Welcome to Monemvasia!
In the south-eastern peninsula of Laconia dominates the red rock of Monemvasia, united with the land by a narrow strip of land, from which the region was named (only + emphatica). It is 95 km from Sparta.
The settlement is divided into two parts: the Upper Town – built on the plateau of the cliff top – and the Lower Town, built on the southeast side. Both cities were formerly enclosed in solid walls that communicated with each other on a guarded staircase carved into the rock. The only intact surviving monument of the Upper Town is the church of Agia Sophia, with exquisite frescoes.
The Lower Town retains its medieval character with its tall concrete houses, narrow streets and churches. The largest and most famous is the Elkomenos Christos with remarkable post-Byzantine icons.
To the north of Monemvasia, lies the area of Zaraka, where ruins of castles, churches and houses of medieval villages are preserved, bearing the same names as today’s traditional settlements: Charakas, Pichia, Ai-Dimitris and Kyparissi.