Ancient Messene

2467 Reviews

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Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

July, 2014

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Travelled with

Adult family

Reasons for trip

You go riding through the Arcadian Gate, nine kilometers after Meligala and immediately understand that this is not an ordinary archaeological site. The Arcadian gate is a special case of entry to the ancient city, though: It looks built by Cyclops, both are gigantic boulders that compose the entry. There was, in her time, a symbol of strength and technical model fortification that protected the road which linked ancient Messene in Arcadia. Not only is the location, near the village of Messinian Mavromati surrounded by green slopes gently leading the Messinian valley, which gives the impression that it is in the middle of nowhere. They are routes, with gravel paths to meander among olive trees and ancient columns, under the merciless Messinian sun, climbing stone steps in which (it is almost impossible to believe that) people used a half millennia ago. There is also beautifully preserved ancient theater, one of the largest of the ancient world, the Ekklesiasterion with features colorful mosaics, evocative Asclepion, the fluffy, green lawn that surrounds the Temple of Artemis in the transparent roof of creating games with light, ornate fountain Arsinoe and an evocative stage, the size and the view which is breathtaking. Ensure you take plenty water with you when you visit, and also stop at the Taverna overlooking the site, and if you are lucky you get to sit at a window seat and marvel at the site below. The village also has some superb artisans, particularly a wonderful silversmith. When we visited there were only 4 other people on the whole site and this was in July.

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