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2. SPARTA                                                                    Duration of visit: 3 hours

Sparta - was city-state in ancient Greece that was built on the banks of the river Eurotas in Laconia. It has become known in history for military strength, discipline, heroism and the large number of slaves. It is also known for the myth of Helen, wife of Menelaus, king of Sparta. Her abduction from Paris and transfer of Troy was the cause of the Trojan War. In 480 BC 300 Spartans led by King Leonidas held a legendary battle to the bitter end at Thermopylae against the Persian army of colossal proportions, causing numerous casualties. Sparta fell into decline after a crushing defeat of the army of the Thebans of Epaminondas at the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC. This was the first land battle that lost the Spartan army in a full quorum. In 396 AD Alaric, the leader of the Visigoths destroyed Sparta. In 586 AD during a Slavic raid the last residents of Sparta abandon it for a safer location. In 1834, decided by the regency of King Otto the construction of the city of Sparta in its ancient position. In Sparta we will visit the following points:
a. The archaeological Museum of Sparta which is the first Greek museum built in a provincial town (1874-1876); b. The museum of Olive and Greek Olive Oil which is unique in Greece and the main purpose is to highlight the culture and technology of olive and olive oil, which is inextricably linked to Greek identity; c. The Art Gallery of Sparta which welcomed the public in 1982 and operates as a branch of the National Gallery; d. The statue of Leonidas; e. We will visit a traditional restaurant to have lunch with local dishes.
Entrance fees:
2€ in Archeological museum; 2€ in Olive museum; Free in Art Gallery.

After driving 1 hour from Sparta we will reach Gythion