| Population: (2001)
around 2,400 m
|Number of communities:||14|
|Postal code:||241 00|
|Area/distance code:||11-30-27210 (030-27210)-2 through 4|
|Car designation:|| |
|Name of inhabitants:||Kalamatan sing., -s pl.|
|Address of administration:|| 28 Aristodimou St.|
Kalamata 241 00
This historic city, in its modern form, continues to play a key role in Greece. From this port, the largest in the Messinia Prefecture, the famous olive oil and the well-known Kalamata olives and figs are traded.
The name Kalamata
The name Kalamata may have something to do with the Greek kalo mata which means good eye. A Byzantine church near the city is devoted to the virgin of Kalomata.
Geography - Demography
- The city is the capital and port of the Messinia prefecture.
- It has 44,052 inhabitants.
- A ferryboat links the port with Gytheion, Kythira, and Crete.
- The city has daily flights to Athens.
History of Kalamata
Kalamata first emerged as a city of political significance during Frankish rule.
On March 23, 1821, Kalamata became the first city to be liberated from the Turkish rule during the Greek War of Independence. It was in Kalamata that the first government met, the first national printing house was established, and the first newspaper of the new state was printed.
Later during the war, in 1825, Ibrahim Pasha recaptured and destroyed the city. After this, Kalamata was rebuilt and became one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean sea. It is not surprising that the 2nd oldest Chamber of Commerce in the Mediterranean, after that of Marseille, exists in Kalamata. After World War II, and due to political issues, Kalamata, as well as most of the Peloponnese, was excluded from the government development plans, in favour of north Greece. That was a major blow on the local economy, resulting in the decline of the port and hence the city. During the 1970s and 1980s, development and growth in Kalamata were slow and only after the city suffered severe damage from the earthquakes of September 1986, did the local authorities and individuals strained their financial resources to bring a wind of change to the forgotten capital of Messinia. Due to these efforts, Kalamata has now fully recovered and developed into a modern provincial capital, with all facilities and amenities, as well as one of the most modern hospitals in Greece.
- The Castle, built in 1210, is one of the city’s landmarks and has a wonderful amphitheatre often used for performances.
- The impressive cathedral of Kalamata is dedicated to the Hypapanti tou Sotiros. The icon of the Hypapanti.
- The Library, founded in 1933, contains 60,000 volumes, manuscripts, papyri, illuminated gospels, and other rare books.
- The Municipal Art Gallery has an exhibition of works by Greek painters.
- In 2003, Kalamata hosted the International Kalamata Documentary Film Festival for the fifth year running,
- For the past few years, the International Dance Festival has been held here, in the summer, with performances by famous dance groups from all over the world.