The Byzantine castle town of Mystras remains intact throughout the centuries and captivates every visitor with its remarkable religious and cultural sites. Wondering among the picturesque quarters of Mystras fortresses and imposing monasteries rise from a fairytale. The churches of Mystras are truly the jewels of this abandoned town. All of them are found at the main town, except the church of Agia Sofia which lies in the lower town.
Close to the archeological site, within the castle walls lies the Cathedral of Agios Dimitrios, the oldest church of Mystras. It was founded in 1270 and it used to be the religious center of the Byzantine town. At the west side of the church, in the courtyard is housed the Archeological Museum of Mystras.
Of unique historical importance is the tiny church of Evagelistria set not very far from the metropolis. Built in the early 15th century, the church was used as a mortuary chapel. Agioi Theodoroi church belongs to the characteristic octagonal type and is the largest church of Mystras, located in the lowest part of the old town. It preserves several frescoes from 1423. Here lies also the tomb of the Despot of Peloponnese Theodore I.
One of the churches that charm every visitor at first sight for its idyllic location and its unique architecture is the Monastery of Panagia Perivleptos. Literally hanging from the rocks amidst the lush trees, the 14th-century monastery hosts some imposing paintings and it is mentioned in many Byzantine sources. Right above Perivleptos rises the female monastery of Panagia Pantanassa founded in the 15th century. It combines various styles of church architecture and hosts some excellent frescoes. It is only inhabited monastery in the town of Mystras. Small and austere is the 14th-century church of Agia Sofia with nice wall paintings. The church of Panagia Odigitria is built during the same period around a beautiful green area with lush vegetation.
Cathedral of Agios Demetrios
One of the most important churches of Mystras is the Cathedral of Agios Demetrios, founded in 1292 AD. This church has a mixed architectural style: on the one hand it has a three-aisled basilica with a narthex and a bell tower, built in the 13th century on the ground floor, and on the other hand, the upper floor is a cross-in-square church, added in the first half of the 15th century. Its interior is decorated with wall paintings in many different styles. This is where the last Byzantine emperor, Constantinos Paleologos, was crowned in 1449.
Church of Agia Sofia
The Byzantine church of Agia Sophia dates from the mid-14th century. It has nice wall paintings and it is made of stone.
The church of Agioi Theodoroi was built in the 13th century and belongs to the octagonal type with lateral chapels. Its dome, based on eight props, is quite impressive.
Monastery of Panagia Perivleptos
The Monastery of our Lady Perivleptos has fine wall paintings made in the late 14th century. The catholicon (main church of the monastery) has cross-in-square style.
Church of Panagia Hodegetria
The church of our Lady Hodegetria, meaning the "Leader of the Way", was built in 1310. Its decoration includes wall paintings that represent the healing of the blind man, the wedding in Kana and other scenes from the Bible. The grave of Emmanuel Paleologos is found in this chapel.
Church of Panagia Pantanassa
The Monastery of Panagia Pantanassa has an impressive katholicon (main church) and a tall bell tower. Its fine frescoes date from the 14th century.