At the centre of the Evrotas valley, located on the banks of the mythical river below Mt. Taygetos, lies Sparta, and 5 km to its north-west Mistras. The entire Byzantine city of Mistras is essentially an open-air museum, evidence of a glorious era. The fortress, the palaces and chuches, the fortifications and the gates, the mansions and houses, the streets and the fountains, all constitute a record of the unique history of the seat of the Seigniory of Moreas.
ΑIn the Ano Hora, the Palaces of the Despots (Seignieurs) form an impressive complex of buildings constructed at different times. All, from the Mansion of the Katakouzini to the Palace of the Paleologi, have been renovated and have had their old glamour restored.
The pride of Mistras' Byzantine heritage are its churches, with their unique architecture and wall-paintings. Of special interest are Agios Dimitrios, the Cathedral (Metropolis) next to the Byzantine Museum of Mistras, Evangelistria, Agioi Theodori, Panagia Odigitria (or Afentiko), Perivleptos, Pantanassa and Agia Sofia.