Traditional Stone Architecture in Monemvasia

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:







About Monemvasia:

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.

Inspiration: Thursday Doors and Lens Artist Challenge.

23 thoughts on “Traditional Stone Architecture in Monemvasia

    1. That claustrophobic staircase looks wide enough for only children and lean adults. Good escape route for naughty children trying to avoid punishment. 😀 I’ve always wondered if the narrow passageways, small doorways, and maze of streets were designed to make it difficult for invaders back in the old days.

    1. Monemvasia is filled with stone houses and interesting doors. Each time we visit, I find more. The thought of you wedged in the staircase loaded down with shopping bags gave me a chuckle. Whoever lives at the top of those stairs sure has an incentive to stay lean. 😀

  1. You’re showing an unknown part of Greece to me. Very lovely and speaking of history! Love all the details – and my, these stairs are European, haha! It was at least 20 years ago we were there. Are the Grecian letters still in common use in stores, roads, etc.?

    1. Glad you enjoyed seeing this special place. Skinny stairs and doors make me smile. Food was not as abundant in the old days it seems. 😀 Road signs in many places are shown in both Greek and English. Stores and Tavernas are mostly in Greek, but some are in English. Most of the younger generations in Greece are fluent in English.

      1. So things have changed a little …I can imagine that the younger generations speaks English (if they didn’t before, now -for sure -because of the internet!)

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