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Pylos parish
Δημοτική Ενότητα Πύλου
Pylos (Greece)
Basic data
State : GreeceGreece Greece
Region : Peloponnese


Regional District : Messinia
Municipality : Pylos-Nestor
Geographic coordinates : 36 ° 54 '  N , 21 ° 41'  E Coordinates: 36 ° 54 '  N , 21 ° 41'  E
Height above d. M .: 3 m
town center
Area : 143.911 km²
Residents : 5,287 (2011)
Population density : 36.7 inhabitants / km²
Code No .: 440501
Structure: f121 city district
10 local communities
Located in the municipality of Pylos-Nestor and in the Messenia region
File: DE Pylou.svg

Pylos ( Greek Πύλος ( f. Sg. ), Italian : Navarino ) is a port city in Messenia in Greece . With the administrative reform in 2010, Pylos became the seat of the newly created municipality of Pylos-Nestor , in which the formerly independent municipality of Pylos was merged as a municipality.


The municipality of Pylos occupies the western part of the Messenian "finger" in the southwest of the Peloponnese peninsula . The actual small town of Pylos is located at the south entrance of the bay of the same name, which is also known as the Bay of Navarino. At the western exit of the bay is the island of S Faktiria .

The Bay of Pylos or Navarino was the scene of two major naval battles:

The modern pylos

The municipality of Pylos has about 5300 inhabitants. Around 2300 of them live in the main town of Pylos. For a further breakdown, see Pylos-Nestor # Congregational Structure .


year main place modification local community modification
1981 2,594 - - -
1991 2.014 - 580 / - 22.36% 5,340 -
2001 2,104 90 / 4.47% 5,402 62 / 1.16%
2011 2,767 663 / 31.51% 5,287 - 115 / - 2.13%


  • Castle (Neo-Kastro)
  • Paliokastro (old fort) located north of the bay
  • Aqueduct from the Ottoman period (at the southern entrance to the town)
  • Church of the Assumption of Mary (extensively restored in 1989 and partly rebuilt)
  • Memorial to the Battle of Navarino
  • Bay Voidokilia (the so-called "Omega")
  • Agia Nicola, the mountain near Pylos with a small church and 360 ° panorama
  • Archaeological Museum

The historical places

Mycenaean and Classical Period

Map of the districts of the Mycenaean Empire of Pylos

Pylos (Greek for "gate") is the name of two neighboring places in the Messenia countryside on the south west coast of the Peloponnese in Greece . In one of these places, located inland between the villages of Koryphási and Chóra, are the remains of a large Mycenaean palace from the late Helladic period , known as the Palace of Nestor . Old Pylos and its surroundings are the sites of discovery of seals and a large number of clay seals with seal impressions. The corpus of the Minoan and Mycenaean seals also contains the finds from Pylos and its surroundings.

The other place, the name of which can probably be explained by translation from the Mycenaean Pylos, only became known in classical times through the victory of the Athenian forces over Sparta during the Peloponnesian War . This classic Pylos was very likely due to the rocky promontory on the north side of the Bay of Navarino, which in ancient times was initially called Koryphasion (Κορυφάσιον). The place occupies a prominent position in the history of the Peloponnesian War of Thucydides - mainly due to the success of the Athenian general Demosthenes with the occupation of the place and the capture of some Spartan troops on the nearby island of Sphakteria (now also called Sphagia ) scored. A detailed description of the dramatic events is given in the fourth book (chapters 2-41) of Thucydides. The prisoners made on the island were taken to Athens as hostages. The Spartans' concern for these hostages helped their 421 BC. Agreed to the Peace of Nikias (Thucydides V 15, 1). The Athenian garrison lasted until 409 BC. In Pylos (Diodor XIII 64, 4f .; Xenophon, Hellenika I 2, 18). 365 BC The place came to free Messenia (Diodor XV 77, 4). Around 220 BC Pylos belonged to the Achaean League , which maintained a naval base there (Polybios IV 25, 4).

The entrance to the Bay of Navarino from the perspective of the fortress in Pylos

Byzantine and "Frankish" times

In the time of the Crusades , as Pylos, founded in 1205 Principality of Achaia fell, the alternative names came Zónglos (gr Ζόγγλος or Ζόγκλος;. Lat. Zonclum, Iunclum or Iuncum ; it. Porto-Junco, Zunchio or Zonchio ;. French port de-Jonc , partly as " bins harbor " interpretation) Navarino . gr (Ναβαρίνο with the older forms Avarinos , Ἀβαρῖνος, Varinos , Βαρῖνος and Anavarinos , Ἀναβαρῖνος;. it Navarino ;. French Navarin ) that perhaps from a Slavic place names Meaning "maple" is derived. Around 1500 the Navarre Company was active in the place, which was therefore called Château Navarres or in the local dialect Spanochóri (Σπανοχώρι "Village of the Spaniards").

Venetian and Turkish times

Fortifications were built in Old and New Pylos under Venetian rule. In 1499 the Ottoman Empire conquered the settlements and fortresses. The place name was adopted as Anavarin in the Turkish language. After the completion of a new Ottoman fortress ( Anavarin kalesi ) in 1572, it was also named Neókastro (Greek Νεόκαστρο or Νιόκαστρο, "new castle") in Greek , while the old Frankish fort as Palaiókastro, Greek Πσλιόκαταρο, Πσλιόκατατο, Πσλιόκατατο, Πσλιόκατατο, Πσλιόκατατο old castle ”) became known. In 1686 and until 1715 Venice took possession of the fortresses again in the course of the conquest of the entire Peloponnese ( Morea ). After the loss of the Morea, the area came under the rule of the Ottomans again, who restored the fortress in Neu-Pylos around 1770.

Sons and daughters of the church


Individual evidence

  1. Results of the 2011 census at the National Statistical Service of Greece (ΕΛ.ΣΤΑΤ) ( Memento from June 27, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) (Excel document, 2.6 MB)
  2. Ingo Pini (ed.), The clay seals from the Nestor Palace of Pylos . Verlag Philipp von Zabern, Mainz 1997.
  3. ^ Antoine Bon: La Morée franque. Recherches historiques, topographiques et archéologiques sur la principauté d'Achaïe ( French ). De Boccard, Paris 1969, pp. 415-416.
  4. Max Vasmer, The Slavs in Greece . Publishing house of the Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1941.
  5. a b Alexis GK Savvides: Notes on Navarino in the Frankish, Venetian and Ottoman periods early . In: Ekklisiastikos Faros . 74, Alexandria and Johannesburg, 1992, pp. 68-72.

Web links

Commons : Pylos  - collection of images, videos and audio files