Pylos is a pretty little town capping two hills near the coast of one of the most picturesque bays in Greece - Navarino. This was the site of a decisive battle in 1827 during the wars for Greek independence. The town itself was built in 1829 according to plans drawn up by French officers and many traditional buildings survive today.
At the entrance to the Bay of Navarino lies the rocky island of Sfaktiria. Here are remains of an ancient fort and it is the burial place for Napoleon the Great's nephew.
Pylos is first mentioned by Homer in the Odyssey:
We left for Pylos, Nestor too
the shepherd of the peoples,
And He, receiving me the king,
within his halls so lofty,
Embraced me with all
eagerness as father does
His son back from long time abroad.
The two castles, either side of the harbour, were built by the Venetians to defend the port as sea faring became more important - Pylos had a deep natural harbour.
North of Pylos is Nestor's Palace; Nestor took part in the Trojan War and his town was the second largest in the Mycenaean world. Built in the 13th century BC, the palace was destroyed by fire a century later. Excavations have revealed the remains of a luxurious two-storey central building and two other auxiliary buildings.
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