Kastania – External Art

Having looked back over my pictures from Kastania since the last post I have decided to add another to my long list of Greek posts by splitting the artwork into external stuff and frescos as there was so much of it. As you will see, the stuff I cover in the post varies from patterns painted on street surfaces to folk art incorporated into church buildings.

Enjoy these photos…

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Kastania – General and Chestnut Festival.

This is the first of two posts that will be going up about Kastania, because I will be devoting another post specifically to church/ folk art in the village, of which there is a lot. We were drawn there by the Chestnut Festival, which was a huge success, with the kind of numbers in attendance that English village fetes such as the Rudhams one could only dream of. Also, although you had to pay if you wanted a proper meal, as you entered the square where the main action was happening you were given little cakes, a free slug of Raki was provided for adult visitors, and bags of roasted chestnuts from a huge circular barbecue were also free.

A scenic route back through Exochorio and Proasteio, ¬†featuring the church of Ayios Nikolaos Proasteio completed the day’s travelling.

Enjoy these photos…

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The Greek Flag and a local flag side y side
The Greek Flag and a local flag side y side
Chestnuts roasting
Chestnuts roasting

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Stepped surfaces such as this both prevent wheeled traffic (other than quad bikes) from using them and suit donkeys and mules.
Stepped surfaces such as this both prevent wheeled traffic (other than quad bikes) from using them and suit donkeys and mules.

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This fortified tower overlooks the Viros Gorge
This fortified tower overlooks the Viros Gorge
Ayios Nikolaos at Proasteio
Ayios Nikolaos at Proasteio
Decorative brickwork above the entrance to the church.
Decorative brickwork above the entrance to the church.

Sunset in Tseria

Before I get to the main meat of this post a word of explanation of circumstances: I am now back home in England, having returned yesterday, getting back to my flat in King’s Lynn at twenty to six in the evening courtesy of some remarkable good fortune – straight through passport control/ customs, short wait at baggage reclaim, straight on to a Gatwick Express service, good connection at Victoria which got me to King’s Cross in time to board the 15:44 to King’s Lynn. I had planned for the 16:44 and would not have been squealing with outrage had it been an hour later still, so this was a colossal bonus. I have quite a few more Greek posts to put up, but they will now be interleaving with my more regular types of posts, about James and Sons, and continuing to wage my online campaign to present the best face of King’s Lynn.

The balcony of my parents house in Tseria faces west, and therefore if one is out there at the right time as I was a few days ago one benefits from some very fine sunsets. Before the pictures of the sunset itself I am using this post to present a couple more pictures of folk art from the little church just below my parents house (see¬†https://aspiblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/18/a-little-church-in-tseria) for more on this theme…

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Mystra 1: Some general views

This is the first of a series of posts about Mystra, a very interesting site, which i was fortunate enough to see on a day which was not over hot. By Greek standards it is a parvenu, the first building there being the Frankish castle which dates from the early 13th century, but as you will see in subsequent posts there is much of interest to see – indeed so much that I exhausted my camera’s memory!

The castle (this was a top down city in two ways - a Frankish nobleman built the castle, and the rest of the city developed from that, and the first building was built on the highest site)
The castle (this was a top down city in two ways – a Frankish nobleman built the castle, and the rest of the city developed from that, and the first building was built on the highest site)
Modern Sparta as close as you want to see it (you may need to see it closer if you are visiting the Olive Museum)
Modern Sparta as close as you want to see it (you may need to see it closer if you are visiting the Olive Museum)

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A close view of the Palace of the Despots, this was the highest point I reached in my visit to Mystra (the castle would have taken a long climb to reach)
A close view of the Palace of the Despots, this was the highest point I reached in my visit to Mystra (the castle would have taken a long climb to reach)

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The Palace of the Despots (to the Franks who built this place the Peloponnese was the Despotate of Morea)
The Palace of the Despots (to the Franks who built this place the Peloponnese was the Despotate of Morea)

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Mystra 3: The Metropolis.

Although the museum was closed for lunch, necessitating a return at the end of our circuit round Mystra, the Cathedral provided many excellent photo opportunities. I will be devoting a whole post to the frescos I saw elsewhere, but this place warrants coverage all of its own…

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This double eagle is a Byzantine heraldic device.
This double eagle is a Byzantine heraldic device.

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The inside of the Cupola. In the centre, looking down on his flock from on high is Christ.
The inside of the Cupola. In the centre, looking down on his flock from on high is Christ.

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Mystra 2: From the start to the Metropolis

We parked at the lower of the two car parks for Mystra, ready to go up and then down. The first marked place we reached was the Metropolis (actually the Cathedral), but on the way there we saw plenty of noteworthy (and photo-worthy) things…

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All of Mystra;s streets were built stepped both to prevent carts from having access and for the benefit of mules and donkeys.
All of Mystra;s streets were built stepped both to prevent carts from having access and for the benefit of mules and donkeys.

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The information boards here tell you about Mystra rather than just about the particular thing you are approaching.
The information boards here tell you about Mystra rather than just about the particular thing you are approaching.