Koroni: Admiring the elegance of the Venetian Castle
The picturesque seaside town of Koroni belongs administratively to the municipality of Apia of the prefecture of Messinia. It lies about 52km by road from the city of Kalamata.
Koroni is amphitheatrically built on a low-lying hill. It will enchant you with the beautiful stately homes painted in light colours with characteristic blue or yellow windows, yards filled with colourful flowers, picturesque stone-paved little streets, narrow back streets and a large number of churches.
During the Venetian occupation, Koroni developed and created its own handicraft centre. Later, the town took on the important role of a political and military centre of the Eastern Mediterranean.
During the Turkish occupation, the phrase “ehei barba sthn Koroni” was coined, literally meaning “he/she has an uncle in Koroni“, i.e. strong connections. This phrase probably comes from a real event, when a Pasha of Tripoli, the administrative centre of Turks in Peloponnese, made an uncle of his into a Bei in Koroni, to thank him his help in some matter. Following that, the Bei, trying to be help the people of Koroni, used to give them reference letters for his nephew, the Pasha in Tripoli.
When you walk along the narrow little streets of Koroni, you will realize that it is a remote medieval town, which remains enchanting and untouched by time. Upon entering the picturesque town of Koroni you can see the stately home of the chieftain named Karapavlos, while at the traditional central square the main sight is the Cathedral of Agios Dimitrios (Saint Demetrius). The church, a basilica of Eptanisian style, was built in 1864.
The top of the hill is occupied by the large Venetian castle of the 13th century, which was completed by the Turks in the 16th century. It is worth noticing the fortification technique of the castle, while the view from there is unique.
Inside the castle is located the “old-calendar” monastery of Agios Ioannis (Saint John), built next to the ruins of a Byzantine church. Below the castle, encircled in palm trees, lies the church of Panagia Eleistra, at a spot with a beautiful view to the beach of Koroni. The church celebrates on the day of Zoodochos Pigi, (Friday after the Easter day), on the day of Annunciation of Virgin Mary (March 25th), on the day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 14), and, during January 21-22, the celebration of the Finding of the Holy icon takes place.
In the small palm-tree grove is located the statue of Bishop Gregorios and the building that hosts the historical and archaeological collection of Koroni.
On the waterfront one can find a wide variety of restaurants, picturesque fish taverns, patisserie shops, ouzo – shops (ouzo being a traditional Greek alcoholic drink) that serve tasty delicacies by the sea.
In Koroni there is an abundance of rooms and apartments to rent, as well as hotels, offering pleasant and comfortable accommodation.
The magnificent beaches of Koroni, some long with fine golden sand and some smaller with pebbles, are expecting you for endless hours of relaxation and rest. Some of the most beautiful beaches of Koroni are: the beach of Kolonides with fine sand surrounded by trees, the excellent beach Peroulia with fine golden sand, the pebbly beach of Gargarou, the beach by the Castle of Koroni with pebbles and small rocks, as well as the beaches Zaga, Memi and Kalamaki.
In Koroni you can practice many activities, such as wind surfing, swimming, sailing, fishing, jet skiing, beach volleyball, for moments of enjoyment and relaxation.
Your visit to Koroni makes you forget reality thinking that you are on an island discovering new sensations.
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