The Byzantine Castle of Mystras is geographically located on the southern side of Peloponnese, close to Sparti Town. The Castle is an old town surrounded by Byzantine walls and with an imposing palace on top of the hill. The history of the site begins with the overthrow of the Byzantine Empire by the Latins in 1204, however, the Byzantines managed to regain control of the area in 1262 and to turn the site into the seat of the Despotate of Moreas, the center of Byzantine power in southern Greece. Today it is one of the most important sites in Greece and includes well-preserved Byzantine churches, the remains of a Palace and strong walls. In 1989, it was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Monument. On top of the Byzantine Castle of Mystras is the Palace of Despots, which dominates the upper town of Mystra. It displays a magnificent example of Byzantine architecture and was the seat and residence of the local Governor. The site also houses an archeological museum with a collection that includes sculptures, fragments of wall paintings, jewelry, coins, and Byzantine icons. Probably the most impressing sights of Mystras are its churches with their unique beauty and architecture. Despite that only few are open to visitors, the Cathedral of Agios Demetrios, the church of Agia Sophia, the church of Agioi Theodroi, the Monastery of Panagia Perivleptos, the Church of Panagia Hodegetria and the Church of Panagia Pantanassa can be visited.
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