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Palace of Mystras | The Beauty and Diverse Influences of Byzantine Crossroads

Updated: Mar 4

Authors

George Papadellis | SG Head

with some good tips from AI


The Palace of Mystras is an ancient and significant cultural site situated above the square of Ano Chora in the 13th century Byzantine city of Mystras Peloponnese, which served as the residence of the Governor, the residence of the Despots and an offices' building. With its rich history and beautiful architecture, the palace attracts thousands of tourists every year.


Palace of Mystras

The History

The Palace of Mystras was constructed in the 13th century by the Frankish conquerors, who established the Principality of Achaea after the Fourth Crusade. After the Frankish rule ended, the Byzantine emperor took over the palace in 1262. From 1262 to 1460, the palace was ruled by the Despotate of Morea, which was established by the Byzantine emperor. During this time, the palace was considered one of the most important cultural centers in the Balkans.


Palace of Mystras  |  Shiny Greece

The Architecture

The Palace of Mystras was built in a mix of Gothic, Byzantine, and Renaissance architectural styles, which reflect the diverse cultures and influences that shaped the palace's history. The palace is made up of several buildings, including the Great Palace, the Palace of the Despots, and the Chapel of Saint Demetrios. The Great Palace is the largest building in the complex and was the residence of the Byzantine emperor. The Palace of the Despots is located nearby and was the residence of the Despot of Morea. The Chapel of Saint Demetrios was built in the 14th century and features beautiful frescoes and mosaics. Specifically, it is an L-shaped building of four construction phases. The main part (two-story structure and tower) was built by the Franks. The first extension of another two-story structure was built during the Byzantine years. The second extension of another two-story structure was built in the period of Manuel Kantakouzinos with Venetian style. The third extension of a three-story structure was built in the period of Manuel Paleologos with western and Byzantine style.


Palace of Mystras

Byzantine Palace of Mystras | Photo by: Alexandrosmp, Archaeologikos Choros tou Mystra 12, CC BY-SA 4.0


Visiting the Palace of Mystras

Today, the Palace of Mystras is a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can take guided tours to learn about its rich history and architecture, and can also explore the surrounding area, including the nearby medieval town of Mystras, which is home to several other significant cultural sites.


Ruins of the Palace of Mystras

Glimpse into the Past

The Palace of Mystras is an essential part of Greece's cultural heritage and history. With its beautiful architecture and rich history, the palace offers a unique glimpse into the past and serves as a testament to the many different cultures that have shaped the region over the centuries. A visit to the palace is an unforgettable experience that should not be missed by anyone interested in history, architecture, or culture.


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Guest
Apr 07
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Stunning medieval castle town, with an abundance of churches, chapels and monasteries at the foot of Mount Taygetus.

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