Ancient Messini. In Ancient Messini is one of the most important archaeological sites of Greek history. Ancient Messini, which is located thirty kilometres northwest of Kalamata at the Peloponnese, was founded in the year 369 BC by the strategist Epaminondas of Thebes. At that time and in the centuries before wars were fought between the Messinians and the Spartans. The Spartans wanted the fertile land of Messinia and occupied the region for four centuries. Then Epaminondas overcame the Spartans and gave back the country to the Messenians. Messini became the new capital and many new buildings were built.
A beautiful view of the ruins you’ll have from the higher mountain village Mavromati. There is a stadium on the grounds, a theatre, asklepieion, various temples, storehouses etc. Around the sanctuary are the ruins of parts of the old walls built around the city, these walls are impressive. The walls were nine and a half kilometres long and were built in the third century BC to protect the city. There were two gates through which one could enter Messini; the Arcadian and the Laconian port. The Arcadian gate you can see when you're driving from the town Meligalas to Old Messini by car. You drive through the gate. The Laconian gate was located behind the village of Mavromati, where now the monastery Voulkano is located.
Text: Yorgos and Wendy Nikolidakis - Revised by Maxine van Hoften Gee