Methoni

Methoni (Greek: Μεθώνη, Italian: Modone, Venetian: Modon) is a village and a former municipality in Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality of Pylos-Nestoras, of which it is a municipal unit.[2] The municipal unit has an area of 97.202 km2.[3] Its name may be derived from Mothona, a mythical rock. It is located 11 km south of Pylos and 11 km west of Foinikounta. The municipal unit of Methoni includes the nearby villages of Grizokampos, Finikouda, Foiniki, Lachanada, Varakes, Kainourgio Chorio, Kamaria, Evangelismos and the Oinnoussai Islands. The islands are Sapientza, Schiza and Santa Marina; they form a natural protection for Methoni harbour. The town is also known by the Italian name Modone, which it was called by the Venetians.

Its economy is dominated by tourism, attracted by its beaches (including Tapia, Kokkinia and Kritika) and its historical castle.

HISTORICAL ELEMENTS:

Methoni has been identified as the city of Pedasus, which Homer mentions under the name «ampeloessa» (of vine leaves), as the last of the seven εὐναιόμενα πτολίεθρα (eunaiomena ptoliethra) (well-peopled cities) that Agamemnon offers Achilles in order to subdue his rage. Pausanias knew the city as Mothone, named either after the daughter of Oeneus or after the rock Mothon, which protects the harbour, and mentioned a temple to Athena Anemotis there.[4] The Oinoussai complex of islands protected the port of Methoni from the turbulent sea. Along with the rest of Messenia, the town gained its independence from the Spartans in 369 BC. During the 4th century BC, Methoni was elaborately fortified, and it remained autonomous well into the Imperial Roman era, when it enjoyed the favor of some emperors. Like other Mediterranean coastal settlements, Methoni was probably heavily affected by the tsunami that followed the earthquake in AD 365. Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus wrote that as a result of the earthquake some ships had been «hurled nearly two miles from the shore», giving as an example a Laconian vessel that was stranded «near the town of Methone».[5]

During the Byzantine years Methoni retained its a remarkable harbor and remained one of the most important cities of the Peloponnese, seat of a bishopric.

METHONI

Syngrou Square is located near the end of the main road of Methoni - you will see it in on your left, just before you enter the Venetian castle. The centre of the square is dominated by a Venetian well which was built during the second period of Venetian Rule, between 1686 and 1715, as we read on the relevant sign created by members of the Association of Friends of the Castle of Methoni. The well is 2.60 m (8.5 ft) in diameter. Its present depth is measured at 4 m (13 ft). It was particularly important during the days of the castle’s occupation and thus, extremely protected by the locals. There are plenty of references to its existence with the name “Azimo” (Άζυμο). Additional reference is found in the texts of a Turk traveller (“Travelling around Greece”, 1668 - 1671).
The little Byzantine church of Ayios Vasilios is located on the highway Pylos - Methoni, opposite the hill of Ayios Onoufrios, just about 2 km before the town of Methoni. In order to find the little church, you should turn left at the turnpike road as you are driving on the highway, and then left again at the narrow dirt road that will appear just in front of you. Attention is required in order you not to be lost, as there is no relevant sign on the highway leading to the church and you might skip the turn and find yourselves in the entrance to the town of Methoni. Άγιος Βασίλειος - Μεθώνη Άγιος Βασίλειος - Μεθώνη The little church dates back to 1100 B.C. and is a beautiful Byzantine construction. According to ancient sources, the temple is an example of ancient cruciform architecture which belongs to the so-called transitional type. The latter indicates the combination of the church’s plan shaping a Christian cross with the three-isled domed basilica. In the interior of the church, the archaeologists have discovered only traces of wall-paintings, mainly in the area of the sanctuary. Unfortunately, intact Byzantine frescoes have not survived in the church to the present day.      
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