Castle of Monemvasia

Monemvasia, also known to the Franks as Malvasia, is a small historicaltown in the Eastern Peloponnese in the prefecture of Laconia. Located in an area known since the ancient times, it is best known for its famous medieval fortress, on the homonymous “Rock of Monemvasia” which was for years the center of culture and trade of the area.

One of the highlights of the region is the worldwide known malvasia wine, that was the main export product during the “venezian” era of the castle, and is still in production.

The name of Monemvasia is a compound word that derives from two ancient Greek words “Moni and Emvasis”,and it translates “with only one entrance” due to the one main entrance of the fortifications of the city. Monemvasia is also known as the “Gibraltar of the East” because of the similarities it has with the “rock of Gibraltar”.

Uppon entering the city, the main road, with the Byzantine cobbled path, leads to the main square in which an old naval gun is located, reminder of a previous era, when it had a key role to the defense of the city and the church of “Elkomenos Christos” which was the cathedral of the fortified town, and an important part of the history of the area. The worldwide known poet Giannis Ritsos, whose origins where from Monemvasia, referred to the rock, as “To Petrino Karavi” which translates as “The Stone Ship” due to its unique location.