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Mystras Photo
Μυστράς - Byzantine Ruin City (Archaeoligical Site) - Laconia
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In 1249, the ruler of the Frankish Principate of Achaea William II of Villehardouin built a strong fortress, atop the naturally-fortified hill of Myzithra in Lacedaimon. It would play an important role in the history of the Byzantine Empire during its final centuries, until it fell to the Turks in 1460. From 1262, when the Byzantines became the rulers of Mystras, a brilliant period began for this medieval fortress-state. The hill filled with houses, mansions and palaces, churches and fortified monasteries were built, and the densely-populated city was provided two enclosure walls. After the mid-14th c., when members of the imperial family of Constantinople assumed rule over Mystras – the Kantakouzenoi (1348-1383) and the Palaiologans (1383-1460) – the Despotate flourished and developed into an important cultural centre closely connected with Constantinople. Here the arts and letters were cultivated by important artists and men of intellect who would play a significant role in the growth of humanistic studies and the evolution of artistic trends in 15th century Europe.
[arts of Official Flyer "Mystras", 2011]