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Tour the medieval citadel of Mystras

May 31, 2011 - 2:27am
Aegean Islands
No cruise to Greece is complete without exploring the country's historical attractions, as the monuments are an immense part of the Aegean nation's culture. One stop on your trip should be in the village of Mystras, located in the western periphery of Peloponnese.

Mystras is a Byzantine citadel that was deemed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1989. As the empire's former hub, the town has a rich and storied history of cultural wealth and prosperity. Its monuments have been well-preserved over the years, offering travelers a glimpse into medieval life of the 13th through 15th centuries.

During the Middle Ages, the citadel was the second most important Byzantine city, surpassed only by Constantinople. It was the home of many rulers over the years, including Prince William II Villehardouin, who built his palace in the Greek city in 1249.

Though it is a small municipality to begin with, Mystras is divided into nine communities - Agia Eirini, Agios Ioannis Lakedaimonas, Anavryti, Longastra, Magoula, Mystras, Paroreio, Soustianoi and Trypi - totaling under 5,000 residents. Each district features its own set of fascinating attractions, so travelers should make sure to visit each one on their tour of Greece this summer.