KALAMATA. 47. Route. 407
the Venetians and the Turks. Kalamata was one of the first towns
to fall into the hands of the Greek insurgents in 1821 and was in
consequence destroyed by Ibrahim Pasha in 1825.
The harbour, usually known as the Skala, is of importance for
the export of currants and figs (chiefly to Trieste), silk (to France),
and olive-oil. The village of Neae Kaldmae, which has grown np here
within the last 20 years, has already 800 inhabitants. There is a
pretty view hence across the Messenian Gulf (p. 405). — The car¬
riage-road and railway to the town (1 M.) run through gardens, the
luxuriant fruit-trees of which almost entirely conceal the houses.
There is nothing very interesting in Kalamata itself. In the
well-filled bazaar stands the church of the Hagii Apostoli. The
manufacture of silk, formerly an important industry, has greatly
declined since the rearing of silk-worms has given place to the cul¬
ture of currants. There are now four spinning establishments, em¬
ploying about 300 women and girls. The knives of Kalamata (with
nickel-silver hilts, 6 dr.) are noted. — Two iron bridges connect the
town with the suburb of Kalyvia, on the right bank of the Nedon.
The Frankish Castle stands on an easily climbed rock to the
N.E. and is well worth a visit. Guillaume II. de Villehardouin,
the fourth prince of Morea, who often styled himself 'of Kalamata',
was born here in 1218 and died here in 1278. The fortifications
consist of an outer wall, entered by a gate adorned with the lion of
St. Mark, and of an inner citadel above, in which several vaults
are still preserved. The presence of ancient hewn stones in the
walls, as well as the whole arrangement of the fortress, clearly in¬
dicates that the hill must have been fortified in antiquity also.
The magnificent view extends across the stony channel of the Nedon,
which enters the plain to the N.E. between steep cliffs, and over the
well cultivated plain between the sea and the mountains: to the E.
is Taygetos; to the W. is the Mathia group (p. 412); and to the
N.W. rises the hill of Ithome (p. 409).
Excursion to Messene.
The walls and towers of Messene, which date from the 4th cent. B.C.
and were praised by Pausanias, are among the best-preserved in Greece,
and still bear splendid testimony to the advanced state of the science of
fortification among the ancients. The scenery here is also very beautiful.
The ruins are everywhere wreathed with luxuriant ivy, and vineyards
and cultivated fields cover the site of the ancient town.
The excursion from Kalamata may be conveniently made in a day
(provisions should be taken). We take the train (fares 2 dr. 70, 2 dr. 10,
return 4 dr. 90, 3 dr. 80 1.) to (1 hr.) Tsepheremini; thence walk or ride
(horse, 6-10 dr. per day, obtained through the railway-officials or in the
village; the villagers cannot be depended upon) to (I1/4 hr.) Vourkano (see
p. 408). The inspection of the ruins, including the hill of Ithome, takes
about 5 hrs. — Travellers bound for Phigalia may go on from Messene to
Meligali. instead of returning to Kalamata; comp. p. 412.
The bridle-path from Tsepheremini (p. 384; pedestrians at first
follow the carriage-road and then turn to the right beyond the bridge