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For the ancient region, see Messenia (ancient region).
Περιφερειακή ενότητα
Regional unit
Municipalities (dimi) of Messinia, 2010:   #Kalamata #Mani #Messini #Oichalia #Pylos-Nestoras #Trifylia
Municipalities (dimi) of Messinia, 2010:
  1. Kalamata
  2. Mani
  3. Messini
  4. Oichalia
  5. Pylos-Nestoras
  6. Trifylia
Messenia within Greece
Messenia within Greece
Coordinates: 37°10′N 22°0′E / 37.167°N 22.000°E / 37.167; 22.000Coordinates: 37°10′N 22°0′E / 37.167°N 22.000°E / 37.167; 22.000
Country Greece
Region Peloponnese
Capital Kalamata
 • Total 2,991 km2 (1,155 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 159,954
 • Density 53/km2 (140/sq mi)
Postal codes 24x xx
Area codes 272x0, 276x0
ISO 3166 code GR-17
Car plates ΚΜ
Kalamata castle
Port of Kalamata
Messenia from Mt. Ithome
View of Pylos on the Bay of Navarino

Messenia (/məˈsniə, -ˈsnjə/; Greek: Μεσσηνία Messinia, pronounced [mesiˈnia]) is a regional unit (perifereiaki enotita) in the southwestern part of the Peloponnese, one of 13 regions into which Greece has been divided by the Kallikratis plan, implemented 1 January 2011.[1] Before 2011 Messenia was a nomos (prefecture). The capital and the biggest city of Messenia in either case has been the city of Kalamata.



Messenia borders on Elis to the north, Arcadia to the northeast, and Laconia to the southeast. The Ionian Sea lies to the west, and the Gulf of Messenia to the south. The most important mountain ranges are the Taygetus in the east, the Kyparissia mountains in the northwest and the Lykodimo in the southwest. The main rivers are the Neda in the north and the Pamisos in central Messenia.

Off the south coast of the southwesternmost point of Messenia lie the Messenian Oinousses islands. The largest of these are Sapientza, Schiza and Venetiko. The small island Sphacteria closes off the bay of Pylos. All these islands are virtually uninhabited.

Climate may vary, in the lowlands, temperatures are a bit warmer than Athens. Snow is not common during winter months except for the mountains especially the Taygetus. Rain and clouds are common inland.


Reorganization of Messenia[edit]

Before the 2010 reorganization, Messenia was a nomos (prefecture) containing 29 dimoi (municipalities) and 2 koinotites (communities). The total population, based on the 2001 census was 176,876.[2] Since 2010, Messenia has been a perifereiake enoteta (regional unit) containing only 6 municipalities, but still with a population of 176,876;[3] i.e., Messenia did not change area in the reorganization. Some 25 municipalities and communities were incorporated politically into the other 6 according to the table below.[1]

New municipality Old municipalities Seat
Kalamata Kalamata Kalamata
Messene Messene
Oichalia Oichalia Meligalas
Pylos-Nestoras Pylos Pylos
Trifylia Kyparissia Kyparissia
West Mani
(Dytiki Mani)
Avia Kardamyli


Year Population
1991 167,292
2001 172,875
2011 159,954

The main cities and towns of Messenia are (ranked by 2011 census population):


Glossa beach.

The economy of Messenia is primarily based on agricultural production although in recent years efforts are being made toward the development of activities in other sectors such as tourism.

Main agricultural products are olive oil, Kalamata table olives, figs, and black raisins (sultanas). The variety of agricultural products is complemented by a small amount of stockbreeding products (beef, milk, sfela cheese, honey) and fish from the Gulf of Messenia.

The tourist development observed is mainly attributable to the promotion of important archaeological sites, such as the Palace of Nestor, Ancient Messene, and the Venetian castles of Pylos, Koroni, Methoni and Kalamata, as well as to the beauty of the landscape. Another key factor for Messenia's economy is Costa Navarino, comprising several eco-friendly luxury resorts and golf courses, which is Greece’s biggest tourist development. [4]

There are many small- and medium-size firms involved in the processing and standardization of agricultural products as well as a number of enterprises devoted to wood processing, furniture manufacturing, and metal construction. The Karelia tobacco company is based in Kalamata.


The main airport in Messenia is Kalamata International Airport (KLX).

The main highways in Messenia are:

The main railways in Messenia are:




Ancient period[edit]

Ancient Theater in Messene.

Messenia is mentioned in the oldest work of European literature, the Iliad.[citation needed] The name undoubtedly goes back to at least the Bronze Age, but its origins are lost in the world of mythology. The region was one of the largest that was conquered and enslaved as helots by ancient Sparta.

Medieval period[edit]

In the Middle Ages, Messenia shared the fortunes of the rest of the Peloponnese. Striking reminders of these conflicts are afforded by the extant ruins of the medieval strongholds of Kalamata, Coron (anc. Asine, mod. Korone), Modon (Methone) and Pylos. Messenia was a part of the Byzantine Empire.

Ottoman and Venetian period[edit]

Much of Messenia fell into the hands of the Ottoman Turks, a part of the area remained with the Venetian Republic. In 1534 a group of families, known as the 'Coroni', settled in Piana degli Albanesi in Sicily. They were Arvanites and Greeks from Koroni.

During the 1680s, the whole of Messenia was regained by the Venetian Republic in the Morean War, and formed part of the "Kingdom of the Morea" until recovered by the Ottomans in 1715. The Mani Peninsula, a part of modern Messenia, was autonomous from Turkish rule due to the fact that it had no harbors.

Modern period[edit]

Messenia became part of independent Greece as a result of the Greek War of Independence (1821-1832). The famous naval Battle of Navarino took place near present Pylos in 1827, and was a decisive victory for Greece and its allies. The population in the area of Kalamata and Messene increased from 30,000 before World War II up to nearly 80,000 in the present day. Messenia suffered damage from the 2007 Greek forest fires.

See also[edit]



External links[edit]

  • Media related to Messinia at Wikimedia Commons

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messenia — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

342 news items

Gazzetta Jonica

Gazzetta Jonica
Fri, 20 Nov 2015 22:33:45 -0800

SANT'ALESSIO – Il17 luglio 2014 è stato affidato con procedura aperta il servizio per l'”acquisizione di beni e servizi finalizzati all'e-inclusion e sviluppo di forme associative di servizi e-governement” del Centro servizi territoriali “Cst Messenia ...

Tempo Stretto

Tempo Stretto
Thu, 19 Nov 2015 07:33:45 -0800

Un finanziamento da 995 mila euro è quello che il Comune di Sant'Alessio Siculo ha ottenuto ai fini della presentazione del progetto definitivo del “Cst Messenia: acquisizione di beni e servizi finalizzati all'e-inclusion e sviluppo di forme più ...

Olive Oil Times

Olive Oil Times
Fri, 20 Nov 2015 11:36:40 -0800

Karantonis pointed out that some regions, such as the western Peloponnese, have a very good crop this year, although Messenia as a whole (in the southwestern Peloponnese) has a bit less than last year, as does Laconia. In contrast, there are especially ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Sun, 22 Feb 2015 09:37:30 -0800

This was a familiar practice in the 18th century, and L'Oracolo in Messenia was popular in its day. The original score is lost, however, and the work as we know it is a reconstruction prepared by the violinist-conductor Fabio Biondi for a 2011 revival ...

The National

The National
Thu, 19 Nov 2015 03:40:24 -0800

The city-state of Sparta controlled not only its own region of Laconia in the southern Peloponnesus but also the province of Messenia on the other side of the Taygetus mountains, and they did this through overseeing an enormous population of slaves ...


Thu, 29 Oct 2015 11:31:57 -0700

Meanwhile, farmers from western Messenia converged in Kalamata, where they staged similar protests. In Tripoli, protesters held a smaller rally outside the local regional authority offices. The head of the farmers' cooperative association for Arcadia, ...

Yahoo News UK

Yahoo News UK
Wed, 28 Oct 2015 04:15:00 -0700

The rulers at the Palace of Nestor once governed an area encompassing all of modern Messenia in western Greece, which supported more than 50,000 inhabitants at the time. But the warrior's tomb predates this rule, suggesting that the area began to ...


Mon, 02 Nov 2015 10:59:21 -0800

The team found the tomb while working in the area of the Palace of Nestor, seeking clues as to how the palace and its rulers came to control an area encompassing all of modern Messenia in western Greece and supporting more than 50,000 inhabitants ...

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