Capital and chief port of the prefecture is the much sung
Kalamata, the land of the Kalamatianos dance and the silk
kerchief. Of succulent black olives, honeyed figs and the
sesame-covered sweet called pastelli. The town is dominated by
the 13th century castle above it built by Geoffrey de
Villehardouin. On the north side of the citadel there is a small
Byzantine church, dedicated to the Virgin of Kalomata (of the
good eye), from which the town may have acquired its name.
From the castle you can survey the expanse of sea below with its
sandy and pebbly shores or turn your gaze upon the deep green
plain, the “happy land” of the ancients.
The old city is spread out underneath the castle. This is where
the Byzantine church of the Virgin Ypapanti and the convent of
the Kalograies, where the nuns weave the famous Kalamata silk,
There are many churches in town, the oldest being the historic
church of Aghii Apostoli (13th c.), where the Greek Revolution
against the Turks was formally declared on March 23, 1821.
Kalamata has an archaeological and folklore museum, a fine arts
museum and a library containing 60.000 volumes.
Every summer cultural events like concerts and plays put on by
the Kalamata theater are held in the amphitheatre of the castle.
In the evening, the town comes alive, especially along the
waterfront which is lined with tavernas, seafood restaurants and
rotisseries serving local dishes and drinks, fresh fish, roast
suckling pig and chicken, sausages, cheese, olives, retsina and