Messenia

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Messenia

Περιφερειακή ενότητα
Μεσσηνίας
2010 Dimi Messinias numbered.svg
Municipalities (dimi) of Messenia, 2010:
  1. Kalamata
  2. Mani
  3. Messini
  4. Oichalia
  5. Pylos-Nestoras
  6. Trifylia
Nomos Messinias.png
Messenia within Greece
Coordinates: 37°10′N22°0′E / 37.167°N 22.000°E / 37.167; 22.000 Coordinates: 37°10′N22°0′E / 37.167°N 22.000°E / 37.167; 22.000
Country Greece
Region Peloponnese
Capital Kalamata
Area
  Total2,991 km2 (1,155 sq mi)
Population
 (2011)
  Total159,954
  Density53/km2 (140/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+2
  Summer (DST) UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal codes
24x xx
Area codes 272x0, 276x0
ISO 3166 code GR-17
Car plates ΚΜ
Kalamata castle Kalamata Burg.jpg
Kalamata castle
Port of Kalamata Kalamata, Peloponnese, Greece.jpg
Port of Kalamata
Messinia from Mt. Ithome Ithome2.jpg
Messinia from Mt. Ithome
View of Pylos on the Bay of Navarino Pylos-sfaktiria.JPG
View of Pylos on the Bay of Navarino

Messenia or Messinia ( /məˈsniə/ ; Greek : Μεσσηνία, pronounced  [mesiˈnia] ) is a regional unit (perifereiaki enotita) in the southwestern part of the Peloponnese region, in Greece. Until the implementation of the Kallikratis plan on 1 January 2011, [1] Messenia was a prefecture (nomos) covering the same territory. The capital and largest city of Messenia is Kalamata.

Contents

Geography

Physical

Messenia borders on Elis to the north, Arcadia to the northeast, and Laconia to the southeast. The Ionian Sea lies to the west, and the Gulf of Messinia to the south. The most important mountain ranges are the Taygetus in the east, the Kyparissia mountains in the northwest and the Lykodimo in the southwest. The main rivers are the Neda in the north and the Pamisos in central Messenia.

Off the south coast of the southwesternmost point of Messenia lie the Messinian Oinousses islands. The largest of these are Sapientza, Schiza and Venetiko. The small island Sphacteria closes off the bay of Pylos. All these islands are virtually uninhabited.

Climate may vary, in the lowlands, temperatures are a bit warmer than Athens. Snow is not common during winter months except for the mountains, especially the Taygetus. Rain and clouds are common inland.

Political

Organization of Messenia

Before the 2010 reorganization, Messenia was a nomos (prefecture) containing 29 dimoi (municipalities) and 2 koinotites (communities). Since 2010, Messenia has been a perifereiake enoteta (regional unit) containing only 6 municipalities, but with the same population, as it did not change area in the reorganization. Some 25 municipalities and communities were incorporated politically into the other 6 according to the table below, becoming municipal units. [1]

MunicipalityMunicipal unitSeat
Kalamata Kalamata Kalamata
Aris
Arfara
Thouria
Messene
(Messini)
Messene Messene
Aipeia
Androusa
Aristomenis
Voufrades
Ithomi
Petalidi
Trikorfo
Oichalia Oichalia Meligalas
Andania
Dorio
Eira
Meligalas
Pylos-Nestoras Pylos Pylos
Koroni
Methoni
Nestoras
Papaflessas
Chiliochoria
Trifylia Kyparissia Kyparissia
Aetos
Avlonas
Gargalianoi
Filiatra
Tripyla
West Mani
(Dytiki Mani)
Avia Kardamyli
Lefktro

Provinces

The prefecture of Messenia was previously subdivided into four provinces (Greek : επαρχίες, "eparchies") :

Like all provinces of Greece, they were abolished after the 2006 local elections, in line with Law 2539/1997, as part of the "Kapodistrias reform". Some of the enlarged municipalities (demoi) created in 2011 have a territory similar to the former provinces.

Population

YearPopulation
1991167,292
2001172,875
2011159,954

The main cities and towns of Messenia are (ranked by 2011 census population):

Economy

Voidokilia beach. Voidokilia Beach1.jpg
Voidokilia beach.
Glossa beach. Glossa.jpg
Glossa beach.

The economy of Messenia is primarily based on agricultural production although in recent years efforts are being made toward the development of activities in other sectors such as tourism.

Main agricultural products are olive oil, Kalamata table olives, figs, and black raisins (sultanas). The variety of agricultural products is complemented by a small amount of stockbreeding products (beef, milk, sfela cheese, honey) and fish from the Gulf of Messenia.

The tourist development observed is mainly attributable to the promotion of important archaeological sites, such as the Palace of Nestor, Ancient Messene, and the Venetian castles of Pylos, Koroni, Methoni and Kalamata, as well as to the beauty of the landscape. Another key factor for Messenia's economy is Costa Navarino a location on the border between Pylos and Trifylia, comprising several eco-friendly luxury resorts and golf courses, which is Greece’s biggest tourist development. [2]

There are many small- and medium-size firms involved in the processing and standardization of agricultural products as well as a number of enterprises devoted to wood processing, furniture manufacturing, and metal construction. The Karelia tobacco company is based in Kalamata.

Transport

The main airport in Messenia is Kalamata International Airport (KLX).

The main highways in Messenia are:

The main railways in Messenia (meter gauge) are:

Communications

Television

History

Ancient period

Ancient Theater in Messene. Messene 02.jpg
Ancient Theater in Messene.

Messenia is mentioned in the oldest work of European literature, the Iliad .[ citation needed ] The name undoubtedly goes back to at least the Bronze Age, but its origins are lost in the world of mythology. The region was one of the largest that was conquered and enslaved as helots by ancient Sparta.

Medieval period

In the Middle Ages, Messinia shared the fortunes of the rest of the Peloponnese. Striking reminders of these conflicts are afforded by the extant ruins of the medieval strongholds of Kalamata, Coron (anc. Asine, mod. Korone), Modon (Methone) and Pylos. Messenia was a part of the Byzantine Empire.

Ottoman and Venetian period

Much of Messenia fell into the hands of the Ottoman Turks, a part of the area remained with the Venetian Republic. In 1534 a group of families, known as the 'Coroni', settled in Piana degli Albanesi in Sicily. They were Arvanites and Greeks from Koroni.

During the 1680s, the whole of Messenia was regained by the Venetian Republic in the Morean War, and formed part of the "Kingdom of the Morea" until recovered by the Ottomans in 1715. The Mani Peninsula, a part of modern Messenia, was autonomous from Turkish rule due to the fact that it had no harbors.

Modern period

Messenia became part of independent Greece as a result of the Greek War of Independence (1821-1832). The famous naval Battle of Navarino took place near present Pylos in 1827, and was a decisive victory for Greece and its allies. The population in the area of Kalamata and Messene increased from 30,000 before World War II up to nearly 80,000 in the present day. Messenia suffered damage from the 2007 Greek forest fires.

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 η Βουλή 2010 , p. 17435
  2. Bloomberg webpage Archived 2015-09-16 at the Wayback Machine

Bibliography

Related Research Articles

Peloponnese Traditional region of Greece

The Peloponnese or Peloponnesus is a peninsula and geographic region in southern Greece. It is connected to the central part of the country by the Isthmus of Corinth land bridge which separates the Gulf of Corinth from the Saronic Gulf. During the late Middle Ages and the Ottoman era, the peninsula was known as the Morea, a name still in colloquial use in its demotic form.

Pylos Place in Greece

Pylos, historically also known as Navarino, is a town and a former municipality in Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform, it has been 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. It is the main harbour on the Bay of Navarino. Nearby villages include Gialova, Pyla, Elaiofyto, Schinolakka, and Palaionero. The town of Pylos has 2,345 inhabitants, the municipal unit of Pylos 5,287 (2011). The municipal unit has an area of 143.911 km2.

Messene Place in Greece

Messene, officially Ancient Messene, is a local community of the municipal unit Ithomi, of the municipality (dimos) of Messini within the regional unit of Messenia in the region (perifereia) of Peloponnese, one of 13 regions into which Greece has been divided. Before 2011 it held the same position in the administrative hierarchy, according to Law 2539 of 1997, the Kapodistrias Plan, except that Ithomi was an independent municipality and Ancient Messene was a local division within it.

Kyparissia Place in Greece

Kyparissia is a town and a former municipality in northwestern Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Trifylia, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. The municipal unit has an area of 101.018 km2. The town proper has around 5,100 inhabitants.

Kalamata City in on the Peloponnese in southern Greece

Kalamata is the second most populous city of the Peloponnese peninsula, after Patras, in southern Greece and the largest city of the homonymous administrative region. As the capital and chief port of the Messenia regional unit, it lies along the Nedon River at the head of the Messenian Gulf.

Gargalianoi Place in Greece

Gargalianoi is a town and a former municipality in Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Trifylia, of which it is a municipal unit. The municipal unit has an area of 122.680 km2. It is situated 4 km from the Ionian Sea coast, 18 km north of Pylos, 21 km south of Kyparissia and 43 km west of Kalamata. The Greek National Road 9 passes through the town.

Filiatra Place in Greece

Filiatra, is a town and a former municipality in Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Trifylia, of which it is a municipal unit. The municipal unit has an area of 114.877 km2. Filiatra is situated near the Ionian Sea coast in western Messenia. It is located 11 km northwest of Gargalianoi, 13 km southwest of Kyparissia, 29 km northwest of Pylos and 49 km west of Kalamata. The Greek National Road 9 passes through the town. Filiatra was founded around the 12th and the 13th centuries. It was built near the site of the ancient city Erana. Filiatra has several schools, churches and shops. A scaled reproduction of the Eiffel Tower stands at the entrance to the village. The local soccer club is Erani Filiatra.

Petalidi Place in Greece

Petalidi is a village and a former municipality in Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Messini, of which it is a municipal unit. The municipal unit has an area of 104.970 km2. Petalidi is situated on the western shore of the Messenian Gulf, 14 km southwest of Messini, 20 km southwest of Kalamata and 25 km east of Pylos. The road Greek National Road 82 passes through the north of the municipal unit. Its population is about 1,300 inhabitants.

Ithome

Mount Ithome or Ithomi, previously Vourkano(s) or Voulcano(s), is the northernmost of twin peaks in Messenia, Greece. Mount Ithome rises to about 800 metres, about 760 metres over Valyra, the seat of Ithomi, the former municipality. The other peak is Mount Eva, 700 metres, connected to Mount Ithomi by a thin ridge 0.80 kilometres long.

Kopanaki Place in Greece

Kopanaki is a town in northwestern Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece. It was the seat of the former municipality of Aetos and now it belongs to the municipality of Trifylia. Agriculture, specifically olive farming, is the main economic activity in the village. The community Kopanaki also includes the small villages Agios Dimitrios and Rizochori. Being the geographical and economic center of upper Trifylia, Kopanaki is well known for "pazari" (bazaar) or "agora", that takes place in the central square every Sunday since 1900 and attracts further population. The messenian tradition of baking "gournopoula" (pork) and selling it on the edge of the street started from this location, initially only on Sundays, for the visitors from far away, so they could have a hearty meal and the power to do the return trip. Today in many places of the region lying on main road someone can find grilled gournopoula.

Ithomi, Messenia Place in Greece

Ithomi is a municipal unit of the municipality (dimos) of Messini within the regional unit of Messenia in the region (perifereia) of Peloponnese, one of 13 regions into which Greece has been divided. Before 2011 the same hierarchy prevailed, according to Law 2539 of 1997, the Kapodistrias Plan, except that Messenia was a nomos and Ithomi a demos, with seat in Valyra. The lowest-level units were the same with the same populations in either system but where before 2010 they were Local Divisions, after it they were Local Communities. The municipal unit has an area of 90.428 km2.

Koroni Place in Greece

Koroni or Corone is a town 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. Known as Corone by the Venetians and Ottomans, the town of Koroni sits on the southwest peninsula of the Peloponnese on the Gulf of Messinia in southern Greece, 56 km (35 mi) by road southwest of Kalamata. The town is nestled on a hill below a Venetian castle and reaches to the edge of the gulf. The town was the seat of the former municipality of Koróni, which has a land area of 105 km2 (41 sq mi) and a population of 4,366. The municipal unit consists of the communities Akritochori, Charakopio, Chrysokellaria, Falanthi, Kaplani, Kompoi, Koroni, Vasilitsi, Vounaria and Iamia. It also includes the uninhabited island of Venétiko.

Kalo Nero Place in Greece

Kalo Nero or Kalonero is a village and a community of the Trifylia municipality, Messenia, southern Greece. The population of the entire community is 686, the main village alone 543, the remaining 143 living in the smaller settlements Ano Kalo Nero, Kakavas, Stasi Sidirokastro, Marmaro and Vounaki.

Messini Place in Greece

Messini is a municipal unit and seat (edra) of the municipality (dimos) of Messini within the regional unit of Messenia in the region (perifereia) of Peloponnese, one of 13 regions into which Greece has been divided. Before 2011 the same hierarchy prevailed, according to Law 2539 of 1997, the Kapodistrias Plan, except that Messenia was a nomos and the Municipal unit was a locality. The dimos existed under both laws, but not with the same constituents.

Messinia Football Clubs Association

The Messinia Football Clubs Association is part of the Greek Football Federation that includes football (soccer) teams in the Messenia regional unit.

Exochiko, Filiatra Place in Greece

Exochiko is a village in the municipal unit of Filiatra in western Messenia, Greece. Its population is 179 people. Exochiko is situated near the Ionian Sea coast, at 60 m elevation. It is 4 km north of Filiatra, 10 km southwest of Kyparissia and 50 km northwest of Kalamata. The Greek National Road 9 passes west of the village.

Aristodimio Place in Greece

Aristodimio is a local community of the municipal unit Ithomi, of the municipality (dimos) of Messini within the regional unit of Messenia in the region (perifereia) of Peloponnese, one of 13 regions into which Greece has been divided. Before 2011 it held the same position in the administrative hierarchy, according to Law 2539 of 1997, the Kapodistrias Plan, except that Ithomi was an independent deme and Aristodemio was a Local Division within it.

Arsinoi Place in Greece

Arsinoi is a local community of the municipal unit Ithomi, of the municipality (dimos) of Messini within the regional unit of Messenia in the region (perifereia) of Peloponnese, one of 13 regions into which Greece has been divided. Before 2011 it held the same position in the administrative hierarchy, according to Law 2539 of 1997, the Kapodistrias Plan, except that Ithomi was an independent deme and Arsinoi was a local division within it.

Patras–Kyparissia railway

The Patras–Kyparissia railway is a railway line of the OSE in Achaea, Elis, and Messenia, southwestern Greece. This 163 km long single track metre-gauge line connects Patras, Pyrgos and Kyparissia.