Kyparissia – Kalamata: The 69 km route is covered by normal driving in approximately 53 minutes.

You have chosen the base of your excursions in the Prefecture of Messinia, you have taken care of accommodation in Kyparissia, in the nicest accommodation of the Upper Town, and you are ready to start to enjoy the beauties of Kalamata, the many sights, but as soon as you arrive you will start by eating the top variety and the wonderful sweets in the beach shops, which you have heard so much about their deliciousness.

Kalamata is the second largest city in population in the Peloponnese after Patras. It is an important urban, economic and commercial center of the region, as well as the administrative center of the Prefecture of Messinia.

In winter, the night life of the city is in the historical center, while in the summer by the sea and in the suburb of the city, Verga, built at the foot of Mount Kalathi.

Also, every July, the international Dance festival with a high artistic level and global influence takes place both in the city’s Dance Hall, but also in other parts of Kalamata, hosting performances and dancers from all over the world.

Schools of the University of Peloponnese operate in Kalamata, which was significantly expanded after the integration of T.E.I.. The city has complete and modern sports facilities. Finally, it has a modern hospital as well as an international airport.

Every year in Kalamata for the last few years, the Kalamata Carnival is held, during which carnival events are held in various parts of the city and on the last Sunday there is a parade of carnival floats.

The history of Kalamata begins with Homer, who mentions Fares, an ancient city built approximately where the Frankish castle of the city is today. Specifically, in rhapsody III of the Odyssey, Homer mentions that Telemachus spends the night in Phares and is hosted in the mansion of Diocles during his journey to Pylos and Sparta, where he seeks information about the fate of Odysseus. Also, in Rhapsody I of the Iliad, Phirae was one of the seven cities that Agamemnon offered Achilles to return to battle. It used to be thought that, during the ancient era, the sea covered the entire area of ​​the present city, but the finds of the Proto-Hellenic and Archaic (sanctuary of Poseidon) periods in Akovitika and classical, Hellenistic and Roman eras around the castle proved the opposite. Also, epigraphic material found in Giannitsa (Elaiochori) confirmed the identification of the ancient komis of Kalamos (and not of Pharos) with that location.

Kalamata (Farai) has limited importance during the ancient period, as it is under Laconian rule from the middle of the 8th century BC. until the middle of the 4th century BC. Even after the liberation of Messinia from the Thebans under Epameinondas, the Phares are overshadowed, this time by the new capital of the Messenians, Messenia (formerly Mavrommati). The emperor Octavian Augustus even placed the city of Pharos under the jurisdiction of the Laconians, although immediately afterwards Tiberius returned it to the Messenians.

The traveler Pausanias in his Messinian-Solar Chronicles (160-170 AD) mentions Phares, on his way from southern Laconia to Messina. He even mentions that earlier he encountered a spring of salty water, probably the brackish spring that still flows into the sea today, in the old water mill in the suburb of Mikri Mantineia. And in Phares, he visited the temples of Tyche and Karnei Apollo with his grove. Even in the early Christian years, however, the importance of the settlement is still small for the history of the area, compared to e.g. with neighboring Thuria where the archaeological finds are much more important. However, in the list of cities of Synekdimos of Hierocles (535 AD) the ancient name Pharai was still preserved.

Sights in Kalamata

  • The old Town Hall of Kalamata
  • Metropolitan Church of Ypapantis Kalamata
  • The church of the Holy Apostles, the symbol of the city, is a small Byzantine church (mid 11th-12th century) with some frescoes from the 14th century. This particular church was depicted on the lower right front side of the 5 thousand drachma banknote issued in 1984, next to the figure of Th. Kolokotronis
  • The Frankish Castle offers a panoramic view of the city
  • The Municipal Railway Park of Kalamata is located to the south of the city center and is an outdoor railway museum. The Railway Park exhibits seven steam locomotives and one diesel locomotive, a manual crane from 1890, two drays (one wheeled and one manual), three 1st-class and five 1st-2nd class passenger cars from 1885
  • The Asia Minor Monument and the bust of Saint Chrysostom of Smyrna in the square of the Holy Church of the Ascension, on the West Beach of KalamataBelow the Castle is the Church of the Intercession of Christ (opened in 1873, which is also the metropolitan church of the city
  • In the Holy Monastery of Kalogrea, various silk fabrics and the famous Kalamatian handkerchiefs, as well as the looms with which they were woven, are exhibited
  • The Maria Callas Exhibition Space with 7 original copies of letters from the personal archive of Maria Callas as well as original photographs from her archive. The exhibition belongs to the “Maria Kallas” Alumni Association of the Kalamata Music School and operates free of charge
  • The “Mother – Olive Tree of Kalamata”, 14 meters high, which reminds of Kalamata’s close relationship with the olive tree. The specific olive tree is located on the plot of the University of Peloponnese (former plot of the Center for Agricultural Education – KGE – Kalamata), on Lakonikis Street 85 and was declared a “Preservable monument of nature” by the decision of the Ministry of Agriculture

Museums in Kalamata

  • The Archaeological Museum of Messinia is located in the Historical Center of the city, behind the Church of the Holy Apostles, where important archaeological findings from the wider area of ​​Messinia are exhibited
  • The Military Museum of Kalamata keeps weapons and military uniforms of the Greeks in various historical periods
  • The Kalamata Folklore Museum of the city houses exhibits related to the traditional arts of the region, with old utilitarian and non-utilitarian objects, tools and traditional costumes.
  • The city houses the Municipal Gallery and the Gallery of Contemporary Greek Art with around 500 exhibits
  • The city’s People’s Library has been operating since 1933 and today has over 90,000 volumes of books, 60,000 issues of magazines as well as an archive of 100,000 sheets of Messinian newspapers from the 19th century to the present day