The Peloponnese: City of Pylos Messinia Prefecture Page Two

Modern Pylos is sometimes known also as Neokastro, and dates from 1828. It was built by the French general Maison after the Battle of Navarino, and is a lovely town. The waterfronts, the kastro, and the hillside alleys are enjoyable places to wander around, and the main square, Platia Trion Navarhon is beautiful, shaded by plane trees and full of cafes. The war memorial there honors the admirals who routed the Turks-Codrington, de Rigny and von Heyden (the British, French, and Russian commanders, respectively). A small museum on the Methoni road, the Antonopouleion Museum (Tues-Sun 8:30am-3pm; 2 euros admission) houses remains from the battle as well as regional archaeological finds.

partial picture of neokastroThe Neokastro or New Castle, on the south end of the Bay of Navarino was built in 1572 by the Turks on the site of an earlier structure, and rebuilt by the French in 1829. It sits near the port of modern Pylos, at the city's southwest end, and is comprised of a large crenellated enceinte which encloses a citadel with six bastions, a domed mosque converted into a church, and a small hotel.

The southwesternmost bastion, with a platform over the sea, affords good views of the entire complex as well as the entire bay. It was a prison during much of the 18th and 19th centuries, with it inner courtyard divided up into segments enclosed by high walls, a design quite unlike that of most Greek prisons, but which is explained by the need to keep Mani prisoners from different clans from killing each other. The kastro is open Tues-Sun 8:30am-3pm; 2.50euros admission.

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