The town of Methone on the south-west coast of Messenia has almost no ancient remains, although some remains of the city wall can be seen, as well as some pillar fragments. In the Middle Ages (from 1206) Methone had an important function under the name of Modon as a base for the sea empire of the city of Venice and as a transit port for the pilgrim routes to the holy land. For that reason, Methone had one of the strongest fortresses in medieval Greece, while it had a thriving silk industry. In 1500 Modon fell to the Turks under Sultan Bayezid II, when the population opened their doors just a little too early for a relief army from Corfu. From 1686-1715 Methone was temporarily back in Venetian hands, but otherwise it remained in Turkish possession until 1828.

The city is especially worth a visit because some of the  spectacular Venetian fortifications (with numerous lions of St. Mark) and the Turkish octagonal Bourdzi, on the islet where the last Venetian defenders were slaughtered in 1500.

Bottom right: Methone as drawn by the French soldier Beauvau. Source:

Pausanias on Methone (4.35.8): In Mothone there is a temple for Athena Anemotis [Wind Goddess]. It is said that Diomedes consecrated the statue and gave the goddess her name. Strong off-season winds damaged the land. Diomedes turned his prayers to Athena and from then on they have suffered no more damage from the winds. There is also a shrine to Artemis and in it is a reservoir filled with water mixed with pitch, something that looks most like myrrh from Kyzikos.

And about the Bourdzi (4.35.1): In my opinion, the rock Mothon gave the village its name. That rock has also given them their harbor by narrowing the entrance for ships and extending below the surface, while at the same time hindering the waves so that they do not roll up from the depths.