Mystras, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

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Take a tour of the Town of Mystras, Greece.

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Mystras was a fortified town in Morea (the medieval Peloponnese), on Mt. Taygetos, near ancient Sparta. In the 14th and 15th centuries, it served as the capital of the Byzantine Despotate of the Morea, experiencing a period of prosperity and cultural flowering. The site remained inhabited throughout the Ottoman period, when it was mistaken by Western travellers for ancient Sparta. It was abandoned in the 1830s, when the new town of Sparti was built, approximately eight kilometres to the east.

Now the town is essentially a large open-air museum, free for visitors to wander and explore at will.

Many of the buildings remain recognizable as what they once were: a church here, a house there.

Near the top of Mystras is a large palace that once was home to the rulers of the town.

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