Pylos
Overview
 
Pylos historically known under its Italian name
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 Navarino, is a town and a former municipality
Communities and Municipalities of Greece
For the new municipalities of Greece see the Kallikratis ProgrammeThe municipalities and communities of Greece are one of several levels of government within the organizational structure of that country. Thirteen regions called peripheries form the largest unit of government beneath the State. ...

 in Messenia
Messenia
Messenia is a regional unit in the southwestern part of the Peloponnese region, one of 13 regions into which Greece has been divided by the Kallikratis plan, implemented 1 January 2011...

, Peloponnese, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Pylos-Nestoras, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. It was the capital of the former Pylia Province
Pylia Province
-References:* http://el.wikipedia.org/wiki/Επαρχίες_της_Ελλάδας...

. Nearby villages include Gialova
Gialova
Gialova is a village on Navarino Bay in south-western Peloponnese, Greece about six kilometres north of Pylos. The name derives from Greek αιγιαλός - γιαλός and Turkish ova , i.e. "lowland shore".-Topography:...

, Elaiofyto, Schinolakka, and Palaionero. The town of Pylos has 2,561 inhabitants, the municipal unit of Pylos 5,402 (2001).

Pylos (Greek" Πύλος) is an important archaeological site located on the western coast of the Peloponnese
Peloponnese
The Peloponnese, Peloponnesos or Peloponnesus , is a large peninsula , located in a region of southern Greece, forming the part of the country south of the Gulf of Corinth...

 in Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

.
Encyclopedia
Pylos historically known under its Italian name
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 Navarino, is a town and a former municipality
Communities and Municipalities of Greece
For the new municipalities of Greece see the Kallikratis ProgrammeThe municipalities and communities of Greece are one of several levels of government within the organizational structure of that country. Thirteen regions called peripheries form the largest unit of government beneath the State. ...

 in Messenia
Messenia
Messenia is a regional unit in the southwestern part of the Peloponnese region, one of 13 regions into which Greece has been divided by the Kallikratis plan, implemented 1 January 2011...

, Peloponnese, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Pylos-Nestoras, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. It was the capital of the former Pylia Province
Pylia Province
-References:* http://el.wikipedia.org/wiki/Επαρχίες_της_Ελλάδας...

. Nearby villages include Gialova
Gialova
Gialova is a village on Navarino Bay in south-western Peloponnese, Greece about six kilometres north of Pylos. The name derives from Greek αιγιαλός - γιαλός and Turkish ova , i.e. "lowland shore".-Topography:...

, Elaiofyto, Schinolakka, and Palaionero. The town of Pylos has 2,561 inhabitants, the municipal unit of Pylos 5,402 (2001).

Pylos (Greek" Πύλος) is an important archaeological site located on the western coast of the Peloponnese
Peloponnese
The Peloponnese, Peloponnesos or Peloponnesus , is a large peninsula , located in a region of southern Greece, forming the part of the country south of the Gulf of Corinth...

 in Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

. Bronze Age Pylos was first excavated by Carl Blegen
Carl Blegen
Carl William Blegen was an American archaeologist famous for his work on the site of Pylos in modern day Greece and Troy in modern day Turkey...

 in 1952, the site located at modern Ano Englianos some 9 km north-east of the bay. Blegen dubbed the remains of a large Mycenean palace excavated there the so-called "Palace of Nestor", after the Homeric ruler Nestor, who ruled over "Sandy Pylos" in the Iliad. Linear B
Linear B
Linear B is a syllabic script that was used for writing Mycenaean Greek, an early form of Greek. It pre-dated the Greek alphabet by several centuries and seems to have died out with the fall of Mycenaean civilization...

 tablets recovered from the site by Blegen clearly demonstrate that the site was called Pylos (Mycenaean Greek Pulos, Linear B Pu-ro) by its Mycenean inhabitants. The site of Pylos was abandoned sometime after the 8th century BCE—it was apparently unknown in the Classical Period.

Old Pylos and New Pylos are distinct settlements and castles, several kilometers apart. Old Pylos (Navarino Vecchio) is located on the northwest of the bay, while New Pylos is located in the southeast.

The bay of Pylos was the site of two naval battle
Naval battle
A naval battle is a battle fought using boats, ships or other waterborne vessels. Most naval battles have occurred at sea, but a few have taken place on lakes or rivers. The earliest recorded naval battle took place in 1210 BC near Cyprus...

s:
  • the Battle of Pylos
    Battle of Pylos
    The naval Battle of Pylos took place in 425 BC during the Peloponnesian War at the peninsula of Pylos, on the Bay of Navarino in Messenia, and was an Athenian victory over Sparta...

    , in 425 BC during the Peloponnesian War
    Peloponnesian War
    The Peloponnesian War, 431 to 404 BC, was an ancient Greek war fought by Athens and its empire against the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta. Historians have traditionally divided the war into three phases...

  • the Battle of Navarino
    Battle of Navarino
    The naval Battle of Navarino was fought on 20 October 1827, during the Greek War of Independence in Navarino Bay , on the west coast of the Peloponnese peninsula, in the Ionian Sea. A combined Ottoman and Egyptian armada was destroyed by a combined British, French and Russian naval force...

    , in 1827 during the Greek War of Independence
    Greek War of Independence
    The Greek War of Independence, also known as the Greek Revolution was a successful war of independence waged by the Greek revolutionaries between...

    .

The Name of Navarino

In the Middle Ages, Pylos was named Avarino (Αβαρίνος), probably after a body of Avars
Eurasian Avars
The Eurasian Avars or Ancient Avars were a highly organized nomadic confederacy of mixed origins. They were ruled by a khagan, who was surrounded by a tight-knit entourage of nomad warriors, an organization characteristic of Turko-Mongol groups...

 who settled there. Hopf's theory that it comes from the Navarrese Company
Navarrese Company
The Navarrese Company was a company of mercenaries, mostly from Navarre and Gascony, which fought in Greece during the late 14th century and early 15th century, in the twilight of Frankish power in the dwindling remnant of the Latin Empire...

 is chronologically unsustainable. It was later called Navarino, with the incorporation of the ν of the article τον. Another theory suggests it is a Slavic
Slavic languages
The Slavic languages , a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia.-Branches:Scholars traditionally divide Slavic...

 name meaning "place of maples".

The Venetian
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

 name was "Zonklon" (from Greek Ionchion), the Turkish name (1498-1821) "Anavarin" (with another round of epenthesis
Epenthesis
In phonology, epenthesis is the addition of one or more sounds to a word, especially to the interior of a word. Epenthesis may be divided into two types: excrescence, for the addition of a consonant, and anaptyxis for the addition of a vowel....

), and the local Greek name "Neokastron" 'new castle'.

Other names recorded for the town and the castles are Avarmus, Abarinus, Albarinos, Albaxinus, Avarinos, Coryphasium, Iverin, Nelea, Port de Jonc, Porto Giunco, and Zunchio.

Geography

The soil about Navarino is of a red colour, and is remarkable for the production of an infinite quantity of squills, which are used in medicine. The rocks, which show themselves in every direction through a scanty but rich soil, are limestone, and present a general appearance of unproductiveness round the castle of Navarino; and the absence of trees is ill compensated by the profusion of sage, brooms, cistus, and other shrubs which start from the innumerable cavities of the limestone.

The remains of Navarino Vecchio, or ancient Navarino, consist of a fort, covering the summit of a hill sloping quickly to the south, but falling in abrupt precipices to the north and east. The town was built on the southern declivity, and was surrounded by a wall, which, allowing for the natural irregularities of the soil, represented a triangle, with the castle at the summit—a form observable in many of the ancient cities of Greece.

Bay of Pylos

Pylos' bay is formed by a deep indenture in the Morea, shut in by a long island, anciently called Sphacteria
Sphacteria
Sphacteria Sphacteria Sphacteria (Sphacteria (Sphacteria is a small island at the entrance to the bay of Pylos in the Peloponnese, Greece. It was the site of three battles:*the 425 BC Battle of Sphacteria in the Peloponnesian war....

 or Sphagia (modern name Sfaktiria), famous for the defeat and capture of the Spartans, in the Battle of Pylos
Battle of Pylos
The naval Battle of Pylos took place in 425 BC during the Peloponnesian War at the peninsula of Pylos, on the Bay of Navarino in Messenia, and was an Athenian victory over Sparta...

 during the Peloponnesian War
Peloponnesian War
The Peloponnesian War, 431 to 404 BC, was an ancient Greek war fought by Athens and its empire against the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta. Historians have traditionally divided the war into three phases...

, and still showing the ruins of walls which perhaps formed their last refuge. This island has been divided into three or four separate sections by the violence of the waves, and boats could pass from the open sea into the port, in calm weather, using the channels so formed. One such section contains the tomb of a Turkish saint, or santon, called the Delikli Baba. This same section also contains a monument to the French sailors who died at the Battle of Navarino
Battle of Navarino
The naval Battle of Navarino was fought on 20 October 1827, during the Greek War of Independence in Navarino Bay , on the west coast of the Peloponnese peninsula, in the Ionian Sea. A combined Ottoman and Egyptian armada was destroyed by a combined British, French and Russian naval force...

; the monument to the Russian dead of the same battle is on the island of Sphacteria, while the monument to the English dead is on another very small island near the centre of the port. Monuments and tombs from the Greek War of Independence
Greek War of Independence
The Greek War of Independence, also known as the Greek Revolution was a successful war of independence waged by the Greek revolutionaries between...

 are on the island of Sphacteria, the most important being the monument to the Italian philhellene Santorre di Santa Rosa
Annibale Santorre di Rossi de Pomarolo, Count of Santarosa
Santorre Annibale De Rossi di Pomerolo, Count of Santa Rosa was an Italian insurgent and leader in the revival of Italy.thumb|250px|left|Statue of Santarosa in Savigliano.-Biography:...

.

Flora and Fauna

The Gialova
Gialova
Gialova is a village on Navarino Bay in south-western Peloponnese, Greece about six kilometres north of Pylos. The name derives from Greek αιγιαλός - γιαλός and Turkish ova , i.e. "lowland shore".-Topography:...

 wetland is a regional blessing of nature. It is one of 10 major lagoons in Greece. and has been classified as one of the important bird areas in Europe. It has also been listed as a 1500-acre archaeological site, lying between Gialova and the bay of Voidokilia. Its alternative name of Vivari is Latin, meaning 'fishponds'. With a depth, at its deepest point, of no more than four meters, it is the southernmost stopover of birds migrating from the Balkans to Africa, giving shelter to no fewer than two hundred and twenty-five bird species, among them heron
Heron
The herons are long-legged freshwater and coastal birds in the family Ardeidae. There are 64 recognised species in this family. Some are called "egrets" or "bitterns" instead of "heron"....

, cormorant
Cormorant
The bird family Phalacrocoracidae is represented by some 40 species of cormorants and shags. Several different classifications of the family have been proposed recently, and the number of genera is disputed.- Names :...

, the lesser kestrel
Lesser Kestrel
The Lesser Kestrel is a small falcon. This species breeds from the Mediterranean across southern central Asia to China and Mongolia. It is a summer migrant, wintering in Africa and Pakistan and sometimes even to India and Iraq. It is rare north of its breeding range, and declining in its European...

, Audouin's
Audouin's Gull
The Audouin's Gull is a large gull restricted to the Mediterranean and the western coast of Saharan Africa. It breeds on small islands colonially or alone, laying 2-3 eggs on a ground nest...

, gull
Gull
Gulls are birds in the family Laridae. They are most closely related to the terns and only distantly related to auks, skimmers, and more distantly to the waders...

, flamingo
Flamingo
Flamingos or flamingoes are gregarious wading birds in the genus Phoenicopterus , the only genus in the family Phoenicopteridae...

, osprey
Osprey
The Osprey , sometimes known as the sea hawk or fish eagle, is a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey. It is a large raptor, reaching more than in length and across the wings...

,the imperial eagle
Imperial Eagle
An Imperial Eagle is a heraldic eagle used by an empire, notably:*the military standard of the Roman Empire, see Aquila .*the Byzantine imperial eagle*the German Reichsadler...

, and other aquatic species. It is Gialova, too, which plays host to a vary rare species, nearing extinction throughout Europe, the African chameleon. The observation post of the Greek Ornithological Society allows visitors to find out more and to watch the shallow brackish waters of the lake, they can walk the paths that circumscribe Gialova's different ecosystems.

History

The continuous human presence, of which there is evidence from as long ago as the Neolithic Age. In later times -in the Bronze Age, Pausanias tell us - there was a prosperous settlement. Homer also quote 'Sandy Pylos' in Book 17 of the Odyssey about Telemachus travelling to Sparta in search of news of his father Odysseus.
In the Geometric period, probably, there was a battle with Sparta, a grievous page in the military history of the Pylians. Thucydides
Thucydides
Thucydides was a Greek historian and author from Alimos. His History of the Peloponnesian War recounts the 5th century BC war between Sparta and Athens to the year 411 BC...

 devotes several chapters to their conflict with Athens, and there is a famous marble statue, Paeonius Victory - dedicated by the people of Naupactus and Messenia and now in the museum of Ancient Olympia. Archaeological finds in the area have mostly been from tombs, bearing witness to the fact that in the following periods of history - Hellenistic and Roman times- Pylos remained a flourishing burgh.

Bronze Age Pylos

Bronze Age Pylos was excavated by Carl Blegen
Carl Blegen
Carl William Blegen was an American archaeologist famous for his work on the site of Pylos in modern day Greece and Troy in modern day Turkey...

 between 1939 and 1952. It is located at modern Ano Englianos, about 9 km north-east of the bay 37.028°N 21.695°W. Blegen called the remains of a large Mycenean palace dating from 1300 BC. found there the "Palace of Nestor
Palace of Nestor
The Palace of Nestor is the central building of a Middle Helladic era settlement surrounded by a fortified wall. The palace was a two-storey building with store rooms, workshops, baths, light wells, reception rooms and a sewage system...

", after the character Nestor
Nestor (mythology)
In Greek mythology, Nestor of Gerenia was the son of Neleus and Chloris and the King of Pylos. He became king after Heracles killed Neleus and all of Nestor's siblings...

, who ruled over "Sandy Pylos" in the Homer
Homer
In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

ic poems. Linear B
Linear B
Linear B is a syllabic script that was used for writing Mycenaean Greek, an early form of Greek. It pre-dated the Greek alphabet by several centuries and seems to have died out with the fall of Mycenaean civilization...

 tablets found by Blegen clearly demonstrate that the site itself was called Pylos (Mycenaean Greek Pulos, Linear B Pu-ro) by its Mycenaean inhabitants. This site was abandoned sometime after the 8th century BC and burned to the ground. The ruins of a crude stone fortress on nearby Sphacteria
Sphacteria
Sphacteria Sphacteria Sphacteria (Sphacteria (Sphacteria is a small island at the entrance to the bay of Pylos in the Peloponnese, Greece. It was the site of three battles:*the 425 BC Battle of Sphacteria in the Peloponnesian war....

 Island, apparently of Mycenaean origin, were used by the Spartans during the Peloponnesian War. (Thucydides iv. 31)

Classical Pylos

The site of classical Pylos was probably on the rocky promontory now known as Koryphasion at the northern edge of the bay of Pylos. This site is described by the Greek historian Thucydides
Thucydides
Thucydides was a Greek historian and author from Alimos. His History of the Peloponnesian War recounts the 5th century BC war between Sparta and Athens to the year 411 BC...

 in his History of the Peloponnesian War
History of the Peloponnesian War
The History of the Peloponnesian War is an account of the Peloponnesian War in Ancient Greece, fought between the Peloponnesian League and the Delian League . It was written by Thucydides, an Athenian general who served in the war. It is widely considered a classic and regarded as one of the...

. In 425 BC the Athenian
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 politician Cleon
Cleon
Cleon was an Athenian statesman and a Strategos during the Peloponnesian War. He was the first prominent representative of the commercial class in Athenian politics, although he was an aristocrat himself...

 sent an expedition to Pylos, to seize and occupy the bay. The Athenians captured a number of Sparta
Sparta
Sparta or Lacedaemon, was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece, situated on the banks of the River Eurotas in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. It emerged as a political entity around the 10th century BC, when the invading Dorians subjugated the local, non-Dorian population. From c...

n troops on the adjacent island of Sphacteria (see Battle of Sphacteria
Battle of Sphacteria
The Battle of Sphacteria was a land battle of the Peloponnesian War, fought in 425 BC between Athens and Sparta. Following the Battle of Pylos and subsequent peace negotiations, which failed, a number of Spartans were stranded on the island of Sphacteria...

). Spartan anxiety over the return of the prisoners, who were taken to Athens as hostages, contributed to their acceptance of the Peace of Nicias
Peace of Nicias
The Peace of Nicias was a peace treaty signed between the Greek city-states of Athens and Sparta in the March of 421 BC, ending the first half of the Peloponnesian War....

 in 421 BC.

Byzantine Avarino or Navarino

Venetian and Ottoman era

The Venetians
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

 built fortresses both at Paleokastro
Old Pylos castle
Old Pylos castle is a 13th-century fortress near Pylos, Greece. It is one of two castles guarding the strategic bay on which it sits; the other is New Pylos castle. It is also known by its historical Italian and Turkish names, respectively Old Navarino and Anavarin-i atik. Locally, it is simply...

 and (much later) at Niokastro
The Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 took Navarino from the Venetians in 1499. They rebuilt the Venetian old fortress in 1572, under the name Anavarin-i atik.

Administratively, Anavarino was a kaza.

In 1668, Evliya Çelebi
Evliya Çelebi
Evliya Çelebi was an Ottoman traveler who journeyed through the territory of the Ottoman Empire and neighboring lands over a period of forty years.- Life :...

 describes the city in his Seyahatname
Seyahatname
Seyâhatnâme is a Persian term, also used in Ottoman Turkish, which means "book of travels", denoting a literary form and tradition whose examples can be found throughout centuries in the Middle Ages around the Islamic world, starting with the Arab travellers of the Umayyad period.An outstanding...

:

Anavarin-i atik is an unequalled castle... the harbor is a safe
anchorage...


in most streets of Anavarin-i cedid [New Navarino] there are many fountains of
running water... The city is embellished with trees and vines so
that the sun does not beat into the fine marketplace at all, and
all the city notables sit here, playing backgammon, chess, various
kinds of draughts, and other board games....


Starting in 1686, the Venetians tried to retake Navarino and the rest of the Morea, but were finally defeated in 1715. The Ottomans started rebuilt the fortress of New Navarino, Anavarin-i Cedid, (which had been heavily damaged) immediately thereafter. There was another round of repairs in 1770.

The Modern Town

The western end of Greek National Road 82
Greek National Road 82
Greek National Road 82 is a west to east highway linking Pylos with the GR-9/E55, Kalamata and downtown Sparta with GR-37/E???. The highway begins in downtown Pylos and runs through the southwestern part of Messenia and through curvy roads and through Lykodimos and intersects with a road linking...

 begins in downtown Pylos. The highway runs west to east and links Pylos with Kalamata
Kalamata
Kalamata is the second-largest city of the Peloponnese in southern Greece. The capital and chief port of the Messenia prefecture, it lies along the Nedon River at the head of the Messenian Gulf...

 and Sparta
Sparta
Sparta or Lacedaemon, was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece, situated on the banks of the River Eurotas in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. It emerged as a political entity around the 10th century BC, when the invading Dorians subjugated the local, non-Dorian population. From c...

. The area enjoys a famously favorable climate, with especially mild winters.

Subdivisions

The municipal unit Pylos is subdivided into the following communities:
  • Ampelokipoi
  • Chomatada
  • Glyfada
  • Iklaina
  • Kallithea
  • Kynigos
  • Mesochori
  • Pappoulia
  • Pidasos
  • Pyla
  • Pylos

Historical population

Year Town population Municipality population
1981 2,594 -
1991 2,014 5,340
2001 2,104 5,402

External links










Northwest: Korinthos
North: Chiliochoria
Chiliochoria
Chiliochoria is a former municipality in Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Pylos-Nestoras, of which it is a municipal unit. Its population in 2001 was 2,916. The seat of the municipality was in Chandrinos....

, Nestoras
Nestoras
Nestor is a former municipality in Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Pylos-Nestor, of which it is a municipal unit. Population 5,552 . The seat of the municipality was in Chora....

 and Vlachopoulo
Vlachopoulo
Vlachopoulo is the central village of the municipality of Papaflessas in the center of Messenia, Greece.The village is located 38 km from the capital of the prefecture Kalamata and just 20 km from the nearest beach....


West: Ionian Sea
Pylos East: Chiliochoria

South: Methoni
Methoni, Messenia
Methoni is a village and a former municipality in Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Pylos-Nestoras, of which it is a municipal unit. Its name may be derived from Mothona, a mythical rock. It is located 11 km south of Pylos and...

Southeast: Aipeia
Aipeia
Aipeia is a former municipality in Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Messene, of which it is a municipal unit. Population 2,574 . The seat of the municipality was in Longa....


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