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Monemvasia – the Gibraltar of the East


Unbelievable: a rock, just off the coast of the eastern Peloponnese, rises vertically from the sea 200 m high, 1.7 km long. Associations with Ayers Rock cannot be denied.
Settled since the 4th century, impregnable, unaffected by the constant alternation between Venetian and Ottoman rule. It only became Ottoman when the Venetians sold it to the Ottomans. This made its strategic position on the sea route from Italy to Constantinople obsolete and sealed its slow decline.
At the top, a large plateau, a Byzantine citadel with everything that goes with it, the upper town, of which only ruins remain today, it was inhabited until 1911, by the way.
On the southern slope, the lower town, also Byzantine, almost completely preserved, completely surrounded by a city wall that stretches up the steep hill. A maze of alleys, stairs, terraces, winding, without cars, this would also be impossible because of the narrowness and steepness. And a small "portello" in the southern city wall - you climb through and are two steps down at a wild bathing spot - with steps and railings to get safely into the water in the rocky bank.
Today the town is home to upmarket tourism, the houses have been sensitively renovated and are used as hotels or holiday flats.
Not to forget: From here comes the Malvasia wine, which can be tasted in pubs, taverns, bars and wine shops everywhere.
The most impressive thing we have seen on our journey so far.

Lower An Upper town
Looking from lower town to upper town
The roofs of lower town
Exposed bathing spot
Narrow lanes

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