When in Greece this past July, we spent an afternoon walking the narrow and surprisingly empty passageways of Monemvasia. We expected to encounter many tourists at this time of year, and felt blessed to have the place to ourselves. It gave me an opportunity to easily photograph many of the traditional stone structures characteristic of this Byzantine fortress. As evening approached, the town filled with tourists. Not a fan of crowds, it was time for us to move on.
Below is a selection of traditional stone homes with weathered wooden doors for Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors weekly feature:
Overlooking the Myrtoan Sea, the Greek fortress of Monemvasia is perched on a giant rock joined to Peloponnese by a restored causeway. The name Monemvasia means “single entrance” in Greek.
Cafés, tavernas, guesthouses, and tourist shops line the narrow, cobblestoned main lane of the lower medieval village which is fit only for pedestrian and donkey traffic. Merchants and artisans have kept the town viable for centuries. Remarkably, Monemvasia has never ceased to be inhabited and is home to a small number of families.
The upper town atop the massive rock has long been abandoned. An uphill path leads to the ruins of once-majestic buildings and Agia Sofia, an intact Byzantine church.