Photographer's Note

This is the Taygetos mountain as seen from downtown Sparta a day with a lot of clouds and humidity.

Taygetus or Taygetos (Greek: Ταΰγετος), also Taigetos is a mountain range of the Peloponnesus, Southern Greece, extending about 65 mi (100 km) north from the southern end of Cape Matapan in the Mani Peninsula. It rises to about 7,900 ft (2,410 m) at Mt. Hagios Ilias (Mt. St. Elias or Prophitis Elias). The mountain is named after Taygete. In Byzantine times and up until the 19th century, the mountain was known as Pentedaktylos (Greek for five-fingered). The mountain range includes the prefectures of Arcadia, Laconia and Messenia.

The highest peak of the mountain has the shape of a pyramid. Some researchers are convinced that this structure, found on one of the peaks of mount Taygetus, was carved by the hand of man, in remote antiquity, to form this pyramid shape. Others, however, believe that this is nothing but a natural rock formation. No erosion mechanism has been suggested (to date) which could create this shape naturally. Particularly curious are the strange shadows cast at dawn and sunset. It is said that in ancient years, Spartans built a temple of Apollo at the peak. A church of the prophet Elias (προφήτης Ηλίας) can be found at the same place. European walking route E4 also leads there.

The valley of the Evrotas River lies to the east, while the Ionian Sea lies to the south and west along with the Gulf of Kalamata or the Messenian Gulf and Arcadia to the north.

Almost all of the Evrotas valley, the Parnon mountains and half of Laconia can be seen from the eastern slope. The western slopes panorama includes Kalamata and the eastern half of Messenia. Most of the southwestern part of Arcadia can also be seen.

The central part of the mountain range is commonly called "Skoteini Plevra" which means "the dark side" because the villages that are in the Taygetus don't receive as much sunshine, especially in the morning and the pre-dusk hours. Much of the area is forested and in higher areas, deforested with grasslands, meadows and flowers. The area receives sunshine only during the afternoon hours. The length is about 4 to 5 km and the width is approximately 1 km.

There are a few creeks in the range including two running within GR-82.

As an aside, but unconfirmed there is a naturally occurring pyramid on this mountain, perhaps one of the few naturally occurring pyramids in the world. Taygetus also has a resort. Climate has cool summers in the central part with snowy winters. Most of the eastern half is grassy while the rest of the mountain is covered with Pine trees.

An ancient road linking Messene along with the rest of Messenia and Sparta ran in the southern part of the mountain in ancient and medieval times. The modern highway is Greece Interstate 82, the Kalamata to Sparti Highway running in the north-central part with a pass of about 1,060 m. It is the only highway that runs through the Taygetus ranges.

A Trail is situated in the south central part of the range west of Mystras.

This is the mountain on which the Spartans would leave their unfit children to die. In the antiquity, male Spartan newborns were abandoned here if deemed unfit after examination for vitality. Most likely, the children were thrown off the mountain. Sparta was a warrior city and physical weakness was not tolerated.

-From Wikipedia-

japiey, ifanik, azaf1, plimrn has marked this note useful

Photo Information
Viewed: 2494
Points: 8
  • None
Additional Photos by Stella Leivadi (stelli) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 92 N: 420] (3009)
View More Pictures