The Peloponnese is a peninsula in southern Greece that covers an area of some 21,549.6 square kilometres (8,320.3 sq mi) and constitutes the southernmost part of mainland Greece. While technically it may be considered an island since the construction of the Corinth Canal in 1893, like other peninsulas that have been separated from their mainland by man-made bodies of waters, it is rarely, if ever, referred to as an “island”. It has two land connections with the rest of Greece, a natural one at the Isthmus of Corinth, and an artificial one by the Rio-Antirio bridge (completed 2004). During the late Middle Ages and the Ottoman era, the peninsula was known as the Morea name still in colloquial use in its demotic form. It was here that the Greek War of Independence began in 1821.
One of the most beautiful towns in the area of Argolis (located in eastern Peloponnese) as well as one of the most romantic cities all over Greece, Nafplion was the first capital of the newly born Greek state between 1823 and 1834. According to mythology, the town was founded by Náfplios, the son of god Poseidon. The city is marked by ancient walls, medieval castles, monuments and statues. In the very heart of the city stands the Italianate Syntagma Square where you can admire important historic buildings and monuments.
Very close to the modern city stands the church of Agios Spyridonas, in front of which the first Greek Governor, Ioannis Kapodistrias, was assassinated. Palamidi Castle is one of the most interesting sites in Nafplion as it is the place where the famous hero of the Greek Revolution, Theodore Kolokotronis, was imprisoned. It proudly stands 216 m above sea level and in order to reach it you have to climb all of its 999 steps carved into the rock.
Kalamata is the second most populous city of the Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece. The 2011 census recorded 69,849 inhabitants for the wider Kalamata Municipality. Kalamata is renowned as the land of the Kalamatianos dance and Kalamata olives. Kalamata was the first city to be liberated as the Greeks rose in the Greek War of Independence. On March 23, 1821, it was taken over by the Greek revolutionary forces. In independent Greece, Kalamata was rebuilt and became one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean sea. It is not surprising that the second-oldest Chamber of Commerce in the Mediterranean, after that of Marseille, is situated in Kalamata. There are numerous historical and cultural sights in Kalamata, such as the Villehardouin castle, the Ypapanti Byzantine church and the Benakeion Archaeological Museum