Αρχαία Μεσσήνη – archaeological site
“Messene is one of the most important cities of antiquity in terms of its size, form and state of preservation, and still has much to oller. lt had not only sanctuaries and public buildings, but also impressive fortifications, houses, and funerary monuments. In addition, it has the rare privilege of never having been destroyed or covered by more recent settlements, and of being situated in an intact, eminently Mediterranean natural environment, dominated by the bare mass of Ithomi where its acropolis was, and the low-lying fertile valley surrounding the ancient city.
lt was founded as the capital of the independent state of Messenia by the Theban general Epameinondas in 369 BC following his victory at Leuctra, simultaneously with the Arcadian City of Megalopolis.
Its fortification walls were built with stone blocks up to the battlements. Fortified with a separate wall was also the acropolis on the summit of mount Ithome where the sanctuary of Zeus Ithomatas was situated dose to the abandoned Monastery of Voulcano. The eastern Laconian Gate is not preserved. Well preserved is the western Arcadian Gate constructed with huge impressive limestone blocks. lt consists of a circular inner court with two entrances. Two rectangular towers protect the exterior entrance.
Two sanctuaries are located on the southwestern slope of mount Ithome isolated above the city, one of them dedicated to the cult of Artemis Limnatis.
The strong exterior retaining wall of the Theatre is constructed with stone blocks imitating the fortifications.”
[Parts from Official Flyer “Ancient Messene”, 2013]
- Museum of Ancient Messene
- in the north east, behind the Laconian Gate on the northern site of the mountain is the Monastery of Voulkanos.
- Walk to Ithome (summit)