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Greek City of Kalamata Reenacts Liberation From Ottoman Rule

Kalamata Liberation Reenactment
Dressed in traditional costumes, citizens of Kalamata reenacted the events of the Greek War of Independence that led to the liberation of the city from the Ottoman rule in 1821. Credit: Youtube / Municipality of Kalamata / Screen capture

Dressed in traditional costumes in the fashion of two hundred years ago, citizens of Kalamata, located in the Peloponnese in Southern Greece, celebrated 203 years since the liberation of the city from Ottoman rule with a majestic reenactment of the events of the Greek War of Independence on Saturday, March 23rd.

Hundreds of visitors were joined by Greek officials to watch the reenactment at the old town center from 4 p.m. local time.

The oath taken by the generals of the Greek War of Independence and reenacted today was the same oath taken by ancient Greek soldiers before they marched to war.

First Greek city liberated from the Ottomans

Kalamata was the first city to be liberated from the Ottomans, as the Greeks rose in the Greek War of Independence in 1821.

On March 23rd of that year, the harbor city was taken over by the Greek revolutionary forces under the command of generals Theodoros Kolokotronis, Petros Mavromichalis, and Papaflessas.

Mavromichalis declared the revolt against Ottoman rule in the Church of the Holy Apostles, located in the middle of the city’s square.

Sadly, a few years later, in 1825, the invading Ottoman forces destroyed the city, but once it was rebuilt in independent Greece, Kalamata became one of the most important harbors in the Mediterranean Sea. The second-oldest Chamber of Commerce in the Mediterranean, after that of Marseille, was founded in Kalamata.

Petrompeis Mavromihalis Kalamata
Petrompeis Mavromihalis liberating Kalamata by Hess. Public Domain

Rich history and culture of the city of Kalamata

In the 20th century, Kalamata gained a reputation for its homonymous olive variety, its excellent quality olive oil, raisins, and figs, which are exported worldwide.

It became the second most populous city of the Peloponnese peninsula after Patras and is the capital of the Messenia regional unit.

Visitors today can still walk around the historical city and learn about the different aspects of life in the area throughout the centuries thanks to its many boutique museums. These include the Municipal Gallery, the Archaeological Museum of Messenia, the Military Museum, and the Folk Art Museum.

Some of the city’s most important sites are the Villehardouin castle, the Ypapanti Byzantine church, the Kalograion monastery with its silk-weaving workshop where the famed Kalamata scarves are made, and the municipal railway park.

The city is particularly popular during the summer season thanks to its beautiful beaches and nature, attracting visitors from across the world with several direct flights from Greek and international airports.

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