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Monemvasia History

Updated: Apr 9

The castle and the town of Monemvasia were founded in 583 by people who were trying to be protected from the Slavic and Avaric invasions.

Monemvasia History  |  Shiny Greece

Photo by: Evlahos, Monemvasia2 SHARP, CC BY-SA 3.0

In the 10th century, Monemvasia became a very important trade and maritime center. In the 11th century, Monemvasia withstood the Arab and Norman invasions. In the 12th century the Rock was given to Byzantine Emperors after severe sieges, and it remained in their hands until the 14th century. After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, Monemvasia was offered to the Turkish Sultan and then it was sold to the Pope. Prosperity remained until 1540 under Venetian rule, then until 1690 under Ottoman rule, and finally from 1715 to 1821 under Venetian rule again. Its commercial importance remained until 1770 of the Russian-Turkish War.

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