Despot's Palace

Mystras, Greece

The Palace of the Despots dominates the Upper Town of Mystra. It is a great complex of buildings belonging to different times of construction. They started to be built by the Franks, possibly by Guillaume de Villehardouin, and were completed by the Byzantines (the Despot was usually a son or brother of the Emperor). 

These palace constitutes a great example of the Byzantine architecture. The whole building complex is L-shaped and has been well-preserved until our days. The palace has four constructions. Some of them have 4 storeys, while others are two-storey mansions. The first building was the residence of the noblemen and the second one was the throne hall.

The Despot used to live in the fourth building, a four-storey construction dating from 1350-1400. The fifth building, built in the 15th century, was the palace of the Paleologos family. All buildings have numerous arches, chambers, attics and cellars. The exterior area is quite austere.



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Unnamed Road, Mystras, Greece
See all sites in Mystras


Founded: 13th century
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Greece

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

RoboDoc (2 years ago)
Damm, the views from this place
Michael Grondines (2 years ago)
Pretty amazing place to visit with an incredible view of the surroundings. Be aware that you have a lot of stairs to climb to get to the castle, bring a lot of water, especially if it is hot outside!
Shane R (2 years ago)
Was closed for renovation when I was there, cant wait to go back and see the inside !!!
tommaso a. (3 years ago)
this place definitely worth. it is an old Byzantine town built on the side of the mountain. there are 3 different levels you can reach by walking from the first to the third or going by car from the second to the third level. the view is amazing especially in winter when the mountains around are covered by the snow. the buildings are under restructuring and actually they are rebuilting as they used to be. it is quite strange to see this kind of maintenance but all in all gives you an idea of how it was. there are a lot of billboards with explanations and story about the old city.
Alexandra Papas (3 years ago)
An awesome place that travels you back to the byzantine empire. The staff across the archaeological site are simply amazing, friendly and full of knowledge about the churches and the area. Before you leave, visit the shop. Some small gems are waiting for you
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