Gythio (Greek Γύθειο (n. sg. ), Ancient Greek Γύθ ( ε ) ιον, also Gythion or GYTHEION ) is a Greek port city on the Laconian Gulf in the south of the Peloponnese, in the prefecture of Laconia. Gythio since the administrative reform of 2010, the municipality and seat of the municipality East Mani ( Mani Anatoliki ).
The city is located at the foothills of the Taygetos mountain range, which with 2,407 meters the highest peak called " Prophet Elias " on a clear direct cityscape - often until well into May snowy -, and is the ferry port for connections to the island of Kythira and Kissamos on Crete.
The town was the administrative center of the homonymous province within the former prefecture of Laconia, which included the eastern Mani. In 1997, he became the seat of a larger community Gythio, which was integrated into the community Anatoliki Mani in 2010 and is there as a municipality on. Gythio is the end of the beginning in Malmö European route 65 on the Greek mainland, they will continue to Crete.
The small island Marathonisi (ancient Kranai ) with a pine forest and a lighthouse is connected to Gythio by a causeway and borders the picturesque cityscape towards the open sea from. Paris and Helen are said to have spent there on the run from Sparta to Troy their first night of love.
The sheltered harbor of Gythio was inhabited by Minoans and Phoenician merchants. Importance was the place than about 40 km away Sparta gained power and influence. Gythio, a Periökengemeinde, the most important military and commercial port was expanded Sparta and with fortifications and shipyards.
455 BC Gythio was destroyed by the Athenians. During the Peloponnesian War ended 407 BC Alcibiades before his return to Athens here and watched the construction of thirty triremes the Spartans. A siege attempt by the troops of Epaminondas could resist 396 BC. While Gythio in Roman times to the Alliance of Free Laconians ( Eleftherolakonen ) belonged, it experienced an economic boom, with material prosperity through the purple worm fishing, degradation of marble and the lively exchange of goods through the port of transshipment came about. During this time the small amphitheater was built.
375 AD there was destructive earthquake, 20 years later, the invasion of the Goths under Alaric I. During this time Gythio was abandoned by its inhabitants. During the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman rule, it remained a small village.
It was not until the end of the 18th century, the influential family of the " Grigorakis " settled here, the place was repopulated and experienced revival until he grew thin again as part of the rural exodus in the 20th century.
Character and attractions
Gythio is a small town, which give a long promenade, steep stairs and picturesque streets urgriechisches ambience.
From its ancient past, the city has leaving it open to offer a small Roman theater today; as good as any other building witnesses sank in the 4th century AD by an earthquake under the sea.
Witness the heyday in the 19th century neoclassical architecture, numerous houses on the hillside above the harbor, which today mostly decaying, are some lovingly restored.
The beaches of belonging to Gythio village Mavrovouni are especially popular with tourists camping.