Peloponnese Greece, images from the land of myth and paradise.

Fishing boats in harbour. Gythion. Peloponnese. Greece.

Fishing boats in harbour. Gythion. Peloponnese. Greece.

Home of Heracles, Kings and Olympians, the Peloponnese has a wealth of ancient wonders that’s matched only by its breathtaking scenery.

South of mainland Greece and shaped like the hand of Zeus, the Peloponnese stretches its golden fingers into Homers wine dark sea and takes its visitors on an odyssey to the cradle of Greek and Western civilisation.

Joined to the rest of the country by a narrow isthmus, the Peloponnese or the ‘Island of Pelops’ as the ancients knew it, lays in the heart of ancient and mythological Greece and its land is strewn with overwhelming legacies and remnants of its glorious past.

Mycenaean palaces, classical Greek temples, Byzantine monasteries and Venetian fortresses abound here and give weight to the view that this region has the greatest concentration of significant archaeological sites than anywhere else in the world.

Aside from its rich layers of history, the Peloponnese also overwhelms and surprises with its astoundingly beautiful scenery and vistas: From verdant plains and valleys back dropped with majestic mountains to sparkling coastlines that are lined with golden beaches and dotted with picturesque fishing towns.

Further photos from the Peloponnese, Greece and the Mediterranean can be viewed from my image library website – Mediterranean Heritage and Travel photography.

All images, text and content on this blog are copyright Steven Sklifas.

Corinth Canal. Peloponnese. Greece.

Corinth Canal. Peloponnese. Greece.

View of the Corinth Canal, a great engineering triumph completed in 1890. Gateway to the Peloponnese, the impressive 6km long and 23 km wide ship vessel passage was actually first attempted by the Roman emperors Nero and Caligula in order to reduce the travel time and risks of sailing between Greece and Rome. It is located on the northern tip of the Peloponnese and at the closet point to Athens.

Temple of Apollo. Anceint Corinth. Peloponnese. Greece.

Temple of Apollo. Anceint Corinth. Peloponnese. Greece.

View of the seven upright majestic columns of the Doric Temple of Apollo, which dates from 540 BC.  Built on the highest point of the ancient site, the temple originally had a peristyle of 38 Doric fluted columns (6 by 15) made of limestone.  Ancient Corinth was one of the most influential Greek city states in antiquity. The Romans razed the city in 146 BC; it was then rebuilt under Julius Caesar as a Roman city and the regions capital.

Ancient Greek Stadium. Nemea. Peloponnese. Greece.

Ancient Greek Stadium. Nemea. Peloponnese. Greece.

View of the excavated and restored ancient Greek stadium at Ancient Nemea which dates from 330 BC.  Located 400 meters southeast of the Temple of Zeus amidst scenic landscape, the stadium is partly cut into the hill and the 13 lane 600 ancient feet long running track still has its original starting lines marked with stones. Ancient Nemea was not actually an inhabited city, but one of four famous ancient Greek Panhellenic sanctuaries where significant athletic festivals took place. Olympia, Delphi and Isthmia were the other three.

Anceint Greek Theatre. Epidaurus. Peloponnese. Greece.

Anceint Greek Theatre. Epidaurus. Peloponnese. Greece.

View of the ancient Greek theatre at the peaceful sanctuary of Asklepios (Asclepius) at Epidaurus. Dating from the 4th century BC, the theatre is perhaps the most outstanding from the ancient world due to its setting and harmonious design. The theatre’s multi-tiered sweep of limestone, seats 14,000 and has near-perfect natural acoustics. The theatre as part of the Sanctuary of Asclepius is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Docked boats in harbour. Nafplio. Peloponnese. Greece.

Docked boats in harbour. Nafplio. Peloponnese. Greece.

View of docked small fishing boats in the calm harbour waters of the delightful old Venetian town of Nafplion situated in the Argolid prefecture of the Peloponnese. Above the town is the imposing Venetian fortress known as the Palamidi citadel which provides an amazing view of the surrounding sea to those who are willing to climb the 999 steps to the top.

Church of Saint Nikolas. Nafplio. Peloponnese. Greece.

Church of Saint Nikolas. Nafplio. Peloponnese. Greece.

View of the Church of Agios Nikolaos near the waterfront of the delightful old Venetian town of Nafplion. One of the most attractive towns in Greece, Nafplio is a maze of medieval narrow paved streets, a harbor lined with palm trees and imposing fortresses. From 1829 to 1334, the town was the first capital of liberated Greece.

The Lion Gate. Mycenae. Peloponnese. Greece.

The Lion Gate. Mycenae. Peloponnese. Greece.

View of the monumental Lion Gate, the entrance to the ancient citadel of Mycenae. Built in 1250 BC,  the three metres high portal, in which passed King Agamemnon and countless other heroes of the Homeric age is supported by massive Cyclopean walls. It is named after the two lions carved into the triangular slab of grey limestone above the lintel. Mycenae, home to King Agamemnon and stated by Homer as ‘Rich in Gold’ and ‘Well built ‘ was the capital of the Bronze-Age Mycenaean civilisation which ruled the Greek world with a iron fist from 1500 to 1200 BC.

Medieval narrow alley. Monemvasia. Peloponnese. Greece.

Medieval narrow alley. Monemvasia. Peloponnese. Greece.

View of a black and white cat sitting on a stone fence of a house with a brown gate and door in medieval narrow alleyway. Known as the Gibraltar of Greece, Monemvasia is a magical fortified medieval seaport town, encircled by ramparts, crowned by a fortress, with an upper and delightful Lower town.

Small beach. Laconian Gulf. Peloponnese. Greece.

Small beach. Laconian Gulf. Peloponnese. Greece.

View of a small inlet with a white pebble beach and turquoise water of the Laconian Gulf near the attractive seaside town of Gythion.

Statue of King Leonidas. Sparta. Peloponnese. Greece.

Statue of King Leonidas. Sparta. Peloponnese. Greece.

Statue or monument of King Leonidas in front of the soccer stadium at Sparta. Spartan King Leonidas, and his band of 300, self-sacrificed their lives against the massive Persian army at the battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC and was the inspiration for the movie 300.

Fishing boat in harbour. Gythion. Peloponnese. Greece.

Fishing boat in harbour. Gythion. Peloponnese. Greece.

View of colourful fishing boats docked on the lively waterfront of pastel coloured 19th century buildings in the picture postcard fishing town. The port of ancient and modern Sparta and gateway to the Mani, Gythion is famous as the place where the fateful lovers Paris and Helen stayed prior to departing for Troy.

Cape Tainaron. Mani. Peloponnese. Greece.

Cape Tainaron. Mani. Peloponnese. Greece.

View of the desolate landscape Cape Tainaron (Matapan), the southernmost mainland point in Greece and Europe. The Cape is at the end of the Mani peninsular, a 77 kilometre spur that stretches from Mount Taygetos and is famous for its blood feuds, ghostly tower settlements and barren moon-like landscape.

Scenic landscape. Mani. Peloponnese. Greece.

Scenic landscape. Mani. Peloponnese. Greece.

View along a highway of bare mountains and the rugged beauty of the west coast of the Mani peninsular. The Mani peninsular, a 77 kilometre spur that stretches from Mount Taygetos  to Cape Tainaron (Matapan), the southernmost point Europe, is famous for its blood feuds, ghostly tower settlements and barren moon-like landscape.

Monastery of Our Lady Perivleptos. Mystras. Peloponnese. Greece.

Monastery of Our Lady Perivleptos. Mystras. Peloponnese. Greece.

View of the 14th century Monastery of the Perivleptos on the lower town of the deserted Byzantine city of Mystras. Only two buildings remain of the original monastery, which is built under a rock face. Crowning a spur of Mt Taygetos, Mystras shines as one of the last great settlements of the Byzantine Empire and its impressive remains provide a glorious insight and examples of the richness and splendours of the Empire. Mystras is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Gymnasium double Doric colonnade. Ancient Messene. Peloponnese. Greece.

Gymnasium double Doric colonnade. Ancient Messene. Peloponnese. Greece.

View of the Gymnasium northern double colonnade in Doric style, which is part of the stadium complex of Ancient Messene. The east and west side sides were simple Doric porticoes and all sides surrounded the horseshoe-shaped stadium. Ancient Messene was founded on the foothills of Mount Ithomi in 369 B.C as the ancient capital of liberated Messenia (liberated from the Spartans) and its archaeological site is one of most impressive and least visited in Greece.

Venetian Bourtzi Tower. Methoni. Peloponnese. Greece.

Venetian Bourtzi Tower. Methoni. Peloponnese. Greece.

View of the fairly-tale like octagonal Venetian Bourtzi tower situated on a little islet and joined by a causeway to the 13th century Venetian fortress. During the middle ages, Methoni was known as the ‘eyes of Venice’, due to its strategic position on extreme western tip of the Peloponnese and was a popular stop for pilgrims en route to the holy land and Venice. The Venetian fortress here is the best preserved in the Peloponnese.

Eiffel Tower replica. Filiatra. Peloponnese. Greece.

Eiffel Tower replica. Filiatra. Peloponnese. Greece.

View of a 26 metre high replica of the Eiffel Tower standing at the entrance of the town of Filiatra, south-eastern Peloponnese.

The Philippeion. Olympia. Peloponnese. Greece.

The Philippeion. Olympia. Peloponnese. Greece.

View of the elegant circular Philippeion, a votive monument dating from the 4th century BC and dedicated to Zeus. The building was named and begun by King Philip of Macedon after his victory at Chaironeia in 338 BC and completed by his son Alexander the Great. Part of the stylobate and three columns of the structure have been restored, originally it had 18 Ionic exterior columns and 9 engaged columns with Corinthian capitals in the cella. Olympia was the site of the ancient Olympic Games and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Stone bases of Zanes. Olympia. Peloponnese. Greece.

Stone bases of Zanes. Olympia. Peloponnese. Greece.

View of the stone bases of the Zanes standing along the krepis of the Treasuries, in front of the stadium entrance. The Zanes were bronze statues of Zeus erected and financed by the proceeds of the fines levied on athletes who broke the code of the ancient Olympic Games. The name of the offending athlete was inscribed on the base. The Zanes were placed in a visible place at the entrance to the stadium as an example to those competing in the Games. Olympia was the site of the ancient Olympic Games and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Olympic stadium. Olympia. Peloponnese. Greece.

Olympic stadium. Olympia. Peloponnese. Greece.

View from the west of the restored Olympic Stadium, which is the third and final version in a series and is dated from the 5th century BC. The stadium had a seating capacity of 40,000 in which spectators, men only, sat on the ground of the artificial banks. Close to the track in the middle of the south embankment, is the Exedra of the Hellanodikai, a marble enclosure where the judges sat. The stadium track between the starting and finishing lines is 600 Olympic feet apart – 192.27 metres. Olympia was the site of the ancient Olympic Games and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Further photos from the Peloponnese, Greece and the Mediterranean can be viewed from my image library website – Mediterranean Heritage and Travel photography.

All images, text and content on this blog are copyright Steven Sklifas.

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5 Responses to Peloponnese Greece, images from the land of myth and paradise.

  1. Traci says:

    You’ve got some beautiful photos here. I especially liked the alley with the cat perched on the stone – Corinth Canal was a close second.

  2. wanderoneday says:

    What gorgeous photos! It’s so impressive that all those heavy stone works were built so long before any modern construction equipment.

  3. Ash Clark says:

    I remember how my legs were on fire for days after climbing up and down all those stairs to the fort at the top of Nafplio!

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