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. In the 1830s, it was abandoned and the new town of Sparta was built, approximately eight kilometers to the east. In 1989 the ruins, including the fortress, palace, churches, and monasteries, were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Α UNESCO World Heritage Site