Ancient Messene (Messinia, Peloponnese)
The history of Ancient Messene dates back to relatively recent times as that of a Greek ancient city.
The inhabitants of Messinia, the Messenians, had been subjects of the city state Sparta after the successive defeats in the Messenian wars that happened between the 8th century BC and the 5th century BC.
When Epaminondas of Thebe defeated the Spartans at the battle of Leuktra in 371 BC, he liberated the Messenians and encouraged them to built their own capital in 369 BC. This is the origin of Ancient Messene. The town continued to be inhabited until the early Byzantine period.
Ancient Messene is quite distant from the modern day Messini and the closest village is called Mavromati where there is one taverna/ cafeteria called Ithomi.
According to the guidebooks I have, the site has been not restricted, but when we visited in the summer of 2012, it was fensed off and there was a ticket booth. The ticket cost 4 Euro and the site was open until 4 o'clock.
There is a small but attractive museum several hundreds of meters away from the site entrance. The ticket cost 2 Euro and the opening hours were 6 to 4 when we visited.
The oening hours change according to the season and the government funding, so it is advisable to call the museum ahead to ascertain http://www.ancientmessene.gr/en-index.html
(the opening hours in this site do not much the ones we know, so don't believe it and just call).
- Local information board
- Robin Barber, Greece (Blue Guide), London- N.Y. 2001 (Revised reprint of the 6th edition of 1995), pp. 295-298.
- Andrew Bostock, Greece: The Peloponnese (Bradt Travel Guides) Bucks, England: Bradt, 2010, pp. 143-147.
Back to Page Top