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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.

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.

Finds from recent excavations imply that Kalamata is on the site of the ancient Pharai (one of seven cities that Agamemnon offered to Achilles).

Kalamata first emerged as a city of political significance during Frankish rule.

In 1459 it came under Ottoman rule. From 1685 to 1715 it was under the Venetians. It then returned to Ottoman rule until its liberation.

The liberation of the Greek nation from Turkish rule in 1821 began in the historic Apostles chapel, located in 23rd March Square. The chapel dates to 1317.

It was the first city in occupied Greece to be liberated.

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.


  • 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.

Other information

  • 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.