My Messinia


Sfaktiria is a small and oblong rocky island located in front of the port of Pylos. In antiquity it was a base because it was strategically positioned and protected the west side of the harbor ….one of the largest natural harbors in the Peloponnese. There, historical battles took place and brave people of antiquity and modern history have died.

The most resent  battle is the Battle of Navarino which took place on October 20, 1987. In a few days commemorative celebration of the battle will take place in Pylos. This battle was proeeded by the Battle of Saktiria in 1825.

In the Homeric years at the northern end of the rocky islet there was the fortress of Nestor, the mythical king of Pylos. The name of the rocky island originates from that period and it is probably cinnected to the verb I sacrifice because the inhabitants of the Peloponnese made sacrifices there in honor of the god Neptune. Between the rocks there is a large gate known as Tryptos. According to tradition, if a pregnant woman passes through it, she will give birth to a boy.

At the top of the rocky isle there is a monument for the French allies fallen at the Battle of Navarino as well a second monument that resembles a small pyramid in honor of the French officer Alexis Malle, who died of a gun shot in 1825 while assisting in the fight on the Greek side as well as an obelisque for the italian Santore Santarosa ….who both died in 1825 while assisting in the fight on the Greek side

There is also a small chapel, Panagoula and a wooden church of Agios Nikolaos that was built from Russia to honor the Russian soldiers from the historical battle of Sfaktiria in 1825 ….At the same spot there is also the Greek church of the Ascension.DSC_0154otvIn this post I am going back to spring time and a peaceful and joyful celebration of the Ascension of Christ which this year took place on May 25. Ascension according to the Christian religion is the rise of Christ in the heavens which takes place forty days after the resurrection. It is a great opportunity for the locals to revisit Sfaktiria…DSC_0623otvDSC_0722otvDSC_0765otvDSC_0734otvDSC_0753otv

On the Ascension Day boats leave for Sfaktiria from the port of Pylos every 15 minutes staring as early as 7:30 with last transfers about 10:30.DSC_0770otvDSC_0787otv2DSC_0783otvDSC_0809otvDSC_0793psotvA service is held at the Ascension Church which is located next to the Russian church of St Nicholas and then a kerasma with homemade foods and wine takes place…DSC_0780otvDSC_0806otvDSC_0838otvSoon enough the faithful disperse returning to their daily routine…DSC_0615otvDSC_0584otvDSC_0553otv


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