We had decided on a short visit due to the heat, but we ended up taking our time, sitting on the ancient stones in the shade of the olive trees, and catching the breeze wherever we could find it.

I was in a particularly good mood because at the gate they had accepted me as an Austrian. I explained that I was born there, and moreover that I was a month short of a birthday which would qualify me for a further discount on the ticket price.

The nice lady at the ticket office did not seem to believe me when I said that I wasn’t trying to get in cheap, but she seemed to have a sense of humour and let me in for 5 euros as a European rather than 10 euros as a Brit.

Brexit. The gift that keeps on giving.

In the amphitheater where the citizens of ancient Messene used to listen to plays and political speeches, I imagined addressing them about the folly of war and the need to work with other nations to maximize friendship and economic well being.

The site is really quite huge. Ithomi is the mountain above the site, and I imagine it was a vantage point to survey the area all around. Messene was at war with Sparta for much of its early history. The ruins include a hole in the ground which was the prison for one of the captured generals.

There are many cultic sites, fountains and also the Agora has the ruins of a bath house. Above the amphitheatre is an area where they have found villas with floor mosaics. At the bottom of the hill over which the site stretches is a sports arena which was used for races and later, apparently, for gladiatorial contests.

error: Content is protected !!
Share This