That which is known today as the Lower Town’ is divided by a main thoroughfare that winds through the citadel stretching from one end of the town to the other. Upon entering the castle citadel on your left hand side, you will find the home of the famous Greek poet Yannis Ritsos, born in Monemvasia he dedicated many a famous verse to his beloved city and ‘stone ship’. The central cobbled pathway was known by the Byzantines as the ‘mid street’ along which, one will come to pass the main squarewhich is adorned by a ship canon that stands proudly in its center.
Located on the main square stands the main Metropolitan church that is dedicated to and named after ‘ The Christ in Chains’. The church was initially built during the early 13th century by the Byzantine Emperor Andronikos the 2nd and was later rebuilt during the Venetian occupation of late 16th early 17th centuries; the typical detached bell tower gives testimony tocatholic influence prominent at the time. The church houses an exceptional byzantine icon ‘Christ upon the Cross’, a masterpiece of the 14th century which with great celebration was returned to Monemvasia on the 23rdof May, 2011 after having been stolen close to three decades ago and housed thereafter, for safekeeping and restoration at the National Museum of Byzantine Art of Athens. Above the cathedral’s main entrance lies a marble frieze carved with the image of peacocks; a symbol of eternal life during Byzantine times. On the same central square on opposite ends stands the old ottoman mosque that today houses the archeological museum; visitors are granted a bird’s eye view of daily life in ancient times with artifacts found during several topical excavations.Meandering through the castle citadel,one’s senses are enticed by a plethora of local delicacies, aromas and a kaleidoscope of items oflocal craftsmanship, many sculptured from twisted olive branches that dot the surrounding hillsides. One can visit several historical monuments, all of which are close to hand. Enjoy a sumptuous meal or indulge in a tipple whilst pondering over the majestic beauty that this ancient citadel offers from the impressive balcony at the Chrisovoulo terraced Gourmet Restaurant and cafe’ – bar; the views beyond the multi coloured roof tops to an emerald sea will leave an indelible mark to your visit.