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Messolonghi

History location

Messolonghi is a city in the western part of Central Greece and is the capital of the province of Aitoloakarnania and of the municipality that bears the city’s name. The city itself is built on an alluvial plain formed between the homonymous lagoon and Klisova lagoon, located 249 km from Athens and at a distance of approximately 35 km from Agrinio and 37 km from Antirio. Messolonghi, or the Holy City as it often referred to, has been linked with Greece’s fight for independence in 1821 more than any other Greek city. The Exodus Gateway, the earthen barricade, the Garden of Heroes with its tomb sheltering the bones of fallen soldiers, numerous statues and busts of famous fighters and philhellenes such as Markos Botsaris, Kyriakos Mavromichalis and Lord Byron, together offer only partial evidence of the critical role played by the city in the nation’s struggle for independence. The modern day Messolonghi is a beautiful city, with structures displaying traditional architecture as well as buildings which housed important figures of the Greek Revolution as well as prominent politicians of contemporary Greece.

 

AROUND THE MUSEUM

Messolonghi Lagoon: The lagoon of Messolonghi is the largest in Greece. Essentially, it was created by alluvial deposits of the river Acheloos. The water is salty, which creates ideal conditions for salt marshes. Inside the lagoon there are 8 islands, many of which were used during the siege of Missolonghi during the revolution of 1821 and on which battles were fought. The lagoon contains fish farms and caviar is also made here. The lagoon is protected from the well-known RAMSAR treaty and it constitutes an environmental park and ecosystem.

Garden of Heroes: Located north of Messolonghi, it is an area of ​​14 acres and is where fighters of the guard of the Holy City and Messolonghi are buried. The bones of Markos Botsaris have been transferred here as well. Every year since 1859, a funeral procession takes place on the evening of Lazarus and on the morning of Palm Sunday from the church of Saint Spyridon to the monument of the Fallen. The statues that have been erected over the monuments are considered artworks.

The Messolonghi Museum of History and Art: The Messolonghi Museum of History and Art is housed in a neoclassical two-storey building that dates back to 1931. Within the museum’s collection one can see both originals and copies of paintings with representations of the Greek Revolution, as well as engravings, coins, medals and busts. One can also find objects and manuscripts of Lord Byron, and also paintings of his two trips to Greece.

The Byron Company of the Holy City of Messolonghi: The Messolonghi Byron Company aims to promote of Lord Byron, his life and art, and many other philhellenes who gave up their fortune, time, effort, and sometimes even their own life helping the Greek revolution of 1821. It is housed on the upper floor of Lord Byron’s house in the Holy City of Missolonghi.

Trikoupis Museum & Palamas Museum: These two museums are the homes of two families turned into museums. The Trikoupis Museum is located near Messolonghi lagoon and the Palamas Museum lies exactly opposite. The former is housed in an unassuming mansion built in 1840 and was not only the home of Spyridon Trikoupis but also his son, Charilaos. It contains several family heirlooms as well as various period pieces. The latter museum is housed in a stone mansion belonging to the Palamas family in which Kostis Palamas lived for several years. The museum’s collection includes photos, personal items, and many exhibits related to the life and work of the great poet.

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