Peloponnese

Mystras, Peloponnese

Peloponnese is a peninsula in southern Greece. Originally a peninsula connected to the rest of the country by the Isthmus of Corinth, it is now cut off from the mainland by the narrow Corinth Canal, spanned by bridges connecting Peloponnese to Attica across the canal.

Regions

Cities

Upon entering through Corinth Isthmos

Along the north-west route:

Along the central route:

Along the east route:

Other destinations

Along the west route:

Along the central route:

Along the east route: Porto Heli, a seaside resort area

Understand

History

From the 6th century BC, Sparta dominated the Peloponnese, and compelled its neighbours, including Arcadia, to join its Peloponnesian League and fight in its wars. The Spartan military dominance that enabled this interference in Arcadian affairs was suddenly ended in 371 BC, when Epaminondas and his Theban army decisively defeated a Spartan army at Leuctra. In the aftermath, the Arcadian League was formed, combining various cities of Arcadia into a federal league. After its establishment, the Arcadian League took an active role in the politics of the Peloponnese. However, by 362 BC, the question of whether to continue as an ally of Thebes had become so pressing as to divide the Arcadian League. The cities of the league therefore ended up fighting on different sides at the Battle of Mantinea. After the battle, and the end of the Theban hegemony, the influence of the Arcadian League diminished. Although it never regained the prominence it had held during the 360s, an Arcadian league in some form—whether a continuation or a recreation of the original league is unclear—continued to exist in the years after the Battle of Mantinea. Various references indicate that the league endured at least into the 3rd century BC. The date of its final disappearance is uncertain, but at the latest it had vanished by the 230s BC, when the Arcadian cities joined the Achaean League.

After the collapse of the Roman power in the west, Arcadia became part of the Byzantine Empire. Arcadia remained a rustic, secluded area, and its inhabitants became proverbial as primitive herdsmen leading simple pastoral unsophisticated yet happy lives, to the point that Arcadia may refer to some imaginary idyllic paradise, immortalized by Virgil's Eclogues, and later by Jacopo Sannazaro in his pastoral masterpiece, Arcadia (1504). After the fourth crusade, the area became a part of the Principality of Achaea. In the mid-15th century, the region fell into the hands of the Ottoman Turks with some exceptions in the 16th century for a couple of years. The Latin phrase Et in Arcadia ego which is usually interpreted to mean "I am also in Arcadia" or "I am even in Arcadia" is an example of memento mori, a cautionary reminder of the transitory nature of life and the inevitability of death. The phrase is most often associated with a 1647 painting by Nicolas Poussin, also known as "The Arcadian Shepherds". In the painting the phrase appears as an inscription on a tomb discovered by youthful figures in classical garb.

After 400 years of occupation by the Ottomans, Arcadia was the centre of the Greek War of Independence which saw victories in their battles including one in Tripoli. After a victorious revolutionary war, Arcadia was finally incorporated into a newly created Greek state. Arcadia saw economic growth and small emigration. In the 20th century, Arcadia experienced extensive population loss through emigration, mostly to the Americas. Many Arcadian villages lost almost half their inhabitants, and fears arose that they would turn into ghost towns. Arcadia now has a smaller population than Corinthia.

Climate

The climate consists of hot summers and mild winters in the eastern part, the southern part, the low lying areas and the central area at altitudes lower than 1,000 m. The area primarily receives rain during fall and winter months in the rest of Arcadia. Winter snow occurs commonly in the mountainous areas for much of the west and the northern part, the Taygetus area, the Mainalon.

Talk

Please see this section at the country level for a full discussion

Greek is spoken in this region, as are the usual foreign languages to cater to tourists.

Get in

Get around

Usually car or KTEL bus. If timetable is convenient, the train can sometimes offer a comfortable and cheaper alternative. Presently (Jan2011) cancelled for all lines, except for the north line Athens to Kiato to Patras.

See

Ancient/historic sites

Epicurious temple

Natural wonders

Do

Providers:

Buy

Eat

Any of the local production of Olives (specially southwest), Grapes(specially northeast) and Oranges(specially northeast).

Other typical Greek foods, such as: Horiatiki Salata (Mixed salad), Tyri Saganaki (fried cheese), Kokkinisto (tomato sauce stew), Tyropitakia(cheese pies), Souvlaki, Pastitsio (pasta in the oven), Gemista (stuffed vegetables) etc.

Drink

Stay safe

In general Greece is quite a safe place to visit, although the notorious dangers can be found here as well: Pickpockets in the cities and larger towns and drunk fellow-tourists at nighttime.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, March 10, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.