The Hidden Town

 
October 24, 2016   Greece, Monemvasia
 
 

Let's see if I can complete this post before the Malvazia hotel's wifi disappears again ...

We woke to grey and wet weather but soon enough it cleared and it became a good day to wander the delightful island of Monemvasia.

To get some perspective on Monemvasia the first thing we did today was leave. We walked across the causeway to the nearby town of Gefyra where I took the first picture which shows Monemvasia as seen from the mainland. The connecting causeway is on the left of the picture. At one time there was a tower and drawbridge in the middle of the causeway but now there is a conventional bridge, a small hotel and gas station, and piers for small boats.

There's no hint of a walled town visible from the mainland, aside from a few structures sticking out on the top of the rock, which of course made this a more secure and defensible place.

The importance of defense is reinforced time and time again as I travel the old cities of Europe. Cliff-top Ronda, for example, hints at the same isolation as Monemvasia but it's nowhere near as secure. Both towns also shared a weakness in terms of food and water supplies.

As you drive (or walk) the narrow road that hugs the southern side of the island, the island appears to be uninhabited. Then you pass a cemetary and round a corner and suddenly you see the lower town's western wall. A small door in the wall leads to a crooked passageway which then opens on the main street of the town. The wall surrounds the town on three sides, the fourth side being protected by the cliff.

Monemvasia has been a real treat to visit. The narrow cobblestone streets, the ominous cliffs, the city walls, the small atmospheric buildings with their narrow stairs and low ceilings, the stonework and ruins, it's a magical medieval atmosphere. And, of course, the friendly Greek people and delicious food - tasty mezes again tonight! - just add to the pleasure.

 
Sml    Med    Big
 
 
Monemvasia      
 
Monemvasia      
 
Monemvasia      
 
Western town wall      
The road to Monemvasia ends abruptly at the town wall. You have to leave your car outside on the road.
 
Western town wall      
The road to Monemvasia ends abruptly at the town wall. You have to leave your car outside on the road.
 
Western town wall      
The road to Monemvasia ends abruptly at the town wall. You have to leave your car outside on the road.
 
Eastern wall, opposite of main entrance      
 
Eastern wall, opposite of main entrance      
 
Eastern wall, opposite of main entrance      
 
Eastern wall      
 
Eastern wall      
 
Eastern wall      
 
City wall along sea      
 
City wall along sea      
 
City wall along sea      
 
Tunnel thru city wall      
 
Tunnel thru city wall      
 
Tunnel thru city wall      
 
Main street      
 
Main street      
 
Main street      
 
Main street      
 
Main street      
 
Main street      
 
Tulip window is of Ottoman origin      
 
Tulip window is of Ottoman origin      
 
Tulip window is of Ottoman origin      
 
Paul entering hotel room      
 
Paul entering hotel room      
 
Paul entering hotel room      
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