Laconia

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Laconia (Λακωνία), also known as Lacedaemonia, was in ancient Greece the portion of Peloponnesus of which the most important city was Sparta. Throughout the classical antiquity the Spartans held Messinia, whose inhabitants (the helots) were permanently enslaved. In medieval times it was part of the Byzantine Empire and following the Crusades it was the home of the Byzantine Despotate of Mystras, held by the penultimate Byzantine ruling dynasty, the Palaeologi. In modern times, Laconia has the legal status of a prefecture, with Sparta its administrative capital. Its main towns and cities are Amyclae, Areopolis, Gytheion, Molaoi, Monemvasia, Mystras, Neapolis (Vatika) and Sellasia. It encompasses Cape Malea and Cape Tainaron and a large part of the Mani Peninsula.

The Evrotas is the longest river in the prefecture. The valley of the Evrotas is predominantly an agricultural region that contains many citrus groves, olive groves and pasture lands and most of all, oranges. It is the location of the largest orange production in the Peloponnese and probably all of Greece. The brand of orange juice named after this prefecture Lakonia is based in Amyclae and sells fresh orange juice entirely from this region.

Taygetus (2,407 m), known as Pentadaktylos (five-fingers) throughout the middle ages, is west of Sparta and the Evrotas valley. It is the highest mountain in Laconia and the Peloponnese, and mostly covered with pine trees. Two roads connect the adjoining prefectures of Messinia and Laconia: one is a tortuous mountain pass through Taygetus and the other bypasses the mountain via the Mani district to the south. The other major mountain is Parnon (1,961 m) to the east.

A stalactite cave in the southwest of the prefecture is located south of Areopolis. This famous cave is called Dirou and is a major tourist attraction.

It is bounded by the Taygetus mountains to the west with Messinia, Arcadia to the north and with the Parnon mountains to the northeast, the Myrtoan Sea to the east and the Gulf of Laconia and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. The islands of Cythera and Anticythera lie to the south, but they administratively belong to the prefecture of Piraeus.

The English word "laconic" is derived from the name of the region by analogy - to speak in a concise way, as the Spartans were reputed by the Athenians to do.

Climate

The area has hot summers and mild winters in most of the prefecture while in the mountains, especially Taygetus, snow is very common throughout the winter.

Transportation

Communications

Radio

Television

Population history

Provinces

Municipalities

Name of municipality Municipal code Seat Postal code
Asopos 3202 Pappadianika 230 56
Anatoliko/East Mani 3201 Kotronas 230 66
Elos 3207 Vlachiotis 230 55
Farida 3222 Xirokampi 230 54
Geronthri 3204 Geraki 230 58
Gytheio 3205 Gythion 232 00
Oinounta 3216 Sellasia 230 64
Oitylo 3217 Areopolis 230 62
Krokees 3211 Krokees 230 57
Molaoi 3212 Molaoi 230 52
Monemvasia 3213 Monemvasia 230 70
Mystras 3214 Magoula 231 00
Niata 3215 Niata 230 60
Pellana 3218 Kastorion 230 59
Skala 3219 Skala 230 51
Smynos 3220 Agios Nikolaos 230 61
Sparta 3221 Sparta 231 00
Therapni 3209 Goritsa 231 00
Voia 3203 Neapolis (Vatika) 230 53
Zarakas 3208 Richea 230 68

There are two independent communities and they are

  • Elafonissos (mun code: 3206, postal code: 230 53)
  • Karyes (mun code: 3210, postal code: 230 67)

Communities

External links