Tigani (Τηγάνι) is a small peninsula in the landscape of Mani in southern Greece. The name is Greek for "frying pan". Tigani is surrounded by the sea except for a narrow strip of land that connects to the mainland. The ruins of a probable medieval castle can be found there. Its position and its walls made it extremely hard to capture.
The Mani Peninsula, also long known by its medieval name Maina or Maïna (Μαΐνη), is a geographical and cultural region in Greece that is home to the Maniots, who claim descendancy from the ancient Dorians and Spartans. The capital cities of Mani are Gytheio and Areopoli. Mani is the central peninsula of the three which extend southwards from the Peloponnese in southern Greece. To the east is the Laconian Gulf, to the west the Messenian Gulf. The peninsula forms a continuation of the Taygetos mountain range, the western spine of the Peloponnese.
Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, historically also known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2016. Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.
A castle is a type of fortified structure built during the Middle Ages by predominantly the nobility or royalty and by military orders. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble. This is distinct from a palace, which is not fortified; from a fortress, which was not always a residence for royalty or nobility; and from a fortified settlement, which was a public defence – though there are many similarities among these types of construction. Usage of the term has varied over time and has been applied to structures as diverse as hill forts and country houses. Over the approximately 900 years that castles were built, they took on a great many forms with many different features, although some, such as curtain walls and arrowslits, were commonplace.
Many historians believe that Tigani is the location of the castle Megali Maina (also called Grande Magne) because Tigani meets many of the clues about Megali Maina in historic descriptions. It was said to have been built around the early 13th century by Frankish crusaders who had come to Mani and the Peloponnese after taking over Constantinople.
The Franks were a collection of Germanic peoples, whose name was first mentioned in 3rd century Roman sources, associated with tribes on the Lower and Middle Rhine, on the edge of the Roman Empire. Later the term was associated with Romanized Germanic dynasties within the collapsing Roman Empire, who eventually commanded the whole region between the rivers Loire and Rhine. They then imposed power over many other post-Roman kingdoms and Germanic peoples, and still later they were given recognition by the Catholic Church as successors to the old rulers of the Western Roman Empire.
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.
Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), of the Byzantine Empire, and also of the brief Crusader state known as the Latin Empire (1204–1261), until finally falling to the Ottoman Empire (1453–1923). It was reinaugurated in 324 from ancient Byzantium as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantine the Great, after whom it was named, and dedicated on 11 May 330. The city was located in what is now the European side and the core of modern Istanbul.
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A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.
Mystras or Mistras, also known as Myzithras (Μυζηθρᾶς) in the Chronicle of the Morea, is a fortified town and a former municipality in Laconia, Peloponnese, Greece. Situated on Mt. Taygetos, near ancient Sparta, it served as the capital of the Byzantine Despotate of the Morea in the 14th and 15th centuries, 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. In the 1830s, it was abandoned and the new town of Sparti was built, approximately eight kilometres to the east.
The Morea was the name of the Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The name was used for the Byzantine province known as the Despotate of the Morea, by the Ottoman Empire for the Morea Eyalet, and by the Republic of Venice for the short-lived Kingdom of the Morea.
Cape Matapan, also named as Cape Tainaron, or Cape Tenaro, is situated at the end of the Mani Peninsula, Greece. Cape Matapan is the southernmost point of mainland Greece, and the second southernmost point in mainland Europe. It separates the Messenian Gulf in the west from the Laconian Gulf in the east.
The military history of Greece is the history of the wars and battles of the Greek people in Greece, the Balkans and the Greek colonies in the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea since classical antiquity.
Pyrgos Dirou is a town in Mani, Laconia, Greece. It is part of the municipal unit of Oitylo. It is around 26 kilometres from Areopoli.
The Maniots or Maniates are the inhabitants of the Mani Peninsula, Laconia, in the southern Peloponnese, Greece. They were also formerly known as Mainotes and the peninsula as Maina. Maniots are described as descendants of the ancient Dorian population of the Peloponnese and as such related to the ancient Spartans. The terrain is mountainous and inaccessible, and the regional name "Mani" is thought to have meant originally "dry" or "barren". The name "Maniot" is a derivative meaning "of Mani". In the early modern period, Maniots had a reputation as fierce and proudly independent warriors, who practiced piracy and fierce blood feuds. For the most part, the Maniots lived in fortified villages where they defended their lands against the armies of William II Villehardouin and later against those of the Ottomans.
Grand Ma[i]gne or Vieux Ma[i]gne was a Frankish castle in the Mani Peninsula, Greece. It was built, according to the Chronicle of the Morea, ca. 1248–1250 AD by William II Villehardouin, the Prince of Achaea in order to control the Slavic tribe of the Melingoi, living on Mount Taygetos. He was captured by the Byzantines in 1259 at the Battle of Pelagonia, and had to give up the castle as part of his ransom.
Cranae or Kranai is an island off the coast of Gytheio connected to the land by a causeway built in 1898.
Porto Kagio or Porto Káyio is a seaside village in the East Mani municipality on the eastern side of the Mani Peninsula, Greece. It faces a small bay off the Laconian Gulf and is about three miles north of Cape Matapan, the southernmost tip of the Mani Peninsula and of mainland Greece.
The Messenian Gulf is a sea that is part of the Ionian Sea. The gulf is circumscribed by the southern coasts of Messenia and the southwestern coast of the Mani peninsula in Laconia. Its bounds are Venetiko Island to the west and Cape Tainaron to the southeast. The western shores are mostly low-lying, fertile and well-developed, while the eastern shore is dominated by the southern foothills of the Taygetos and comparatively rocky and inaccessible, with few settlements.
Avia is a village and a former municipality in Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality West Mani, of which it is a municipal unit. The municipal unit has an area of 179.828 km2. In 2011 its population was 281 for the village, 611 for the community and 2,246 for the municipal unit. The seat of the municipality was in Kampos. Avia is a popular tourist destination. It also has a large olive production. Avia is situated on the east coast of the Messenian Gulf, southeast of Kalamata, southwest of Sparta and northwest of Kardamyli.
Myrsini is a village and a community in the municipality East Mani, Laconia, southern Greece. The community consists of the villages Myrsini and Profitis Ilias. The villages lie on the southern slopes of the Taygetus mountain range, in the Mani Peninsula at an altitude of 400m to 500m near the town of Gytheio.
Megali Mantineia is a mountain settlement in the municipal unit of Avia, Messenia, Greece. In 2011, it had a population of 191. It sits at 200 m above sea level, 2 km southeast of Avia, 3 km south of Mikri Mantineia and 10 km southeast of Kalamata. Many of its residents only stay there during the summer months.
Mikri Mantineia is a seaside village in the municipality of Kalamata, Messenia, Greece. In 2011, it had a population of 705. It is situated at 20 m above sea level, on the northeastern shore of the Gulf of Messenia. Its main industry is tourism. Mikri Mantineia is 2 km northeast of Avia, 3 km north of Megali Mantineia and 6 km southeast of Kalamata.
The Laconian Gulf, is a gulf in the south-eastern Peloponnese, in Greece. It is the southernmost gulf in Greece and the largest in the Peloponnese. In the shape of an inverted "U", it is approximately 58 km wide east-west, and 44 km long north-south. It is bounded to the west by the Mani peninsula, which separates it from the Messenian Gulf, and to the east by the Cape Maleas peninsula, which separates it from the Aegean Sea. To the south it opens onto the Mediterranean Sea. The Mani and Cape Maleas peninsulas are dry and rocky, but the northern shore, fed by the Evrotas River, which empties into the gulf at its apex, is fertile farmland. The island of Elafonissos lies in the Laconian Gulf, with the island of Kythira directly to the south. The main ports and settlements on the gulf are Gytheio and Neapolis.
The Old Navarino castle is a 13th-century Frankish fortress near Pylos, Greece. It is one of two castles guarding the strategic bay on which it sits; the other is the Ottoman-built New Navarino fortress. In juxtaposition with the latter, it is frequently known simply as Palaiokastro or Paliokastro. It occupies the site of the Athenian fort at the 425 BC Battle of Pylos.
Dryalos (Δρύαλος) or Dry (Δρυ) is a village in the municipal unit of Oitylo, Laconia, Peloponnese, Greece.
Aphrodisias, also known as Aphrodisia (Ἀφροδισία), was a town in the south of ancient Laconia, on the Boeatic Gulf, said to have been founded by Aeneas.
Messa or Messe was one of the nine cities of ancient Laconia enumerated in the Catalogue of Ships, in the Iliad by Homer, who gives it the epithet of πολυτρήρων, 'abounding in pigeons'. Strabo says that the position of Messa was unknown; but Pausanias mentions a town and harbour named Messa, which is identified by most modern scholars with the Homeric town. This Messa is situated on the western coast of Mani, between Hippola and Oetylus; and the cliffs in the neighbourhood are said to abound in wild pigeons.