Greece Revitalises UNESCO Gem: Mystras Restoration Accelerates

Mystras feature

The Greek Culture Ministry has announced significant progress in the ongoing restoration works at the Byzantine castle town of Mystras, a designated UNESCO World Heritage site situated in the Peloponnese region.

As part of a comprehensive upgrade project, restoration activities, including the refurbishment of decorations and frescoes, are well underway. The ministry has allocated a budget of 7.5 million euros for the project, with funding secured through resources provided by the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).

Mystras, renowned for its Palace of the Despots and late Byzantine churches, holds a prominent place in Greece's cultural heritage. Perched on the slopes of Mount Taygetus, overlooking the city of Sparta, the fortress town served as the capital of the Byzantine Despotate of the Morea during the 14th and 15th centuries.

Among the notable structures undergoing restoration is the Church of Panagia Hodegetria, also known as “Afentiko,” a two-storey marvel located in the Lower Town of Mystras. Celebrated for its architectural uniqueness and exquisite frescoes, the church epitomises the rich cultural and artistic legacy of the region.

UNESCO recognised the exceptional value of Mystras by including it in its prestigious list of World Heritage sites, acknowledging its historical significance and architectural splendour.

Culture Minister Lina Mendoni highlighted the conservation efforts aimed at protecting the intricate decorations and stone elements of the Palace and the Church of the Hodegetria, as part of a broader initiative to safeguard all Byzantine churches within the archaeological site. The overarching goal of the project is to enhance accessibility, attract more visitors, and ensure the preservation of Mystras against the backdrop of climate change.

(Source: GTP)

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