I came across this excellent site a while back and posted it on my Patrick Leigh Fermor blog. John Chapman, the creator of the site and its content, is an academic whose interests include Byzantine history. He got in touch with me and I realised that his site may well be of significant interest to readers of MyByzantine blog.
John Chapman claims his site is a comprehensive guide to the history, geography and sites of the Mani. It is also linked to a German language Mani travel site . Johns’ introduction to his site is as follows:
“Mani, the southernmost and middle peninsula of the Peloponnese or Morea, straddling the districts of Lakonia and Messenia in southern Greece, is a treasure trove of Byzantine and post Byzantine churches, Frankish castles and stunning scenery.
The isolated aspect of this beautiful area, combined with the independent nature of its inhabitants meant that some traditions developed separately from the rest of the Peloponnese and Greece so that a distinct society made its mark on the landscape. To this day the architecture of the area is famed for the tower houses and fortified family dwellings from the period of the Ottoman occupation of Greece.
This is a comprehensive English language guide to Mani.”
Despite my initial criticisms of the site navigation (which John picked up on fairly quickly) I remain steadfast in my view that the guide is comprehensive and given John’s approach to things, it is probably very detailed and accurate. I would certainly recommend it as a site to have look at straightaway, but also to bookmark for the future when you need to do some research, or even better, are planning a trip to the Mani.
I found an apartment on the accompanying site where my family stayed on two occasions in the 1990’s near the quiet fishing village of Agios Dimitrios. Right by the sea with wonderful sunsets it is a great place for a holiday enabling you to visit the wider Peloponnese as well. Little did I know at the time that a lovely beach we found near Kardamili, that was overlooked by an inviting looking stone house was none other than the beach where Paddy swims and that the house was his.