|PYLOS - Navarino (Πύλος, Ναβαρίνο)
The modern city of Pylos is definitely one of the most attractive coast in Greece. Someone arriving at Pylos, has the impression that he is somewhere on an island.
The little town is built amphitheatrically between and on-top of two hills, on the southern side of the Navarino bay; Sphacteria Island (a huge rocky barrier 4.6 km long and rising to a height of 135 m.) protects the bay.
The characteristics which make the charm of Pylos are:
- the main square and cafes shaded by enormous centuries-old trees that surrounds
- the buildings and their arches like colonial style who bordering the square
- the memories of naval battle of Navarino (1827): two cannons and a monument to the victorious admirals who are located in the center of the square
- the fisherman harbor which ahead city (above, a marina was built a few years ago)
- the hexagonal fortress of Neokastro dominating the western side of the city.
The area of Pylos is God's blessed. The surroundings are not only of great historical and archaeological interest, but also a little piece of paradise that offers nature.
Some examples: the olive groves who cover the landscape; the most beautiful beaches with fine sand of Voidokoilia, Romanos and Gialova; the Divari lagoon of Gialova which host a rich and varied flora and fauna (many migatory bird species, African chameleons) preserved through protection program "Natura 2000
For visitors and travelers it's a chance to spend the holidays cultural as "sports" and thus enjoy the many excursions and hiking.
Pylos was frequently mentioned in history and Mythology, is a famous ancient name. Pylos has a continuous historical presence since pre-historic times. Pylos was the dominant Mycenaean center in Messenia.
The position of modern Pylos is not where ancient Pylos was:
• the Mycenaean Pylos (bronze-age ~ -1300 / -1200 B.C.) called also Sandy Pylos or Homer's Pylos is supposed the capital of Nestor's Kingdom (from Homer's Odyssey), is located at Epano Englianos (nearby Hora). In 1939 archaeologists discovered and excavated there a Mycenaean palace known as the Palace to Nestor, it seems the site itself was called Pylos.
• the Classical and Hellenistic Pylos (~ -700 / +600) was probably situated on the rocky promontory now known as Koryphasion at the northern edge of the bay of Navarino, close to Voidokilia Bay.
Through the centuries Pylos continued to attract, Byzantines, Franks, Venetians and Turks each in turn fortified the high points along the bay.
In 1573 the Turks built the fortress of Pylos Neokastro (it dominates the west side of town), with the aim of controlling the southern entrance to the bay of Navarino, the largest natural harbour in the Peloponnese. Is called Neokastro (New Castle), to distinguish it from Paliokastro (Old Castle). It is kept in a very good condition and functions as a museum
Pylos has been the scene of two famous battles:
• in 425 BC. during the Peloponnesian War, a naval battle took place in the bay between Athens and Sparta.
• in October 20, 1827 the naval battle of Navarino took place, where fleets English, Russian and French inflicted on the fleet turco-egyptian a defeat which would be decisive for the independence of Greece in 1832 (it follows this battle that diplomacy has decided the establishment of an independent Greek state).