GREECE: THE BEST OF GREECE
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find what Frommer's consider to be the best of
Best of Byzantine Greece
Mistra (Peloponnese): This Byzantine ghost town has streets lined with
the remains of homes both humble and palatial, as well as some of the most beautiful
churches in all Greece. If you have the energy, climb to the top of the defense walls
for the superb view over the plain of Sparta. Try to visit in the spring, when Mistra is carpeted with wildflowers.
Church of Panayia Kera (Kritsa, Crete):
If Byzantine an sometimes seems a bit formal and remote, this striking chapel in the foothills of eastern Crete
will reward you with its unexpected intimacy. The l4th- and 15th-century frescoes are not only stunning, but also depict all the familiar Biblical stories.
The Churches of Thessaloniki (Northern Greece): Thessalonikis Byzantine
churches are the finest not just in Greece, but in the entire world. From the tiny
Osios David to the towering Ayios Dimitrios, these churches have mosaics and
frescoes that give you an astonishing glimpse of the artistic grandeur of the
mighty Byzantine empire.
Nea Moni (Hios, Northeastern Aegean): Once home to 1,000 monks, this
12th-century monastery high in-the interior mountains of Hios is now quietly
inhabited by one elderly but sprightly nun and two friendly monks—try to catch
one of the excellent tours sometimes offered by the monks. The mosaics in the
cathedral dome are works of extraordinary power and beauty; even in the half-obscurity of the nave they radiate a brilliant gold. Check out the small museum, and take some time to explore the extensive monastery grounds.
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