The Castle Town
Having followed the one and only road across the sea bridge that unites the mainland to this rocky island we call the ‘Castro’ of Monemvasia, you are led through a heavy iron clad gate way. Once over this threshold, your modern day stresses and cares are washed away with the saline sea breeze that leaves its imprint on every stone wall and wild flower that plays its part in making this bejeweled citadel so enchanting. Wandering through the web of cobbled stoned pathways that are steeped in ancient legend, one can observe that the architectural style is predominately of byzantine and medieval origin. Nonetheless, there still survives a notable influence imprinted by each invaderand more so, to that of the Venetian rule. In fact, this can be noted in the construction of certainholy churches, battementsor simply centuries oldprivate homes of wealthy merchants, many of which have been lovingly restored as a mark of respect to their majestic past. The castle citadel known today as Monemvasia has lived under many guises such as ‘Malvasia’ under Frankish rule, ‘Menexe Kalesi’ (an indigenous flower) under the Turkish occupation, the ‘balcony of the Mediterranean’ by the Venetians as well as the ‘ship of stone’, singular name owed to that of the illustrious local Greek poet Ritsos; to mention but a few.