Mystras occupies a steep foothill on the northern slopes of Mt. Taygetos,6 km. NW of Sparti.
It was the fortress of Byzantine Hellenism for the years 1262-1460 when it had cultural and
intellectual importance. In 1448 the last emperor of Byzantium, CONSTANTINE XI PALAEOLOGOS,
was crowned at Mystras. Many barbarians attacked Mystras including Albanians, Francs, Turks, Slavs
and others. In 1460, after the collapse of Byzantine Empire the city came under the control of Turks.
The most important monuments of the city are:
The Castle and the walls.
Palaces of the Mystras Despots (Katakouzenoi and Palaeologoi) erected in the 13th century.
The Cathedral of St. Demetrios built in 13th century. It houses the Archaeological Museum of Mystras.
Aghia Sophia-Holy Wisdom, domed, cross-in-square with bell tower, built in 1350
Church of Saints Theodore. It was built between 1290 and 1295. It is of the octagonal type,
and is decorated with wall paintings.
Monastery of Pantanessa with wall paintings dated to 1430.
Church of Our Lady Hodegetria built in 1310 by abbot Pachomios.