Archaeological Site of Mystras

Name of Site: Archaeological Site of Mystras

Located: Greece

Year added to World Heritage List: 1989

Criteria site was nominated for: (ii): to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design. (iii): to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared. (iv): to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates a significant stage(s) in human history.

Number of Cultural or Mixed Heritage Sites in Greece: 17

Basic Archaeological Site Information:

Size of archaeological site: 54 ha

Time period the site represents: 14th century

Cultural period that site is from: Middle Ages

Cultural group associated with the site: Greeks, Crusaders

Archaeological Summary:

The archaeological site of Mystras began as a castle, but as more people inhabited the area it became a city, established by Guillaume de Villehardouin. During the 14th century Mystras became a center for the arts and the prince of Achaia built an amphitheatre in 1249, which still stands today.

The city of Mystras fell to Turkish rule during the 15th century. The reign of a new power destroyed the city’s influence as an intellectual and commercial center. The beautiful city eventually came to an end in 1825, leaving only ruins for archaeologists to find.

What remains today in the site are many roads, walls, and Byzantine churches. The churches stand out from the green landscape by their red octagonal roofs. The name Mystras means ‘wonder of the Morea.’ The ancient city has breathtaking views and is now a popular tourist attraction for those traveling to Greece.

Threats/Status: There are no known threats to the archaeology site of Mystras at this time.

Works Cited:

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/511/

http://www.worldheritagesite.org/sites/mystras.html

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