainland Greece. While technically it may be considered an island since the construction of the Corinth Canal in 1893 - like other peninsulas that have been separated from their mainland by man-made bodies of waters - it is rarely, if ever, referred to as an "island". It has two land connections with the rest of Greece, a natural one at the Isthmus of Corinth and an artificial one in the shape of the Rio-Antirio bridge (completed 2004).

The peninsula has a mountainous interior and deeply indented coasts, with Mount Taygetus its highest point at 2407 m. It possesses four south-pointing peninsulas, the Messenian peninsula, the Mani Peninsula, the Cape Malea peninsula (also known as Epidaurus Limera), and the Argolid in the far northeast of the Peloponnese.

Two groups of islands lie off the Peloponnesan coast: the Argo-Saronic Islands to the east, and the Ionian Islands to the west. The island of Kythira, off the Epidaurus Limera peninsula to the south of the Peloponnese, is considered to be part of the Ionian Islands.

History

Map of the Peloponnese in classical antiquity

The peninsula has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Its modern name derives from ancient Greek mythology, specifically the legend of the hero Pelops who was said to have conquered the entire region. The name Peloponnesos means "Island of Pelops". During the Middle Ages, the peninsula was known as the Morea.[1] According to folk etymology, this is because the Crusaders found it densely planted with mulberry trees (Greek: moreai) used by the flourishing silk industry.

Mainland Greece's (and Europe's) first major civilization, the Aegean (or Mycenaean) civilization, dominated the Peloponnese in the Bronze Age from the stronghold at Mycenae in the north-east of the peninsula. During classical antiquity, the Peloponnese was at the heart of the affairs of ancient Greece, possessed some of its most powerful city-states and saw some of its bloodiest battles. It was the site of the cities of Sparta, Corinth, Argos and Megalopolis, and was the homeland of the Peloponnesian League. The peninsula was involved in the Persian Wars and was the scene of the Peloponnesian War of 431 BC-404 BC. It fell to the expanding Roman Republic in 146 BC and became the province of Achaea.

The Peloponnese was subsequently ruled by the Byzantine Empire (but some areas were under the control of Slavic tribes between 618-805), until the Fourth Crusade in 1204, when it was lost to the Venetians and Franks. The Franks founded the Principality of Achaea in the northern half of the peninsula in 1205, while the Venetians occupied a number of ports around the coast such as Monemvasia, Pylos and Koroni, which they retained into the 15th century. The Byzantines regained control of the southeastern part of the peninsula, centered at the fortified hill town of Mystras near Sparta. From there, the Greek Despotate of Morea staged a revival from the mid-13th century through to the mid-15th century, until the Ottoman Turks overran the Peloponnese between 1458–1460. The Venetians occupied the peninsula between 1685–1715, after the successful Morean War (1684-1699) but Ottoman control was re-established in 1715. Throughout the 18th century, Ottoman authority remained relatively solid and opposed only by rebellions in the Mani Peninsula, the southernmost part of the Peloponnese, and the activities of the bands of the klephts. The Russian-instigated Orlov Revolt of 1770 temporarily threatened Ottoman rule, but was quickly and brutally subdued.

The Peloponnesians played a major role in the Greek War of Independence – the war actually began in the Peloponnese, when rebels took control of Kalamata on March 23, 1821. The decisive naval Battle of Navarino was fought off Pylos on the west coast of the Peloponnese, and the city of Napoli di Romania or Nafplion or Mora Yenişehri on the east coast became the seat of independent Greece's first parliament.

The 2007 forest fires as seen from space; the north Peloponnese was burnt in 2000

During the 19th and 20th century, the region became relatively poor and economically isolated. A significant part of its population emigrated to the larger cities of Greece, especially Athens, and other countries such as the United States and Australia. It was badly affected by the Second World War and Greek Civil War, experiencing some of the worst atrocities committed in Greece during those conflicts. Living standards have improved dramatically throughout Greece since then, especially after the country's accession to the European Union in 1981. The rural Peloponnese is renowned for being amongst the most traditionalist and conservative regions of Greece and is a stronghold of the right-wing New Democracy party, while the larger urban centres like Kalamata and especially Patra are bastions of the centre-left Panhellenic Socialist Movement. Villages still continue to see a population decline due the lack of economic opportunities, industrial farming, and the aging population.

In late August 2007, large parts of Peloponnese suffered from wildfires, which caused severe damage in villages, forests and the death of 77 people. The impact of the fires to the environment and economy of the region are still unknown. It is thought to be the largest environmental disaster in modern Greek history.

Prefectures

The Peloponnese in early summer as seen form space, with prefecture boundaries superimposed.

Cities

Transportation map of the Peloponnese as of 2007.

The principal modern cities of the Peloponnese are (2001 census):

Archaeological sites

The Peloponnese possesses many important archaeological sites dating from the Bronze Age through to the Middle Ages. Among the most notable are:

See also

Notes

  1. ^ In Turkish it is still known as Mora.

External links

Coordinates: 37°20′59″N 22°21′08″E / 37.34972°N 22.35222°E / 37.34972; 22.35222


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : Greece : Peloponnese

Peloponnese is a region in Greece.

Mystras, Peloponnese
Mystras, Peloponnese
  • Kyparissia - A nice town in the centre of Kyparissian Gulf.
  • Sparta - This historic city has a population of 10,000. It has two main arteries which make navigation really easy. To the west of the City is the beautiful, rugged Mt. Taygetos. The Byzantine city of Mystras is a short 15 minute ride away. This has relics worthy of a visit. There is a museum in Sparta housing some artifacts.
  • Gytheion - A small fishing village. Nice seafood restaurants with plenty of beaches in the area mostly frequented by locals. Nearby Caves of Dyros is a large limestone cave system which is toured on a boat. Here you will find the point where Helen of Troy is said to have started the Trojan War. "The woman who launched a thousand ships."
  • Monemvassia - The Rock of Gibraltar of Greece. Really pretty with an ancient walled city.
  • Ancient Olympia - Birthplace of the Olympics.
  • Patra - Pretty nondescript city. Main point of arrival for ferries from Italy and Ionian islands.
  • Nafplion - A good base to explore surrounding area which includes Epidaurus the largest outdoor amphitheatre with perfect acoustics. If you sit at the top, you can hear a pin drop on the stage, literally. Catch an ancient play in the summertime. Also a good base for exploring Mycenae.
  • Corinth - base for Mycenae - The ruins of one of the first civilizations of Greece.
  • Pylos - Very picturesque city in the southwest. Many French-style buildings, as well as a marina and a gloriously shady square.
  • Kalamata - Main city of Messinia Province. Famous for its olives but also a pleasant city with an attractive seafront and stylish new marina.
  • Loutraki
  • Amaliada
  • Tolo
  • Kalo Nero Kyparissia - Today, the village has developed into a well-organised tourist resort with all the necessary comforts, as taverns, apartments, cafe-bars and nice beaches. Family hotel Irida Resort in Paralia, is a cultural oasis in kalo Nero's most successful tourism resort.
  • Gialova - An exceptionally pretty fishing village near Pylos in the Southwest. There are a couple of nice hotels to stay in, as well as an excellent campsite. The village also boasts several fine eateries, none of which are too expensive.
  • Methoni - A seaside town south of Pylos. Its main feature is a spectacularly positioned and well preserved castle, which contains both Venetian and Ottoman elements. The town itself is also pleasingly old, and there is a small but delightful beach near the castle.
  • Finikounda - A smaller town about 10 minutes drive from Methoni. It is a little more touristy, but does offer wonderful beaches and some nice tavernas.
  • Cremidhi
  • Koroni About 30 minutes drive further on from Finikounda is Koroni, a fishing village which snuggles beneath its great Venetian fortress that overlooks the beautiful harbourfront with pavement cafes and fish restaurants with fresh local produce and authentic Greek cuisine. Just before Koroni is the beautiful Zaga unspoilt beach and beyond are many other beaches.

Understand

You will get along with English pretty well, in the more touristy places you won't have too much problems with German or Italian either. Pick up some Greek, it will be appreciated!

Get in

From Athens, by car or bus; having a car allows occasional stops that are worth along the way to most parts of Peloponnese. To get to Sparta takes around 3 hours. Patras is around 5. Kalamata is around 4.5 hours.

You can also take a ferry from Piraeus to the Saronic island of Poros. Then it's just a 5 minute boat ride from Poros Town to Galatas on the mainland of the Peloponnese. There is a car rental agency there.

Get around

Car or KTEL bus. If you have no hurry, a lot of patience and a train timetable you can take the train.

  • Corinth Canal.
  • Ancient Olympia, Epidarus, Nemea, Mykene, Corinth, Mystra, Sparta,Epicurious Apollo Temple, Mt Lykaion-Lykosoura, Peristeria,
Departure from Diakofta: 6.58; 9.22; 11.48; 14.38
Departure from Kalavrita: 8.09; 10.34; 13.18; 15.51
  • Porto Kagio, southern point of Europe
  • Bungy jumping into Corinth Channel:
  • Zulu Bungy, +30(210)514-7051, +30(6932)702-535, [1]. Apr: Sun 12am-6pm; May, Oct: Sat, Sun 12am-6pm; Jun-Sep: Tue-Sun 10am-6pm. Closed Dec-Mar.  edit
  • Windsurfing
  • White-water activities.
Providers:
  • Alpin Club, [2].
  • Eco Action, [3].
  • Trekking Hellas, [4].
  • Yachting

Buy

Ceramics and sculptures from Atelier Sud art gallery near Finikounda. Inventive and evocative work by two very talented artists.

Eat

Peloponisian "Psistaria" - Gourounopoulo (Roasted Pig), Roasted Lamb, Kontosouvli. Pasto (smoked pork) Loukaniko from Mani/Kalamata (regional sausage with orange) Kokoras Krasatos / Kokoras Horiatikos (rooster in wine sauce/country cooked rooster)

Other typical Greek foods such as: Horiatiki, Saganaki, Kokkinisto, Tyropitakia, Souvlaki, Pastisio, Gemista etc.

Drink

Ouzo Frappe Moschofilero (wine variety) Xinomavro (wine variety)

Stay safe

In general Greece is quite a safe place to visit, although the notorious dangers can be found here as well: Pickpockets in the cities and larger towns and drunk fellow-tourists at nighttime.

  • Stay in Nafplion and drive in radial directions to ancient sightseeing (Ancient Olympia, Epidaurus, Mykene, Corinth, Mystra, Sparta), one destination a day.
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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Etymology

Πέλοψ (Pelops), an Ancient Greek mythical legend.

Pronunciation

  • Pe*lo-ponn*ese
  • PEH-loh-pah-neez

Proper noun

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Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Singular
Peloponnese

Plural
-

Peloponnese

  1. Also Peloponnesus; the peninsular (or island) forming the southern part of the mainland of Greece. One of the 13 peripheries of Greece; it contains Achaea, Arcadia, Argolis, Corinthia, Elia, Laconia and Messenia. Known as Morea in medieval times.

Translations

See also


Simple English

File:Peloponnese-Map satview
A satellite view of the Pelopennese

The Peloponnese is a large peninsula in Greece. It is the part of Greece which is south of the Isthmus of Corinth.

The island of Peloponnese has lots of mountains and coasts, with the highest part being Mount Killini.

There are four south-pointing penisulas within the Peloponnese. They are called Messenia, the Mani Peninsula, Epidaurus, and the Argolid.

There are also two groups of islands near the Peloponese. In the east there are the Argo-Saronic Islands and in the west there are the Ionian Islands. There is also the island of Kythira, which is near to the Epidaurus peninsula. The Kythira is often thought of as part of the Ionian Islands.

The Peloponnese has had people living on it since prehistoric times. Its name means Island of the People and was named after Pelops. Pelops was a person from Greek mythology, who took over the island. During the Middle Ages the peninsula was known as the Morea.








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