Koroni and Methone



Description of Methone

Koroni and Methone military fortifications or “The eyes of Venice” as they were called stand on both sides of the Messenia peninsula on the southwestern Peloponnese. Fortress of Koroni was found in the 1206. Today it harbors the convent of Timiou Prodromou, several private houses and ruins from the medieval times. The city below has most of its structures to the early 18th century. Evenings here are fairly cool and pleasant.


The fortress of Methone was build about the same time as Koroni. Unlike its neighbor, however it lies abandoned without inhabitants. The remains of the cathedral, walls, houses and Turkish baths are still visible. Amazingly the site still yields artifacts to tourists who are not too lazy to dig a little. Coins, lamps and other small objects are still found on the site. Besides underground passages offer adrenalin rush who are not too afraid to venture here.


Nestor’s palace- This Mycenaean palace is fairly impressive for its time period. Even though most of it was destroyed in the 1200 BC, probably during Doric invasion, it is easy to imagine how it appeared in the ancient times. Its name is derived from the Ancient poetry. According to Homer Odysseus passed this palace on his way home. It was owned by Nestor who offered travelers hospitality and warmth. Odesseus’ son Telemachus fell in love with Nestor’s daughter Polycaste then she was giving him a bath in a tub. As Greeks will tell you the tub found on this site is the one Homer described. There is no reason to object. Just take the story as it is told by the locals. No, seriously. Greeks can be very touchy about their legends and traditions.


Archeological museum in Chora nearby houses some of the artifacts that were found here. Their telephone is (27630)31358. The museum is closed on Monday.



Koroni is a coastal town of the Regional Unit of Messinia. It is 52 kilometers southwest of Kalamata and has 1,409 inhabitants, according to the 2011 Census. It is famous for the Venetian castle that dominates the city. Administratively it belongs to the Municipality of Pylos - Nestoros, while based on the "Kapodistrias" Plan, it was the seat of the Municipality of Koroni

Historical data
Ancient times
In ancient times, the ancient city of Asini was located on the site of today's Koroni. Asini is mentioned by Stefanos Byzantios, Strabo and is inscribed in the Synecdoche of Hierocles. Later, it is mentioned in the list of cities included in the so-called "Iconoclasm Tactics" as the seat of a diocese (Asinas), under the Diocese of Corinth.

Ancient Koroni was located further north in the place where the village of Petalidi is located today. Strabo determines its location between Asini and the city of Thuria. Pausanias mentions two versions of her name. According to the first, Koroni took its name from Koronia in Boeotia as it was founded by settlers from this city led by Epimilidis. According to the second version, it took its name from a bronze crown (coin) found during the construction of its walls.

Byzantine period
During the 7th or 8th century probably, the inhabitants of the early Byzantine Koroni (today's Petalidi, Messinia), perhaps due to Slavic and Arab invasions, moved to the fortified citadel of Asini, which was renamed Koroni.

Saint Theodore of Kythera was born in the city at the end of the 9th century and Saint Nikon visited it at the end of the 10th century. In the 11th century, in a letter of Michael Psellos, the bishop of Koroni is mentioned, while in a synodal letter of 1084 of the patriarch Nikolaos II, Koroni is mentioned as Sarsokoroni. In 1104, Landolfos took refuge with his eighteen ships in the port of Koroni, avoiding to face, as ordered by the emperor Alexios I Komnenos, the Genoese.

In the 11th and 12th centuries, Koroni was one of the cities of the Empire, in which the Venetians, with a series of gold bullions of the Komnenians, have privileges for their free trade. In the 12th century, the city was visited by the Arab geographer Edrisi and in 1199 a Genoese pirate attacked Koroni. Finally, in 1204, the city fell to the Franks, after an agreement with its inhabitants.

From an ecclesiastical point of view, at the beginning of the 9th century, with the founding of the Diocese of Patras, the Diocese of Koroni belongs to it and is mentioned successively in the Tactics throughout the middle of the Byzantine Period.

Venetian-Turkish occupation
Koroni was occupied in 1205 by the Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade. In 1209 it came under the rule of the Venetians, as did its neighbor Methoni. The castle of the city was built during the Venetian occupation. In 1500 the city was besieged by Sultan Bayezid II who occupied it that year. From 1532 the city was occupied by the Genoese Admiral Andrea Doria. Two years later, the admiral of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, Haireddin Barbarossa, recaptured the city. After the sixth Venetian-Turkish war, Koroni came under the control of the Venetians like the rest of the Peloponnese. Turkish pressure led, between 1532 and 1534, part of the inhabitants, Albanians (Greeks-Albanians) and Greeks to seek refuge in San Demetrio Corone in Calabria and Sicily, where they founded the city of Piana degli Albanesi, known as Piana dei Greci (Plain of the Greeks) until 1945. After the establishment of the Kingdom of Italy the name "Corone", in memory of the Diaspora, was added to the municipality of San Demetrio Corone (1863).

Their rule lasted until 1715 when the Peloponnese again came under Ottoman rule. During the Revolution of 1821 it was unsuccessfully besieged by the Greeks. It was finally handed over to General Maizon in 1828, who had landed in the Peloponnese, shortly after the Battle of Navarino.

The Church of Panagia Eleistria
The Church of Panagia Eleistria is an attraction that the visitor should not miss. It is located just below the Venetian castle, in a beautiful forest of palm trees and not only with a panoramic view of the city beach. At this point, the icon of Panagia Eleistria was found in 1897, after a vision of an elderly woman from Koroni of Maria Stathaki. The sacred rock found is located below the temple and is visible to the visitor.