The Master of the Middle Ages
The cosmopolitan Koroni is located at the southernmost tip of the Messinian land, Cape Akritas, 51 km from Kalamata and 274 km from Athens. One of the most beautiful coastal states of the southern area, built amphitheatrically on a hillside, dominated by the Venetian fortress. It is no coincidence that the nickname of this small town with the deep marks in the passage of history is “Master of the Middle Ages”.
In the mid-6th century AD, a terrible earthquake destroyed the ancient Koroni (today’s Petalidi), resulting in the inhabitants moving southward to Asini, where they settled. Upon their establishment, the settlement was renamed Koroni.
The years of glory
During the Byzantine era, the small fortified site was nothing more than a center of refueling pilgrims to the Holy Land. Its “star” will come to an end with the occupation of the Franks in 1205 and its delivery to the Venetians in 1209. In the years of the Venetian conquest Koroni evolved into one of the largest centers of transit trade in the Eastern Mediterranean and olive oil export center, to the metropolis of Venice and the Middle East. The long presence of the Venetians (1209-1,500 and 1685-1715) will give the settlement a special color, with concrete elements, the fortress, the district of Burgos, the church of Saint Charalambos and the scattered cisterns within the castle. At the same time, the Catalans, the Genoans and mainly the Ottomans will claim and occupy the “Archontissa”, leaving their strong stamp, with the huge baroque storerooms, the baths’ remains and the bey’s cone.
It was one of the most important commercial, naval and geostrategic points of the southwestern Peloponnese and one of the two eyes of Venice in the south-eastern Mediterranean along with Methoni. The small coastal settlement is identified with the ancient Asini, the city that founded, with the help of the Lacedaemonians, fugitives from the Argolic Asini. The city was founded in 706 BC in the area of today’s Koroni, after the inhabitants of Messiniakou Riou were expelled. Throughout Roman times, Asini has undergone considerable commercial traffic and its fortification surrounded the wide peak of the acropolis, which is detected under the later high walls.
The modern Koroni
The beautiful traditional settlement, with its narrow alleys, as the locals call it, the large mansions of the Molos and the Canvas, the small and cramped houses of Omali and Burgos, is today a residential complex with a strong island color and a bustling center. during the summer months. Modern Koroni is known for the famous variety of olive oil, the “Koroneiki”, and the proverb, oil is raining in Koroni. It is an emblematic community for the Mediterranean Diet and an idyllic tourist destination. On the coastal road of the harbor and its whitewashed picturesque streets, the visitor can visit traditional cafes, bars, ouzeries, fish taverns, restaurants and various shops. Surrounded by its sandy beaches, Zaga and Memi are more popular.
In the castle town, remarkable historical monuments are preserved, besides the imposing fortress, such as the metropolitan church of Agios Dimitrios, with the impressive iconostasis of the iconostasis, the old calendar, the Holy Monastery of Timios Prodromos, the large mausoleum, the three-aisled paleochristian the basilica of God Sophia, the temple of Saint Charalambus, the church of Virgin Mary in Resalto and the Anemomilos in Bourgo.