Geographical location

The Peloponnese ( technical terminology also the Peloponnese, Greek PELOPONNISOS Πελοπόννησος ( f sg ), Island of Pelops ', transcription from ancient Greek Peloponnesos ) is a peninsula in the south of the Greek mainland with about a million inhabitants.

The largest city is Patras ( 214 580 Ew) in the north, historically, however, are most significant in the East Corinth and Sparta in the south.

  • 4.1 Known ancient sites
  • 4.2 Important Places from the Byzantine period
  • 4.3 History significant places

Origin of the name

The name is derived from the mythological figure Pelops who was said to be a son of the legendary king Tantalus. The second part of the name is the Greek word for " island " ( νήσος Nisos, in ancient Greek. Pronunciation nesos ), so the name literally means "Island of Pelops ". In Greek, the grammatical gender of the name is feminine in German no uniform usage has prevailed. According to Brockhaus it is called " the Peloponnese " or fachsprachlich " the Peloponnese ." In the Middle Ages for the Peloponnese, the Italian name Morea ( " mulberry tree " ), French Morée was common.


The Peloponnese is the southernmost part of the Balkan peninsula, and thus the farthest into the Mediterranean protruding area. The southernmost point of the Peloponnese is Cape Tenaro. In the east, the peninsula is bordered by the Aegean Sea and to the west by the Ionian Sea.

From the mainland, the Peloponnese by a narrow isthmus about 6.3 km wide, to reach the Isthmus of Corinth, which was, however, in 1893 broken by the Corinth Canal. Nevertheless, the Peloponnese is not considered as an island, because the channel is an artificial construction (see also the island and peninsula ). Since 2004, the Peloponnese is also connected to the north between the towns of Rio and Antirrio through the 2.2 km long Rio - Antirrio bridge with the rest of the mainland.

Scenic is a sharp contrast between the rough, uninhabited mountains ( altitude up to 2400 m) and the fertile, densely populated valleys and the plains to the sea. The latter extends to V.A. in the west ( between Patras and Pyrgos ) and in the south near Sparta.

Geologically considered the Peloponnese was originally an island, but was in the course of time to approach urged by the North - shift of the African plate and the Arabian plate to the mainland (see plate tectonics ). Significant traces of it are to the many geologically young to recognize folded mountains. This split in the Peloponnese numerous and give the landscape a characteristic picture. Especially in the central Peloponnese ( Arcadia ) the 1500 to 1900 m high mountain country is difficult to access and characterized by above-ground endorheic basin ( poljes ) ​​in which partially formed lakes. An example of this is the now silted Stymphalian lake.

The peaks range in the north of the Peloponnese to 2374 m in the south to 2407 m ( Taygetos ). The intervening valleys are often characterized by large by Greek standards fertility. Geographic, climatic, but also caused by human factors often lead to devastating landscape fires in the Peloponnese, most recently in the summer of 2007.

Since the displacement of the plates is persisting even Peloponnese next to Italy is Europe's most endangered by the earthquake zone.

Administrative divisions

The Peloponnese peninsula is today mainly from seven prefectures.

A part of the peninsula is the region (Greek περιφέρεια, Périphéria ) Peloponnese ( Πελοπόννησος, Peloponnissos ) with five prefectures (Greek νομοί, Nomi, singular νομός, Nomós ), of which a part of the Corinthia Prefecture beyond on the Greek mainland the isthmus extends. The prefectures of Achaia and Elis, together with the prefecture Ätoloakarnanien on the north-western mainland Greece, the West region. Part of Methana Peninsula and a coastal strip of the Argolis Peninsula as well as the islands in the Saronic Gulf, and before the Peloponnesian southeast coast belong to the region of Attica.


Some larger cities:

  • Egio ( Αίγιο )
  • Ermioni ( Ερμιόνη )
  • Gythio ( Γύθειο ); Ferry in the south
  • Kalamata ( Καλαμάτα ); Center in the Southwest
  • Corinth ( Κόρινθος )
  • Kranidi ( Κρανίδι )
  • Kyparissia ( Κυπαρισσία )
  • Methana ( Μέθανα )
  • Nafplio ( Ναύπλιο )
  • Patras ( Πάτρα ), Central Ferries (Modern transcription: Patra )
  • Pylos ( Πύλος )
  • Pyrgos ( Πύργος )
  • Sparta ( Σπάρτη ) (Modern transcription: Spárti )
  • Tripoli ( Τρίπολις )
  • Zacharo ( Ζαχάρω )


The Franchthi cave in the Argolid is the oldest square in Greece, where prehistoric remains have been found (from 15,000 BC). In ancient times, were in the Peloponnese important centers of the Mycenaean civilization, which existed from about 1600 to about 1050 BC. Many Mycenaean settlements were destroyed around or shortly after 1200 BC, some even abandoned. However, Mycenae and Tiryns Among others remained more settled. The Dorians migrated probably from the late 11th century BC to the Peloponnesus (see Doric Migration ). In addition to the Dorians held in the north- west the Achaeans. In the classical period under the rule of Sparta and its Peloponnesian League 371 BC it was ruled by the Arcadian Federation after the fall of Sparta at the Battle of Leuctra. After the Macedonians to rule parts of the Peloponnese in the Achaean League joined together, which was dissolved 146 BC by the Romans after the destruction of Corinth. At the end of Late Antiquity large parts of the peninsula by invading Slav groups were colonized (see Conquest of the Slavs in the Balkans ). After centuries of belonging to Byzantium ( see the topic of Hellas and theme of Peloponnese ), the peninsula which was now called the Morea or Morée, conquered in 1204 by the Crusaders. The area around Mystras but was soon back byzantine and a center of the peninsula, which was largely recaptured by the Byzantines. From the 15th century changed the ownership between Venice and the Ottoman Empire. From 1686-1715 the whole Morea a Venetian province was the first territorial completely (see Ottoman wars ), after the independence of Greece in 1821, it was under its ancient name of part of the new state.

Well-known ancient sites

  • City ​​of Argos
  • Bassai Temple of Apollo
  • Asklepios sanctuary and theater of Epidauros
  • City ​​Cleonae
  • City of Corinth and castle Akrokorinth
  • Mycenaean tombs and Acropolis of Maghoula - Galatas
  • City ​​Mantinea
  • City ​​Megalopolis
  • City ​​Messene
  • City ​​Methana
  • Mycenaean citadel of Mycenae
  • Sanctuary of Zeus and sports venues of Olympia
  • City ​​Phleious
  • Mycenaean palace of Pylos (see Palace of Nestor )
  • City ​​Sicyon
  • City ​​of Sparta
  • City ​​Tegea
  • Mycenaean palace of Tiryns
  • City ​​Troizen
  • Sanctuary of Zeus of Nemea

Important places of the Byzantine period

  • Mistras
  • Monemvasia
  • Methoni
  • Koroni

History significant places

  • Kalavrita
  • Nauplion


The peninsula is connected to the east with several bridges over the Corinth Canal to the mainland to the west with the inaugurated in 2004 Rio Antirrio bridge.

A meterspuriges narrow gauge rail network opens up the peninsula. The main line ran originally from Athens to Patras via Corinth and along the west coast continues to Kalamata, another route opens up inland between Corinth and Kalamata. A standard gauge Rail Line is completed to Corinth and Kiato and is already scheduled to sail. Since February 2011, the trunk is used with electric trains, what has the journey time from Kiato to Athens Airport further shortened. Rail traffic on the section between Kiato and Patras was set in the summer of 2009 with the purpose of the rebuild to standard gauge. However, the branching off from this route, mainly for tourist purposes serving rack railway Diakopto - Kalavryta goes further. The routes from Corinth to Nafplio, Tripoli and Kalamata and the routes from Patras through Pyrgos to Kalamata were completely set in January 2011 due to inefficiency, although they were almost completely rebuilt in the years 2004 to 2009 and new diesel railcars were purchased.

Two toll motorways and main roads, the Olympia Odos, cross the Peloponnese. These meet just before the Isthmus of Corinth and lead from there to Athens. The northern part, the A8 from Patras to Corinth, located in the expansion.

There are airports at Patras ( Araxos ) in the northwest and in Kalamata in the southwest.

Ferries to Italy go from Patras to the Ionian islands of Zakynthos and Kefalonia from Kyllini, to Kythera and Crete from Gythio.